Rob Knight

On pet food and things

March 22, 2007

I haven't written anything substantive in quite awhile (I'm continuously threatened by friends with the "I've stopped checking" line), but I've had a lot on my mind recently, so forgive me if I just blast out several posts without much to follow. Of course I could make the hollow promise that I'll get back to posting regularly. But that would be a lie, and since I'm not the president, I don't want to lie. But I digress.

Other members of my family have been very active on the pet food story, and I suggest you check that out for more exhaustive reporting on the topic. But I'd like to reiterate a point that isn't being played out in the media loudly enough: One company makes pet food for 90 different brands

I've often thought that humans tend to underestimate the importance of pet food. It tends to fall in the same category as watering the plants. I've pissed on plants and told anyone within earshot I was watering the plants. In the same vein, I've seen people get ecstatic over $.25 per can for cat food with no care or concern for the ingredients or manufacturer. Now the lack of diversity in pet food manufacturers is on display for all of America to see and I'm surprised it isn't being taken more seriously. What does it mean that two major companies involved in this recall (Proctor & Gamble, Colgate Palmolive) are better known for their human-oriented products? Do you think the same manufacturing environment exists with their human-oriented products? You pay more for Brand A thinking it is superior to Brand B and the find out the same company makes both brands and neither is any different and both could be harmful to you in some way. Granted, there is more oversight in human products, but I think it is fair to assume these companies will make every attempt to slip past regulation and oversight.

I don't think of my cats as second-class citizens and I'd like to believe the same companies that make my shampoo, toothpaste, fabric softener, and various other products that are absorbed into my skin take my health just as seriously as the health of my pets. I'm not convinced they do.