This is a must read

Education is the path to enlightenment and with enlightenment we can derive at the correct and informed decisions.

I have no doubt that most consumers, nowadays, acknowledge the benefits that are derived from a healthy life style. I have no doubt that we all understand that a wholesome diet, preferably organic, has a major impact on well being, health and longevity. The conscientious shopper also now looks for grooming products and remedies that are free from chemicals and poisons.

I also have no doubt that with the enforcement of the Consumer Protection Act, we have become more familiar with understanding product labels and we have become more vigilant when it comes to accepting some of the dubious ingredients that are listed therein.

Yet, and this seriously confuses me, when it comes to caring for our dear beloved companion animals we do NOT apply the same and equal health principles. Is this because the naming of this living being, “cat and dog” is so dry and insensitive? Does it not evoke emotion and passion? World-wide pet guardians are referring to their animals as “beloved companions”, “members of the family”, “fury children”, “our babies”.

Perhaps then, the treatment of our animals will be no different to the way that we look after ourselves and that the same principles of healthy living that we strive for, will apply to our “fury friends”.

Yet, for now:

  • We are throwing food in a bowl that is highly preserved, that sits unaffected in it packaging for 24 months.  This despite us understanding the inherent negativities of preservatives.
  • We are feeding a diet that is highly processed and is exposed to cooking temperatures reaching 200 degrees. This, even though we know that vitamins, minerals and protein structures are denatured when exposed to heat.
  • Despite us following various diets, Prof Tim Noakes, Paleo, Atkinson’s, etc which all warn against refined carbs, when it comes to feeding our pets we throw down dried food that is mainly carbs. We know refined carb are acidic in nature and likely to affect skin allergies and arthritis and yet we still persist.
  • We are feeding a dry diet that is devoid of moisture, even though our cats and dogs are struggling with renal and bladder complications.
  • We have forgotten how we used to bond with our parents at the dinner table, enjoying moms favorite spaghetti bolognaise, Indian curry, tomato bolognaise. Now we throw down food for our pets without love and attentions and yet we still expect respect and good behavior.
  • We are even applying flea poisons despite the warning on the packaging that this could be extremely harmful if comes in contact with your skin and that it is advised not to pat your “furry friends” for 48 hours. This despite the fact that after reading the labeling we understand that the active ingredients are a harmful poison.

Now if our companion animals were in prime condition and not struggling with skin aliments, digestive issues, cancer, diabetes, renal complications, arthritis, obesity, heart decease, epilepsy and behavioral issues, then perhaps there would be no need to write this editorial piece. The reality is that almost every pet is struggling with an array of human ailments and that longevity has been reduced.

Changing your own life style and diet is always difficult. It is even harder when one has to make changes that affect the well – being of your companion animals. I believe that the psychological terminology for this conflict of change is called “cognitive dissonance”. However, it is necessary, ethical and fair and in deriving at the correct decision and enlightenment, the responsible consumer and pet guardian should apply these three basic mediums:

  1. midst all the marketing jargon one should apply logic, common sense, intuition and gut feel.
  2. there is a wealth of knowledge on the net and in printed material that it is inexcusable not to undertake the necessary research
  3. in an environment when corporate have become zealous without consideration for the public nor environment, the responsible consumer must understand labeling and ingredients. You have the right to know!!

I have no doubt that for most we understand the principles of healthy living and the benefits derived there from. I therefore, have no doubt that if we deem our pets to be companions and members of our family and that we have applied the mediums above, then we MUST derive at the conclusion that “natural” in better than “unnatural”, that wholesome foods are better than processed and that “preservative and chemical free diets and remedies” are a better option than preserved and chemically based.