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Orijen’s Canned Response or Supporting a Canned Hunt Farmer?

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  1. Lynda Corkum

    Oh no. Canned hunting is the scourge of this planet – or one of them. It is so morally and ethically wrong to raise animals and then have people pay to “hunt” them in an enclosed area. It is not even humane since they prefer to shoot them somewhere on the body in order to preserve the head (“the trophy” – ugh!). We should be moving forward on the planet, not back to colonial times. At least then, people hunted for food, not a trophy!
    Interesting to note that you have had no response from Orijen… silence is sometimes louder than words.

    1. Caitlin

      I have to point out that the majority of wild game hunted are not shot in the head, but rather on the body. This is not to preserve the head for a trophy. A head shot is incredibly difficult, more often wounding the animal in the face rather than making a clean kill. Under most circumstances, a hunter aims for the vital organs – heart, lungs, and liver – to ensure a quick and humane kill. No ethical hunter shoots to wound.

      I assure you, many hunters do in fact hunt purely for food and not for sport. It’s far more environmentally friendly than agriculture. We raise the majority of our own food, and since we don’t have the land to support large livestock, our red meat supply is completely from what we hunt.

  2. Ann

    Until Bonnie gets back to you with the appropriate response, which is “we do not in any way support canned wild boar
    hunts”, I will not purchase another Orijen product.
    Sometime back I quit buying Orijen Regional Red after they refused to sign your Pet Food Pledge transparency statement. Then I changed my mind and recently purchased another bag. It will be my last until they make their positions clearer on where they stand in regards to both your Pet Food Pledge and the canned boar hunts.

  3. Peg

    Origen is really leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
    I won’t allow that bad taste in my pets’ mouths.

    Hope they do decide to respond, but with this amount of time, I don’t think it will happen.

    There are so few decent pet food manufacturers.
    Really pitiful

  4. Suzanne Shaps

    Wow, this is incredibly disappointing. I fed my dog Orijen for many years before she died last June. I now have a foster dog who came to me with Natural Balance food. I was planning to switch to Orijen when the bag ran out and would have made an online purchase later today until seeing your post on Facebook. I truly hope that Orijen gets back to you and finds a different supplier. Until then, I’m afraid that I just cannot support this otherwise wonderful company whose food I consider to be among the very best.

    1. Silvermane

      Hopefully you don’t stick with Natural Balance as they are now owned by Del Monte. I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what type of not-so-nice things could be going on at that multinational conglomerate.

      1. Suzanne Shaps

        Thank you. I was not aware of that. I love Orijen and will likely purchase that and let them know that I do not approve of this vendor. (See Christin’e post below. She is right, in my opinion.)

  5. Mel

    I certainly don’t approve of canned hunts, or tropy hunts in general, but I don’t have a problem with reducing the wild hog population. In any way possible. I know too many people who have lost hundreds of acres of crops-literally in days or less-to wild hogs. The economic loss to wild hogs yearly is staggering. Although I think that feeding wild hogs probably helps to make it easier for them to breed, which is not a good thing. Orijen could easily have wild hog hunting without resorting to canned hunts.

    1. Ann

      Wild boars are not the same animal as feral pigs. (Your comments don’t apply here.)

      All canned hunt “facilities” raise their own animals or purchase from zoos, etc. (Yes, zoos sell excess animals for canned hunts; it’s pathetic.) Canned hunt businesses do not go out and catch wild animals to then release in their enclosed hunting grounds — wouldn’t it be worse if they did?

      Whether the animals are afraid of humans or not, the animals can be chased when pursued by people on ATVs and can run but cannot escape — they are fenced. Others are simply shot, unaware of what’s going on.

  6. Mary Lynn

    This story disgusts me. I have never heard of this. I buy Acana for our dogs and will not continue if this company supports such activity.
    Please update me

  7. Lily Flanagan

    I too abhor canned hunting. But to be realistic, these boars probably have a better life then the factory farmed meat that is in most pet foods.

    1. Ann

      True, but that doesn’t make it excusable. And we don’t know under what conditions the wild boars who are butchered versus hunted are kept. It could be just as cruel as the confinement that factory farmed animals endure — we just don’t know.

  8. Cindy

    What do they do with the meat from these trophy hunts?

  9. Claire

    Susan, I appreciate what you do. Deepest thanks. I do however think you should have waited to hear from Bonnie or the company before publishing something like this which leans toward an intended (negative) conclusion. Yes it is past the 8 day window but you can never assume it was apathy or negligence on her part. She could be out sick, death in family, unable to get a complete answer yet…anything. You could have called her/them again, pursued or given more time. I agree, doesn’t look good. If they buy from Wild Hog, they are on some level supporting the business. I just think to be a responsible journalist, one needs to be thorough and research all possibilities of a question or subject before drawing a conclusion–even an inconclusive one–and writing about it. Again, thanks for your passion and your work.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      It is eight days past the date Champion told me they would respond back to me. So that is why I felt it was necessary to share this with everyone. I felt I waited long enough. But should Champion ever respond – I will post what they tell me.

    2. Audree

      Cindy –
      In most cases, the meat is the property of the hunter and they take the meat with them.

      1. Ann

        Keep in mind than many of these animals are lions, tigers, giraffes, even alligators. Wild boars are a popular choice, but there are many other species that are subjected to this practice that aren’t eaten after they’ve been killed.

  10. Mary A

    To ban a supplier because an animal may or may not be afraid (having been fed by humans) is ridiculous. Beef and pork are fed by humans, so is chicken, duck and lambs.They are not handled as a pet would be. Raised bison, and these boars are products for the food of humans and animals. You may disagree about “canned” hunts but domestic slaughter is not really much kinder.

    1. Ann

      Mary, Do you believe that an animal should suffer unnecessarily?

  11. Christine

    I hope that many people reading this post will take a moment contact Orijen themselves – I know I will be in touch with them right away. The more people they hear from, the faster they might respond. They have been responsive in the past to concerns we’ve had (as a retailer of their food) and even making a big change once in sourcing as a result of a campaign of ours to change it. I still think it’s a good company, worth working with to create change. Stopping feeding the food won’t effect that change, especially if you don’t let them know why you’ve done it.

    1. Suzanne Shaps

      Excellent points. I have not had to contact them for several years, but they were always responsive, both by phone and email.

  12. Flick, Dot & Buzz

    Thanks for sharing this Susan… we’re dismayed to hear this about Orijen/Arcana – their products seem to have quality ingredients, but the fact that their website (see here – ) STILL promotes the HogWild farm, which STILL promotes their canned hunts – (see here – is enough to convince me to boycott their products.
    They were given the opportunity to respond, but in the absence of a reply, their website clearly indicates their continued support of a company that promotes canned hunting… shame! We will NOT support canned hunting.
    Flick, Dot and Buzz… =^..^=

  13. Jolie Cosette

    I have seen factory-farmed chicken. I have watched cows be butchered. I have heard the chilling screams of pigs. I have seen the confusion in deer’s and goats’ eyes before they drop.

    I have witnessed the land battles between sheep and cattle ranchers, which always ends in death.

    I have killed chickens, turkeys and geese.. I killed my first chicken when I was four. Mariposa was my pet.

    I have never killed a rabbit. Quite honestly (and ignorantly), I don’t know how they live and die to feed our pets.

    Our cats are obligate carnivores. We are responsible for the deaths of other sentient beings to feed our beloved animals. We need to acknowledge this. I would like to kill in the most humane way possible, with little fear, anticipation, dread or pain, but I don’t know that there’s a good way to die. Cats play with their prey; “trophy hunters” chase domesticated creatures that only *look* wild.

    I feed my cats primarily free range local duck, geese, chicken, quail and lamb. During deer hunting season, I feed them venison. Although I buy these from the butcher, cleaned and dressed, nicely packaged in white paper, I know I am responsible for these animals’ bloody deaths. Any fear or pain they experienced is on my hands.

