Posted by Dr. Jill Tack | September 11, 2012
The Pet Beastro is excited to launch the Vet’s Table blog segments on our website. We have worked with several vets over the past few years and their background and insights help to teach us all about what is best for our pets. We are so glad that Dr. Glen Dupree is sharing with our readers, you will see several posts from him in the coming months. Let us introduce him to you briefly. Please make sure to check out his website for more info.
Dr. Dupree is a 1982 graduate of the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, where he received his training in the techniques and applications of conventional allopathic medicine. After running a solo veterinary practice for a number of years, Dr. Dupree began to note that he was treating the same individuals over and over again for the same “diseases” or worse “diseases” as the pets aged. He also noted a decline in the general health of the pet population as conventional medicine became more aggressive with more vaccines and drugs at the veterinarian’s disposal. He began to rethink the things veterinary school had taught him about medicine. About this same time, his son developed serious health problems which conventional medicine was unable to cure. These events led Dr. Dupree to explore alternative forms of medicine. (for more of his bio click here)
As with most bureaucracies, as the AVMA (American Veterinary Medicine Association) has grown in power and influence, they have also expanded or tried to expand their sphere of influence into areas that should probably not be part of their major focus. And as with most bureaucracies, as the AVMA takes on more and more positions, the do so with increasing bias and prejudice, often not fully researching the facts or seeking other opinions.
Their main objection to raw or undercooked pet food diets seems to be the potential for pathogen contamination to the caregiver. This may be a valid concern on the surface, but one that disappears when the caregiver takes personal responsibility and practices the basics of personal and food preparation hygiene. I don’t see the AVMA telling the caregivers not to have these meats in their house or to prepare them for personal consumption so I would suppose they trust personal hygiene and food preparation hygiene to that extent.
But the argument really falls apart when we look at the recent studies that have found the same pathogens (primarily Ecoli and Salmonella) in commercially prepared kibble and canned foods. No mention was made of this in the AVMA position statement although I would presume the risk from those pathogens would be equal. The cynic in me wonders if this omission was not because of the financial contributions the pet food industry makes to the veterinary profession and bureaucracies.
There are also no suggestions given to indicate that perhaps raw foods can be fed with less risks if we take a few account a few extraneous factors. First I would suggest that meat should be processed in small organic abattoirs. The level of contamination of the end product from these smaller establishments processing organic meat is infinitesimally less than from the huge industrial packers (which is why the organic chickens don’t have to sit in a bleach bath to kill surface contamination before packaging). Secondly I think we need to look at the major health benefits when we return to mother nature as our guide to feeding. Humans are not smart enough to know what 100% complete nutrition (despite common marketing claims) is at the cellular level. However through the evolutionary processes our dogs and cats have developed feeding patterns that maintained them and allowed them to flourish for eons before the multinational grain corporations saw pet foods as a way to turn a profit on otherwise waste products. This potential boost in the levels of health in our pets should have been a major concern for the AVMA. And lastly as we start to pay attention to health and stop being fearful of disease, we can begin to appreciate the unimaginable qualities of the body to heal and repair itself if we support it nutritionally. This improved level of health can and will translate into lower shedding of bacteria because the digestive tract will work so much more efficiently.