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Pet Food Consumer Bullies


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  1. Laura

    I’ve seen commenters here that have said similar mean-spirited things about people who do that. It’s sad to see them post such unconstructive, useless comments on a website devoted to activism and advocacy. I hope they realize their error and stop doing that after reading this post.

    1. Lisa

      We were all uneducated and ill informed at one time. We all learned over time and heartbreak. We all should remember to show compassion for others. NONE of us is perfect and are learning day by day.

  2. Sandy

    Perfect. Kind and well written.

  3. Mollie Morrissette

    I too, was an ordinary consumer, blissfully unaware of the problems with commercial pet food. For more years than I like to remember, I fed my babies (my cats) ordinary kibble and canned cat food. Mostly kibble though. They were decent enough brands, but sometimes (I know, I know, don’t scream) I even bought Friskies canned cat food when they had the 10 for $10 sales. I knew it wasn’t gourmet, but I certainly didn’t think it was that bad.

    It really upsets me when pet parents are bashed for “not knowing,” because, like me, you don’t know until something terrible happens to one of your fur babies.

    And then you are in for the shock of your life. In addition, you are wracked with the guilt and remorse of thinking you “should” have known, that you might have “poisoning” your own babies. You whip yourself for not having known better.

    But, when you know better you do better. And I’ve come to realize, that guilt and shame serve no purpose in our lives.

    Pet food companies spend BILLIONS of marketing and advertising, they are so sophisticated – is it any wonder that we were/are fooled. And, remarkably, even though I worked in advertising – I “should” have known better!

    But, ultimately, it was my beloved cat Blackie’s close brush with death (three times), that got me started.

    And you know what?

    It was Susan’s website that got me started. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be here today. None of us would be the wiser. And for that, I am eternally grateful for her work, her unflagging desire to make pet food safer for pets.

    I am deeply honored and privileged to be her friend. We all came from the same place once, now we need to support one another and not hurt the pet parents who are just making their first, terrifying steps into the dark world of pet food.

  4. Woofielover

    The Internet is full of anti-social media. People see it as the right to excercise free reign to be judgemental, hateful, mean, etc.. It can be very intimidating. But these aren’t people she knows or needs to respect or care about. At the same time, if you look and follow the right sites and the right people, you can learn an incredible amount of good info on the Internet. She needs to ignore that attack (and any future ones) for what it is and move on. She isn’t responsible for other people’s issues, she shouldn’t take them upon herself. She’s only empowering them. These same people were once where she is. “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
    Maya Angelou

  5. Jo

    So perfectly said, Susan!

  6. Regina

    Excellent message. When I come across someone who is at the very beginning off their learning the truth about pet food (feed), finally realizing that those “trusted brands” are NOT to be trusted, I tell them not to kick themselves for not knowing yesterday. I tell them that what matters now is where you go from here.

    I tell them that the folks out there who are now creating healthier ways to feed our pets started out not knowing, but that once they realized the failures of those big name brands that have been trusted for years were not feeding our pets well, that’s why these new healthier options have been coming out.

    The folks providing healthier options used to be in the same position they were, so it’s just a matter of what you do with your newfound realizations.

    I have seen people so upset with themselves when they finally realize the crap that they have been feeding their pets, I just really don’t want to make them feel worse.

    But I will admit that if someone refuses to acknowledge that the work Susan, and others like her, are doing to educate people because real food is better than “crap and chemicals” . . . Well if someone refuses to “see the light” Susan is shining in their eyes, I do NOT have the patience with them to be understanding of their decisions.

    I know that we have all seen people posting here on Susan’s site that appear to be shills for big pet feed sellers. Those people are not going to change their mind, so they are not worth my time and energy.

  7. Ellie

    Strange. From what I have seen it is usually the fresh food proponents that get slashed by those who promote processed commercial pet food.

    1. Jeanne

      That is often true, Elliie, but it very much depends on which forums or sites your are commenting on. There are raw food sites that might have a poster or two that has forgotten how ignorant they were, feeding commercial kibble, before learning what a carnivore needs to eat. Then there are sites that are devoted to commercial, common, highly advertised methods of feeding and they will bash the raw feeders. Human nature I’m afraid.

