Emily- I started my raw journey in May of this year. I've been minimally a vegetarian for the past 8 years, since I was 16. I haven't had red meat in 12, since I was 12. It wasn't supposed to take 4 years to make the full change, but at least it happened, I suppose.
When I first started feeding my cats raw, I bought (expensive, jeez!) chicken breasts to get them started. Then when I was starting to introduce them to bone, I bought some leg/thigh pieces, and my first half-chicken. That was tough. I got through doing the leg/thigh pieces, but that half-chicken... I just couldn't do. I put it into the freezer and was going to take it to my mom's so she'd do it for me. It was *SO* hard. She had a little leg and an arm with a wing that moved. It was just really tough. A day or two later I ran out of the meat I'd portioned for them, and hadn't gone to my mom's yet. I attempted to do the half-chicken and it was REALLY hard the first time. I just kind of mentally disconnected myself, gritted my teeth, and did it. That was back in June. The first meat I was buying was from the health food store. I found out that company was local (40 mins) so I contacted them about buying in bulk. So that's what I've done. I've bought cases of half-chickens from them, I get hearts, livers, wings, necks, backs, and the half-chickens. (www.naturespremier.com) I was wasting some meat before when the cats were being picky about what they'd eat and what they wouldn't, and leaving the bigger bones; so I bought a meat grinder recently. I do most of theirs ground, that way I get enough bone/liver/organs in it, then I'll give them chunks of bone-in meat to make sure they get the gnawing action. I HOPE, eventually to get them to big chunks of bone-in with their teeth strong enough to crunch through them. I just know they weren't eating enough back then. Now that it's ground, they eat enough. It's a process.
All I can say is that it gets a lot easier with time. I just keep telling myself that's what I get for having omnivorous animals; I'm doing the best for them. The proof is right in looking at them (and cleaning the litter box!) In a perfect world, i wouldn't be contributing to the slaughtering industry. However, I don't think of pets as disposable, and I'm not going to pass my cats along to someone else, now that I found the "real" way (i feel) to feed them. I've had internal debates on if I'm not going to have any more carnivorous pets after these cats are gone (by the way, they're only 3 1/2, 2, and 2. Plenty of years left, hopefully!) And I do think that as long as there are animals in need of homes, I'm sure I'll have them. And I do think that any animals I have in the future will be raw fed. I feel good enough in my choices to pay a little more for humanely raised and handled animals. I really can't complain when I pay less than $10 for a life.
If you're vegetarian for religious or health reasons, my entire post is kind of moot; but if you're veg for the animals, then this is my experience.
Regarding the mad cow disease, I found a couple links, one page said:
"What if my dog or cat eats pet food made with mad-cow-infected beef?
Several species can get diseases related to BSE and vCJD, including goats, sheep, mink, deer, elk and cats. Dogs don't appear to get this type of disease. Still, because cats and dogs often eat food that contains ground-up scraps of animals, including cows, your anxiety over your pet's health is reasonable.
Current restrictions on beef for human consumption don't apply to beef for cats' consumption. Even so, the FDA says your cat's risk of getting mad cat disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy) is very low. To be safe, however, avoid pet foods that contain beef. And look for pet foods made from "human-grade ingredients" or brands that don't contain animal byproducts. They may be slightly more expensive than other brands are, but they're also likely to be safer."
another link is:
Maybe i'm being too lackadaisical in how I feed my cats, but so far so good. I really believe this is how they're meant to eat. Their bodies digest it perfectly. I think they produce enough..whatever.. to kill off the bacteria and other things that make us ill from eating it or ingesting it.
Wow. That was the longest post EV-ER.
I forgot to add that fresh raw meat, doesn't stink. It has a dull, oddly specific smell. It's when you leave it out all day...ugh. But they like it! They also like it partially frozen, too.
I do have a cat that is finicky about it. Right now I'm letting him have his way and letting him finish up the Natural Choice that they used to eat. When that's close to being gone, that's it. I'll be hard-core weaning him to raw.
When I said loved, I meant that if you go to the Hare today site and read the background about the people who run the farm, they do love their animals, regret slaughtering them, and do their best to make sure that while the animals are alive they lead a happy life. Unfortunately, there is a demand for raw meat. If you want to feed your domesticated animals a raw diet, knowing that it is correct for their biology, it is nice to have a source that tries to treat their animals with the respect they deserve, up until their death. I was just trying to give information about the most humane source I have found for a raw pet diet.
And if you do decide to buy from them, buy in bulk, it saves in shipping.
"Strangely, man loves his mental fog more than he loves the effort which could dissolve it."
"If heaven existed as a physical building on earth, human beings would remodel it to make it right."
ide rather choose to seek perfection , a peacefully functioning and non predator inhabited enviroment .
