Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kevin Kling

Back in October, we went to see Kevin Kling at the Fitzgerald tell stories from his book The Dog Says How. I just discovered that they have the whole show available to listen to online. If you're looking for something fun to do this afternoon, go have a listen!

Not much else to say, except that school is keeping me busy. Thursday's Holistic Club talk went well, and hearing some evidence about how whole foods are very different critters than isolated nutrients has made me even more skeptical about the idea of feeding solely kibble-based diets. Somehow we've bought into this concept of a "complete and balanced" diet- that a kibble can provide all the nutrients an animal needs to live a long and healthy life, and that the addition of "people food" can unbalance the diet and set the animal up for nutrient excesses or deficiencies. It seriously conflicts with the direction that human nutrition is heading (how many doctors encourage their patients to eat fewer fresh foods and more processed foods?). It also implies that we have complete knowledge of nutrient requirements, which is untrue for humans, so is almost certainly untrue for companion animals.

Pet food companies love to point out that pets are living longer today than ever, and love to credit "better nutrition" as the reason. Aside from the facts that pets are also getting better veterinary care than ever, getting more preventative care than ever, and tend to be indoor pets rather than outdoor pets now, I think the onus is on the companies to provide evidence that a kibble diet does as well or better than a fresh food diet.

Anyway, if I had to sum up my current philosophy on pet food in one word, it would be skepticism. I hope that someone finds the grant money somewhere to do independent studies on companion animal nutrition...

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