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Beth Laubenthal

Why do I feed raw?

One precise moment. Tuesday, October 14, 2008, 2:30pm. That’s why. Tuesday, October 14, 2008,

2:30 pm. Meaningless for most. Not for me. That day, a life was lost due to ignorance on my behalf.  A life that did not need to be extinguished. That day, my springer mix, Bailley, lost her life due to canine diabetes. And I squarely blame it on the pet food I was feeding her. A carb laden, chemical factory in a bag. Morsels so vile that humans dare not risk putting them in the our own mouth. Yet, they freely feed them to their “beloved” pets.

Bailley was 9 years and 8 months old, to the date when she lost her life. She was a neighborhood favorite. We knew everyone who had a dog down our street because Bailley often was the socialite of our neighborhood, playing with everyone. She was awesome with kids. She knew how to make anyone smile. She was the type of dog that everyone would have loved to have. She was a one of a kind dog with a big loving heart. She was my dog, my friend, my protector. She was my life. And I miss her. We all miss her. When she passed on, the whole neighborhood cried, even the dog who she fostered as a pup. Yeah, seeing a grown lab/newfie/akita mix cry, it’s a heart breaking experience.

Loosing Bailley was hard, but apparently not hard enough to stop me from feeding kibble. Yes, I upgraded Mooch’s food (Mooch is my torty cat) to a higher “quality” (corn free, then wheat free, then grain free), but it was still a carb laden chemical factory in a bag. Mooch suffered from chronic

vomiting (several times a day) and also had chronic UTI’s, The vets could not figure it out. They never bothered treating the vomiting. Just gave us antibiotics for the UTI’s and sent us on our merry ignorant ways. Mooch was also very over weight despite barely eating.

Then I adopted Patches. At this point, I was feeding Blue Buffalo Wilderness cat food. I have NEVER smelled something so NASTY and hazardous than Patches’ kitten farts. And, boy, she farted day in and day out. And, regardless of how much she ate, she looked like she was starving. She was super thin, bones showing. Just looked like I was neglecting her. So, we made the switch to Blue Buffalo Basics. It’s supposed to be for those with sensitive stomachs. Yeah, Mooch still vomited it and Patches still had the terrible farts.

So, I went to a holistic pet food store a town away from where I live. I asked for advice. “You have two

options: either deal with it or put your pets on a raw food diet.” She gave me samples of the ground food. The cats HATED it. “Oh great. They refuse to eat this. They get sick after eating kibble. Raw food is going to kill them, make them sick. My family is against me doing this. My husband does not support this. I am poisoning my pets with the raw food,” I thought to myself. But something told me to stick to it. So, I switched to a mix of pork, beef and chicken, all cubed. Gently boiled. Gradually cooked it less and less until it was completely raw.

I’m glad I stuck to it. Why? Mooch slimmed down and Patches gained weight. Not to mention, Mooch no longer vomits. Patches, THANKFULLY, does not fart anymore. Their fur is much shinier. And, taking Mooch to the vet almost 2 years after starting her on the raw food diet, the vet said she was one of the healthiest 9 year old cats they have ever seen.

About three months ago, I went and rescued a calico cat. The former neighbor dropped her off at a shelter. She could not take care of the calico. The calico refused to eat. Was very skittish. A week later, the shelter called me (I had called to check up on the calico). They told me to have the neighbor come get her. She was still refusing to eat. Barely ate anything in the last couple of weeks. The neighbor told me to have her euthanized because a cat who refuses to eat must be sick. I refused. I raced to the shelter to get her.

Turns out that Phantom (the calico I "rescued") was not sick. While Phantom refused to eat kibble for the neighbor and the shelter, she ate for me. She tore into the raw chicken I gave her, eating 1 pound of food the second day I got her. She transformed from this super skinny, dull, sickly looking cat into a long, elegant, super shiny long haired fluffy beautiful calico. And, even though she is feral, she is the most loving cat on the face of the earth. Guess feral cats know what’s good for them.

So, that’s my story. That’s why I feed raw. That’s why I will never ever go back to kibble or any other commercially prepared pet food.

Looking back, if I would have put Bailley on the raw food diet, she probably would still be around now. She would be 13 this Valentines, on my birthday. Did I forget to mention that Bailley and I shared the same birthday?

As it turned out, Mooch is also Phantom’s great aunt.

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