Organic Pet Food Is Becoming a Thing Because Americans Humanize Pets


People all over these United States are humanizing their pets, and that’s fine because it means pets get fancy things like clothes, driver’s licenses, and really expensive organic food that may be really good for them, but may also have about the same nutritional value to animals as miscellaneous garbage that gets to be bedmates with people food in the refrigerator.

As more people buy into the healthy, organic angle in food consumption, they’re deciding that their pets deserve to eat healthy, organic food, too. And why wouldn’t they? Pets are just as important as people (probably more important, as far as the internet is concerned), and their health is always the top priority for a pet owner. If a log of organic meat and vegetables that’s been assembled by the artisanal hands of an enterprising druid and chilled with gusts of air from a dying polar bear will make sure your pet doesn’t die of bowel cancer, don’t you think you sort of owe it to said pet to shell out extra cash-money for the Druid Log?

That’s what a host of growing pet food companies are banking on. Producing organic pet food is becoming a trendy business plan, according to a report from the AP, with several small companies capitalizing on consumers’ willingness to feed their pets super-premium, fart-inducing pet food. Industry experts offer a whole litany of reasons why the contemporary American pet owner is willing to buy a pet what is basically human food while the vintage American pet owner was willing to feed his or her pet (which was chained to a stick in the yard) a pail of gristle and eggplant stems, but there’s only one real reason for the shift: Americans are more likely to humanize their pets.

Fancy pet food, however, may not make too much of a difference in a pet’s overall health. From the AP:

But the jury’s still out on whether food marketed as “fresh,” “organic” or “natural” helps pets lead longer or healthier lives.
Theoretically, it’s hard to argue with the idea that minimally processed and preservative-free food like the kind Freshpet makes would be better for dogs and cats, said Amy Farcas, a veterinary clinical nutritionist at the University of Pennsylvania. But she said the research to prove it is lacking.
Farcas routinely advises her clients that as long as their dog is the appropriate weight, healthy and energetic, they probably don’t need a diet change.
“Nutritionally, most adult dog foods would be considered appropriate for most adult healthy dogs, though there are differences in ingredients, quality control, and other factors among products,” she said via email.

Dogs made such excellent pets for people in the first place because they were unabashed scavengers, and would therefore eat whatever people tossed away — bones, fingernails, boogers, etc. I once knew a dog that ate 154 iced sugar cookies the width of a human fist and the thickness of an iPhone. That dog survived another five years after its cookie smörgåsbord. We can’t draw any broad conclusions from one case, but I’m pretty sure my anecdotal evidence means dogs can eat anything that isn’t poison (probably small doses of poison, too) and be fine. Cats, as we all know, have to eat only meat because they’re effete jerks.

If people really want and have the resources to feed their pets expensive foodstuffs, they can go right ahead, but they should be aware that their pets would probably be just as happy eating marinated socks. Because they’re pets, and, therefore, dumb.

Pet owners buy organic, raid fridge to feed Fido [AP]

Image via AP, Steven Senne

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