Friday, May 24, 2013

Raw food, cooked food, local food, people food!

I decided I have a lot to say about feeding raw food, buying that food locally and the fact that I am not a vegetarian (something that a lot of my friends in animal rescue surely judge me for).  Before I start I just wanted to say if you don't home cook, but you feed a pre-made diet don't feel bad.  Good kibble is a good decision for a lot of people!  Nothing at all wrong with that.  Also don't feel bad if you had a frozen meal made by ConAgra for dinner- I had a box of fruit loops the other day and I really don't feel bad about it.  Likewise don't judge me for having eaten bacon for breakfast this morning, pigs are really cute, and smart but...  I'm just going to stop before I put my foot in my mouth with that one.  If any of these topics make you really angry (or you just don't want to read a giant block of text that is nothing more than my opinion) feel free to pretend this post is just a cute picture of a chihuahua.  Eating a commercial dog treat.  With veggies in it.  Oops.  Even the raw feeders will be against me after this post.

Wow this post needed a lot of disclaimers.  You still feeling good about this?  Blood pressure holding steady.  Great. Lets be on with it.

The reason I moved to a home made raw diet in the first place was actually to help the world at large, not just Copley.  I believe that buying our food from local, small family farmers is the best thing a person can do to make a difference in the world.  I don't mean that you must buy organic (does that word even really mean much?) and spend your whole pay check at a health food store.  In fact I mean the opposite of that.  I mean you should go down to the local farmers market and talk to people who are lovingly growing healthy veggies and then barter with them for a good price on food.  I promise after a few trips the farmers market will be saving you money on your grocery bill (that is if you can find a good market).

I feel the same way about meat.  Factory farms are not good for you, they are not good for the world and they most certainly are not good for the food animals in them.  I would rather be a vegetarian than support feedlot cattle.  Over the last few years I have managed to slowly transition us off commercially raised feed animals.  At this point the humans in the house are eating 100% pastured meat and the dogs are at about 90%.  And when I say pastured I don't mean I buy the grass fed ground beef at Whole Foods.  I buy beef from a local rancher that has heirloom cows.  They are grazed on BLM land in Arizona and finished in pastures in Southern Utah.  Their cows are all born, raised, and slaughtered on the ranch, unlike commercial cattle that often changes hands many times over the course of its short life.  All of the eggs that enter my house come from "pet" chickens and ducks living in people's backyards.  Not one of these animals has its beak cut off so it can live its life crammed into a small cage.  I supplement my beef with occasional Goat- also local, and I can show you the pasture where the herd of goat spends their life.  Then my favorite local meat is the pork we just found.  That's right- after years of not eating pork I found a local farmer who keeps three pigs at a time and makes BACON.  Sweet, sweet bacon.

Many animal rights activists would tell me killing is killing and I am still doing it.  To them I say- well you are right about that.  I have no problem with vegetarians, my Mom is one, and I am worried that in the not too distant future Ben will be one too.  What I believe is the answer is not to stop eating meat, but to strive to move all of our food from large scale farming to small farms down the street.  I also believe if we are eating meat it is our responsibility to make sure the animals we eat are treated ethically.  The point is I am doing what I can, and what I think is best.    I don't want to sound like a saint here- cause I'm not.  I just want to encourage everyone to make a little change that helps the world.  Imagine what a difference would happen in the world if everyone just replaced one meal a week with food bought at the farmers market?  Or if you took one step to buy local, ethical, meat?

Alright- that went there- now back to the dogs!  I know people judge me for feeding raw, and think I am some sort of crazy dog lady.  I will have you know I am a crazy environmentalist, tree huger thank-you-very-much.  With that said the benefits of a home prepared diet are many after seeing the change in my dogs I will NEVER be going back to commercially prepared foods.  Even commercially prepared raw foods- because that would totally defeat the purpose of my home preparing food.  An argument people have against raw is that they can't afford all pastured, or organic meat.  Well who cares?  First of all supermarket meat on sale is still a whole food that is just fine for raw feeding or home cooking.  Also what do you think they are eating now?  Every kibble on the planet (even organic, "all natural" kibble) is made from commercial cattle.  So even if you feed 99% feedlot meat and 1% pastured, local meat you are making a difference, and doing better than commercial foods.

As of right now the dogs are almost totally on local, pastured meat.  I do keep backup canned food for emergencies, and buy a few raw mixes for our pet sitters to feed when we are out of town.  I also get green tripe from commercial cattle, and currently I struggle to find edible bone locally.  For the most part my dogs diet consists of beef from the cows we eat, eggs found locally, local veggies, rabbit that is raised on a small farm and local goat.  A few times a week they do get commercial chicken, and while I hate that the rabbit is really the only other edible bones for the chihuahuas and it is not affordable enough to feed all the time.

I don't want to sound like if you are feeding kibble you are destroying the world.  I fly a few times a year and that pretty much destroys my carbon footprint and I certainly am not going to stop that!  What I am saying is that it does not matter what people say to me- I am sticking to a home-made diet.  For my dogs and for the world.  I just had to get that out there.  

Thanks for listening everyone, and no matter what you feed your dog and your family make an informed decision.


  1. While I personally don't feed raw (home cooked, actually), I agree with you 100%! Well said.

    1. I think home cooking is just as good as raw (what matters is its not processed)! It is just a lot more work- I would rather just throw meat at em :)