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The pet-food industry conspiracy, and Candy’s tale

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posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:02 PM
Please bear with me. This story is rather long-winded. But I have to explain everything in order to get my point across.

Meet Candy.

She is a 7-year old Exotic Shorthair cat. She has a beautiful temperament, has a heart of gold - and true to her name, is the sweetest little creature on this planet. She is my little soul partner and my heart’s delight.

I adopted Candy about three years ago. She came from a previous situation of neglect. Any person with experience of exotics or their namesakes, Persians, will know that these cats require extra attention and care. They are prone to more health problems that the average cat, cannot go for long without human companionship, and will often follow their human “parents” around from room to room like a dog would.

Candy’s temperament was not pleasant initially when I first received her. She suffered from mild depression, slept 95 % of the time, rarely indulged in play, and very rarely responded positively to my attention and touch. I could understand her reasons - Candy had apparently suffered an eye-injury as a kitten. Another cat had put his claw through her eye. Unfortunately Candy did not see a vet in this condition; and without proper treatment the iris eventually adhered to the cornea. She also had rolled-in eyelids, which one can imagine caused her endless discomfort – what with the hair of her eyelids continuously scraping the surface of her damaged eye.

When I got Candy, she also had a raging ulcer on her good eye. A couple of trips to my local vet did not do much in the line of improving this ulcer, and it eventually progressed into a sequestrum. I them took Candy to a well-known feline eye specialist in my nearest city, who scraped the sequestrum off her eye, and also operated on her rolled-in eyelids – to at least improve her levels of comfort in that regard. Unfortunately he could not do anything about her damaged eye – the damage had been too severe, and a complete corneal transplant would have most likely only produced more scar-tissue than she had at present.

After these eye-operations Candy’s temperament and levels of happiness increased greatly, and she promptly took off on explorations of the house every morning whilst investigating every leaf and every worm in our yard.

I should add at this point that Candy has been reared on a well-known and highly-recommended veterinary prescribed dry food, which had been formulated especially with the Persian feline breed in mind. She ate dry-food freely, and both my vet and the eye-specialist had at this point confirmed to me that their opinion was that this food was “perfectly balanced and suitable” for my cats.

This was not the end of Candy’s health problem tirade unfortunately. She had dry-eye syndrome (not uncommon for this breed) and I had to instil a drop of tear-gel four times a day into each of her eyes. After about 6 months after her eye-operations, Candy developed cat-flu. I would like to stress that my cats do not have access to the outside world and to other cats, and are kept isolated in my house and a large enclosed garden / quad. So it was quite the surprise to find her coming down with sniffles and sneezes.

Even though the cat-flu was short-lived, it affected her eyes. Candy developed a raging ulcer in her good eye.

Two more trips to the vet, and said ulcer was cured. However, from this point onwards Candy got cat-flu on at least a two-month basis, with her sniffles and sneezes in most cases being followed by ulcers in one or both of the eyes. In this time I changed vets, and my new vet prescribed a L-Lysine supplement (an amino-acid that interferes with Argenine production – Argenine being another amino-acid essential for the successful reproduction of the cat-flu virus).

The L-Lysine was tremendously helpful in curbing Candy’s flu and subsequent eye-ulcer attacks. I eventually found that she became so dependent on it that if I happened to skip her dose one day, she would get flu shortly thereafter.

About two months after the curbing of the cat-flu episode, Candy jumped off my 30 cm high futon-bed one morning. I was absolutely disturbed to see her hind-legs spread out like a frog-swimming position, and drag her hind legs behind her all the way to her food bowl – where the deliciously addictive dry pellets were awaiting her.

Off to the vet very promptly again. A set of kidney-function tests and an x-ray later (diabetes / leukemia and feline AIDS test thrown in as anxious mama-of-the-feline wanted to be doubly sure all is okay in those departments) and the vet diagnoses her with hip-displacement. Obviously I was gobsmacked.

Candy was prescribed a daily dose of Mobiflex, which is a mixture of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM and lip-mussel (has strong anti-inflammatory properties). So here I am – juggling four sets of eye-drops per day, 1 dose of L-lysine and 1 dose of Mobiflex with some immune-strengthening supplements thrown in for good measure.

Candy’s mobility improved greatly on Mobiflex. Unfortunately I was absolutely perplexed to see her drag her hind legs some months later. Another set of x-rays and the prognosis was a crack in her pelvic bone (probably due to her placing her weight wrong on her legs from the hip-displacement). More treatment and anti-inflammatory medication followed.