Originally Posted by lane
just because for all the known past of earth theres been predators doesnt mean it should be forever . were tiny unknowing creatures on this planet that are aware of very little beyond earth , and of only several thousand years of this planets past as opposed to an infinite amount of , most logically , the universes past .
im not counting on a god thing to bring me to heaven , im trying to create it myself . and in this perfect place / heaven theres no predators in my design . so thats where im focused on getting to . thusly the feeding your pets raw plant matter / evolving into greater beings statement .
and not trying to be smart here , so please dont take me wrong im just making a statement on a topic i feel as strongly as possible on . but on it being ' awfully unfortunate ' to deny dogs and cats the pleasure of dining on pigs , chickens , cattle , etc that have gone through hell living in mans cages in order to be fed to the predators i say you could take that logic and say its awfully unfortunate for me to deny a great white shark the pleasure of dining on me cuz thats what its designed to do !!!
no not the plan , this predator food chain logic weve all been brought up on is ARCHAIC . i , nor a pig should be living for something elses purpose !!!
My cats liked things from animals that they would catch on their own - like chicken livers and they would find the nutritional yeast and break open the bag! Dogs seem to be natural scavengers and mine do like fruits and vegetables but not bananas. Feeding them raw meats is too expensive for me. They don't like raw eggs but they love them hard-boiled. Maybe I will go and buy some gizzards for them.
Originally Posted by luckitri
I read somewhere in my research before I changed my cats to raw, that you shouldn't mix raw with cooked in dogs, as it confuses their insides and their body doesn't know whether to produce the anti-bacterial enzymes or whatever it is that's needed to digest the raw when they're getting both. It causes digestive upset.
In cats, you "SHOULDN'T" but sometimes its hard because you're not supposed to starve your cat into eating raw, as it causes Hepatic Lipodosis.
And cats WILL starve themselves if they don't want what you're feeding. It's what made me start giving Jeff (my 3rd cat) his kibble back. He absolutely refused to eat the raw. He'd sit right by the plate of meat and watch the other 2 eat while looking at me.
They do suggest if you're weaning your cat onto raw, you can try crushing some of their kibble into the raw to get them to eat it, or "bribing" them with tinned sardines (obviously not raw) or tinned tuna (not raw, either) mixed with the raw. Then cutting back on whatever it is you're bribing with until the cat's on plain raw. Which is what I intend to focus on more once Jeff gets close to finishing the kibble he has now. Right now I'm letting him finish it simply because we have it.
The knowledge that I always heard from childhood was not to allow your dogs to get the taste of fresh blood because it will change their character forever. At that time people were allowed to let their dogs run loose and several times a year a pack of former pets would attack and try to kill someone - they had gotten the taste of blood. Our animals - dogs and cats - caught wild animals and ate them - rabbits, mice, etc. But we never ever gave them raw meat. I saw the wisdom of this a few years ago. I knew some young women who had a paraplegic mother. They had a bunch of those little yapping dogs that do defend fiercely but look like toys. The young women all had to leave their mom alone one day and go to their jobs. That night when they came home from work they had to take Mom to the hospital because the little dogs had started eating her feet and she couldn't feel it and never knew it was happening.
i think i also read somewhere of people feeding dogs , and maybe cats , dry beans and rice .
Originally Posted by luckitri
Lol that is such an old wives tale. You can't really believe that, can you?
I've *never* been attacked by a wild animal looking for blood. I *have* been bitten by 2 dogs that were fed dry kibble. I don't think their diet was relevant.
Do you have a desire to hunt people or animals down, and rip them limb from limb with your bare hands and teeth after eating a hamburger? Doubtful.
My cats are healthier, look better, and are even MORE affectionate than they were. They sleep in my bed, snuggle with me, even though we have a king sized bed and I sleep alone. They sit with me on the couch. I REALLY highly doubt they're trying to fool me into thinking they're sweethearts when they're really plotting to eat me alive.
Stranded people will eat each other if one dies and they're starving. Dogs will eat other dead dogs if they're starving. It's called survival. It's not a thirst for blood. A dog isnt' going to eat a dead or near-dead person with some evil thirst for vengeance. They're only going to eat the dead/near-dead person if they are neglected and starving; as would anything in that situation.
Well I knew the people whose Mom's feet were eaten by their dogs - they felt horrible. I have had the pack of feral dogs try to attack me one night walking home. There used to be regular warnings on the news for children waiting at bus stops to beware of the feral dog problem. Now people just are not allowed to let their dogs run loose or get fined. The young women were not feeding their dogs raw - they think that their mom must have stubbed her toes while negotiating the apartment in her wheelchair and then they just followed their instinct for the blood. I learned that even my chickens have a thirst for blood and I could not believe it! but they did. I will cook my dogs meat.
Codajess - Thanks so much for all that info. It was really helpful. I am going to continue learning about this subject. I know the dry stuff comes from those disgusting rendering tanks at the slaughterhouses and I am just horrified that I even buy it and feed it to my pup. Ugh. We will get to raw, I know it. In the meantime, she likes my juicer pulp sometimes :)
Originally Posted by luckitri
This is going to be a useless argument. I'll save my energy.