Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Back On My Soapbox--The "Natural" Pet Movement

Alrighty, just to give you a heads-up, this is a soapbox rant that has little to do with Gizmo. So you might wanna just skip this post. Nobody'll judge you. The scrollbar's right there on the right side of the window.

Okay, who all is still here? Two people? Cool. Okay, anyway, I've been seeing some trends among the more "naturalistic" pet owners that is really, really starting to bother me.

One individual messaged me wanting to discuss raw diets for canines. She seemed to be very friendly and articulate, so I chatted with her a while. Part way through the conversation, she linked me to a journal entry she ad written on the topic that she was quite proud of.

Honestly, I was shocked and appalled by what I read. She had posted quite a long, barely intelligible rant. I would re-post it here, but quite frankly, I try to keep that sort of language and mindless filth off of this blog. The gist was that if you had your pet spayed/neutered, gave it vaccinations other than rabies, fed it anything other than home-cooked food, or disagreed with her in any way, shape, or form, you were a complete idiot who was clearly not interested in the welfare of your animal, and you should just go die.

Yikes. And she was proud enough of this to be sending it out to other people?

The people in the "natural" pet community need to understand something. When you post garbage like that, you're coming across as just as ignorant, if not more ignorant, than the people who say that you should always neuter or spay, or vaccinate, or whatever. That kind of outburst just makes those of us who feed raw look like lunatics. Quite frankly, even though I agree with many of your views, if I had read that post before speaking to you via PMs, I would have labeled you a whackjob and avoided you. Do you really think that you're helping your cause at ALL by doing your damnedest to alienate everyone who isn't currently feeding raw?

There are a LOT of valid reasons to spay and neuter, just as there are a lot of reasons not to. The same goes for vaccinations. Any intelligent person is likely to have mixed feelings on this issue. Leaving a dog intact has different health risks than spaying or neutering, but it still has health risks. A lot of the decision as to whether or not spaying or neutering is a good idea can be based on the breed as well--the last dog I'd leave intact would be a male german shepard, as they're incredibly prone to prostate issues. However, a male Jack Russel would be better off intact due to the fact that they're more prone to bone cancer, which would be exacerbated by neutering.

In short, educate yourself before declaring everyone else to be ignorant, and keep in mind that no matter how much you've learned, you still don't know everything. I don't appreciate being called an uneducated idiot because I acknowledge that there are valid reasons to have an animal sterilized. Likewise, depending on what area you live in, there are good reasons to give vaccinations other than rabies. In some areas, for example, parvo kills more dogs than the highway does--and any intelligent person would have their dog given parvo vaccinations if they lived in said area.

And on another note, most of the people who 100% support spay/neuter, give the whole cocktail of vaccines every year w/o running titers, feed only bagged food, etc. aren't morons, they're simply trying to do what's best for their pet, based on the information they've been given. Most are very intelligent people who care very deeply about their animals, and are making their decisions based on what they know. When just about every single vet and every single book on dogs says the best thing you can do is put them on a good, store-brand dog food, it makes logical sense to them that that's the correct thing to do.

You have to remember, people who feed raw food are the oddballs. If anyone's going to give our views and ideas any respect, we have to present them appropriately. Nobody's going to take us seriously if we scream and swear like a 12-year-old on Xbox Live.

If you use that sort of vitriol frequently in an attempt to get your point across, you're doing the "Natural Pet" community a lot more harm than good.


  1. I'm sure some of you that recognize me from the message board will have already read something similar but for those who haven't:

    There are no easy answers!

    Life is not a multiple choice test, people. Every situation has a unique set of circumstances surrounding it. Every circustance will affect the outcome of the decisions you make.

    Anybody who says that only one single option is appropriate for all situations is a lunatic. Things just don't work that way.

    Sorry for being so general, but I just think that about everything, not only animal care.

  2. I have to laugh at the reference to Xbox Live... god I hate those kids....

  3. I laughed pretty hard about the xbox live reference as well, but you make very great and valid points =]


Please keep comments civil. You can disagree and still be polite. Due to spam issues, this comment section is now moderated. I will have to approve posts before they appear, so it might take a few days to see your post show up. I apologize for the inconvenience.