So we may not really be stupid. We are in fact incredibly clever animals. What we are instead is afflicted with incredible amounts of hubris and denial of that which we find inconvenient. Together those two flaws seem to blind us to the obvious, making us appear pretty damn stupid pretty damn often. That longer description of our species didn’t fit so well into a catchy headline.
In any case what has that all got to do with my cat and real food?
My cat, Jezebel, has been ill for about 4 years. Seriously ill at times and dangerously underweight. Among other issues she supposedly had a thyroid problem. We spent a lot of money on vet visits, medications and high-priced special diets. All for naught. She did not improve and was on a scary roller-coaster ride. Thyroid problems in cats seem to mimic something like what gets labeled “bipolar” in humans too! She oscillated between complete flat lethargy that included eyes that looked simply dead and manic meowing while prowling the house with a look of frantic despair in her eyes. She was clearly miserable much of the time. Our vet told us we would be managing her illness until she died.
Well. Recently, at the suggestion of a holistic vet we started her on a raw food diet. Yes, raw meat and liver with a bone meal supplement that includes some vital nutrients. A diet much closer to that which nature intended. Cats eat ENTIRE small animals: bones, fur, and organs. So we’ve come closer to matching that for her.
Within days she started putting on weight. Her energy normalized. She became like a kitten again, playing and behaving in mischievous fashion. She no longer seems old, nor is she underweight any longer. Her thyroid has become normal. SHE IS NO LONGER SICK!! And no longer takes any medication.
She was very ill for over four years because cat food, like most human food is FILLED WITH CRAP! Even expensive special diets are most often filled with all sorts of stuff that cats most certainly did not evolve to eat. We tried so many different things but all of it was still from packages or cans or pharma.
Now when this became glaringly apparent, that I had been feeding a diet to my most beloved cat, that was toxic to her — that most veterinarians and pretty much everyone else also feed their own cats, I was only marginally surprised but horrified nonetheless. I have learned the same about human beings. We are doing the same to our children and ourselves — eating highly processed food that is filled with toxins and chemicals and all manner of food that has been altered from what our bodies evolved to eat. We humans, too, largely eat food that is making us sick. If not obviously sick right now, then years from now it’s highly likely we will be, so any illusion of “convenience” is only that: ILLUSION. Many people already live largely compromised lives and are very ill but don’t even consider life could be different. They take their maintenance meds daily while continuing to eat highly processed foods as well as genetically modified and conventionally grown foods and believe that for them that is what is healthy. That too is a sad tragedy. Many of us do not even know how to conceive of good health!
It’s odd, perhaps that I am again and again so blatantly confronted with this fact. My body is broken from toxins — from our food supply, from our environment and (mostly) from the neurotoxins called psychiatric medication I took for decades. So perhaps I’ve learned to look for it. We actually paid attention to the holistic vet and fed our cat real food so that we SAW her miraculous recovery. Most people would likely balk and not bother even trying the diet switch. Much like they do for themselves even as their health and that of their children is often plummeting. I must admit it had crossed my mind, years ago now, since I started understanding the importance of diet, that we do, indeed, feed our pets food filled with crap. I thought of it years ago, but did nothing because like most of us humans I couldn’t be bothered…most of us humans can’t be bothered to feed ourselves and our children real food so the step to doing it for our pets, well it’s a bigger one, isn’t it?
My pets will always get real food from now on as will any human that enters my house. I’m an Italian mother and I like feeding people and animals wholesome food! There is no turning back once you really know this stuff. It’s hard though, too, because others will never stop mocking you for the realization.
“It’s inconvenient” we all say when first confronted with the fact that sentient beings need to eat wholesome real food without added toxins and chemicals. But is it really? Is it really more inconvenient to cook your child’s breakfast with fresh, clean ingredients rather than pour it from a box? Really? I’d say the real inconvenience is the chronic illness, diabetes, mental illness, behavioral issues etc, etc, etc… that often results from NOT feeding your children and yourselves real food.
Another thing I was struck with recently as my cat became the picture of health on her real food diet: I realized that I fed my cat, and all my animals, food that could not possibly support them in an optimal way out of ignorance. A deep and dark ignorance that most of us are party to and that we learn from everyone around us from the day we are born. I fed beloved creatures that I was willing to spend large amounts of money on to keep alive food that countered that very impetus of love. Here is where we are blinded by our hubris and denial of things obvious. We are in this way pack animals. We pay attention to what we’ve been told even when it really makes no sense at all.
I realized that my feeding my cats toxic non-food was not all that different than my doctor feeding me neurotoxic “medicine.” He gave me, in his ignorant pack herd animal way, drugs that could not possibly heal me, nor support growth or wellbeing in any imaginable way. He gave me drugs that stole my life and crippled me all with the same good intention that I fed my cat fake phood. It’s tragic. It makes me want to scream. It makes me want to cry out loud.
What are we doing to ourselves? To ourselves, to our children, to our pets, to our entire planet? Really?!! We must wake up! We must because it will be too late if we do not.
In the end it’s about much more than yours and my individual wellbeing. It is instead about the health of the planet and therefore the health of every living creature on it.
I’ve collected some links so that you might learn more about the above. Some are links to articles or videos from the news recently and others are links to posts I’ve done on this blog. To truly understand the serious nature of this issue one must educate oneself. One must go out of their way to do this as there are far too many forces working to keep you ignorant. The change that is needed in our individual lives and then collectively end up being massive. We have to start now.
● 9 Steps To Perfect Health – #1: Don’t Eat Toxins Chris Kresser (great intro of what to start cutting out). His entire blog is a treasure trove of information about how to care for oneself naturally.
● CBS Sixty Minutes: Is sugar toxic? (CBS News) Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, believes the high amount of sugar in the American diet, much of it in processed foods, is killing us. Includes video. SEE ALSO: Is sugar toxic, on Beyond Meds
and a response to the above piece in the NYTs:
It would be a serious moral mistake to dismiss the impact that chemicals have on chronic disease in this country, a serious business mistake to dismiss the global trend toward safer products, and a serious political mistake to think this issue is just for the Whole Foods crowd.
Thousands of studies published in mainstream, peer-reviewed scientific and medical journals over the last 15 years point to a few sobering conclusions: Chemicals to which we are all exposed contribute to the rising rates of chronic disease in this country and around the world, including cancer, learning disabilities, infertility, asthma and other conditions from which millions of Americans suffer. Many chemicals turn out to be toxic at very low doses, especially those chemicals that mimic hormones, which are designed by nature to be biologically active at low doses. All Americans, including pregnantwomen, are carrying these chemicals — including ones that did not exist 50 years ago — around in their blood and fatty tissue. No one in the federal government has a handle on the problem or the authority to restrict chemicals in common sense ways.
● Do you drink diet sodas? Aspartame — serious stuff