    So, what rules or ethics do we follow in raising and killing other animals meant for our own animals’ consumption?

    1. Jill

      This is one of the best posts on this thread. Thank-you!! Maybe Ann feels that her animals should be vegetarians?!

      I’m not one to support “canned hunts” but they aren’t all the same either.

      Wild Boar are not a native species to North America. I can’t imagine that they would be commercially viable on a mass scale as a meat source for dog food if they were only taken 1 at a time via traditional hunting methods. I don’t know what their particular living conditions are at their facility but to entirely condemn the companies without complete knowledge is lunacy.

      There really isn’t any “prettying-up” of having to kill animals. What makes the Wild Boar source different from the Cattle/Chicken that are rounded-up & taken to the slaughterhouse? Are the cows/chicken not terrified in that situation? What about the Salmons’ quality of life? Are their situations any better?

      You can tear yourself up about the whole situation but it doesn’t get away from the fact that we are all part of the life-cycle. In these modern times we tend to forget that since we can go to the store & pick-up our neatly packaged meat. It has no resemblance to the animal it came from. We don’t have to even “dirty” our hands anymore in the whole ordeal.

      I grew-up in a family that hunted. My husband still hunts on occasion. I myself find it difficult to kill even spiders-I put them outside. (I have no problem killing mosquitos, though). Hunting is not for me, but I still eat meat knowing that a creature died.

      You have the right to feed your pets whatever brand you like. I myself like the Acana/Orijen quality of food & will continue to feed my girl their products.

  14. Ann

    Anyone who believes that canned hunting is acceptable for any reason; please Google these words:

    do zoos sell animals to canned hunts?

    You’ll find many reports about what really goes on.

  15. Mike

    Several years back, I was instrumental in getting Orijen (Champion Foods) into Colorado. For about 2 years, in my store I had great success in selling their products due to what I considered some of the highest quality and credibility in the pet food industry. They “sold out” to investors and shortly afterward things started to change. That, sadly is an industry trend. Lower quality ingredients and higher prices(some of the most expensive in the industry). Many customers complained about the loss of quality in digestion and performance, etc. . I spoke to the national sales manager and he essentially threw up a lot of smoke and mirrors. My loss of trust caused me to discontinue buying and selling their products. That sales manager has since moved on from the company.
    Regarding the canned hunts and trophy hunting described above, I am totally against it for all the obvious moral reasons.

    1. Suzanne Shaps

      Mike, tremendously disappointed to learn that this pet food company has sold out, both financially and ethically. I had put tremendous faith in them. Is there anyone out there who is now where Champion once was?

    2. Craig

      Champion Petfoods did not “sell-out”. They do have a private equity investor (Bedford Capital), but so do many private companies.

      Compared to other large private pet food manufacturers, Champion is still an excellent company. They use a large portion of fresh, regional ingredients. They make the product in their own facilities (Blue Buffalo’s 6 or 7 co-pack facilities, anyone?). And they test and hold their product so that any potential issue never reaches the retailer (to the best of their ability, obviously). Contrast that with a manufacturer like Diamond Petfoods (makers of the too popular Taste of the Wild).

      I’ve fed Acana Regionals for years, through several recipe changes and I can’t say I have ever noticed a “loss of quality in digestion and performance”. Yes, the prices have gone up considerably, but look at your grocery store price increases on proteins. Same thing. Quality costs money, and pet food manufacturers have to pay the same dollar to the ingredient supplier as he can get somewhere else.

      Champion has never had a male national sales manager. You may have been speaking to a regional sales manager. If it is the person I believe you are speaking of, there was nothing sinister about his departure, he simply left for another opportunity in the pet food industry. In fact, he intended on staying with Champion long term, but this opportunity was just too good to pass up.

      BTW, I do not, nor have I ever worked for Champion Petfoods, or any marketing or promotional agents. I am simply a guy in the pet industry with some knowledge of Champion.

      1. Pacific Sun

        Maybe you can answer this question. As person in the pet food industry, who seems very knowledgeable, thank you for contributing to the Orijen discussion! All the positive comments posted here, were mine, as I raised my miniature poodle for 7 yrs on the Fish Formula. It solved many problems. But when Orijen switched from a 70/30 to 80/20 formula everything changed. By then both my dogs couldn’t eat fish, poultry, or meat formulas by Orijen or Acana. By any chance, do you think these formula changes occurred simultaneously with the inclusion of the private equity investor? Like Orijen decided on a “re-marketing” strategy? Many people have noticed this change, meaning their dogs could no longer eat the reformulated food. And yes, Orijen, told me that it’s a “richer” food, which not all dogs can digest.. Except that my dogs can eat pure, home cooked beef, chicken and fish proteins, with a binder. I would love to chase down the mystery to why this food CHANGED so drastically over a 10% (so-called) “change” in formula!! Thank you for your help.

        1. Mike

          I agree that higher quality always costs more to do. It’s also true that all animal ingredients are not equal. Muscle meat and the higher quality organ meats will cost more than by-products and the less desirable organs and digests and so on. Nowhere does Orijen and Acana state that they use no by products.
          Orijen’s (USA) National Sales manager was definitely a man.
          When I called him with my questions, I asked (based on what they stated) how they could raise the amount of animal ingredients while the amount of meat was lowered. He gave me “roundabout” answers. My assumption is that the quality went down, while the price went up to keep their stockholders happy. I also had numerous complaints from pet owners about the performance of the foods. This assumption was not arrived at lightly, because I strongly endorsed the Champion products and they were a big part of sales at my store. I also discontinued all Natura Products on the day they sold out to Proctor and Gamble. In that case I followed the cue from Peter Atkins, 2nd in command at Natura who immediately left the company and stated that a Natura run by Proctor and Gamble would never maintain the quality and integrity that they had stood for.
          In May, I will mark 25 years in the pet food industry and pride myself with understanding what goes on in the pet marketing industry. I pride myself in Simple math will show you that companies cannot buy shelf space, pay huge amounts for TV ads and other promotions and show big profits to their stock holders without resorting to the use of cheaper ingredients.

          To Craig and Pacific Sun,
          The timing of these events all add up to the validity ofwhat has happened.

          1. Mike

            I’ll add one more thing which nudged my decision to drop the Champion line. There was an instance where a delivery was stopped at the border and an FDA spot inspection held. There were products we could not get for an extended period of time. The same USA national sales manager told me personally that the FDA had an issue with the wording on the ingredients list. I learned from an inside source that wasn’t at all true. The spot inspection showed the presence of Salmonella.

  16. Leslie Leavitt

    Good Lord! Just when I thought I had found a really good dry cat food, I hear about this. I am totally against the killing of animals for consumption and do not eat meat of any kind. Of course, that presents a quandry for me as my cats are meat eaters. I would hope that the producers of cat food would at least buy meat that was humanely killed. But this doesn’t seem to be the case. I guess I’m back to square one. What a disappointment.

  17. Warner and Pickles

    I don’t approve of canned hunts period. But my question for y’all is how does Champion get away with stating that they use “Wild Boar” when these animals aren’t wild. If they were wild they wouldn’t need supplementing by man. Also, are all the hogs hunted male?? That is what a boar is. I know this may sound like nit picking, but I question their (Champions) honesty in marketing. Too much of their advertising sounds too good to be true. Now I have no confidence in what their bags/web site/ brochures say.