I must add at this point that Candy was at this point permanently sort of semi-walking on her hocks. She improved again, just to sustain another crack in another part of her body, and once again would have to endure the stressful visit to the vet, more anti-inflammatory injections, medications and the like.

This situation was wearing me thin. I love my kitty – I will fight for her every step of the way. And it hurt me – it broke my heart to see this sweet little angel suffer so – all meds-out with no end to the continuous ups-and-downs in her health.

At this point I sat down and started doing intensive research on the internet in order to find a cause or a product that would aid and support her. And then I started reading about the atrocities committed in the cat food industry.

What most consumers don’t know is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food and agriculture industries. Pet food provides a convenient way for slaughterhouse offal, grains considered “unfit for human consumption,” and similar waste products to be turned into profit. This waste includes intestines, udders, heads, hooves, and possibly diseased and cancerous animal parts.

What is rendering? As defined by Webster’s Dictionary, to render is “to process as for industrial use: to render livestock carcasses and to extract oil from fat, blubber, etc., by melting.” In other words, raw materials are dumped into large vat and boiled for several hours. Rendering separates fat, removes water, and kills bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other organisms. However, the high temperatures used (270°F/130°C) can alter or destroy natural enzymes and proteins found in the raw ingredients.

edit on 10/12/2011 by shimmeringsilver73 because: Changed title to more appropriate

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:08 PM

Because of persistent rumors that rendered by-products contain dead dogs and cats, the FDA conducted a study looking for pentobarbital, the most common euthanasia drug, in pet foods. They found it. Ingredients that were most commonly associated with the presence of pentobarbital were meat-and-bone-meal and animal fat. However, they also used very sensitive tests to look for canine and feline DNA, which were not found. Industry insiders admit that rendered pets and roadkill were used in pet food some years ago. Although there are still no laws or regulations against it, the practice is uncommon today, and pet food companies universally deny that their products contain any such materials. However, so-called “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food.

Source: What's really in pet food

But that is really not the worst part of it. What bothered me the most though are the following facts:

- Cats are obligate carnivores. They are designed to eat only animals. They cannot digest or afford to ingest any grains of any kind. Most cat-food products however are laced with grains, which are added as a cheap filler.

Cats are obligate (strict) carnivores and are very different from dogs in their nutritional needs. What does it mean to be an ‘obligate carnivore’? It means that your cat was built by Mother Nature to get her nutritional needs met by the consumption of a large amount of animal-based proteins (meat/organs) and derives much less nutritional support from plant-based proteins (grains/vegetables). It means that cats lack specific metabolic (enzymatic) pathways and cannot utilize plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins.

Source: My cat's just doing fine on commercial pet food

- Cats get most of their water from the food that they eat. They will very seldom drink water. As such most cats with a very low thirst-drive can get severely dehydrated from eating dry kibble which contains little or no moisture.

The water needs of cats reflect their early status as desert-dwelling animals and their development as strict carnivores that obtain most of their water requirements from prey. Cats have a less sensitive response to thirst and dehydration than dogs or other omnivores, and they adjust their water intake to the dry-matter content of their diet rather than the moisture content.

This means that cats eating commercial dry foods will consume approximately half the amount of water (in their diet and through drinking), compared with cats eating canned food.

Source:" target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats - pdf file

“This cannot be”, I told myself.” After all, all of the different vets and specialists I have been to, have only reaffirmed to me that dry food is the best food of choice for my kitties”...

From here my research took me to the BARF principle, which is basically an acronym for “Biologically Appropriate Raw-Fed” Diet. The idea is to make raw food for your pets that mimic exactly the food they would have hunted, killed and ingested themselves in nature.

Cooking is the enemy of the nutrients and living enzymes that cats need to thrive. Small cats? They're designed to eat to other animals. And they're built to eat those animals raw. Cooking is the enemy of the nutrients and living enzymes that cats need to thrive. No, the cats living under our roof are hardly living in the wild, but biologically, they remain true carnivores. And their ideal diet would consist, for example, of freshly killed mice and small birds. Cats and their ancestors have been eating raw food for tens of millions of years.

They didn't get here eating meat-flavored cereal. Not hardly.

Source: Mother Nature should know what a cat should eat

Some of the most commonly-diagnosed “modern” diseases for cats such as “obesity, cystitis, bladder stones and diabetes” have been greatly helped or entirely cured simply by switching the cat from a dry-only diet to a wet or raw diet.

