Raw Fed People?
Published on Friday, July 10, 2009 12:02 PM
Written by Margaret Gates
Do a search for "raw diet" and mostly what comes up is raw diets for people. I had never heard of this until I chanced upon it. For humans this kind of wholly raw diet seems a bit extreme; advocates resort to it for the same reasons that they frequently come to raw feeding for their cats: obesity and diabetes.
Feeding my cats a raw diet has led me to an understanding of how highly processed foods are not good for them. In all of the researching I have done about pet food, I've found out a lot about how it's made and what it's often made from. This hasn't been fun reading. I was probably happier, like most people, not knowing. But now I do know, and now I'm much happier feeding them a raw diet, a diet with ingredients I'm very comfortable with.
Changing how I feed my cats, and seeing all the benefits to them, has made me start to question how I feed myself. After reading up on the beneficial effects of the omega-3s
in the fish oil capsules I add to the raw meat recipe I prepare for my cats, I started taking them too. I feel good about not feeding my cats highly processed food. Now I'm starting to worry about what I'm
eating that's highly processed. Do I even know how "processed" it is? Probably not. And once again, I have to confront an uncomfortable truth. Do I really want to know?
So much of the obesity and disease we see in cats today can be traced directly to diet, why should it be any different for people? Maybe the raw-diet-for-people proponents have a point. Maybe it's the same point I make for cats: go with a diet close to what makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. For cats, being obligate carnivores
, that's a pretty narrow diet; they are diet specialists to the extreme. For us human omnivores, thankfully, we can tolerate a pretty diverse diet. What I wonder is, how
tolerant are we? Human obesity and diabetes rates are soaring, maybe we are beginning to see the limits of that tolerance.
Still, I cringe when watching a video of a person downing food industry sourced raw chicken from the supermarket. That industry's "best practices" with regard to avoiding fecal and bacterial contamination is questionable at best.
Margaret Gates is the founder the Feline Nutrition Foundation.