  18. Allison

    Orijen why?! I feed a homemade raw diet but I do recommend Orijen to people trying to switch to raw. Orijen has the highest protein and meat content of kibble that I have found. When transitioning to raw I’ve found that switching to a high protein food before transitioning to a raw diet is very beneficial to the pet. It can be too drastic of a change for some dogs to go from 15% protein to almost 100% and they tend to get diarrhea and upset tummies. The Orijen method has worked well for lots of my friend’s pets. I will now tell people to avoid purchasing any Orijen with boar because I definitely don’t want to support that. If they don’t stop supporting this trophy hunt soon I will have to find a different high protein food to recommend. I hope Orijen gets back to you soon as they don’t seem like the type of company to do something like this. Most of their meat is free range and not factory farm crap like most of the other pet food companies. Not that I trust any company anymore. Every time I see something like this I am happy I don’t personally support these companies. Go raw!!

  19. PJ

    Many, many changes at Champion the last 3 or so years, including introducing many carbs into their previously nearly carb free formulas, lentils & beans, all in a row. Meat & fish meals have been drastically reduced, replaced by “fresh” proteins which include water weight. There is still a respectable amount of protein in (some of) their products, but not nearly what they state on the labels. As I figured (per Craig), investors purchased the company; the changes seem coincident to these changes. My email conversations with Bonnie multiple times seemed to skirt this subject. But, that’s what investors do. They don’t want to wait for their money; they make massive formula changes to cheapen manufacturing cost, change package sizes & increase prices, just like happened with Champion. It seems like any regard for quality & the health of out pets has been replaced by greed. This is what happened with Eagle Pack, first bought by investors, multiple back-to-back price increases (to make them more attractive to buyers I guess) & then scooped up by Wellness, now changed to Wellpet. Subtle but many changes (cheaper) in formulas. I saw health differences in pets in my grooming shop as a result so I dumped them. Have actually seen the same things with Champion. Formerly, slim & healthy animals are now fat from addition of carbs and also demonstrating food allergy issues (licking paws, rears & armpits). With the addition of carbs to the cat fish formula (same ones, all in a row), have discontinued all Champion sales. I do believe Champion did sell out. The kids probably didn’t want to put the same effort/energy into maintaining the quality of the company as started by their father or grandfather, so they sold out & walked away with probably prepaid college educations for all. Am disappointed but not surprised. As for Bonnie, I’ve had many email conversations with her & find she always responded to me (not always in a timely manner as if to get her story straight before doing so) but also she tended to skirt some more sensitive issues & often responded with what seemed like an indirect, but scripted, response. Thanks Susan. I was also buying the “wild” boar treats. I do understand the food chain but don’t believe there is any excuse for not treating even our eventual food in a humane manner right up to the end. Very sad.

    1. Suzanne Shaps

      I have a foster dog who licks between his toes a lot. He also has a lot of yeast in his ears and I am using the ear cleaner for both the ears and between his toes. I am feeding Natural Balance which was purchased by his last foster adn wonder if that might be at least part of the problem. What foods would you (or others) recommend to replace Orijen?

      1. Peg

        Hi Suzanne,

        I made a small donation to TAPF and got Susan’s 2014 list of foods she would feed her pets. Lots of good info for dog owners.

        I am a cat owner and found some information that was very helpful to me and especially my kitties!

        Made some small changes and definitely for the better!
        Vet said my crew looks amazing.
        Hope this helps you some.

        1. Suzanne Shaps

          Thank you. How do I join and get this list?

          1. Peg

            Hi Suzanne,

            I have attached the link to the information regarding the list and at the bottom is another area to click on if you decide to make the donation to obtain the list.
            Read what Susan Thixton has to say and then decide if you want to proceed.


            I am very grateful for the time spent by Susan putting this together.

            I am also very grateful to the shop owners who have also provided boat loads of information for me the consumer.

            Thank you all……and big purrs and head bashes from my happy healthy crew of 6 kitties!!

          2. Suzanne Shaps

            Thank you very much for this. I have already paid to join. Do I need to pay again for the list?

          3. Susan Thixton Author

            Hi Suzanne – not sure what you ‘joined’. If it is Association for Truth in Pet Food – that is separate from this site. I am an advocate of the Association – but the List is not part of the Association. There is no joining this site – unless you subscribe to the newsletter (but it is free).

          4. Suzanne Shaps

            Yes, that’s it — I joined the Association. I bought the list, waiting for confirmation and I assume some way to access it. Thank you for your help.

      2. Reader

        Which Natural Balance formula? My friend’s dog licked her paws until raw, ears were very, very bad. Had been using chicken based Evangers for years. Not a slam against Evangers specifically. Just that the dog got sensitized to the formula and needed a change. Friend finally figured out dog was just hyper sensitive to chicken. Switched to a different bramd protein, problem relieved. I would start by switching to a single protein + carbohydrate combination. I would give NB a rest and try another brand. Or, serve whole food for awhile. If the dog is currently eating chicken, try beef. If the dog is currently eating rice, switch to sweet potato (for the binder). If you post more about your details, I will try to offer more ideas!

        1. Suzanne Shaps

          I have to check with the previous foster who bought the food — I put it in an airtight container and tossed the bag. But I’m 95% sure sure it is the Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Diet Sweet Potato & Fish Formula: I don’t know if he was on that before she bought it or if it is a new (in the last month) food for him. I will find out.

      3. Reader

        NYZMES website discusses allergy and skin irritations. See the complete discussion at (

        “Additives in pet foods can also be a causative factor; such may include preservatives, antibiotics, colorings, dyes, and even pest-prevention agents.” “(Many) PFs are grain-based – loaded with STARCHY ingredients that provide the sugar that Candida yeast thrives on.” “…. top 5-6 ingredients (to avoid) wheat, potatoes, white rice, sweet potatoes, tapioca.” Alternative PFs suggested include Fromm, Wysong, THK, Bravo and Primal (raw). If home cooking OK to use beef, duck, lamb (see complete list). Also green vegetables; plain yogurt. Avoid meat by-products, raw Pacific Northwest Salmon and anything sweet.

        NATURAL BALANCE Fish & Sweet Potato Ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Canola Oil, Potato Fiber, Natural Flavor, Salt, Salmon Oil (a source of DHA), Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, DL-methionine, Choline Chloride, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Folic Acid

        1. Suzanne Shaps

          Thank you. That’s a long list of ingredients, some I don’t recognize.

      4. Mike

        Hi Suzanne,
        Based on your description, I believe that your foster baby has a Candida Yeast infection and not an allergy. I strongly recommend that you administer a teaspoonful of high quality Colloidal Silver twice a day. You can also spray the solution directly in the ears, eyes, nose and on the skin. The other thing you must do is stay with grain free, quality diets. Grain and Potato Free would even be better. Candida is very prolific, and it thrives on sugars. You may at first see an increase in symptoms. This is not a worsening of the problem. It is the Vegetable Parasite (Candida) dying off. As it does so, it tries to exit the body any way it can. Stay diligent and continue this totally non-toxic approach for several months. My favorite foods you might try are Dr.E’s Great Life Grain and Potato Free, Limited ingredient formulas, Buffalo or Duck. I also am a huge fan of, and endorse in my store Fromm Four Star Grain Free, First Mate Grain Free and the new grain free formulas from Precise.
        For temporary relief, while you are adjusting the foods and adding the remedy, use small doses of Benadryl.
        Good Luck!

        1. Suzanne Shaps

          MIke, thank you, I am just now seeing this. The vet also says probably yeast in the feet. Confirmed in the ears and being treated with a wash and some kind of goop. I will ask about Colloidal Silver. And will switch to a grain free food ASAP. He is on Benadryl right now following aspiration of a lump that turned out to be mast cell so that will help for a while, too. Thank you, again. I really do appreciate your time and expertise.

    2. Pacific Sun

      Another example of Bonnie “skirting” an issue (or not being adequately informed) regarding a formula change is the following. As to why my dogs could eat the 70/30 formula but not 80/20. I mean drastic pudding stools. How could a 10% change have that much effect? Her response was only that some dogs can’t handle a “richer” more “intense” formula. What’s that mean? Pumpkin didn’t solve the problem; her responses never satisfied me, knowing my dogs can handle whole food protein fine.

