The story began around twenty years ago, when Kris, our resident dog whisperer, embarked on a quest to discover a natural diet that would alleviate his auntie’s diabetes symptoms. Using a low carb high fat and controlled calorie restriction diet, he was able to reverse not just the diabetes symptoms, but also improved readings on blood sugar, HDL / LDL cholesterol, heart pressure, triglycerides, and weight (!). Soon after, his auntie went off diabetes medication completely (true story).
Kris became convinced he had discovered the world’s cure to everything, including cancer and third world debt. His Border Collie, as if to prove a point, got diagnosed with cancer. That began our academic journey to discover a natural diet for dogs which would make them healthier and alleviate medical conditions. We decided that, like humans, pets have deviated from their ancestral diets in modern life, consuming too much grains or other carbs which were wreaking havoc in their bodies day by day.
On the Road
Over the years, we worked with global pet nutritionists and animal naturopaths, read the latest studies and research, learnt from the eminent pioneers in the field as we fine-tuned our raw diet which we can say, from current research, experimentation, and feeding trials, is the most appropriate diet for our pets.
Before going on about animal nutrition science, it is worth looking at human nutrition again. The demonising of fats began in 1970s when a US senator (not scientist), McGovern, introduced dietary guidelines (based on science sponsored by soft drink and snack MNCs) for Americans to lower intake of fat and consume more carbohydrates for energy. The same undercooked science would be used to draw the food pyramid placing carbohydrates right at the bottom as the main nutrient group.
Right after this directive, Americans thrived, putting on pounds at the rate of inflating balloons and combusting every now and then.
The same is happening in animal nutrition as ‘science’ (published by pet conglomerates) is designed only to discover a predetermined result – that eating carbohydrate based, inflammatory and dehydrated industrial food is better than eating what our pets had evolved to eat over millions of years.
Adopting this line of thought, we looked to evolution instead of industry guidelines, a bold move in the early 2000s when almost all pets ate kibble of some sort and RAW advocates were viewed as bloodthirsty savages (both parent and pet). But time has since proved that just as the food pyramid is not representative of good human nutrition, the scientific paradigm based on the limited range of nutrients that AAFCO deems essential is inadequate for our pets as well. Nutrition based on real food is much more realistic than foods based on nutrient calculations in pet food laboratory test tubes and flasks.
As Zephyr, Kris’s border collie, recovered by eating real food, the cancerous symptoms waned and hence was our passion for canine and feline ancestral diets sparked.
A New Hope
It is heartening today that the raw movement has reached great momentum but we believe we can still do better. Too many raw foodists have hopped on the bandwagon, self-styled experts on various social media platforms espousing raw diet concoctions that we believe would bring about benefits, as well as long term deficiencies.
I was watching a tiktok video sometime back on a ‘cat expert’ demonstrating raw feeding. He sliced up a hunk of meat and added ‘essential’ nutrients, one after another, with no consideration of balance or importance, but based on the fuzzy thinking that goes, ‘eh, I think this is needed’.
‘You need your vitamins,’ the expert said, ‘Vitamins A B C D E are important.’
Then he took out a salmon oil capsule and added it into the mix. That’s like saying a dish needs salt and then adding lard.
So, together with all the other powders, pills, water and whatever else, he mixed everything together and fed the mush to his cat. I looked at our poster cat, Shasha, and wondered what she would say. ‘Yucks’ would be my guess.
‘This would be a great way to become millionaires, making actual nutritionally balanced raw food,’ I told Kris and Clark (sales), and being their usual gullible selves, they nodded and said ‘yay’.
But it would be no stretch to say that the ancestral diets we recreate would be able to deal with a wide range of degenerative diseases, including allergies, skin problems, arthritis, pancreatic problems, irritable bowel disease, epilepsy, renal problems, hepatic disease, cardiac problems, etc.
Give a company a chance to invent the cure for cancer, and it would come in the form of a pill, with a hefty price tag. Give an idealist the same opportunity and he would discover a natural way that almost everyone can afford. Us? We would think about adapting the cure for pets.
No, we haven’t found the cure for cancer. But why not minimise odds of getting it in the first place?