Raw Food Parasites and Bacteria
By Andrea Madeley
Boy – talk about a mixed bag of emotions….
You know…I am really concerned that people feel attacked on this list when they post that they cook foods – or feed a 50/50 kibble…or what ever. The truth is though – as I run through my saved posts, I read very few ‘attacks’ in the true sense of the word. I read things like “try feeding raw etc. etc. instead..” and “No – raw meat is a natural food”….So I guess I would put this down to people who are offering ‘their opinions’ and thoughts…which is what I thought this list was about?
Getting back to parasites. In all honesty, I can see that this topic is a no win when opinions differ and people try to get their point across. It all adds up to a lot of unanswered questions and theories. Here is one theory.
It is not only raw meat that has parasites – just like bacteria – they thrives all over the place. These critters are a natural part of life’s food chain and something that we either need to deal with or succumb to. Some parasites in life are even deemed good – as are some bacteria.
Now if you care to look at the alternatives of cooking meat and feeding it raw you will see that both hold a level of risk.
RAW MEAT is full of living organisms – we call these enzymes and anti oxidants and they are present in may shapes and forms…and lets not forget parasites…they are also varied in how serious they are. These living organisms perform a very important function. Look at what happens to a piece of raw meat that sits on a counter – it slowly decomposes under its own natural production. It is alive with living organisms and this decaying process, or the organisms that are responsible for it, are believed to be an important part of a carnivore’s digestive process. Scientists are still finding new organisms and are still trying to determine their functions in human health – but they are certainly saying that there are important properties of raw food that our bodies (and I would assume that would include our pets) need in order to remain healthy. Perhaps it’s just simply that it keeps our system active and our immune system busy….?
COOKED MEAT has no living organisms. The naturally occurring Quality Proteins, vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals are altered and the enzymes are killed…along with the bacteria and parasites too. More on the upside – it makes the meat taste better and is more tender…you also reduce the fat levels. So, pop a piece of cooked meat on a counter and see what happens to it. It rots rather than decomposes – it relies on many external, much more volatile bacteria to destroy it. These bacteria can be quite deadly….but assuming your dog eats all of it’s meat soon after being served – this is not a concern.
Now, I would strongly be inclined to say that most of us have seen a dog that has gone mad for another animals feces – or eaten some poor half decomposed animal – or delighted in the consumption of vomit (I think I should stop)… have you ever asked yourself why? Why do we cringe at the thought of our beloved dogs eating bacteria and germs and bugs and dirt when this is what they “instinctively” do? Boy – I don’t like to play down all of these concerns about bacteria and parasites, but…have a think about what lurks in these ‘treats’ and then tell me that your dog can’t handle salmonella…e-coli…etc. as you feed it a ‘fresh’ chicken neck….
So…why do some animals get sick with these very organisms?
I have said this a million times and I will say it again. In our endeavor to keep our animals cleaner and healthier – we are killing off their immunities. We feed them processed food that makes their intestines weak. We deprive them of bacteria – their systems then find it more difficult to deal with. We inject them with viruses – we feed them chemicals….and we do this for years…decades…over tens of generations…and then wonder why they are getting ill.
The irony of all of this is that opinions differ and most experts refuse to agree. I don’t believe that there is only one way to feed a pet – as long as you are realistic in your endeavors. I have spoken at great lengths about these issues with Ian Billinghurst – I think he too believes that the hysteria on raw meat has gone too far in some parts of the world. Due to this hysteria – your road back may be longer…your pets are less ‘used’ to these living organisms and some of those in poor health may not be able to cope with what they should naturally be able to. In other words – these new introductions need to be taken one step at a time.
I think the biggest turning point is the education regarding Pet Foods. The fact that people are here and wanting to do what is right for their pets is a massive calling. That when we talk of natural diets – many are now pricking their ears with keen – however wary interest. That it does not matter if you choose to mix and try different ideas. It is simply that we are more aware and keen to learn.
From time to time – we will hear about situations of Salmonella or a parasite killing a dog. In fact, I was involved privately with a list member that lost a dog to Salmonella and we conversed with Ian Billinghurst together. The result of that is that there were many ways that this dog could have been affected by Salmonella and was unlikely to have been the root cause of the illness. What is important here is that a DIAGNOSIS was done and it was investigated – and it showed just how susceptible a poor immune system is. I would never “begin” a raw meat diet on a sick animal – especially if it has not been a part of the animal’s history.
There – that is my opinion. I am quite prepared to cope with the onslaught of ‘different opinions’ – as indeed – I welcome them. If nobody ever questioned anything we would all be lambs.