The beginnings of the commercial pet food industry came about when a man named James Spratt realized that there was money to be made by packaging waste byproducts of the human food industry and selling them as food for pets. Fast forward a hundred years or so to the present, and lo and behold, the industrial manufacturing of commercial pet foods is a multi billion dollar business, despite the fact that a significant number of pets have gotten sick, and some have even died from eating contaminated pet food
Commercial canned and kibbled pet foods are made primarily from the leftover waste materials from the production of human food. The bulk of of what goes into these “foods” come from rendering plants. If you’ve ever read the label of a can or bag of pet food and seen phrases such as "meat by-products," "meat meal," or "meat and bone meal," what you’re looking at are some carefully chosen and seemingly innocuous euphemisms for what are in fact the rather more sinister end products that come from the rendering process.
A rendering plant is a place where every bit of slaughter house waste that’s not fit for human consumption ends up. Other things that end up at rendering plants are things like rotten grocery meats and other retail food refuse that has passed its expiration date, including its styrofoam and plastic packaging. Used grease from restaurant deep fryers and grease traps, road kill, dead zoo animals, diseased, cancerous and worm infested entrails and body parts, and what are called 4D livestock, right along with their pesticide impregnated ear tags.
If you were to step inside a rendering plant, what you’d find, after you got past the putrid stench of rotting, decayed flesh, would be a set of huge augers turning inside a pit. It’s into that pit that the carcasses, diseased bits and pieces of flesh, bone and offal, grease, rotten food, styrofoam, plastic, pesticide ear tags, dead companion animals, flea collars and other waste materials are thrown, to be slowly ground and chipped together into a disgusting pulp. That pulp is then cooked at very high temperatures, which destroys virtually whatever limited nutritive value the stuff may have ever had to begin with, until all the fat rises to the top and is skimmed off. This skimmed product is called tallow, or animal fat, and is another by-product of the rendering process that’s often found among the ingredients in most all commercial pet foods. After the fat is skimmed, the remaining muck is put into a hammer mill press to remove any excess moisture, and then pulverized into a powdery grit. This overcooked, highly processed end product is what’s known as the familiar meat and bone meal, and this lifeless stuff is what you’ll find forms the basis of most all commercially manufactured pet foods.
4D livestock refers to those animals that don’t make it all the way to slaughter because they’re either diseased, disabled, dying or already dead. And as difficult as it may be to believe, there is also evidence that the bodies of at least some of those domestic cats and dogs euthanized at kill shelters and veterinarians also end up being sent to rendering plants, often wrapped in plastic bags with their pesticide infused flea and tick collars still strapped around their necks. No one at the rendering plant stops to remove either the plastic bags or the flea collars, which are processed right along with the dead bodies.
Huge pet food conglomerates regularly combine this dead crud with a bunch of cheap grains or grain by products, such as mill floor sweepings and leftovers from breweries in the form of brewers rice or other spent grains to make their products. They then throw in a few essential nutrients to make up for the lack thereof in the lifeless refuse they’re using as main ingredients, and can it or dry and extrude it into bags of kibble. Then they dress up the whole cheap sordid mess with some very clever packaging, marketing and advertising campaigns. What they end up with are the makings of a very profitable end product indeed.
Is this really a formula fit for a carnivore?