  8. SandyB

    In my opinion “pet food bullies” are not only offensive, but very small minded people. As a dedicated raw feeder who has been in dogs a long time, I am often asked about canine nutrition. If someone is truly interested and willing to listen I will go to great lengths to educate and share what I have learned over the years. However, it is very important that people are not made to feel ashamed or stupid for what they feed their pets. My intention is to help people understand what dogs really need nutritionally, how to read ingredient labels on food, and understand how processed foods are really made and where the ingredients come from so they can make better feeding choices. Raw and home cooked diets don’t always work for every person or every dog for various reasons. The goal is to help people do better, not to do it my way. It was a gradual process for me to get to how I feed today. I try to help people do the best they can in the real world (the one that is governed by time, finances and living situations), not the “perfect world”. As far as I know, none of us have a “food police” badge. Please be kind to your fellow pet owners, who believe it or not, love their pets, just as you love yours. Thank you for this timely article.

  9. Caron Allen Taira

    Thank you for reminding us all to be compassionate. People learn with patience and respect, not with verbal abuse. It seems it is the thing these days to bash people on-line, and say things you would never say in person. I hope this changes, and thanks to posts like yours Susan, I pray they will. I didn’t know anything either years ago, and it took me a long time, and still does, to learn more and more.

  10. Lisa

    Great article! While I have learned to feed better foods, and I’ve gotten my brother on the same page, my Mom still does buy store brands. We have purchased grain free canned foods (and grain free dry) for her as it is pricier, but she still shops in supermarkets for pet food. I don’t argue with her and I have told her about ingredients, but she is my Mom and I’m not going to make her feel bad. I don’t make anyone feel bad. Some people can only afford store brand products and they love their pets. I’ve also learned not to argue with people on social media, but I will post facts & links about pet food and nutrition so that people can read for themselves. Once a person has had a sick pet (and I have), you learn about nutrition the hard way. I had fed dry food only for many years, even grain free dry, and still learned the hard way. My cats right now get grain free canned, and a little dry (grain free) but only as a treat. I try now to just suggest in a nice manner, and then have to let people come to their own conclusions. Just a sidebar… I worry more about my cat’s food at times, then I do my own!

    1. SandyB

      I often say, “If only I had someone who fed me only what is good for me and controlled how much I ate, I might be healthier!” I take more care with my pets’ food than I do my own too.

  11. Brenda Boutin

    So the bully basically told the owner to dump her dog at a shelter because she didn’t know what was in the food, and she didn’t deserve a dog/cat! So helpful…The bully had a chance to help the owner better understand what is in dog food. There may come a time with the bag just says” Dogfood, Enjoy”. Most people are trusting, and that is what commercial pet food makers depend on. I only started reading the dog food ingredients because I was in the field of science, and I noticed the red, green, yellow dye garbage on the “food”.

  12. barbara m.

    It’s also taken me years to figure out the best way to feed our cats. In the meantime when I’m at the grocery store, I inevitably get in line with a person in front of me who has a cart full of commercial pet food, usually a cheap variety. Last week I decided to forget about the pet food and have a normal conversation with her, about travel. I used to grind my teeth and stuff the anger: at the evil pet food companies and the folks who buy the stuff. Now I realize that preaching about pet food to a stranger in a store is much like being one of those fellows in orange robes at airports trying to get you to buy a flower.

  13. Linda Henderson

    It is hard to know if you do not know. Great article.

  14. Diane

    Well said Susan! You do better when you know better. It is a journey.

  15. Nan Holcomb

    Thank you for saying this. I still feel guilty about a cat that I had to have put down because I did not know not to feed him cheap kibble. This was back in the early 1970s and if I had understood the dangers I would never have done that. I too, was fortunate enough to get a good vet who explained it to me. It has made all the difference and I try to emulate his educational tone when I talk to others. That poor woman. I’m so sorry that some self-righteous person made her feel that she should not have her pet. I’m so glad you were able to reassure her. I hope she reads your blog now, so that she knows that many people were in her shoes, and understand. All the best to her, and her wonderful fur-kid.

