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Will They be Eating their ‘Real Meat’ Words?

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  1. Nina Wolf

    can you even IMAGINE what the industry would look like if manufacturers had to disclose meat grades, processing plant names/co-packer names, ingredient sources (country of origin), etc. My, my wouldn’t the landscape be different…

  2. Kelley

    According to TAPF’S article “What IS real Meat?” ( ) it doesn’t seem like there is any single definition of what “real” means. But that it is more about what “real meat” is not. More a case of exclusion. So I wonder, in order to pursue this investigation, if the parties involved have discovered (first) a method of effective testing, and (secondly) if they’ve collected specific evidence through testing that is contrary to published claims?
    That would mean the lawsuits might have to be individualized per manufacturer however. In other words, if in the case of Blue Buffalo which has said “Real means meat, not a meal or by-product” then the testing of BB would have to prove there is no meat meal or by-products present, and MOST especially if these ingredients are not listed on the label. Therefore this investigation might be the attempt to go after either a certain company (or others) based on a collection of individuals who have similar experiences in order to successfully demonstrate the case and perceived intention.
    For the company (or others) at issue, the agency would need a record of current (and previous) advertising claims (print & media), and the packaging, and (my guess is) unopened bags of the product, and the testing results of food used, and of course specific people to actually represent (meaning people who say they have been misled or deceived) using their testimony. And then it would have to be determined whether or not the deception was accidental, unintentional, anecdotal, or intentional (depending on examples, consistency and duration).
    It is no wonder that successful litigation against PF companies is few and far between.
    Let us wish the prosecutors and claim seekers all good fortune in the pursuit of making these companies become both responsible and …. accountable for their words!

    1. Jay Smith

      There’s no “industry” definition of what “real meat” means. But, that’s the pseudo-world of pet food industry that’s so important for all of us to buy into. In truth, we ALL know the definition of “real meat,” and it’s based on common experience. That “common experience” definition is reinforced by photographs of supermarket chicken, turkey, fish and beef cuts. The act of including actual ingredients that are far-and-away different than the “common experience” ingredient, the expectation of which is reinforced by the depictions that are actually ON the product labels and advertising, constitutes deception – regardless of the legal definition.

      The same can be said of the use of the term “Natural.” If you substitute the words “not made or caused by humankind” for the word natural, does that “Natural” label claim still work for you?

  3. MadlyMad

    Now this is exciting…and welcome.

  4. Regina

    Do keep us posted! This is interesting. I know that I’ve looked at some of the treats out there that have the words “real chicken” on the front of the label, but then when I read the ingredients, there is not any actual chicken meat in them. It’s all by-products. I’m amazed at how many people don’t ever read the ingredient list. I see people who have no idea what is in their pets’ foods, because they only look at the front of the bag, with the pretty pictures and bold claims.

    Some people don’t even realize that the word “meat” in the ingredient list isn’t a good thing. “Meat” doesn’t tell you what animal the meat is from, so it could be anything!!!

  5. brad

    Have you read the book Pet Food Pets Die For by Ann N Martin pet food researcher that has gone to these big commercial pet food factories.

    Meat can mean the killed dogs and cats from killing shelters. Why do those big trucks pick up all those dead dogs and cats from killing shelters for FREE. Because the big commercial pet food companies pay the truckers to pick up the loads of unwanted dead dogs and cats to cook up as free meat protein or meat byproducts for big commercial pet food.
    The truckers also pick up the moldy unsellable wheat corn soy from cereal manufacturers and deliver to Big Pet Food Manufacturers.
    They also pick up the free used fat and oil from commercial restaurants that has been stored in barrels outside in the heat for who knows how long. This free fat sticks all the dead dog cat meat by products, moldy wheat, corn, soy, then it is mixed with food coloring, then molded into kibbles.

    Now I know why my pets had so many problems eats Big Commercial Pet Food.

    Avoid science diet, purina, iams, eucanuba, nutro, hills, big grocery store brands or walmart brands, etc.


  6. Nicole Lindsley

    This is exciting for us! Please come investigate our meat, all you will find is fresh ground meat, organs and produce.

    I really hope they look at some of the new corporate pet food companies that have jumped on the “fresh” bandwagon, such as Fresh Pet. I am really curious if their board member run business is using real meats. I think we all know the meat in kibble is processed meals.

    Thanks Susan!

  7. Marilyn J. Caruso

    Can somebody Please put out an actual healthy cat and dog food with no garbage or euthanized animals in it, and charge what it actually costs?
    We will pay that, and our pets will not have to suffer.

    1. Jay Smith


      The tide is turning. There are forward-thinking companies that are doing what you want — and even going better! Demand nothing less than USDA Inspected/Passed (and even GRADED) meats. “For-fresh-market” vegetables and fruits, and NO PROCESSED foods. Check Susan’s “The List.” We’re out there, and Susan is blazing the trail to us for you!

      Jay Smith

      1. Nina Wolf

        I remember the days when home-made was the only alternative to big pet food awfulness, and as the owner of a small pet store that refuses to carry almost everything out there, I truly appreciate the few companies who DO care, who DO use the right ingredients and sourcing and manufacturing process, and who care about co-packing facilities, etc. Please know there are shops and customers out here standing behind you 200%. We are out here spreading the word, disseminating info, trying to educate. Keep those healthy products coming, and we will explain to people what makes them so special. Maybe some day we’ll have more than three or four dog food brands in our shop!

      2. Reader

        I think Jay Smith is too modest to mention his own product namely “Fresh Fetch” (not to be confused with Fresh Pet). You can read about his product here at
        Talk about doing all things right, and putting into practice everything that TAPF teaches to look for in quality PF, this producer is an excellent example of doing so.
        No, I am not affiliated with the product nor this site, but I do know it has been very well reviewed and has also returned the Pledge to Quality and Origin. Thank you Fresh Fetch!!!

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