      Well she left this out of the explanation (or didn’t understand it in the first place) which has taken much time to figure out (Geesh). The 70/30 formula contained Russet Potato (a natural binder) as the 4th ingredient. It also contained Psyllium (another good fiber). The 80/20 formula is “perceived” to eliminate carbohydrates (though there’s actually a whole list in the ingredients). While the net protein level decreased! I have no problem (in theory) with the new formula. Looks “yummy” enough from a human’s perspective! But unfortunately it’s not working for my dogs! And I wish the company would acknowledge that it’s a problem for a lot of owners!! Instead of claiming it’s “too much protein” (ridiculous).

      Below are details of this research, including a comment from another website explaining the effects of the changes. I shouldn’t have to do the leg work. Because the customer relations department of a company should be knowledgeable enough to satisfy a consumer’s questions. Another example of “smoke and mirror” type responses while Orijen glosses over issues. I don’t think they can be trusted on this issue either. I will be SHOCKED if they ever return the Pledge. Because it would require thorough understanding of their ingredients and processing. Meaning it’s a lot of things for them to be “accountable” for. As I think tPJ has it right. The succeeding generation doesn’t have the hands-on experience of the founder. By the time consumers finally connect with Orijen, after comparing all the other products out there, they’re a pretty educated group who deserve better treatment! Meaning, it should be about more than just Champion’s “Public Relations” spiel!
      Explanation of the 70/30 to 80/20 formula change:

      From the Dog Nutrition Advice website. “Orijen kibbles have been reformulated with a higher percentage of (various protein) meat ingredients. You’ll notice that the top five ingredients of the 80/20 formulas are now meat or fish, whereas before potato was ingredient number four. At the same time, however, protein levels have dropped to 38% for all formulas except Puppy, which is still 40% protein, while carbohydrate levels increased to a maximum of 25% (except for Puppy, which increased to 20%.” “Orijen dramatically INCREASED the percentage of FRESH meats in their food, BUT fresh meat is about 70% WATER. Nearly all of that water disappears during the cooking process, which is why the final product is actually slightly lower in protein and higher in carbohydrate than the old formulas, which contained a greater percentage of their meat content in MEAL form. Meat meals contain virtually no water, so close to 100% of the meal ends up in the final product versus only about 30% of the weight that fresh meat adds to the ingredient list. This is how it’s possible that Orijen’s 70/30 formulas actually contain slightly more meat POST-processing than the new 80/20 formulas. And the lower overall meat content translates into slightly lower protein and higher carbohydrate levels.” (The benefit however is …) “And with the new 80/20 formulas, almost half of all Orijen ingredients are now fresh whole foods–completely unprocessed, additive-free, not exposed to heat or freezing, and delivered fresh every day.” Link:

      Orijen 70/30 formula Ingredients: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, RUSSET POTATO , lake whitefish, chicken fat, sweet potato, whole eggs, turkey, salmon meal, salmon and anchovy oils, salmon, natural chicken flavour, sunflower oil, sun-cured alfalfa, dried brown kelp, carrots, spinach, peas, tomatoes, apples, PSYLLIUM, dulse, glucosamine Hcl, cranberries, black currants, rosemary extract, chondroitin sulfate, sea salt.

      Orijen 80/20 formula Ingredients: Boneless chicken*, chicken meal, chicken liver*, whole herring*, boneless turkey*, turkey meal, turkey liver*, whole eggs*, boneless walleye*, whole salmon*, chicken heart*, chicken cartilage*, herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, yams*, pea fiber, chickpeas, pumpkin*, butternut squash*, spinach greens*, carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, cranberries*, blueberries*, kelp, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, Enterococcus faecium

  20. Sandy

    The animals are wild. Similar to the deer, squirrels, raccoons and birds eating grain in a farmer’s field. Their hogs are not fed grain since birth as is stated. Mother sow feeds them at birth. Their hogs primarily subsist on wild vegetation and plants. Do an internet search on the company and on YouTube and get the facts for yourselves. The meat harvested by the hunter is taken by the hunter and not put into dog food. For dog food, both sexes are used. Many wild animals would not survive if they couldn’t eat the grain in fields. Just ask the 18 deer eating corn in our field last night, lol!

  21. Sandy

    The meat that is in the food isn’t from animals harvested during a hunt. The meat in the food comes from animals processed in an inspected plant.

  22. Robert Radulski

    I fail to see what a canned hunt has to do with dog food. They are two entirely separate operations. My toy poodles have been eating Orijens since weaning and they have all thrived on it. It’s the food I recommend to the new owners. If you want to get irked at someone get irked at the federal government. They’re a much greater danger.

    1. Suzanne Shaps

      Speaking for myself, I would not want to do business with a company that offers canned hunting even though the food I was purchasing was not from that activity. Canned hunting is for cowards and is shameful and I would not in a million years knowingly support such a company. Now, if they want to give the boars AK-47s to defend themselves, I’d be ok with that…

      1. Casey

        Or, if they make the hunters chase down and kill the boars with nothing more than a six inch knife (same as the boars have with tusks), then ok. Otherwise, it’s evil.

  23. […] This is a load bull. You cannot pick out one ingredient in something like dog food and say the glycemic index or glycemic load is better or worse. It is much more complicated than that. Dog food is a mix of different things just like a whole meal. Does anyone just eat a baked potato? No they have a salad, vegetable, a glass of milk and some kind of protein. My blood boils when someone talks such nonsense. Farmina N&D finally went on sale on and I couldn't be more pleased. I used it overseas and it is ten times the food than anything made by Champion. Champion is using cheap ingredients like 5 kinds of legumes to save money, pure and simple. By the way, Susan Thixton nailed Champion using boar that was obtained in "canned hunts" pretty sad. Yet another revelation that you can't trust this company. Orijen’s Canned Response or Supporting a Canned Hunt Farmer? | Truth about Pet Food […]

  24. Gitta

    I know I will need a flame retardent suit. This is one of the very, very few times I disagree with Susan.

    I am against trophy hunting. Period.

    I also find it somewhat unreasonable to have no issues with factory farming, transporting and slaughtering animals for our food and for pet food. These animals suffer way, way more than these wild boars. There is plenty of documentation out there showing the problems with slaughterhouses and how many animals suffer horrendously because of improper procedures. As pet food consumers, we do sit in a glass house. Even more if we don’t purchase food with by products.

    Even organically, pasture raised animals are trucked to the slaughterhouse and killed in an assembly line that pushes workers to speed, not necessarily accuracy.

    The idea of killing an animal for a trophy and nailing it on a wall goes beyond my comprehension. But – I do believe these animals have a better life and a better death than factory farmed and even organically farmed animals. And to the animal it doesn’t make any difference what happens to their carcass after death. What matters to them is the life part.

    Can anybody here absolutely and without a shadow of doubt vouch for every animal ingredient in their food? We depend on animals being raised, transported and killed so we can enjoy the luxury of pet ownership.

    Ok, donning my suit now.

    1. Susan Thixton Author

      You are safe Gitta – at least from me. There is no easy answer to this.

      1. Gitta

        Thanks Susan 🙂

        No, there is no easy answer. Guess as I get older, not necessarily wiser, I also see the contradiction in living with my animals and being against the use of puppies, kittens and adult dogs and cats in research. When my animals need medical care, I do not refuse drugs or surgery tools and techniques that were developed using cats and dogs. I do not refuse the help of a veterinarian or vet tech if their education did include the use of live-terminal animals. To be honest: I don’t even ask about it.

        As long as I choose the luxury of sharing my life with animals, I am part of that chain.

