Originally Posted by darlili
Have there been any long-term studies on raw feeding, especially as done by lay people? I have seen references to, it seems, the same 3-4 vets, at best - but are there any other well-designed studies out there? That can be one reason a lot of vets are iffy about raw diets as done in the home - perhaps not enough substantiated clinical research out there yet.
There's no profit in studying a home-prepared diet, so it's not likely to happen. Doesn't mean it won't, but it's quite unlikely and I wouldn't hold my breath. There might be something out there reference feeding zoo cats, though (here's a food-handling guide with somewhat relevant info: www.nal.usda.gov
I'm currently writing an article on the whys and hows of feeding frankenprey and whole prey, but when I'm done, I'm going to work on a raw feeding analysis. It'll go beyond simply calling out all the "myths" of raw feeding and will include citations, reports, etc. for every point it makes.
I've become a bit frustrated lately with the repetitive push-back, especially when some of the claims are so patently false.
For instance, it's time to take my clowder to the vet for their annuals, and with this being the first visit since putting them on raw, I naturally called the doc to get a feel for his openness/knowledge on raw feeding. Without even pausing to take a breath, he launched into a clearly memorized RAW IS BAD, BAD, BAD speech.
When he started going off on the "hormones and antibiotics that even human-grade raw meat is full of", I had to ask him if he honestly believed pet food manufacturers purchased only holistic, free-ranging chickens for their products (rather than the agricultural castoffs, veterinarian euthanasia's, and spoiled grocery store products many of them actually do use - see Ann Martin's "Foods Pets Die For"), and got no answer.
This is a refrain I'm tired of listening to and one that needs to be put to rest. Generally-speaking, human-grade raw meat/organ products are cleaner than those tossed into the pet food industry's vats, and they are certainly fresher.
Another issue is the nutrients - folks keep saying home-made raw feeders can't be certain they're giving the cat everything it needs, despite the fact that 1) no one (including the pet food industry) knows everything a cat needs and 2 ) we're feeding the natural diet of the cat so we don't NEED to know everything the cat needs. I am absolutely, positively certain there are nutrients we have not identified that cats require as much as they need taurine and thiamine - but because my cats eat the diet they evolved to thrive on, I don't have to wonder if they're getting those nutrients. I know they are.
It's well-documented that many nutrients are unstable - some are even compromised by light and/or air (see page 12
)- so it is beyond laughable to claim that heavily processed products are more nutritious for a carnivore than the same products in their fresh, raw, natural state. The PFC's spend millions of dollars trying to convince the public they only use the freshest, highest quality products but, in fact, whatever they use has been so heavily processed that it's a pretty safe bet the only "nutrients" the cat can possibly use are the synthetic vitamins added in at the end of the processing. This would certainly explain why cats died when taurine wasn't manually added in and when Diamond's product was shipped out without the thiamine supplement.
Sorry to go on and on.... the more I research and understand, the more appalled I am at the pet food industry... and the more I want to get the word out to people trusting in the information disseminated by the PFI's multi-million dollar ad campaigns.
Again, I'm not in a way inferring that folks who feed commercially processed cat foods don't care about their cats - of course they do! I'm just doing everything I can to reassure/inform folks on why raw feeding is not all that crazy (or dangerous) an idea. (Not trying to sound like a broken record, just making sure no one's feelings are hurt - my goal is to help, not hurt. *smile*)