Apparently even a bad-quality wet food is much better for a cat than a good-quality dry food.

edit on 10/12/2011 by shimmeringsilver73 because: Fixed links

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:11 PM
About six months ago Candy’s gait took a turn for the worse. She could not walk without falling from side-to-side – her mobility in the hind-region of her body was severely compromised.

I decided to not waste money with the never-ending visits to my local vets, and went directly to a specialist dealing in these matters. Candy was sent in for a MRI. The diagnosis was a non-specific degeneration of her spinal cord. Basically her spinal cord is slowly degenerating which causes some of the signals to her hind legs to disappear. The specialist could not give me a reason for this spinal degeneration. He also told me that there was nothing they or I could do for her – as they could not operate to stop the degeneration, and as the nervous system is not a great healer of itself, I could not hope for her to heal herself either. When asked about her diet – he reaffirmed to me that “my specific brand of cat food is the best balanced food from a nutritional perspective, and that I would do best not to experiment with wet or (lord forbid) raw food”.

This news was devastating. Knowing that my little soul-partner’s mobility would slowly just keep on deteriorating was akin to losing a loved one in my heart. I knew that I was faced with two options –

a) Keep on medicating her and feeding her dry food or

b) Ignore all the “professionals’” advice and feed my cat a different diet and see how she responds.

Changing Candy over to wet food however was a different story. She would have absolutely nothing of it. I tried every single trick in the book, from using her hunger as a tool (which should never exceed 24 hours as a cat can develop and die from Hepatic Lipidosis) to tempting her with treats and spreading some crushed pellets and parmesan cheese over the food. Candy would not have any of it. She turned up her wee little nosey at the food – and basically opted for death from starvation rather than embracing the new “wet gooey” stuff. I must be honest in that I admitted defeat at this point.

However – within weeks of abandoning my bright new “wet food” venture, Candy developed idiopathic cystitis. Off we went to the vet (this time a different one) AGAIN. After she was seen to, I asked the vet whether she thought that a change to wet-food diet would be beneficial to my cat. She looked me straight into the eye whilst reciting the same old routine “the dry food is best as it is the most balanced food on the market”. Now you see – I know for a fact that cystitis is caused by a predominant dry diet.

Most experts agree that many factors, including diet, contribute to a cat's susceptibility to developing FUS. Plant-based cat foods tend to make a cat's urine more alkaline (higher pH), which encourages the formation of crystals and stones and is a more hospitable environment for bacteria. Some commercial dry cat foods seem to have the same effect on urinary pH.

Source: Cats with cystitis

Seeing my kitty painfully climb in and out of her litter-box with little or no urine passing was the final straw. I was going to change her over to wet food, whether she would have it or not!

To make a long story short – after a great expenditure of patience and a lot of experimentation with different diet-changing techniques, I finally found a high-protein content wet food which is suitable for syringe feeding. And I force-fed Candy the new wet food via syringe. After three days of feeding her this way – lo and behold! She started licking at the syringe herself! The bowl of food soon followed. After this it was easy to make the transition to a more long-term sustainable wet food. I am at the moment working on putting her over to a BARF raw diet.

And if I can tell you that I saw a DRAMATIC change within one week, I would not be exaggerating. Candy literally went from a timid kitty with no energy and limited mobility to a raging lion terrorizing the bees and butterflies in the garden! Her energy levels remain until today off the chart! She charges and stalks, plays and performs. She sharpens her nails on trees – she creeps up on my other kitties and takes great delight in scaring the beejeebeez out of them.

But the most amazing transition is that of Candy’s mobility. For the first time since I have had her, she is walking with completely straightened legs. Her gait and speed is 95% near-normal. In fact – many people have a hard time believing that she has been diagnosed with all of her conditions when they see her today, as she behaves and appears completely normal and contented.

The cystitis has not returned. I have taken her now completely of L-Lysine, and she has not had a cat-flu episode since she has been placed on the wet food some three months ago. I do not need to instil about two/third of the amount of eye-drops anymore, as her eyes are now luscious, bright and shiny.

edit on 10/12/2011 by shimmeringsilver73 because: Fixed link

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:12 PM
So please – and I reiterate – if you have any health problems of any kind with your pets, PLEASE and BIG PLEASE research what you are feeding them and do the change over to a more nature-appropriate diet.

This is one of the biggest conspiracies of them all – our pets are suffering and their mortality rates are up – and it is all in the name of big companies earning big bucks off rendered, processed, filler-added and dried foods.

And our vets (well – every one of the four vets and two specialists I had dealt with did so) keeps repeating the same propaganda that they have been taught in university.