        1. MadlyMad

          Gitta, the use of live animals in research for both human and animal is no longer necessary in most cases with the advent of technology. And when it is not used, consider the following:
          “Animals have proven to be poor models for human disease research. Because they are genetically different from humans, studying diseases in animals can give us inadequate or erroneous information. “The difficulties associated with using animal models for human disease result from the metabolic, anatomic, and cellular differences between humans and other creatures…”13 According to Dr. Richard Klausner, former Director of the National Cancer Institute, “We have cured cancer in mice for decades—and it simply didn’t work in humans.”14 Even with genetic engineering, animals are still proving to be poor models for humans. For example, despite the $50 million awarded by NIH for the Knockout Mouse Project, the genetically manipulated mice have their problems; for instance, “The current knockout mouse model for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may be completely wrong…”15

          While the U.S. spends more money on animal research and health care than any other nation, we “… [fall] to the back of the pack when it comes to health indicators such as life expectancy…”16

          And more and more educational facilities – inclusive of veterinary schools – are using technology replacing the archaic use of animals. And to torture an animal to save an animal seems insensitive and unfair. Consider that these hapless animals are often supplied by shelters or stolen or bred to be tortured. And all because they had the unfortunate luck to not be one of ours.

          As for not turning down already approved drugs: To do so would only disrespect the animals that have already given their lives. But the continuation of animal experimentation is immoral and we are not entitled to do so no matter what religion or archaic science dictates.

          1. Gitta

            my only point: as petsumers we do sit in the glass house.

            No matter how we see the use of lab animals – we benefit each and every time we set foot in a vet clinic. We should keep that in mind when we buy flea products, when we support studies that challenge current vaccination protocols, when we want only human grade meat products in pet food. That simply means: more animals are produced just for the bag of kibble. More animals suffer and die so that we can feed our cats and dogs a high quality food. At least those who only feed what is not fit for human consumption can get some slack. They are just using what the human food industry has discarded.

            . So, before we get too high up on that famous horse, we should stop for a moment and think about our role as petsumers.

            That said, I do believe a company owes us transparency. Then it is up to each petsumer what they do with that information. They do not have the right to lie, to manipulate and hide the truth in the name of profit.

  25. Annie Wanzyk

    It seems to me being shot in a field is kinder than being trucked miles, with no food or water, to a slaughter house, with bloody floors and animals screaming. Why do creatures have to die to feed others, but they do. These trophy hunts are gross, but animals being shot for food, I mean, we have Duck, kangaroo, lamb, pork, all slaughtered creatures, some young, just babies. Most of our pork foods probably come from hogs in those horrible gestation crates. Which is better?

    1. Pacific Sun

      I don’t think we sit in a glass house. I think the point of this issue, and therefore the conflict of intention that we face, is the fact we ARE looking through those windows very clearly! And we don’t like what we see. The TAPF is an educational process. Enlightenment is gradual. And the goal is, like with so many other things, that when we know better, we do better.

      I don’t think we want more animals to die to feed our pets. But we do want what is produced to be fit and suitable for healthy consumption. So that our pets don’t suffer and die prematurely by eating 3 D protein and chemically corrected ingredients. My pets are not the refuse dump of the food industry in order to maximize profits. Nor are they the testing ground to prove how far a PF company can go without harming them.. What I am willing to do, is to pay more to PF companies that comply with existing FDA regulations (and ignore compliance policies). To patronize companies that know the difference between traditional agribusiness suppliers and ones interested in capricious entertainment.

      It’s not just about HOW the animal dies. It’s about WHY it is killed.

      There is a difference in the capricious use of lab animals. Once upon a time for cosmetics and animal products. Which can be replaced through technical testing. However I am not sure who would deny a loved one a truly life-saving drug because they could not be certain that it wasn’t tested, as it needed to be, first.

      We live in an imperfect world with no absolute solutions.. But it is one that’s made up of all the little individual choices we make all the time! The sum of those personal preferences can (and should) send an appropriate message back to the supplier. Which hopefully alters the activity. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn through the TAPF every day! And to express my opinion. Which I can only HOPE is being monitored by interested …parties. So let’s make sure we send back the right message, huh.

  26. Daniel Podobed

    My question is, who cares what the ingredient supplier does on the side? Trophy hunting is big business in the US and abroad, and has no bearing on pet food at all. The pigs, chicken, sheep, duck, and beef that get slaughtered aren’t afraid of humans, and they have been fed since birth as well.

    In my opinion, the concern isn’t that the ingredient supplier hosts canned hunts (which can be fenced in thousands acres of land, not just small enclosures (ie- some of the largest ranches in Texas with exotic game), but that they are advertising the ingredient as wild boar ((of an animal or plant) living or growing in the natural environment; not domesticated or cultivated.), and they are essentially farm raising them with supplements and added feed. Surely the cost of this “wild boar” is more expensive than farm raised boar, so that is an added cost to an already inflated bag of dog food.

    All of this being said, Champion provides one of the fines kibbles on the market in my opinion and this hunting nonsense has no bearing on that.

    1. MadlyMad

      “Hunting nonsense,” you call it, Daniel. I call that one insensitive comment. Trophy hunting is not a sport or is it admirable. Consider the weapons used in this atrocious pastime. And to kill an animal for the sheer joy of killing borders on psychopathic. And to then mount the head and hang it on a wall? It is the fun of the entitled over the animal kingdom which has yet to earned by any human.

    2. Pacific Sun

      To answer your question, yeah, I think we do care.

      By the time Readers make their way to the TAPF, and particularly people who consistently participate in the forum (or just pay attention to it) they are a “deep thinking” group. Meaning they’re interested in more than just the “face value” of how a PF company juggles its image. We’ve moved beyond those manipulation attempts. We’ve learned transparency is the real issue. That genuine customer service, quality and safety (not PR) is everything else!

      So far, a couple of examples of how Champion interacts with consumers, including my own experiences, and the delay itself that Susan experienced, says a great deal. It’s about their use of controlled “messaging.” However, I am not sure a company can have it both ways. Meaning that on the one hand, Champion wants to be known for using (“exceptionally,” as compared to other’s) fresh, natural AND regional ingredients (aka wild boar meat) compared to the competitors’ conventional supply methods. And then not be prepared for the extent of that kind of sourcing.

      You know what, there are either enough boar meat suppliers or not…. so then what becomes pertinent to Champion’s very important sense of “image control” … is the question of so why DOES Champion choose to do business with (and according to this TAPF discussion at least) an inherently controversial supplier? Perhaps Champion doesn’t think (or never assumed) that it is questionable, until Susan’s thoughtful “reveal”. Perhaps they are even testing consumer reaction through this website.

      So …then ….are we supposed to think that this (Trophy Hunting) business very carefully separates it’s “ranch” raised and confined animals, from those which just “happen” to be used in the trophy hunting area?? Hmmm. Or more specifically, that the business actually controls which animals are used for one purpose ….or the other? And if so, then are we supposed to be okay even with that distinction? (I would guess it’s based on specific traits or defects of the animals). Clearly there are several points of discussion here. One, is the acceptance of traditional “protein” supplier type agri-businesses. Which most of us have to use, unless we have access to local producers. Two, is using “protein” acquired through alternative methods. (We can only imagine what that means, as in the 3 D’s and rendering plants) And three, is the consideration of how ALL of this protein is “finished” for market!

      Clearly, I think TAPF Readers are a “good conscious-thinking” bunch … else they probably wouldn’t care about “pet food” in the first place! So with this mindfulness, means that consumers (us!) are deciding exactly how to spend our PF dollars. We are moving beyond (hopefully!) not just the quality and safety of the ingredients, but how that comes to be.

      And if all of the above is just way too much to consider, then at least think about the following. For all the effort that Champion puts into it’s VERY carefully crafted image control, why would they ever say, ….NOT that they “in principle” disagree with the Pledge itself (as have, and at least to their credit, other PF companies) … but that Champion is *STILL* in the process …. of completing it….!!! Does that mean it really IS a 2yr project for them? Or could it be, that they have just a few sourcing dilemmas to work through first?

