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Former Hill’s Science Diet Veterinarian new AVMA CEO

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  1. Duncan Ness

    The fox is often being put in defense of the hen house. Perhaps the AVMA ought to have some regulations against this kind of “incest”.

  2. Jeri

    This level of incest, as accurately named in the post above, should surprise no one given the I’ll informed and clearly biased position the AVMA too with their raw food antagonism a few years back which basically said no vet should recommend raw food. The claim was that the stance was taken out of concern for humans…as if humanity had never handled raw food before and doing so for pets would add some kind of dangerous nuance absent in handling it for their human families. Absent from this resolution was any allusion to the documented cases of humans getting sick from pathogens while handling kibble… although such cases exist. Handling kibble, which most people have been fooled into believing is safe because it’s cooked, has made more than one child sick. Yet the AVMA dutifully put on horse blinders and tried to convince everyone that there was no bias whatsoever in their resolution. A few vets were honest enough in the comments of the time (where the organization was being rightly shellacked) to state their embarrassment of their obvious bias. This cozy relationship has long existed and the only real way to combat it is to tell your vet you won’t be feeding that garbage under any circumstances and any attempt to persuade you from feeding real food will result in moving your patronage elsewhere. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…The great and powerful AVMA is here.

    1. thewholisticvet

      Hey Jeri,
      It was Purina/Delta Society/Pet Partners that were behind the 2012 anti raw policy. See and (Forgive the links that no longer work). But in the time since 2012, nothing has really happened. That’s because the AVMA does not dictate practice laws, that’s the state boards. They have no disciplinary authority, can’t enforce anything, kick you out if you recommend raw (I do), or do much more than wave their flag in the face of mounting evidence that feeding real fresh foods, or even cooked foods, is better than kibble. They are not a toothless lion, but I question how much the average DVM relies on them for anything other than a deal on professional liability insurance. I wonder how many AVMA members even read the policies that get passed when they are published in the Journal? (I confess I don’t read them all.) Many vets I know are not members.

      I think our efforts are best directed at continuing to promote the value of feeding fresh foods, and educating veterinary students in biologically appropriate nutrition. Getting the pet food companies out of the veterinary college nutrition courses would be a huge step in the right direction!

      1. Keller

        I agree that changes need to be made, but not much change is likely going to happen under the new government administration. If anything, things will only become much worse under their policy of “regulations be dammed,” as they focus on businesses making more money to enrich themselves.

        I agree fully with your second paragraph. Just as enhancing our world through educating our children and empowering them with the means to make informed decisions, educating veterinarian students in animal nutrition is critical to lessening the impact of and the belief in the falsehoods of the pet food industry. Our efforts need to be proactive where it is the most effective.

        I am in no way demeaning the efforts of Susan’s work, which is critical if things are going to change. However, maybe some of our efforts should be on reaching the newbies in the veterinarian field about how crucial it is that “we are what we eat” also applies to our pets.

        I believe that my vet is ethical and readily accepts my seeking a second opinion on various issues concerning my pets. She told me recently, “Everyone knows that vets can’t sustain a practice through pet appointments alone. The only profits come from the dispensions of prescriptions,” which I imagine includes the disgusting Rx dog food. I don’t know if this is the case with all vet practices or not, as it was news to me.

        The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Where are we in our journey now?

        1. Laurie Raymond

          Two bright young vet tech students at our local community college told me the other day that they are being told that the independent practitioners of today are the last generation of that practice type. Apparently they are being told to expect to be employed by outfits like Banfield, which are the practice models of the future. I suggest two things: first we should all support the AHVMA foundation, because this is where the science supporting nutritious pet feeding and science-based vaccination and gonad-sparing sterilization protocols is going to come from. They support all kinds of continuing ed for vets in holistic modalities. Second, we need to fight the vet-med for profit model with our dollars. Don’t patronize PetSmart (Banfield) and avoid other industrially linked practice models. Take the time to learn the basics of nutrition and proper care so that we don’t have to depend on industrial food or medicine (for ourselves OR our pets. We have sacrificed knowledge and competence in basic life supporting skills in favor of convenience, and we pay a high cost. Too high.

