178712089When the black blizzard came, we felt utterly helpless. Sometimes it came with no wind, just this ominous black cloud descending all around us, bringing the dust right into our homes and lungs, choking our crops, killing our livestock. Other times, in strong winds, it stung like the dickens and scoured everything it hit.

Irresponsible farming practices, like any short term greed play, bring long term consequences. The disastrous Dust Bowl of the 1930’s lasted for nearly a decade. It was caused largely by masses of people seeking to profit by large scale farming of prairie land that had been held in place for centuries by deeply rooted grasses.

We “abused the land something terrible,” one farmer admitted. We didn’t “even think what the end results might be.”

Government incentives to homestead large tracts of land played a significant role.

In Government Agencies We Trust?

We live in an era when trusting the government to watch out for your best interests conflicts with greed within that same government. The chance to profit takes precedence over conscience in many regulatory scenarios.

Handing responsibility for your animal’s health over to the FDA or Dr. WhiteCoat is akin to heedlessly plowing every available acre you own unaware that a drought is on the way.

News Bulletin: Money Talks, Animals Walk

You may have noticed the very disappointing animal health news this week. Manufacturers of chicken jerky treats that have been incriminated in illness and death in thousands of pets have been given the green light to bring these products back to market, after they voluntarily withdrew them in January 2013.

The FDA states,

“We know that the illnesses and deaths reported are mostly linked to jerky pet treats sourced from China. Pet owners should be aware, however, that manufacturers do not need to list the country of origin for each ingredient used in their products.”

This same watchdog agency “noticed a sharp drop in the number of complaints since several treat products were removed from the market.”

The withdrawals, by the companies Nestle Purina and Del Monte, cost the companies each tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue.

Oh oh.

Remember Nestle, the company that marketed infant formula so aggressively to Third World countries in the 70’s? Infants died on the impoverished soy based formula, being denied their moms’ far superior breast milk. In its mind-numbingly devious plot to change the thinking of impoverished mothers away from breast feeding, they sold millions of dollars worth of the formula while babies wasted away and died as a direct result. Nestle was boycotted by outraged citizens in the U.S. and several countries around the globe.

Babies, Animals, and Greed: Disaster in the Forecast

Guess who is one of the big importers of Chinese chicken jerky treats, and has brought them back to market this week? You’ve got it. “Nestle Purina Pet Care,” the parent company of Waggin Train, whose chicken jerky treats of the same name were found to contain high levels of illegal antibiotics by New York’s Department of Agriculture.

I suspect the FDA chose to lie about these levels (see the link above). The same FDA, tasked with protecting the public against harmful foods and drugs, met with pet food industry officials, officials whose companies would clearly profit from a positive ruling, and, animal health be damned, the regulators have allowed the renewed sale of these treats.

Other types of jerky treats are causing illness as well, so antibiotics may not be the only problem.

The main body of U.S. veterinarians, the AVMA, rejected a resolution condemning these jerky treats, as “We don’t have the scientific proof to say, ‘Don’t do it.’”

Talk about being hamstrung by the science that was supposed to set us free. Remember, when the treats were removed from the market, the FDA saw a sharp decrease in reports of poisoned animals.

Good News: You’ve Got Added Incentive to Make Wise Choices Now

Now, it’d be easy to be cynical, reading news like this, but I think there’s a more powerful message here, to those who keep animals in their lives, especially Vital Animals they look forward to living long lives beside.

It’s simply a reiteration of a deep understanding that should form the foundation for anyone on the Natural Path:

You need to be the smart one, the one who’s informed, educated, and making wise decisions for those animals in your care. Counting on people and institutions who stand to profit from their recommendations is akin to getting caught in the center of the dust storm.

Put down deep roots to prevent disasters from blowing your animals’ health away. These include:

  1. Foundational food, natural treats.
  2. Erecting immune walls to protect against invaders. This could also be called: Immunizing without repeatedly vaccinating.
  3. Integrated pest management that doesn’t poison your animals or yourself.

No, the chicken jerky problem is merely a warning that self reliance is more important than ever. You remember the pets dying in large numbers from eating kibbles all seemingly unrelated to one another in 2007?

What was the common thread tying the hundreds of disparate brands contaminated with deadly Chinese melamine? Menu Foods, now bought by Simmons Foods, who supplies Nestle with their Chinese chicken to make Waggin Train jerky.

Raw feeders didn’t have a problem in 2007, by the way.

Let us know in the comments if you had any troubles in 2007 and what you’re doing for treats that avoid Chinese ingredients.