What Scraps?

What Scraps?

Since I became a raw feeder, I've done a lot of thinking about cat food. I realized the other day while grocery shopping that the only reason I now go down the pet food aisle is to pick up cat litter. There isn't a single pet food there I'd be willing to give my cats. Everything has grain in it. Everything. I shudder when I think it wasn't that long ago I was buying dry food there.
I should really say that what I've been thinking about isn't cat food, but meat. I pretty much stick to fowl when it comes to my own diet. I don't eat beef, but I will have pork and fish on occasion.
When I researched how cats used to be fed, back before we got ourselves, and them, into these unhealthy ways of eating, I found that how we feed them was partly a result of how we feed ourselves. I kept reading that cats used to eat what they could catch and scraps from their humans. Scraps? What scraps? Now, I do most of my own cooking, and I think I know my way around a kitchen, but that really made me think. I don't generate any meat scraps. I buy skinless, boneless chicken; there isn't anything left over. The closest I ever come is with a turkey at Thanksgiving; I used to wonder why on earth they included the neck. What do you do with it?
Convenience meat cuts mean that we get only what we're going to actually eat. When was the last time you bought fish that still had a head? For me, the answer is never. In the past, people bought more whole meat. They cut it up and prepared it themselves. Yeah, all those people who actually knew how to de-bone a chicken! There was lots more left over. Hey…scraps for the cat! Of course, there were also more people that were even closer to the process; slaughtering their own chickens or other animals, or catching fish. I probably wouldn't eat meat if I had to do that.
So, now I pay more attention in the meat department. Maybe I'll get a de-boning knife. Maybe I'll learn how to fillet a fish myself and buy one of those ones with a head still attached. Hey Kai, wanna try a fish head?
Margaret Gates is the founder the Feline Nutrition Foundation.
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