  16. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

    It is wrong for anyone to bully anyone. There are many people who just don’t know the information, & just like most didn’t at one time. My biggest issue, especially as a rescue person who is adopting out kittens & cats, is getting people to understand & to change the way they feed their cats. It is extremely difficult to adopt out & pray they are open minded enough to listen to what I am trying to educate them about feeding their adopted kitten/cat,,especially when they might have other cats that they have fed crap food to for years, & their mindset is “well, they’ve all done alright on this food all these years”. The more I know, the pickier I want to be w/ finding homes for these animals that will feed them, what I now know, will bring them a life of health. My other big obstacle to overcome w/ adopters is to educate them on the issue of over vaccination. This topic is too involved to go into here. I know that this site is obviously dedicated to pet food,,but the topic of over vaccination is just as paramount in regards to pet health & longevity. I URGE ALL CAT LOVERS to go to the website “CatInfo.Org.” & educate yourself on Vaccine Associated Sarcoma (V.A.S) I am sure there is a similar website for dog pet parents. People need to know the TRUTH about over vaccination. Titers testing can validate continued immunity from diseases & therefore you would not have to keep on over a vaccinating your beloved pet after the initial core vaccinations given at kitten/puppy ages. The RABIES VACCINE by the way, is the vaccine most reported for causing these vaccine caused CANCERS! It is the adjuvant that is most responsible for this. The mercury/themerisol preservative, as well as aluminum, & other things, foreign DNA, etc can cause auto-immune issues & many other health degrading issues. Again, it is too involved to go into further here, but I am BEGGING! for everyone to keep an open mind to educating yourselves on this topic. Just like we all didn’t know all the information on pet food ingredients, we all have much to.learn about the truth about vaccinations. I still have much to learn, but what I know so far….it is NOT good news to say the least!!!!!

  17. Karen Mitchell

    Good article.
    People die every day from cancer and other diseases. We all know that it’s from the food we eat, right? We all know it’s from chemicals, preservatives, processed foods, the list goes on. Just those three words there is what commercial pet food is all about. So WHY feed it to them?

    Perhaps the message we should be putting our there is.. If you have plans to put a pet into your family, please do some research into the needs this being requires to live a healthy fulfilled life. Dig deal into the commercial pet food industry, how and why it came about, if you do this, you will soon learn that it is the wrong food to feed. You CANNOT compare an all natural raw diet with commercial, whether it’s premium or cheap, there is no difference, it still kills!

    I have been researching pet nutrition for 6 years now and I share my knowledge with others on a Facebook group. I have learnt not to bully but to educate. Sharing my group with others is a way to start.

    1. Cheryl Mallon-Bond

      Hi Karen, I am needing some written information that is informative, yet consise, as well as would help w/ re-buttal to objections, & or statements like “well, I fed all my other cats “brand X” for all these years & they were fine”. I know all this information, but I am not sure the best way to get so much information in a format that the average person will not “glaze over like a donut” after me speaking about it for 2 minutes! This includes friends, but even more importantly, people that I adopt kittens & cats to. My time is just so overcommitted that I really don’t even have the time to try to get all this information together & wittle it down for the “average person” to understand & grasp, & hopefully change their mind. Unfortunately the majority of people will not read article after article on a site like Truth about Pet Food. Since you have been doing this yourself, could you offer me something that you might already have available? It would be a valuable resource for me, & I would be most greatful for your input, help. Of so, please email me at. Thanking you in advance for any help you can offer.


  18. Bett Weston

    Years ago I lovingly called my kitties to come for “TV Dinner” what flavor do you want tonight?” Tender Vittles. They smelled like chemicals but were expensive and my cats chowed them down. Now we have many more choices and knowledge. As Oprah learned from Maya Angelou, when you know better you do better.

  19. Dee

    Keyboard commandos are seldom nice. I’m not sure why, but have thought it must be like doctors. They don’t go home and kick the dog or scream at their wives, they go to the hospital, throw things and make a godawful mess, and try to take it out on the nurses. They think there’s nothing those nurses can do about it, which of course is far from true, as they rather quickly learn.

    If they get mean, get mean right back.

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