      I guess the real answer to the original question is this. For a company so eager to be distinguished from the competitors, don’t you wonder why Champion wouldn’t be first on the list to return the Pledge ???

    3. ellie

      Your comment typifies the kind of attitude that has brought this once great country to the point of near destruction.
      If we don’t care about ethical matters in one area it is very easy to shrug your shoulders and not care about ethics in other areas. Let one thing slid and then another and you end up with a country where no one cares about honesty and ethics at all.
      Pet Food companies and other large industries are all out for one thing….the bottom line. They care nothing about how they achieve it. It is time for consumers to care about every aspect of how their pet’s food, as well as their own food, is manufactured and what type of supplier of goods these companies deal with.
      We all work hard for our money and we have every right to demand that companies that want us to spend our money on their goods put forth a very good product manufactured in an ethical manner.
      The slaughter of innocent, captive animals for sport is not something I want to support in even an indirect manner and I have a right not to buy the product of a company that does help support such practices.
      The manner in which animals used for food are treated in this country is something we all should be ashamed of.

      1. Suzanne Shaps

        You expressed eloquently my thoughts, as well.

      2. Pacific Sun

        An exceptionally well phrased response, Ellie. You’ve described exactly what I’ve been feeling but couldn’t express through my own comments.

        The TAPF, as a body of information and educational process, throughout the years, has made me so much more aware of issues I never would’ve thought about otherwise. I no longer accept being a continuous meat/chicken eater, and donate my share to my dogs (which I know must have certain amino acids). Furthermore I try if possible to at least use pasture raised beef and organic chicken for them, or local raised raw. It’s interesting how our health providers continually harp on the excess of (fatty) protein in our American diets. And my own cardiologist (of Eastern Indian descent) said pure and simple … to just cut the beef and chicken out entirely.

        I am proud that this site as made us much more conscious consumers, and that in fact these articles also challenging our “good” conscience as well! Thank you for speaking up!

  27. Ken Nicholson

    Who cares if they host canned hunts for profit? I don’t, blame those who pay them. As long as the meat they supply to Champion meets their high standards that’s good enough for me. I’ve hunted and eaten what I killed since I was a child. So the real question is does this meet Champion’s standards?

    1. Pacific Sun

      No here’s the real question – while assuming that a PF company defining itself as “extraordinarily high quality” already knows how to procure appropriate ingredients – is WHY that kind of a company still feels there is a particular advantage to doing business with an ethically compromised business, simply for the sake of a specialized protein source!? How could any protein source be that valuable and useful under those circumstances?

      A real hunter, assuming one who does so within a natural environment, (hopefully) would be uneasy with game being “restricted” simply for convenience, accessibility (and trophy purposes?)! No doubt “honest” hunters pride themselves on the innate skills required to overtake an animal within it’s native setting, and also consume it for real purposes. Meaning they do so not PROFIT derived from the BUSINESS of doing so on a repetitive basis!

      A big difference.

      The issue is the difference between one of sport and necessity … versus vanity, entertainment, and easy convenience!! Does the profit derived from that kind of a company really need to be augmented … no matter how “great” is the final product?

      Come’on folks …where’s our conscience. Aren’t we supposed to be the safety and quality advocates for our own living creatures!

  28. ellie

    I don’t like the idea of killing any animal but the very thought of these “canned hunts” is repulsive. I live in a rural area of NYS where people from the cities come to hunt deer as well as other animals during the hunting season. They pay locals to feed these animals at appointed stations so the animals are accustomed to coming to that area for food. When hunting season opens these great “hunters” sit in a tree stand with their high powered rifles and pick off the defenseless animals in only a few seconds time.
    This is NOT hunting. A hunter goes into the woods and hunts! These people are poor excuses for human beings. They enjoy snuffing the life out of defenseless animals that have no way to escape. Apparently these people are unintelligent, and lack any kind skill what so ever. They should be ashamed but they lack the ability to feel such an emotion.
    I would never buy anything from a company that helps promote this type of cruel, destructive behavior.

  29. Elizabeth Isbell

    I don’t like to think of the poor animals that are killed to feed others. My opinion on this is that although I agree it is cruel to hunt animals that have no fear of humans, I don’t think we should punish Champion Foods. REASON: If you own a dog or cat, then you are accepting the fact that other animals will continue to have to die in order to feed them. So why should Champion be the one to suffer? They are one of the best (in my opinion the best) maker of non-raw foods. I now feed raw, frozen so no longer able to buy their foods, but recommend it to people wanting a good dry or freeze-dried food.

  30. UrbanCollieChick

    I think when most people think of canned hunts these days, they envision a majestic lion, trapped and terrified and cornered, with no chance to fight back.

    But in this case, well, if the boar are used to humans, and are well fed and humanely cared for before shot in the “canned hunt”, IF this is even what’s happening, what is so bad about that? What are the other options? They are going to be killed for food either way, there are studies suggesting the typical lineup and wait for modern slaughter creates MORE stress ( thus Temple Grandin’s need to create solutions for stress minimalizing in modern agriculture), and animals “fairly” hunted are either fleeing or fighting for dear life. I would say THAT is pretty stressful.

    Feeling calm, fearless, then a quick blow to the head, chest, what have you…sounds about as good as it gets. Sounds like the least stressful option. If they are going into any food chain, I don’t exactly want them being given a euthanization with a sodium barbital shot. So, you can only do so much.

    Mind you, people can miss with a gun but they can screw up with a bolt to the head also.

    1. Gitta

      “Mind you, people can miss with a gun but they can screw up with a bolt to the head also.”

      My thoughts exactly. Again, there are two issues here. The lack of transparency by the company and the use of animals for pet food.

      Lack of transparency needs no further comment.

      As for the use of animals for pet food. I challenge everybody to compare apples to apples. Google videos of canned hunts and then google videos of animals loaded onto trucks, transported, warehoused at the meat processing plant and how they are actually being killed. There is no shortage of video documentation. It takes guts to view but if we want to condemn one thing and ignore the other, we should at least KNOW what we are talking about.

      If this is important, than any seller of meat (conventional, pasture raised, organically raised, pet food, human food) should certify that no animal suffered during loading, transporting, holding and killing. We might ask, if they employ minimum wage workers who are pushed to process as many animals per hour as possible. That in itself will guarantee inhumane treatment.

      It is great that some of us have access to locally raised and humanely killed meat products. It is not reasonable to think that millions of cats and dogs can be fed that way.

      By the way, I don’t think pasture/organically raised animals would volunteer to be born and killed for pet food. They too are sentient beings. No different from our cats and dogs. We make the decision.

  31. Daniel Podobed

    “Your comment typifies the kind of attitude that has brought this once great country to the point of near destruction.”

    My comment typifies the kind of attitude that founded this once great country, and will bring it back from the death grip of you bleeding heart yuppies.

    I hunt. My dogs hunt. I kill, my dogs kill. I eat what I kill, my dogs eat what they kill. I eat many animals that were raised in terrible confinements, that were treated unethically, and that were probably slaughtered in a way you probably don’t agree with…and I’ll take it all with a side of barbeque sauce.

    I understand trophy hunting, because I am a hunter, although I’ve never been on a “canned” hunt. Which, can be anything from a 5×5 fenced in enclosure, or 50,000 acres which is also fenced so the animal can’t escape, but that plays out a simulated hunt where you might fork over several thousand dollars and not even kill anything. Trophy hunting in Texas is saving animals from extinction. 60 minutes even did a piece on it.

    What I understand is your search for the truth about pet food. I share your regards about that, I do. . My dogs primarily eat raw with some mixture of freeze dried, air dried, or kibble at certain times. The fact is most of these companies lie to our faces every single day. And the lies they cover up (about ingredient quality, about ingredient sourcing, about preservatives, about known carcinogens, about cancer rates on a kibble based diet) are way more important than an ingredient supplier also selling canned hunts on the side.

