Internet scams and pet food recalls: Who will cash in next?

Internet scams and pet food recalls: Who will cash in next?

With the tainted pet food debacle headlining mainstream media earlier this year, I know you’ve been inundated with information regarding the quality of your pet’s food. (In fact, plenty of that information came from the hand of yours truly.) But sit tight: This isn’t another treatise of mine warning you about what you’re feeding your pets–instead, I’m warning you about what you’re feeding your mind.

The Internet is fraught with outrageous, pseudoscientific claims that are harmful to the general welfare of its readers. The pet food scandal happens to be a perfect example of that.

Seemingly overnight, dozens of “kibble experts” crawled out of the woodwork, all claiming that their pet food was the safest, most nutritious source available. Fat chance. If these gold diggers aren’t telling you to feed your pets a completely raw food diet, then the only thing their information should feed is the woodstove.

Naturopath Lisa Newman is no different from the rest of ‘em.

If you want to drive yourself crazy, read Lisa’s report on commercial dog food. Her opus, which is tens of pages long, says that all commercial dog food (or certainly most of it) is made from the cheapest ingredients available. She and her associates examined 448 pet food products and then conducted a nutritional analysis of each ingredient in each product –a monumental achievement, and an even more monumental waste of time.

In none of the Newman material I read (and it took considerable time to read it all) is there any mention of the root cause of why commercial dog food is toxic to your pet. There’s no denying that commercial dog food comprises nutritionally deficient ingredients, pesticides, dyes, and preservatives. But in the end, they’re toxic to your pet simply because they’re cooked.

I wanted to give Lisa the benefit of the doubt. So just to make sure I wasn’t somehow missing a new and great feeding breakthrough, I investigated her website.

A sucker is born every day

What I found on Lisa’s website should come as no surprise: She’s selling her own brand of dog food. As it turns out, Lisa wasn’t on a mission to expose the commercial pet food industry–she was on a mission to market her own products.

She points an accusing finger at most commercial pet foods, saying they contain waste products, inferior ingredients, incorrect ingredients, and “gimmicks”–all the while claiming that her products are of the highest quality. I have no doubt that her claims about her competitors are true. But is the pot calling the kettle black?

Does your dog need “Flower Essences for Emotions”? Does your dog need menadione sodium bisulfate complex as a vitamin K supplement?

Nowhere on her site could I find sources of FRESH, RAW animal fat or animal protein, such as raw chicken, raw hamburger, raw chicken liver, raw milk, and, especially, RAW BONES–the very essence of the ideal diet for your dog.

Self-proclaimed expert creates an alternate reality

Finally, I found out why. After hours of digging around through all the pseudoscience, I came to the truth about Lisa Newman: She is opposed to the natural diet of raw foods upon which dogs thrive. Her reasoning:

“It is shown that a long term B.A.R.F. (biologically appropriate raw food) diet is likely to decrease the overall health of the pet. The pet’s ability to digest the raw foods is compromised by evolutionary changes to the digestive tracts of domesticated pets. The difficulty in digesting raw foods combined with this evolutionary weakness creates a systematic breakdown of immune responses, leading to a variety of nutritionally-based symptoms.”

And what is her documentation for throwing out the natural food of your pet? Her own article, of course, which was not published in any accredited scientific journal–or even an unaccredited one, as far as I can determine. The whole thing (with the proper “evolutionary,” politically correct jargon thrown in) is a blatant promotion of her “superior, beyond natural” supplements and canned cooked food.

I wouldn’t normally go into all of this detail, but I say all of this to make a point: Be careful who you trust.

Now, let me assure you that I am not an elitist. My great grandmother, Lucy Bell, was the only doctor in Cherokee country after the Yankees burned everything to the ground. She was greatly respected and a legend in her time. She was an herbalist.

On the matter of licensing professionals in any trade–including the practice of medicine–I would consider myself a “libertarian anarchist.” To state it hyperbolically: If you want to see a podiatrist for the treatment of your brain tumor, that’s your right. Licensing by the government–local, state, or federal–is counterproductive in the long run. It leads to corruption and monopoly. Liberty and freedom of action by individuals is always better.

The caveat, though, is that you must think for yourself. If you don’t, the government has no problem doing it for you. Most organizations have rules and standards to which its members are expected to comply. With something as serious as your health, you need to check out the group to which you are entrusting your life.