I know that people who don’t care for animals have a hard time understanding the love others have for their pets. I have a cat and his name is Rags. Rags has been in my life for over 10 years and I consider him my animal friend and companion. I believe I have a responsibility, as his friend, to take care of him to the best of my ability. So I was very disturbed when I read that gluten in pet food was making animals sick.
When I read articles that contain information I don’t understand, I always have to do the research. When I read that gluten and other additives were causing animals to die, I had to do the research and find out the facts. I would be horrified if my Rags died as a result of what I fed him.
When I read that gluten was poisoning animals, I could only shake my head and wonder why we use gluten in anything since it seems to do more harm than good. I learned some really interesting things I didn’t know about animals. For example, cats and dogs have digestive systems meant to handle a diet mostly of meat, not grain. Their digestive systems are best at handling animal proteins and fats. So what do we feed our pet? We feed them diets high in carbohydrates!
The canned food that pets eat consists mostly of the byproducts resulting from animal slaughtering for human food including bones and offals. In addition, discarded and rotten grains are also added. This awful sounding mixture is then thickened with gluten. Gluten is used in animal food the same way it is used in human food – primarily to thicken and add texture. Gluten in canned food is what creates the gelatin like substance.
The pet food recall was the result of animals dying from eating pet food containing gluten poisoned with melamine. I recognized the word “melamine” as the material dishes are made out of, but I didn’t know it was also used as a fertilizer. Now I know. That is how melamine contaminated the gluten.
So our pets were eating food that was bad for them on two levels: melamine and gluten. The United States doesn’t even allow melamine to be used as fertilizer because of the possible health dangers when it gets into the food supply. I couldn’t help but let the thought cross my mind: “What if the melamine filled gluten had been used in human food production?”
I guess there are unexpected advantages after all to being gluten intolerant. As for my cat and your pet, my recommendation is to feed them animal food that consists mostly of animal proteins and fats. The foods that are gluten free will be mostly animal protein. You can find a list of recalled pet foods at http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/petfoodrecall/.
So I am no longer the only one with gluten intolerance in my house. Both Rags and I must stay away from gluten for the sake of our health!