  32. Observer

    I think this is one of the most difficult discussions ever attempted on the TAPF. We’re all in agreement (at least) that transparency in a PF company is paramount. In order for every consumer to make an informed choice. But what sure gets scary is the wide range of sensitivity that Readers are sharing. Ironically we’re all united about wanting to protect our own companion pets. Which means the need for good, safe food. So our pets will be less likely to die prematurely from cancer and suffering. So we all have THAT much sensitivity at least.

    But then we start to get all crazy about HOW that good PF protein is being sourced. The most extreme comment was that somebody didn’t care whether or not it was electrocuted or shot in the head with a bolt! Just as long as the meat was healthy!! Then there were several comments about how buying that Friday night steak is an act of hypocrisy. Because we’re so easily distanced from how it came to be. Granted, farming, ranching isn’t pretty. Nobody has their head buried in the ground. In fact more and more people are turning to Veganism or reducing animal protein intake. But agribusiness is an accepted standard for supplying our necessities. So I *think* this argument is unbalanced just because people feel their right to use guns is being “crowded.” Meaning that as long as there’s nothing illegal about hunting, and by default, contrived hunting, then freedom should abound.

    Except for one little detail.

    Hunting, if we all remember, was the method of survival long before supermarkets came into being, including the business of suppliers stocking them. You know, we’ve kind of systematized mass production for feeding our families now, haven’t we? Or else, maybe, just so we don’t forget the ugliness of killing an animal, we should pick up a gun, and go out and do it ourselves? Right. That’s what this argument is about. Look, nobody is going to deny a person’s right to hunt. But honestly, when there is no longer a life depending upon doing so … then really what in the world IS the entertainment value? How can that even be. Except that it just happens to be a convenient excuse to demonstrate the preference for owning a gun. That and for self defense of course. So who on this earth, would ever imagine the similarity between the need for a PF company’s transparency (what the original article was about) and ethical behavior …. and defending a personal freedom? Yet, that’s exactly what we’re talking about. So go ahead and enjoy killing an animal, because it is definitely your right to do so. If it didn’t die at your hands, then some larger prey or human would kill it anyway. That’s the cycle of life, no doubt. But in the meantime, do continue to worry about the quality of life concerning *your* companion pet. And hope to gawd that it never accidentally gets in the way of a determined – hunter.

    Your comment provided very interesting thinking. Indeed

  33. Daniel Podobed

    Hunting, if we all remember, was the method of survival long before supermarkets came into being, including the business of suppliers stocking them. You know, we’ve kind of systematized mass production for feeding our families now, haven’t we? Or else, maybe, just so we don’t forget the ugliness of killing an animal, we should pick up a gun, and go out and do it ourselves? Right. That’s what this argument is about. Look, nobody is going to deny a person’s right to hunt. But honestly, when there is no longer a life depending upon doing so … then really what in the world IS the entertainment value? How can that even be. Except that it just happens to be a convenient excuse to demonstrate the preference for owning a gun. That and for self defense of course.

    Hunting for meat and for sport are both noble, and hunting as labeled “entertainment” is shallow…hunting is cathartic. It cleanses the soul. It allows you to reconnect with nature, to truly appreciate what we are offered on this planet, and I treat game with a respect higher than I do most people, simply because the game is pure. If I could lead a sustained living lifestyle, only eating what I killed, and only what I grew, I would. It is hard to do so. Hunting still transforms you back to the time when you needed to. I hunt with a bow, and with guns. I prefer bow hunting for deer, but I love hunting game birds with a gun and my dogs next to my side.

    Hunting isn’t a convenient excuse to demonstrate owning a gun, although I am a gun owner and have no problem using it as a means of self defense if the horrible should ever happen. Hunting is entertaining, but it isn’t cheap entertainment. That disrespects the hunter, and the hunted. It is still a matter of life and death, and you should treat it as such.

    1. Observer

      “Hunting for meat and for sport are both noble, and hunting as labeled “entertainment” is shallow…hunting is cathartic. It cleanses the soul. It allows you to reconnect with nature, to truly appreciate what we are offered on this planet, and I treat game with a respect higher than I do most people, simply because the game is pure. If I could lead a sustained living lifestyle, only eating what I killed, and only what I grew, I would. It is hard to do so. Hunting still transforms you back to the time when you needed to. I hunt with a bow, and with guns. I prefer bow hunting for deer, but I love hunting game birds with a gun and my dogs next to my side.

      Hunting isn’t a convenient excuse to demonstrate owning a gun, although I am a gun owner and have no problem using it as a means of self defense if the horrible should ever happen. Hunting is entertaining, but it isn’t cheap entertainment. That disrespects the hunter, and the hunted. It is still a matter of life and death, and you should treat it as such.”


      Please other Readers, help me out here. I’ve been reading the TAPF for more than 7 years with a lot of horribly revealing content. But never have I read any comment thus far, that made me groan out loud and repeat OMG over and over again. This is truly an insight into the hunter’s mind. Few are even this articulate and honest. For that much, thank you.

      Full disclosure, and with no surprise, personally I cringe every time I have to kill an insect. I try to push them outside. Or wash them down the drain. If they aren’t dangerous. I can’t look at any medical procedure either. So part of our instinctive reaction to things, is deep within our genes and subconscious. It is not only a part of our thinking brain. I can’t speak to a lifestyle where hunting is a natural extension of living. Or how it creates a connection with our ancestral habits. But when I am forced to, I can “hear” the scream and pain of a living creature cut down. By any means. For any reason. Everywhere. Yes, I read the book “The Jungle” (of 1906). Watched too much National Geographic. Should’ve ignored the movie Bambi too. Nevertheless. Those feelings of empathy keep me humble and grateful for all the suppliers in this world who (are able to) do a necessary job, within a system of “Best Practices.” What’s that you ask? It is an attempt (at least) to organize an efficient and sensitive (as in responsive to conditions) system of serving the majority of common interests, as a group effort. It removes the chaos and capriciousness AND wastefulness of uncoordinated, individualized, and unreasoned activity.

      In terms of “connecting with nature” thousands of folks do so by observing rustic surroundings. To appreciate a National Park, or the Grand Canyon, doesn’t mean it’s necessary to jack off chunks of rocks or flora, and pocket it, just to demonstrate the expertise, strength or nerve for doing so! It doesn’t elevate consciousness regarding what is beautiful and unique. I simply don’t have to have … a piece of it.

      As for treating “game” (a live animal!) with “respect” – wouldn’t letting that animal survive within it’s own NATURAL environment be the rule? How could a gun or a bow ever possibly be on equal footing with that animal fighting off one of it’s kind or a native larger prey? If a person would CRINGE and shreak from hearing their own dog accidentally hit with a bow or shot in the shoulder, then how could the same person NOT feel that empathy for another breathing animal going through an unnecessary ordeal?? And yet as a Reader your comments always are (and rightly so) very concerned about the quality of life a pet enjoys, partly through the food he or she consumes.

      So, where we have to disagree is definitely on the points of waste and also with the definition of necessity! No. I can not ignore the nutrients that keep my family and pets healthy and productive. And I must consume. Quite truthfully, the most freshly killed protein, probably does have the highest content of nutrients possible! But with plenty available, to the point of ungawdly waste at our fingertips, not only do I not need to purchase wild boar meat (just to keep us on topic here) … how on this earth could I justify taking down a “magnificent” deer, or a goose, or even a less “romanticized” rabbit or whatever gets hunted! Maybe the real problem here is this. That if hunting actually contributed to a hunter’s ego, gratification, or independence, THEN I would be even more worried. Knowing that an opportunity for satisfaction and reward was indeed ….that ….”specialized.”

