Ava Frick, DVM, CAC
Anyone who cares about animals will have a list of situations that make one feel bad about their plight. Let’s compare lists.
- Dogs that are chained up all the time and never get to run or play,
- Dogs or chickens that are used for fighting,
- Animals left to starve, abused, or neglected,
- Ones kept in confinement (Even a trip to the zoo while appreciating the salvage of many species still makes my heart a bit sad for many of them. Prairie dogs excluded.),
- Animals beaten by trainers, owners, and others,
- Animals used for human amusement like circus acts where they would not naturally do what they are required to do. (This may not be across the board. I have visited Sea World and it really does appear that the sea creatures have a good time doing their acts and getting fish as a reward and making a big splash. I did not feel sorry for them during the act. But maybe it was because they were causing me to smile and laugh.),
- Horses put on trailers, driven for days, and taken across the border to Mexico for slaughter where there are little to no regulations for humane treatment,
- The dog or cat or wild creature that was hit on the road,
- Heck, I apologize to the animal every time before I give an injection.
Add the grossly overweight animals to the list too. Americans are fatter and sicker than ever. We are a culture of mass consumption of refined grains, processed foods, empty calories, too much sugar, fast foods, huge meals portions, and sedentary lifestyle. People will be dying younger than their parents and their children face an even graver future, and their dogs along with them. Have you read the label of everything you are feeding your dog or cat?
Here’s another one for the list. I feel sorry for the dogs that only get to eat dry dog food every meal of every day of their life. The family is cooking a turkey, steak, hamburgers, or fried chicken, and what does the dog get? SOS. (That’s same old stuff.) How healthy would you be if you ate Total cereal every meal of your life? It says, or at least used to, 100% complete on the box. And the worst of it is this; considering a dog can smell 10,000 times what we do it must be torture smelling what is cooking and NEVER getting to have it. Table food, if fresh meat and vegetables, is MUCH more nutritious that any kibble you will ever put in the bowl.
That list can go on and on depending on what you know and how you feel about what is happening, what your responsibility level is to help, and what you are actually doing about it. The ill that befalls animals is committed every day to children and people all over the world as well. During the holiday’s people volunteer to help others by getting gifts for children, ringing bells for Salvation Army, wrapping gifts and sharing the donations with a not-for-profit group, or whatever makes them feel better about themselves and the plight of others.
This holiday season you could quit torturing your dog. Decide to go against what the dry food companies have ingrained in the minds of the pet industry. Share some of the bounty and give them a gift of unprocessed whole nutritious food. They will know that they have received the greatest gift of all, real food! You can give them the chance for a better life. It all begins with what we put into our bodies, and theirs.