          1. Jeri

            I know that many believe independent practice is in jeopardy. However, consider that more people are feeding raw and cooking for their pets and seeking out alternative medicine for them. There’s no way the big box clinics can provide what they want. The market will decide and they are already. Holistic and integrative vets are in high demand and SLAMMED with clients. More people are seeking them out. You won’t find them in the big box clinics, either. There is a transformation going on in vet medicine, but I’m not convinced it’s in the direction of a monopoly of the latter at the expense of the revolution going on in pet care right now.

        2. thewholisticvet

          Hey Keller,
          Great thoughts! Did you know Susan has spoken to vet students at (I think) Washington State? We need to sponsor her to speak to more vet students, as well as sharing this information in every way we can. That’s where we are in this journey — sharing the info. I hope in the near future we can shift to sharing a solution…

          1. Keller

            I didn’t know that! Yes, we should sponsor her to speak to more vet students. I’m willing to kick in to help fund that.

            By the way, do you know of any excellent holistic vets in the Bangor, Maine, area?

      2. Jeri

        Thanks for your reply. Yes, I do know the connection back then was at the behest of the Delta group who had tight connections (and presumably still does) with Purina. I read the comments and left a few of my own at the time – and AVMA was horrified that comments were shellacking them at about 1,000 to 1 – no exaggeration. There were vets who were rightly embarrassed and called the AVMA out for their bias, but I have to speak to my own experience here. I think it’s an unfortunate truth that many vets STILL quote the resolution when “warning” clients about raw. It happened to my husband. (He mentioned raw food when asked what our dogs ate, and the vet promptly told him she would print something out from the AVMA for him….UGH. I knew what that was as soon as he got home and told me about it.) The sad fact is that many vets use the AVMA’s recommendations as an authority for many subjects. It’s the same with vaccines and the automatic triennial recommendation even though the vet immunologists Schultz and others have stated there is no real science behind the magic of three years. Their recommendations carry weight in the public sphere as well. How often are they quoted by the media as the “end all be all” authority?? Frankly I pretty much dismiss any sentence beginning with “The AVMA recommends….” and tune it out, but most of the public does not and believes that they are the bastion of Truth….

        I completely agree that we need to promote fresh food feeding and better education. Thankfully, the AHVMA is one alternative source that is doing that and more in terms of getting vets to think outside the box. It cannot happen soon enough.

        1. thewholisticvet

          Thanks Jeri,
          I was the pro-raw vet quoted in the AVMA journal article on the raw food policy – you can search it out — and I confess I was nervous when I got a message that a Journal of AVMA reporter wanted to talk to me. But I thought of how I have fed my dogs over the past 20 plus years, and how could I not speak to that? And I took some heat for my words. But so what, there are folks like you, Susan, AHVMA, #PetFooled, and more sharing the truth. Thank you!

          1. Jeri

            NO, THANK YOU!! Thank you so much for being a light in the darkness and fighting the good fight when the odds are against you. It has to be so hard being surrounded by those who want to suppress what you know. Keep up the great work!

  3. Dean

    I am grateful that I feed raw to my 2 dogs and that I have a holistic vet who supports what I do 🙂 I don’t deal with drama, therefore I stay away from standard vet practitioners.

  4. redmm97

    To add to the comments, the AVMA iss pro-slaughter and prior to the slaughter houses closing in 2007 received $$ for each horse slaughtered in the U.S.

  5. William Leonard Sabel

    Cry me a river! Hills and royal spend millions in r and d to be clinically proven. What about the trash foods in the industry

    1. Keller

      R and D? Research and development?

    2. Susan Thixton Author

      Couldn’t disagree with you more. Hill’s and Royal Canin spend millions on research to promote their own products – not to better the pet food industry. And which trash foods are you referencing? Both Hill’s and Royal Canin are feed grade pet foods – they are not food (human grade). My guess is the ‘trash foods’ you speak of are as well feed grade – not food.

      1. Sharon Bilotta-Testa

        More people are beginning to relies that the crap we’ve been feeding our pets are below par at best! I know this will not change some pet owners minds BUT word will get out and maybe these big pet food industries will take a hit don’t think they will care or clean up their act as there is more involved then just making the product well I’m for one stopped feeding kibble started on raw 5 months ago and still feed quality premium canned to my pack of 7 …

  6. Keller

    William Sabel, cry me a river??? There’s no need to be sarcastic. This is a very serious website, so be helpful, not hurtful.

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