The World is Flat and other false Myths. Part 1

N0, this article is NOT about whether or not the world is flat or round. I think this once upon a time controversy has pretty much been settled. But if you’re like me, when I was growing up it was hard to believe the world was round. I make this point because many dog owners are putting the health and overall wellbeing of their dogs in extreme jeopardy by feeding them an inappropriate diet. The last time I wrote for the Gazette I discussed the FACT that your dog is a carnivore and also what she should and should not be eating. I also discussed the long-term effects of feeding your dog a species inappropriate diet (kibble). In this article I want to expose some of the many myths that keep “Man’s Best Friend” from benefiting and thriving on the diet Mother Nature intended her to eat.

Myth 1: Dogs are living longer lives today because of better nutrition (processed foods)

Let’s think this one out a bit. The first six words of this myth are absolutely true. Dogs ARE living longer lives today. Let’s use this comparison: Humans are also living longer today than they did 200 years ago, but it’s NOT because of our nutrition which includes high consumption rates of sugars and processed foods. The biggest reason our dogs are living longer today is for the same reason we’re living longer: advances in medical care. The improved social status of dogs today has also improved their longevity. 100 years ago, if the family dog got sick she died. Today according to the American Pet Products Association US citizens spent 17.1 BILLION dollars on veterinary services in 2017. If ALL our dogs were fed a species appropriate diet I suspect that the 17.1-billion-dollar amount would be reduced. People care about the welfare of their dogs. In some jurisdictions in the US cruelty to dogs is a felony which can result in the offender being sent to prison. So, there is no argument that dogs are living longer lives today, and there is also no argument, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), that dogs are suffering increased incidences of cancer, diabetes, obesity, dental disease, kidney failure, heart disease, food allergies, and arthritis. The question is why are these devastating diseases increasing. DIET DIET DIET. It’s truly amazing that our dogs have “adapted” to the species inappropriate diet being fed to them throughout their entire lives, which leads us to the next fairytale.

Myth 2: Because dogs have been domesticated they have “adapted” to cooked (processed kibble) diets

First, I’d like to point out that domestication has nothing to do with changing an animal’s physiological structure. Domestication is defined by humans keeping and or training relativity docile animals for work, food or as pets. Dogs, cats, pigs, cows, and horses are domesticated. Lions, tigers, and bears aren’t. Dogs have NOT adapted to processed kibble. If this were true, there wouldn’t be millions of pets crowding vet clinics suffering from all the diseases I mentioned in myth #1. Dogs have “adjusted” to the inappropriate diets most have been fed all their lives, similar to the way humans have “adjusted” to cigarettes, heroin, alcohol, processed sugars, and fast food restaurants. But unlike humans, dogs have no choice in the type of diets they eat. It’s up to us to feed our carnivores (dogs) a species appropriate diet.

Myth 3: There is No scientific research to support Raw Diets

“You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t change their views to fit the facts; they change the facts to fit their views.” I can’t remember when or where I read that quote, nor can I remember who said it. The quote certainly reminds me of the powerful commercial dog food industry. You know who they are. They spend billions in advertising on TV and at dog sporting events. They even sponsor major dog shows like the annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show every year in New York City. So, at this point I need to admit that myth number 3 is in fact not a myth at all.

I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking if it’s not a myth why did I say it was and why am I talking about it? Well the implication here is because there is no scientific research performed by institutions like the AVMA, raw diets should not be fed. Some vets will even tell you a raw diet will harm your dog! All the research (paid for in large part by the dog-kibble companies) has gone into proving processed dog-food is safe and dogs can eat it and survive, (NOT THRIVE). Who’s going to sponsor a study to determine if raw food (meat, bones, and organs) is the correct diet for our CARNIVORE dogs. It’s sure not going to be the pet food companies. They have a good thing going selling and pushing kibble. And you know who their partners in this crime are, more about them later.

Now I’m going to tell you a secret, but I’m encouraging you to share it with anyone you want. We don’t need a scientific research study to show that carnivores (our dogs) are designed to eat meat. How many scientific studies are there that show lions hunt, kill, and eat other animals? How many scientific studies are there that prove horses should eat grass, hay, grains and other plant materiel? Where is the study on what gray whales eat? I think you get my point. The scientific research on the species appropriate diet for dogs was conducted by Mother Nature through about a million years of evolution, with the evidence listed as the dog’s anatomical and physiological structure: her sharp teeth, her fixed bottom jaw, her acidic gastronomic system. The evidence is indisputable about what our dogs should be eating. Unfortunately, there is an overwhelming bias towards feeding dogs a species inappropriate processed diet (kibble). Who does this bias help and who does this bias hurt?

Myth 4: Vets are thoroughly qualified to dispense nutritional advice

First let me say I have the utmost respect for the veterinary profession. Many of our dogs would be in a world of hurt without them.......But based on my personal interactions with my own vets and those who I have interacted with at various animal/pet seminars, and my research on Veterinary Schools in the US, it seems the nutritional training vets receive at Veterinary schools is limited at best. And the training they do receive is often administered and financed by pet food companies! Some of their training comes from the INCORRECT view that our dogs are omnivores, even though scientific research has proven that dogs are carnivores. According to T. Lonsdale, the author of “Raw Meaty Bones”

“Colgate-Palmolive, the company that manufactures Hill’s Science Diet spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year funding university research and nutrition courses at every one of the 27 US veterinary colleges. Once in practice, vets who sell Science Diet and other premium foods directly profit as much as 40%.” The symbiotic relationship between veterinarians and the pet food industry is extremely questionable. How are vets supposed to be educated on correct nutritional diets when the very institutions from which they receive their instruction are in bed with the pet food companies? Whose interest are these kibble-pushing vets really looking out for? If vets were all highly qualified (and some of them are) to provide quality nutritional advice you wouldn’t see shelves of processed fast food as soon as you walk into many vet clinics and hospitals. When you go to the dentist you don’t see racks of candy bars and chewing gum for sale! The irony of that statement is when you take your dog to get her teeth cleaned, the clinic is full of the processed foods that lead to the need to have the procedure! Did I mention that processed food in general and kibble in specific is the number one reason for dental disease in dogs?

Part 2

Ed Hill

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