Unveiling the Mysteries Behind the Production of Pet Food
Get ready to be astounded as we dive deep into the concealed world of pet food production. Recently, I stumbled upon an eye-opening show called “Dirty Jobs” that took us behind the scenes of a rendering plant. The stomach-churning reality of what some pet food companies feed our precious furry friends was laid bare. Brace yourselves, folks, because what you’re about to discover might just turn your stomach!
The Disturbing Journey of Deceased Animals
The program uncovered the shocking practices surrounding the collection and processing of dead animals. In California, for example, only a few “Dead Trucks” make the rounds to farms, picking up carcasses. Astonishingly, some unfortunate cows and horses are left exposed to the elements for days before being collected. Just imagine the scene: bloated, decaying bodies teeming with maggots. The drivers must handle these putrid remains with care, chaining up their legs to drag them onto the trucks. It’s a truly nightmarish sight! These deceased animals are then transported to rendering companies, where they are turned into a mixture of pet food, chicken feed, and even fertilizer. And this is not an isolated occurrence – it’s happening all across the country. Shockingly, euthanized pets from shelters also meet the same fate. It’s a distressing reality, with an estimated 3 to 4 million pets euthanized each year. Burial or cremation is simply too expensive.
Inside the Rendering Plant
Let’s take a moment to step inside the rendering plant itself. Brace yourself for the sight of grimy, rusty machines that grind up the animals and cook them until they reach the desired consistency for further processing. This repulsive process transforms the unsightly mess into the familiar kibble found in dog food. What’s truly alarming is that the rendering company featured in the program was the only one willing to reveal their operations. It’s clear that pet food companies prefer to keep this hidden from the public eye.
The Troubling Reality of Pet Food
Hold on tight because it’s about to get even more disturbing. The regulations set by the FDA for pet food are shockingly lax, allowing for the inclusion of unsavory ingredients. Pet owners often assume that the bags of pet food they buy contain only the finest ingredients, just like the fresh whole chickens and vegetables they envision. However, the reality couldn’t be further from this ideal picture.
Revealing Purina’s Disturbing Secret
Yesterday, I stumbled upon an article by Susan Thixton that left me even more outraged. It shed light on what lies outside most dog food plants, including Purina’s. The accompanying photos, captured by a concerned pet owner, give us a glimpse into the unsettling truth. Take a look at the image below, showcasing tanker trucks parked on Purina’s property:
Notice the words “Inedible” prominently displayed on one of the tankers:
This pet owner wanted to ensure others didn’t miss the significance of the “Inedible” label. They even took a close-up shot of the tanker itself, providing undeniable evidence of what goes on inside the Purina plant:
Yes, you read that correctly. “Inedible Animal Food” is produced right within a pet food plant. But what exactly does this term mean?
Decoding the Mystery of “Inedible Animal Food”
Intrigued by this cryptic phrase, I delved into the depths of U.S. federal regulations. Unfortunately, there is no clear definition of ‘inedible animal food.’ Simply put, it refers to food that is not suitable for human consumption. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) defines ‘inedible’ as food that is “Adulterated, uninspected, or not intended for use as human food.” Further insight can be gained from Canadian regulations, which classify inedible products as items that “are, by their very nature, inedible.”
Shedding Light on the Contents
To gain a deeper understanding of what ‘inedible animal food’ entails, let’s explore the (U.S.) Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 314.10). This section focuses on livers condemned due to various causes. These condemned livers, affected by parasites or non-malignant changes, may be shipped from an official establishment only for non-human food purposes. Interestingly, federal regulations don’t require these types of inedible products to be “plainly marked.”
Breaching the Boundaries of the Law
Federal laws pertaining to ‘inedible products’ stress the importance of preventing contact with USDA-inspected and approved products. The handling and disposal of condemned or inedible products strictly prohibit their entry into areas where edible products are prepared, handled, or stored.
Pet Food and the Law
While it is against the law to use condemned materials in pet foods, one question lingers: why are “inedible animal foods” allowed to be processed into pet foods without clearly marked packaging? This inconsistency demands attention. Pet food consumers deserve to make informed choices. Therefore, any ingredient that requires the “Inedible” marking should also be prominently displayed on the pet food packaging. After all, the law is the law, except when it comes to pet food.
Be prepared to think twice the next time you purchase pet food. The hidden secrets within the industry are far from appetizing. Transparency and proper regulation are crucial to ensuring the well-being and trust of pet owners. Let’s raise awareness and hold pet food companies accountable. Together, we can strive for safer and healthier options for our cherished furry companions.