Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Puppy/Kitten Mills

If you don't want to read something depressing please skip to the last paragraph and read about what you can do to ensure that you don't support pet mills.

Puppy/Kitten Mills are places where dogs and cats are mass produced to be sold.
These places do not care about their animals, allow them to live in squalor, tight cramped cages that are rarely cleaned.
Often times they are separated too soon from their parents, and develop behavioral problems.
Because of the way they are bred (or inbred) they have horrible genetic defects. If you do not have the proper testing done on the parents (which these places do not do) to make sure that they have no problems and are a good genetic match with each other their resulting litters will almost always have horrible problems that end up costing a lot in vet bills as well as the poor animals being in severe pain and having to be put down in some cases.
Many of these pets are malnourished, have open sores, deformations, diseases(cataracts, deafness, distemper(usually fatal), epilepsy, glaucoma, hip dysplasia, mammary tumors, parvovirus(usually fatal) etc)
These pets get minimal if any veterinary care.
They are given very little substandard food, are housed usually outside with very little shelter from the elements. They are generally in chicken wire cages (sometimes rabbit hutches or rusty barrels) that hurt their paws and if their leg slips through the bottom it can be injured and is usually not taken care of. They are not provided fresh water or water on a consistent basis. They are often left in their own waste and as such do not learn to be tidy with their bathroom habits, which leads to difficulty in potty training which is one of leading reasons animals end up in shelters!
Only around half of the pets survive, and of the survivors most have shortened lives.

"Stephanie Shain, the outreach director of the Humane Society of the United States, says that of the 7 to 9 million dogs acquired in this country each year, between 2 and 4 million come from puppy mills."
So what can you do to help? First and foremost think about adopting! There are many puppies, kittens, cats and dogs in shelters that all need homes! Even if you are looking for a pure bred about 1/4 of the pets that come in are pure bred and the awesome thing about adopting is it is much much cheaper (usually 70-120 vs the 600 at pet stores) and you are supporting a good cause! If you absolutely must have a pure bred puppy or kitten (like in the case of needing to socialize a dog at a young age with cats) first check shelters, then check breed specific rescues, then find yourself a reputable local breeder. Ask to see where they where raised, examine the parents for health, ask how often they are bred (good breeders should skip a few heats) find out if they are well socialized, find out if they have any medical conditions, and ask to see papers. Finally a good breeder will always ask you questions to make sure your the right fit, they may even ask to have a home inspection so be prepared for that!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cream of Vegetable Soup

This is a fantastic recipe that I make all the time, I use part olive oil and part butter to make it a tad healthier and usually 1% or 2% milk. I find that adding fresh onion and garlic and powdered onion and garlic adds a lot more flavor to the dish. BTW things are approximate as this is something I just throw together, may need more or less depending on personal taste. Always taste while you cook!


* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other heart healthy oil)
* 4-8 garlic cloves (depending on preference)
* 1 yellow onion, sliced
* 2 cups cubed potatoes
* 2-4 cups mixed vegetables (carrots, frozen peas, parsnips, celery)
* 2 tablespoons roasted vegetable stock base(or one package of kombu)
* 2 cups water (or 1 and 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup white wine)
* 1 teaspoon garlic powder
* 1 teaspoon onion powder
* 1-2 tablespoon fresh herb (or more, Basil, Cilantro, Green Onion, and or Rosemary)
* 1 cup 1% low-fat milk or 2% low-fat milk
* 1 tablespoon cornstarch
* cracked pepper, and salt as desired

1.Saute garlic, onion and potatoes in butter/olive oil until onions are translucent over medium heat.
2.Add parsnips and carrots, cook for 3-5 minutes. (Add wine and/or rosemary here if you are going to).
3.Pour water into pan with preferred stock base and add garlic and onion powder. Add celery. Cook until potatoes are soft.
4.Add peas.
5.Add fresh herbs.
6.Mix milk and cornstarch and add slowly, cook for a few more minutes until hot and thick. (If not thick enough add more cornstarch mixed with cold water).
7.Add salt and pepper to taste
8.Serve and enjoy!

Pet food scams

So last week dragonfly ended up getting a urinary blockage that nearly killed him, fortunately I researched his symptoms and was able to get him to the vet in time (they usually kill cats within 3-6 days). They fixed him all up, kept him overnight and we picked him up. He is doing well.
I am very happy that my little furball is well but this isn't what this blog is about.