Unfortunately, many of my colleagues do, indeed, recommend products made by Hill’s (and Purina) and this is a testament to the fact that most veterinarians are not well-versed in proper feline nutrition and simply defer to companies like Hill’s and Purina - companies with huge marketing budgets. These large budgets include substantial sums of money dedicated to sponsoring - including very heavy advertising - our professional meetings and infiltrating veterinary schools to get students ‘married’ to their products.


Candy’s story serves to prove that there is hope for our sick and ailing pets, and that the answer may not be what is served up as professional advice. I respect the work that our vets are doing, but I do so wish that they would do more research of their own and actively start championing the truth of this matter.

Thank you for taking the time to read Candy’s story.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:15 PM
It's too bad that I cannot get my cat to eat wet cat food. I try to feed him higher quality dry food and it seems to work for him.

I am concerned about the pet food industry though.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:26 PM
Glad to hear she is doing so much better on wet food..

A couple of years ago we had Chinese pet food that was imported to Parina..(USA)

this pet food was actually Killing pets here in America...(dry food)

you can google it...

YaY for Candy!!

thanks for posting this story...

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:33 PM
Awe she is adorable!! What a beautiful cat!

Im glad she is doing better.

I am looking at getting a cat after the new year and I will definitely research the best food options for her.

Thank you for sharing your story.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:33 PM
reply to post by shimmeringsilver73

What a beautiful kitty and boy do you have the patience and fortitude!!!!

And yes you are right, corporations will do anything for a buck - no morals, just profit.

There are videos displaying pet animals, being euthanized and than if not privately cremated with the cremains requested, sold to rendering plants that use "the carcasses" for pet food.


Our last dog lived 18-20 years of age on Iams dry dog food (green bag).

One must really watch any cheap dog foods manufactured in China, heaven knows what they put in their products.

And cats and dogs are not meant to be vegans.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:34 PM
What a nightmare and what a very brave little kitty you have. I commend you for your heart and persistance to give this cat a happy life. I agree with you about the food. My daughter lost her cat during that cat food poisoning a few years back. Very sad and very expensive.

My kitty ChaCha had a skin problem that looked like psoriasis, skin ulcers and a herniated testicle. He was nervous and hated to be pet and ran from me. He was afraid of anybody that came into the house, and when my daughter visits, usually for a couple days, he hides and doesn't come out till she leaves. Then it takes about 2 days for him to calm down.

He had constant health problems and I had huge vet bills!

Then one day, I thought, I bet its the food.
So, I decided to feed him really, really good. I bought a mackerel and steamed it, mixed the fish with raw egg. He ate it up! I baked a chicken, and gave him chicken breast chopped fine and mixed with raw egg. I added toasted flax seed.

That's his diet now, that and kitty kibble, he likes it......

He is a different cat now. Thick shiney coat, no sores, no raw or flakey skin. He's not nervous or afraid of others anymore, and plays like a kitten. He doesn't whine to go out or charge the door when I open it. He is a happy, healthy and content, little fat cat!
edit on 10-12-2011 by windword because: (no reason given)

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:53 PM

Originally posted by The Sword
It's too bad that I cannot get my cat to eat wet cat food. I try to feed him higher quality dry food and it seems to work for him.

I am concerned about the pet food industry though.

The problem is that I was feeding my cat one of the best quality dry-food brands on the market.

She is obviously one of the "sensitive cats" in which a lot of the problems related to a dry-food diet manifested.

And she was one tough cookie to convert! I literally just sat and cried at one point from sheer frustration when she once again had shunned my latest efforts.

BUT IT WAS SO WORTH IT! You will not believe how amazingly healthy this cat is - she is not surviving but actually thriving now on wet food. It was well worth the effort. I cannot wait to see how she does on the barf diet.

With great patience even the most stubborn cat will come around. Just be patiently persistent- I promise you - it is well worth it.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:56 PM

Originally posted by ofhumandescent
reply to post by shimmeringsilver73

There are videos displaying pet animals, being euthanized and than if not privately cremated with the cremains requested, sold to rendering plants that use "the carcasses" for pet food.


You are absolutely correct. As per my quote above:

Because of persistent rumors that rendered by-products contain dead dogs and cats, the FDA conducted a study looking for pentobarbital, the most common euthanasia drug, in pet foods. They found it. Ingredients that were most commonly associated with the presence of pentobarbital were meat-and-bone-meal and animal fat. However, they also used very sensitive tests to look for canine and feline DNA, which were not found. Industry insiders admit that rendered pets and roadkill were used in pet food some years ago. Although there are still no laws or regulations against it, the practice is uncommon today, and pet food companies universally deny that their products contain any such materials. However, so-called “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food.

