Feline Nutrition 08 - Plus One Thousand
Published on Sunday, November 13, 2011 03:00 PM
Written by Margaret Gates
Greetings to all members and welcome to all of you who have joined since our last update. We've been busy lately and I'd like to fill you in what's up at Feline Nutrition.
We have now passed our goal of 1000 members worldwide and are moving to the "engagement" phase of our work. We need to reach the average cat owner, those people who don't give much thought to cat food. We need to change the minds of people who don't even realize their minds need changing. It's time to move beyond our raw fed comfort zone and get to the people that may or may not accept our message.
I think a lot about how to accomplish this, short of grabbing people and shouting "stop feeding that junk to your cat." That might have the desired effect of getting their attention, but also might get me carted off. But, don't think I haven't been tempted. Reason, common sense and a bit of critical thinking are the better way to go. After all, when you apply these to the whole subject of feline diet, most people will get it.
We have spent time becoming a valuable and reliable resource on feline diet and health. We have spent time gathering members who think like we do. We have a place to direct people to and a large community they can be a part of. Now, we're ready to open some eyes.
We are contacting mainstream media with press releases and I am available for interviews via Skype video. I feel passionate about this subject, but I combine that passion with reason and logic. I promise, no shouting. Well, only if I need to. Every time a feature gets done on the benefits of raw diets for cats, it exposes more new people to the idea and gets them thinking about it. For many people, that's the first step, getting past the "new idea" stage.
We're getting retailers and manufacturers more involved. These are the people making raw diets both available and easy, which are vitally important for transitioning the average cat parent to accepting the idea of raw diets. Hah, and here we thought it was the cats that were hard to transition! Several raw diet manufacturers are working as Strategic Partners and going that extra step to help our outreach and advocacy efforts, by including Feline Nutrition printed material in their shipments or by promoting Feline Nutrition on their websites. We also have many retailers that promote Feline Nutrition and make our Guides available to educate their customers. The raw diet manufacturers and retailers are often the ones on the front lines in the diet wars and they can make a huge difference in what foods people choose for their cats.
We are engaging with local advocates worldwide. Many of you have become active in your communities, both online and on the ground, promoting better feline diets. Online, we encourage members to write about and comment on their experiences in their blogs or pages. Virtually everyone who switches their cats to a raw diet raves about the results. So, go ahead and rave. Please. On the ground, people are getting involved with their local retailers about what foods they want to see, or don't want to see in the case of kibble
, on the shelves. The stores want to sell what people want. If you don't see raw food for sale, ask for it. It means many more people will then be exposed to the idea if it's in the stores for sale. Members are also helping rescue groups and shelters educate new pet parents about feline nutrition. A great example: a member who is working with a local shelter by providing a raw diet to a specific cat in need and then monitoring the cat's improvement, to demonstrate what a simple diet change can accomplish. Everyone has the potential to make a change in what cats are fed.
One of the things we have always viewed as important to our advocacy is that the Feline Nutrition website is a safe destination. And by that we mean that individuals and organizations feel confident in directing people to us knowing that when the person gets there, they won't be met with advertisements or an attempt to sell something. That's not what we are about. The only things we are selling are an idea and knowledge, and those are freely given.
We've gone through the second round of paperwork with the IRS for the Feline Nutrition Foundation's 501(c)(3) application. Lots of hoops to jump through. I'll be glad when that part is done. Meanwhile, we have been making contacts with organizations involved in feline health research and making plans for the Foundation's website and its first projects. We've heard from some of you that want to get involved with the Foundation and we are eager to hear from more. Let's get some science going.
We're starting a redesign of the Feline Nutrition website. We'll refresh the look by changing the color scheme, do some navigation improvements, make better use of the space and add new menu items. We never want to let the look of the site get stale; adding new content isn't enough. In addition to the recently added new menu categories of One Page Guides and Answers, new menu items will include a Press category, to make our press releases and information for the media easy to find. We'll also add a category for the Foundation, once it's up and running. We're adding a live news feed and pointers to our new Feline Nutrition
Facebook page, in addition to the RawFedKitty page.
Margaret Gates is the founder the Feline Nutrition Foundation.