Wednesday, March 21, 2007

On the Menu: Sick Pets

I talked to my friend Will Briarwood this morning, and he was not happy.

"You've heard about the big pet food recall, I'm sure."

Of course. I was in PetSmart Sunday, saw the sign, and went home to make sure our cats' food was okay.

"Well, even if it's ok, it's probably not ok."

Meaning what?

"Meaning that if you buy foods made by this Menu Foods, then you're supporting cruelty to animals."


"I was reading a bunch of the news stories, and I saw a story in the Tribune that was just disgusting. Here, let me quote it to you: 'Menu Foods told the FDA it received the first complaints of kidney failure and death among cats and dogs from pet owners on Feb. 20. It began new tests on Feb. 27. During those tests, the company fed its product to 40 to 50 dogs and cats. Seven animals--the mix of species was not immediately known--died...’ There was also a story in the New York Times.”

So they learned that their petfood might be killing animals, and they decided to be sure?

"By killing more animals."

I read the list of pet foods made by Menu -- it's a long list. And it includes the Nutro / MaxCat that we buy.

"I think it might be time to reconsider the brand you buy."

I will reconsider. It's just that our oldest cat is really picky -- she's going to be sixteen years old next month, and I don't know if she will be interested in trying new foods.

"I know, it could be a tough decision, but I've heard you talk about how you try to buy cruelty-free products. I started looking around online. I found a list of brands from companies that do not test on animals at PETA's website.”

You know that I’m not a big fan of PETA.

“I know, I know, neither am I. But sometimes they have information that other organizations don’t.”

If PETA would stop trying so hard to offend people, they might have a few more supporters.

“I think PETA believes that offending people is their purpose. Anyway, do some checking on your catfoods.”

After I talked to Will, I did some checking.

We buy cat treats made by Halo -- they are on the list of companies that do not do testing on animals.

We buy several kinds of dry food, including Innova and Science Diet. They are not on PETA’s list.

And we buy Nutro moist food. Nutro is not on PETA’s list.

I’ll be contacting these companies, to ask them their position on laboratory testing of animals. Stay tuned.

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