Double Disgusting!

And cats and dogs are not meant to be vegans.

Nope. Definitely not. Dogs do better than cats on omnivorous diets, but for cats it is a definite and absolute no-no.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 05:59 PM
reply to post by windword

What a fantastic story!

I do wish that more people could take such initiative with their pets' diets.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:42 PM
Agree op that the commercial foods a just packed with nasty stuff you would not serve to your worst enemy never mind your best friend. my dog gets brown rice with fresh chicken and doesn't get any canned or dried foods. He is healthy happy and hyper

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 06:50 PM
The veterinarian I work for would probably hug you. He's been preaching for 20 years about cat diets.

The perfect food for a cat is a lizard. 37% protein, almost no carbs. Diabetes, urinary crystals, renal failure, all would almost disappear in cats if they weren't fed dry food.

Good for you and your fur friend!

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 07:14 PM
Always bothered my conscience that my cats were getting crap from the factory farms, those Industrial Age monstrosities of the previous century. I don't eat meat anymore, beef, pork, and chicken from cruelty farms. But I give my cats cold refridgerated -purified- water, and they gobble it up, but I'm no one of means, though I wish I was. However, I keep a great big huge litter box for them, full of the more -expensive- scoopable fine litter, and I notice that they like to often go "big bathrooms" in it, relative to the refreshed cleaned 'box', and when I neglected it, they hold their "bathrooms" more, which I believe is not good, just like for people.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 07:19 PM
reply to post by shimmeringsilver73

Your Candy is gorgeous. Good for you for taking the time and effort to work through all the health issues and pay attention - this is how we learn.

My boy cat suffered from FUS - watching him I knew something was wrong but could not work it out until he tried to wee on the carpet one day and only blood came out. Off to the vet for a lesson and explanation of - too much magnesium in the processed cat food (wet food in tins) was causing the crystals to form around the urethra. The vet explained that it is very common and more so in male cats. Also he added that by the time people realise something is wrong the cat is very ill and operating is not really an option.

So - medicated dry food it was and as I had four cats then it was one in all in. They all love the dry food but I cannot help wondering - after reading your story about my female who died two years ago. She had renal failure and went down fast. I noticed she had lost weight but she was the eldest and it was as if it was overnight - I had her on my bed and straight to the vet - took samples and said it was not good and even in humans the kidneys cannot be repaired. I vowed my pets would be put to sleep if they were suffering and could not be helped - she died in my arms.

So after Woosti died I started to feed the others wet food - I thought sardines. At the moment they still eat the medicated dry food - to benefit my boy - but lots of sardines. They are kept inside of a night but will catch frogs and lizards and birds from time to time. I am actually starting to question vaccines for my pets. I will never have another vaccine myself and am struggling to work out what I will do when next my pets are due.

Thank you - to Candy and yourself. Your thread has stimulated my thinking.

Much Peace...

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 07:22 PM
Thanks for sharing, beautiful kitty and happy that she is doing better.

Animal food is undoubtedly a major cause, either fed incorrectly or low quality food, of conditions present in animals(nearing 80+%). That being is the first thing to look into when a condition, non birth, presents itself. Can't stress enough for new owners of pets and certain breeds, to due as much research as possible even obtain help with it, as so many cases I've seen where people did not "know....of a vaccine(such as with horses, they MUST have the tetanus vaccine), type of food, etc" that caused the animal's demise.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 09:04 PM
I don't own cats, but even *I* know dry cat food is the worst thing in the world for them....they need the moisture to thrive.

What a wonderful spite of the sinister intentions of the pet-food industry.

posted on Dec, 10 2011 @ 11:03 PM
reply to post by shimmeringsilver73

Perhaps you should have thoroughly researched BEFORE you got a cat.
It's a CAT. CAT's eat MEAT.
Surely something that any three year old would know.
Iv'e watched my little one's sneaking handfuls of mince out of the fridge,
trot out back and feed cats through the fence.

All cats in my family since i was a child have been feed MEAT from a butcher. raw meat.

Glad to see your cat is finally getting healthy

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 03:17 AM
reply to post by subbcindy

The vet that you work for is my new hero!!!

Oh man! Why are these kind of vets never in close proximity to my home??? Tell him that I applaud him. Thanks for your post.

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