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Investigating Ingredients 2 : What the Fluff is it? : “Chicken by Products”

A chance meeting, if such a thing exists

A few days ago I had the chance opportunity to bump into a lovely guy, Tom (dogs do that don’t they? bring good people into your life –  names changed to protect privacy btw),   on our daily walk. We were just returning from a jaunt down the dunes and a run through the forest to the ocean. I love that walk. I even let out an occasional whoop as we tear down the dunes falling over ourselves. Kismet races as fast as her little legs can carry her whilst her emitting the least scary barks ever heard. I believe its designed to stun potential burglars with love and cuteness and thus make them question themselves.

This gentleman, Tom, who I hope is reading this, was clearly a dog lover, far from merely a dog owner. The kind that sees his pet as a companion for life and that is quite literally the case. This beautifully natured Labrador was looking a little worse for wear after several rounds of intensive chemo for lymphoma.  Of course Bugle nevertheless wanted to play catch and let Kismet know this was her van we had parked next to.

After a bit of small talk he started to explain that Bugle had been diagnosed only recently and given a few months to live. He had an understandable air of sad resignation to this but was determined to do the right thing, and wanted this dog to live the best life possible whilst it could. At great expense he was exploring the chemo route and was switched on to the importance of food and its impact on health and recovery.

The Wince

This the part that always makes me wince slightly as I want to be able to help people that want help, but also want to respect that people don’t always want to know, or have the emotional bandwidth to do anymore than they are currently doing.  I see this in my human patients and always focus on the big wins for them so that they feel encouraged and incentivised enough to then go back for the smaller marks later. Gain momentum !

So diplomatically I mentioned what I do, why I do it and who Bella and Duke are. What our mission is, to save as many pets as possible. Our new friend Tom picked the ball up and started to ask questions so I thought it timely to ask what he was currently feeding her. Ah yes. Vet recommended hypoallergenic, easily digestible pro health kibble. I offered to look at the ingredients for him which he gladly encouraged.

The Surprise. The Shock, The WTF(fluff)

This bag with “Veterinary” proudly displayed down the side and a series of scientific looking logos indicating that it has been lab formulated for a perfect balance. 50 plus ingredients blah blah.

Out of all of the ingredients I think 2-3 were NON inflammatory.

The top 3 were all highly pro inflammatory. Highly linked with leaky gut. Linked with Auto Immune disease. Linked with poor gene expression. Most of which we have already covered. These included wheat gluten. Corn gluten some evil seed oils and some highly processed indescribable….”Chicken By Product”

And just for the record, theres a lot of research out there suggesting that carbohydrate and particularly fast sugars (eg from grains) can feed cancer growth.  Corn syrup by the way is now rated as the sweetest substance on the face of the planet.

I have always suffered with a genetic case of “facial leakage”. And as my jaw dropped he asked me “What is it….what does that do?”. Honestly and for the life of me I cannot answer that. What is Chicken By Product?

Is it

a) Products that chickens make whilst incarcerated in battery farms, a bit like PoW blankets? I have seen Chicken Run with Mel Gibson and am imagining something similar.

b) By products of “making” the chicken, like bits of old wire fencing and a pair of pliers?

c) The remnants of the chicken that have been slaughtered for supermarkets, the bits left over that absolutely cannot be used for anything else, that are swept off the abattoir floor, boiled into a paste then ultra heat treated into a kibble and called “Protein” (Investigative journalists have found that in some cases this includes feathers, excrement and undigested food from the stomach linings. Just saying)

The answer is, I am not sure. A search on this companies website tells me NOTHING. I think of all the options we are best hoping its option a) Blankets.

So my thought for the weekend is this. How is it possible to put ingredients into a meal, any meal, human animal or other, that it is virtually impossible to find out what it is? And does this indicate to you that it is a healthy ingredient that the company is proud to discuss and use as part of its sales pitch? Or one that it wants to shroud in double speak, scientific mumbo jumbo and a cloak of secrecy to hide the truth?

My gut feel is that it is a giant marketing con. Yes a scam. Recycling worthless scrap residue bought at rock bottom prices and charged to you at “science driven nutrition prices”. Designed to beguile and befuddle owners into believing that they are doing the best thing by their pets when in fact they are doing the best thing by the company’s pocket. Regardless of the health implications. But thats all hearsay and my humble opinion.

I will let you decide.

Gratitude and Action

Thank you for reading and thank you for everything you do for this community and your pets health. Take action. If every owner that reads this article tells two other owners who care, our tribe triples. The bigger we are the more momentum we have. The more momentum we have the more change we can make. Positive change. Lets get rolling.

As a very minimum we need transparency into what goes in to what our pets eat. 

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