I read some alarming and very sad news on the weekend (The Age – Good Weekend – Up Front). It concerns the obesity issue with our companion cats and dogs. Obesity in itself is sad, but the trend was the worst of it.
It appeared in the article that the blame was laid at the bowl of feeding leftovers, but when did leftovers get to be evil? Dogs and cats have been fed our leftovers since the dawn of our (symbiotic) relationship with them, but now it appears that this is being blamed for the crisis in pet health.
In my view it is the Commercial Petfood that is the culprit in the obesity epidemic, not the leftovers. Sure, some leftovers are just ‘crap food’, fat, poor quality stuff we don’t want to eat, but intentional leftovers, where we cook enough to feed the dog from our table of plenty are by far the better food.
Petfood is a highly processed, calorie dense product (I can’t call it ‘food’ – it's ‘energy’, its relationship to food disappears after 3 days of boiling into a sludge) using whatever ingredients it can, diseased animals, animal digest, the leftovers of the worst kind from our industrial manufacturing of food.
If we ate Petfood, we too would get fat. It isn’t satisfying, a small amount of physical matter, which then explodes in the stomach much later, fed by moisture from the kidneys to break it down into usable energy. Dried kibble has 10% moisture, where normal edible food has around 70% moisture. This removal of moisture is only there for convenience, so the ‘food’ doesn’t spoil and so you can store it easily in the cupboard. It isn’t made that way to benefit the animal.
The answer isn’t as the article suggests, to have ‘lite’ versions of the same product, the answer is to actually nourish the dog or cat with real food, real life-giving food.
It’s a con. We are sold a dud, believing the spin, but the ones who suffer are the animals we cherish so.