MEAT BY-PRODUCTS – THE HORRIBLE hidden TRUTH!
‘Meat by-products‘ or ‘meat meal’ or ‘animal derivatives’ are all, catch-all phrases, for essentially the same thing – ground up animals.
When you read a dog food label we want to see a protein source at the top, but more often than not we see a list that doesn’t even contain a specific type of meat (ie. chicken), just one of those insidious phrases mentioned above.
Until a few years ago, I didn’t know exactly what any of that meant, and when I found out I was disgusted…
The phrase is actually a misnomer as it contains little, if anything, that you or I would consider as ‘meat’… if you’re thinking something like chicken breast, or pork loin, then forget it. The truth is very, very different.
So why is a by-product not a good protein for dogs?
By-products are all the parts of an animal AFTER all the meat has been stripped away for human consumption. According to Henry Pasternak in Healing Animal with Nature’s Cures “chicken by-products include head, feet, entrails, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, stomach, bones, blood, intestines and any other part of the carcass not fit for human consumption”.
Yes, things like liver and kidneys are good sources of enriched protein, but when the by-products are kept in large vats for weeks on end as the pile builds up before it’s shipped off to a rendering plant, all the virtues are long gone…
When the term ‘meat’ or ‘animal’ is used then it is an amalgamation of many types of animals from many sources, which can contain the boiled down flesh of animals we would find unacceptable for consumption. Alarmingly, these meat by-products can include zoo animals, road kill and what the industry term ‘the 4-D’s’ (dead, diseased, disabled, dying livestock).
And in some cases (more evidenced in the US, but a large quantity of food is produced in the US) euthanised cats and dogs. Yes, your pet could be a cannibal… sobering isn’t it?
Although many manufacturers claim not to use euthanised cats and dogs, it is still actually LEGAL to do so, so until the legislation changes can you be totally sure if there is no reproach for doing this?
Given the crisis of ‘mad cow’ disease that exploded here in the UK, which stemmed from cattle being given infected food made from other cattle, it astounds me that we have learnt nothing from this awful tragedy.
I encourage you to take note of the type of protein for dogs you are being sold. Be vigilant, be aware, and make a well informed, conscious choice about what food to serve to your beloved pets. Don’t just help them to survive – help them to thrive!
Please share below any thoughts or questions you may have on other ingredients in commercial dog food…