  34. Sandy

    A few things that I am not sure people realize. The animals killed while hunting are NOT used in Orijen or any other pet food. The boar are not tame. The boar are not hand fed and they are not fed every day or even every week or every month. The boar are hunted on 25 wooded acres which is separate from the main farm

    1. ellie

      It matters little to some people that the boars are on 25 acres of land. The point is that it is not sporting to fence in any animal even in 25 acres and then blow them away with high powered rifles.
      The dear that are fed by humans in my area are not fenced in at all but they are fed by humans in a routine area so that hunters have the advantage of know where they are and can shoot them down in a few seconds of time. It is not sporting. It is killing for the very thrill of killing. It is not hunting. It is not a sport.
      When an animal is confined within 25 acres of land it will run for it’s life and that fence prevents it’s escape and even injures the animal that is running as fast as it can.
      Yes, it is a free country and people are allowed to behave in such a manner if they so choose and I and others are allowed to not support anyone involved in such a business.
      I have no problem with people who own guns responsibly and while I would never go hunting myself I do believe it is a person’s right to hunt if they want to. The “canned hunt” is not a hunt at all. Twenty-five acres is nothing where hunting is involved. A true hunter goes out in the wild and tracks animals to kill for food. The “canned hunt” is killing for the sheer thrill of killing and I will never condone or support that kind of behavior….and that is my right in this “free country!”

      1. B Dawson

        Many states here in the east prohibit baiting deer because it isn’t sporting. Feeding corn to deer can also cause them to become malnourished as it is not a common food source for them and their stomachs do not have the proper enzymes to digest it. Unfortunately kind-hearted residents continue to do it in the winter, certain they are saving deers’ lives.

        No one is denying your right to disapprove of hunting. It is the idea that “real” hunters don’t cause pain and fear or that canned hunts are more cruel than slaughtered animals that I take issue with. The claim that canned hunt animals cannot escape is irrelevant. Every animal taken to slaughter is just as trapped and frightened prior to dying.

  35. Observer

    I need to broaden my perspective. One, is that this is a free country. Our ancestors fought long and hard to keep it that way. Two, everyone doesn’t think alike (fortunately). Some people just like the taste of wild game. It’s also healthier! Three, companion pets have shared a domesticated relationship with humans for centuries. Wild animals and others like Boar, aren’t cute. Over populated species (like deer in some areas) do damage and affect the balance of native food sources. Four, a single clean shot, is probably more decent than a bow, or animals tearing apart one another, or enduring trauma of stockyard handling. There are qualified hunters and there are wannabe amateurs. And lastly, there are courageous people out there and there are queasy people.

    I do get all that. Best people I know also hunt.

    But it’s good for people to think about this topic. As a society and globally speaking, humans interfere with the natural balance of earth in far too many ways. The human footprint IS making an impact. And if we cringe at so-called big game hunters taking down a nearly endangered species in one far corner of the globe, then how do we defend our actions closer to home. Because Boar are plentiful and expendable because they’re a replaceable resource? That they’re angry and dangerous? When do we say that inappropriate suffering and waste is part of the means. Yes, my friends occasionally raise 5 head of cattle on 80 acres. That meat is in their freezer. I don’t refuse a taste of the steak. But you know 25 acres isn’t all that much land either. Let’s just hope everything is as it’s being conveyed.

    When we know better, we do better. That’s all.

  36. Brian

    This post is really old, but I’m still going to comment on it anyway. First, I don’t like Orijen and think their dog food is completely overrated.

    Second, what’s the big deal? I mean seriously. These “wild boar” live far better than 99% of the farm raised animals. The chicken you buy in your local supermarket. That’s real animal abuse, not these canned hunts. They are also expensive, so you bet your butts that the hunter is going to take the meat home with them and eat it. Just so you know this meat doesn’t go in the dog food, so your dog won’t take any part of this “animal cruelty”. You should just feed your dog vegetarian if you don’t want any animals to die in the making of your dog food. But I think that’s animal cruelty because dogs are made to eat meat.

    1. Ellie

      It is not a matter of animal cruelty as much as it is sportsmanship. “Hunting” is supposed to be a sport in which a person goes out in the wilderness and actually uses the human brain and acquired tracking skills to find and kill a cunning animal that has the ability to use its natural instincts to escape. There is no sportsmanship involved in a canned hunt. It is just wholesale slaughter done strictly for the joy of killing.
      Apparently we live in a society that has lost knowledge of ethical behavior in just about every area.

      1. Madeleine

        Ellie, a well said reply. It astounds me that anyone can defend a canned hunt. It’s such a cowardly, lazy and UNsportsman way to kill. It seems to symbolize our determination to make humans even more shallow and selfish in their need to control everything.

      2. Pacific Sun

        This topic irked me to begin with and now it’s doing so again. I’m sorry it has been resurrected. There is no such thing as sportsmanlike or unsportsmanlike hunting. UNLESS you live in a situation where you live by what you kill. Think about it, “paying” for the privilege of killing a living thing? Buying your shiny rifle and bullets (probably at a Walmart or Big 5) and heading down the Interstate to some wilderness, to kill a living thing? You mention that our society has lost its sense of ethical behavior (and I think most people don’t even know how to spell the word ethical much less what it means). You mention the importance of knowing what we eat. The effect on our lives and the consequences on our health. Therefore you are already enlightened. And I’m sorry but only people who have a very narrow focus of what’s “entertaining” go out to purposefully … kill a living thing. Don’t you and most people cringe when you see an animal has been hit by a car? Do you ever see it’s expression of terror? The problem is what’s justifying guns in our society (for the most part) that is, in protection of our amendment rights, is the freedom to use that “weapon” for hunting. I wonder. How does it make a person feel? I’m afraid I don’t even want to know ….

        1. Ellie

          I have no desire to encourage hunting. I live in an area that people flock to in order to satisfy their desire to kill. Many use methods that stack the deck in their favor and leave their prey with no chance of survival. I could never kill an animal even for food but the fact is that most of us eat meat from animals slaughtered under conditions that are far more cruel than those killed during a hunt.
          There are people who hunt that do truly care for the welfare of our wildlife. Over population encourages the spread of disease. Many animals die of starvation during the winter months when the population gets too high. It is unfortunate that many humans misuse their right to hunt but none the less it is necessary that the numbers of certain wild animals be reduced yearly for their own health and well being. Every state employs very well educated experts that keep track of the numbers of each species and observe and regulate the hunt each year.

  37. Mike

    My dog was permanently injured by one small bag of Orijen Red. I purchased it because it did not contain grains, and because I did not think to question pea flour. It turns out, pea flour is far more dangerous for canines than other grains due to the presence of toxins, toxins I’m aware of because I myself am allergic to them, but also because of the high content of both phytic acid (another toxin and one you women should be especially aware of) and Omega 6 fatty acids which are inflammatory to mammal tissues, especially joints and blood vessels (yes, vegetarians, plant oils are dangerous to humans and canines. Do your research, plants are not to be eaten, they are stewards of the planet.)

    I contacted Orijen to discuss the ingredients with them, but was basically told off for even daring to voice my concern. My interest was in communicating an article I had recently read showing that Omega 6 fatty acids, which they proudly displayed as being 2.5% of the content of the food!, was inflammatory and for them to consider replacing it, and to inform them that my dog was directly (and permanently) harmed by their food.

    Their attitude set me off and I recorded an episode of my Youtube show dedicated to Champion Pet Foods, makers of Orijen. That episode is here for anyone curious:

    Since that time, one year ago today, I have fed my dogs only cooked meat with vitamin supplements; no grains, no vegetables. While his hips have not improved and I doubt they ever will, his overall health is far better on this diet. It does also help that I am in Mexico now, where racoptamine is banned, unlike in the USA.

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