No, this note is about a very serious matter.
Now I don't know if it is driven by greed or maybe the vet is just unaware of nutrition (apparently vets only are required a one hour class in nutrition) So maybe it isn't the vets fault (although I find it hard to believe that a regular person would know more about pet nutrition then someone who is supposed to be a doctor of pets)
However, if it is indeed driven by greed that they push these so called "prescription" diets, shame on them! I don't know whether this is true but apparently hills science diet gives them money to push their overpriced garbage food.
Now why is it garbage you ask? They say its one of the best foods for them!
Well lets look at the first few ingredients on the bag:

Science Hill Diet "prescription"
Number 1
Brewers Rice
Brewers rice is a byproduct from milling rice, (from beer mostly) it is not fit for human consumption as most of its nutritional value has been stripped away. It is only sold for pet food and horses because of this. It is a filler, and is a reason why a lot of pets are overweight.

Number 2
Corn Gluten Meal
Corn gluten meal is a by-product from the manufacture of corn syrup or starch, it is also the dried residue after the removal of the germ, starch and bran. Cats are carnivores, grains are horrible for cats.
(it is also used as a "natural weed suppressant haha)

Number 3
Chicken by product meal
Oh now this one is lovely, it's the by products of chicken that isn't fit for human consumption. This can include Blood, Feet, Beaks, Bone, Feathers, Intestines, spleen, lungs you name it, any of the scraps that are deemed unfit, and you thought what they put into hot dogs was bad... yuck.

Number 4
Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid)
This one is the closest thing your getting to meat on this bag (and I thought cats where carnivores!!) and it is filled with perservatives. Also pork isn't well digested by cats or dogs. So they hardly get any protein from it as it is.

Number 5
Chicken Liver Flavor
Oh man I almost got excited! But they just had to tack "Flavor" onto it. Are they really so cheap that they can't possibly put actual liver in it?

Alright well, now on to the food that I feed my cat currently!

Merrick Grammy's Pot Pie

Number 1
Well that one is self explanatory! Also it is human grade meat.

Number 2
Chicken Broth
Once again self explanatory!

Number 3
Turkey Liver
I don't see "flavor" tacked onto this liver!

Number 4
Fresh Red Jacket New Potatoes
I know cats are carnivores, but vegetables aren't horrible for them if matched with meat, and the potato skins deliver necessary vitamins and minerals. A highly digestible carbohydrate source. Carbohydrates provide energy for everyday activity.

Number 5
Fresh Carrots
Again yes cats are carnivores but vegetables are a whole lot better then grains. Since these are fresh carrots they also have lots of nutrients. A natural source of B vitamins and beta carotene, an antioxidant.

I also feed him a supplement canned food, Merricks Before Grain which is 100% meat with some water for processing for example Merricks Quail ingredients are:

Quail, Water for processing

But cats need other vitamins so that is only supplemental!

So all in all you can see which is better, I mean which would you prefer to eat? By products and brewers rice or chicken and potatoes?

Yes some cats live long lives on these crap foods, because they are strong and are given the minimal protein necessary to live but cats tend to be very strong and suffer in silence I can only imagine what some of these foods do to cats later in life!

I think it is utterly shameful what veterinarians and corporations are doing! I have read so many testimony's online about people cats being put on "prescription" diets and the cat getting diabetes or other illnesses.

So I say no thank you! I will not give my cat with URINARY issues dry food with corn and rice in it! I will give him wet food, low in ash and magnesium with extra water mixed in!

Please read your pets ingredient list! Especially the first five ingredients, if most of it isn't meat please consider changing to a cat/dog food that is! One of the most affordable cat/dog foods that is very healthy for them is Chicken Soup for the pet lovers soul:

Another good food is anything from naturapet line.


Beware especially of by products and corn!!

Blog Start

I am hoping that by creating this blog that I can help people make small changes in their lives that will make the world a better place. I am not trying to preach or make anyone feel bad about themselves, nor am I going to ask for impossible things. I have a very strong belief that if each person just made a few better choices that life could be better for us all.
Some of my articles may be difficult to read since there are things in this life that are very negative and awful but I will be trying to intersperse those with positive things as well.
I am a vegetarian but will not be trying to push my lifestyle on anyone, but I do believe in a healthy balance and will be pushing including a few vegetarian meals in your week(and giving yummy recipes for them!). Americans tend to eat too much meat and end up with really high levels of protein which can harm your body!
Well that is all for now, I will be posting my first real blog shortly.