The recent AVMA decision to form a official policy against raw feeding generated a lot of buzz in the raw feeding community and we were very vocal in our thoughts. We signed petitions, we wrote to the AVMA and we solicited our vets with information. In the end, the vast majority of vets are still against raw feeding. Why are vets so closed minded to raw feeding?
Perhaps one of the reasons for their reluctance to accept raw feeding is that they are largely influenced by the pet food industry. Yesterday, we came across an interesting post on the Petfood Industry website and the author’s opinion of raw feeders wasn’t exactly respectful. It seems that pet food advocates are not only against raw feeding, but they believe us to be completely incapable of grasping the basic concepts of nutrition that vets magically possess after a couple of courses in nutrition (which are ironically taught by the pet food manufacturers).
The author, Jessica Taylor, urges pet food manufacturers to ‘educate’ us raw feeders by stating, “Isn’t it our responsibility to make sure the people buying and feeding our products to their animals are informed by more than just Retweeted gossip and a few, social media-savvy bloggers?”
Dr. Asley Hughes of Friendship Hospital for Animals adds, “The Internet tells [pet owners] raw food is the best thing to feed, and if they love their dog, this is what they should be feeding them, and so I hope people research it more and, you know, make an informed decision if that’s what they want to feed. I think it’s about discussing your feeding choices with your veterinarian and working out a system and a way of feeding that works for you and your pet.”
Jessica Taylor concludes, “This seems like a missed opportunity for our industry to stop the spread of misinformation and to educate pet parents on ingredients, safe food-handling and the health of not only their pets, but themselves.”
This is certainly an interesting claim when the only pet food on record to have caused disease in humans is kibble. Susan Thixton explains, “the recent Diamond Pet Food manufacturing facility – a cooked/kibble pet food facility – experienced a significant pet food recall involving numerous brands of kibble dog and cat foods. This recall resulted in 49 confirmed human cases of Salmonella Infantis linked to kibble pet food manufactured at Diamond’s Gaston, South Carolina plant. To date, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have no confirmed cases of human illness linked to raw pet foods.”
In a nutshell, there is a trickle down effect and the pet food manufacturers pass their disdain for raw feeding on to the vets. They urge pet owners to discuss nutrition with their vet – and why wouldn’t they? Although they claim we raw feeders are victims of internet propaganda, vets are also victim to the pet food industry’s relentless onslaught of propaganda. The pet food industry has taken over veterinary education and they compete for veterinary dollars with free product and incentives. Pet food manufacturers and vets both profit from their nutritional advice. Raw feeders who openly share their knowledge (and the many vets who advocate raw feeding), have nothing to gain financially. Who should you trust?