And What About Pets?

I write a blog about happy food–that which is organic, sustainable, humane, and local whenever possible. And, I’m a pet owner. All my life I’ve had pets: dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and gerbils. Just a couple of months ago, Bill and I adopted two new cats from the humane society after our three geriatric ones all died of kidney disease. It’s a rough way to go but our vet said it means we took very good care of our cats. The kidneys simply wear out by age 20, or even 18, which are the ages our kitties lived to be.

After mourning the last old kitty, who died about a year ago, we are back to buying cat food for 2-year-old Fredsy and 5-month old Little Moo.

I keep thinking: Shouldn’t we be feeding our new kitties some form of happy food–chicken that doesn’t come from a factory farm, and fish that’s raised in the wild? I know there are some happier pet food products out there but I haven’t done my research yet.

An article appeared in yesterday’s The New York Times called “A Sniff of Home Cooking for Cats and Dogs.” It says that Barbara Laino, a pet owner in Warwick, New York, makes her own pet food for Orion, the Alaskan malamute, as well as another dog and three cats. Her approach is to provide for her animals what she wants for herself: a healthy diet of unprocessed organic food. “We know processed foods are wrong for us,” Ms. Laino says. “It has to be wrong for them. If you can feed yourself healthily and your children, then you can feed your pets healthily, too. It really isn’t that hard.” (Isn’t that what I’m always saying about making food for ourselves, rather than buying processed food?)

Even Cesar Millan of “The Dog Whisperer” agrees. “Organic has become a new fashion, a new style of living,” he said. “And if the human becomes aware, if he eats organic, he wants everyone around him to be healthy, too, especially the one that is always there for you.”

That’s what I was thinking….that I’d like to feed my pets in line with the way Bill and I eat. But is it as easy as Laino says?

Some people are concerned with how to maintain a balanced diet for their pets, but there are many examples in the article of increased demand at butchers and meat markets by people who are making homemade food for their pets.

I think if I consider homemade pet food, I would do my research and talk to our vet. Or maybe I can find an adequate pet food in the store that at least has organic ingredients. After all, according to The Times, sales of organic pet food were $84 million in 2009, and have grown more than tenfold since 2002.

For starters, I could offer Little Moo garbanzo beans. Or falafel and hummus. Yesterday, after draining a can of them in the kitchen sink, I found her there lapping up the juice.


4 responses to “And What About Pets?

  1. Realizing that my comment is just slightly off topic, I, a dog lover and rescuer, must say that those are two of the most adorable cats I have ever seen!

    • Thanks, Pamela! They are also very compatible, as you can tell by the photos. We spent several hours trying combinations of kitties at the humane society to find two that worked–with us and with each other. We feel like we made two very good choices. Little Moo is such a little love bug, and Fredsy is always looking out for her, like a big brother. They are a joy to live with!

  2. SUPER cute!!! 🙂

    I have done some thinking about trying to make cat food too. I have read of people grinding up all the leftover stuff (bones, veggies, etc) from making chicken or beef broth and feeding that to their dogs and cats, which is probably how I’ll start. My concern, though, is that my broths will suffer from a lack of onion and garlic, but I’m willing to suffer for the benefit of my furs. 🙂

    • Pets have such a strong pull, don’t they? If you make your own cat food, please let me know. I’d love to hear how you do it. One thing I know cats love is bacon grease, but that’s not really a special brew! I win over love for a split second, though!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s