THE TRUTH ABOUT PET FOODS
The information contained in this book has been compiled for purposes of education. The views and conclusions expressed by the author and cited sources do not represent all-inclusive knowledge or unanimity of opinion, and should not be construed as specific medical advice.
©2002 by Dr. R. L. Wysong. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Published by Inquiry Press 1880 North Eastman, Midland, Michigan 48642
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Reminders of the quiet strength and dignity of unfettered creation Retaining gifts we have lost or never had Masters of life in the moment and the art of simplicity Reflections of a world forgotten, presynthetic, more complete
Where loyalty, love, forgiveness, acceptance, fun and truth are neither measured nor withheld Deserving of our wonder, respect and love – and the health that can only come from nature obeyed
INTRODUCTIONFirst, let me caution that this is not a conventional book on pet health or nutrition. It is not about protein, milligrams of calcium, IU's of vitamin A, a special ingredient, vaccinations, yearly checkups or laboratory tests. If optimal health and nutrition that cannot be surpassed is your goal, these things are not the primary consideration. The key is far more simple and intuitive...if you will dare to be convinced.
I have spent over two decades studying and researching fundamental health issues from a practitioner-turned-skeptic viewpoint. This book reflects the progress of that investigation, and will confirm that suspicions you may have about the effectiveness of modern health care and nutritional approaches are warranted.
Einstein once said, when faced with reactions ranging from disinterest, to open and hostile opposition to his new ideas, "Fashion abides in every age without people realizing tyrants rule them." In our modern era where commerce seems to be at the root of everything, we must be highly cautious about what fashions we become convinced of, and then apply in our lives. Just because everyone is doing it, companies beguile you, experts insist it is so, or government says it's approved, does not make something true, or in our best interests. Seeking beyond what is popularized by the media and commercial interests, and being wary of convention are the first steps toward health.
But people in every culture, in every era, are convinced of the truth of popular opinion. Those who would challenge or veer from accepted dogma are labeled weird, eccentric, psychotic or evil, and historically have been ignored, anathematized, ostracized, persecuted or even killed. We must also always keep in mind that knowledge is a process, a path – not a destination.
Revolutions in thought are often resisted until the bitter end, when the sheer weight of evidence and experience collapses the old paradigm. Examples in science include the shift from Aristotelian to Newtonian physics, from Newtonian physics to Einsteinian, from the Ptolemaic geocentric universe (everything revolves around Earth) to the astronomy of Copernicus (Earth around the sun), from the phlogiston theory to modern Lavoisier chemistry, from a God-centered, religious pontification of reality to materialistic, mechanistic science, and from the presently-in-process shift from the reductionistic-materialistic-Newtonian-Cartesian (all questions will be solved by an examination of matter) paradigm to the quantum-relativistic¬holistic paradigm (all questions are not solved by an examination of matter).
As unbelievable as it may seem to us here, now, with all our comfortable beliefs, most of our view of reality is skewed and will be eventually replaced with a better version. This should be welcomed since paradigm shifts move us (hopefully) closer to ultimate truth.*
Such change is not simply intellectual exercise or interesting history. It is critically linked to our well-being since bad ideas bring bad results. The old physics, chemistry, biology, sociology, politics and religion stultified progress in terms of comfort, safety, health and enlightenment. Modern life, a by-product of a long chain of paradigm shifts, scientific and social revolutions if you will, is a far cry from the difficult, precarious and short lives of Stone Age beings.
But there is no reason to get cocky or be complacent with the pragmatic accomplishments of modernity. Huge personal, social and international problems loom on a global scale, undiminished by an ever-rising flood of materialistic trinkets. We are Stone Age compared to what we will be if the ascent to truth proceeds.
Such a climb, however, requires open-minded inquiry and the willingness to change – in spite of the temporary discomfort usually accompanying change. Conformity is a close brother to popularity, quiescence, peace and acceptance. But when everyone smiles and agrees, progress weeps.
In this book, I will focus on a needed paradigm shift in pet feeding. Such a change becomes apparent when the myths underlying present feeding practices are exposed, and the link to disease, suffering and death identified. I know we're told that today's companion animals enjoy better health than they have ever had, live longer, that modern pet foods are carefully and scientifically balanced, and that modern medical measures cure disease and extend life. Yes, this is what we are told. But I'm going to try to untell it here. In reality, fundamental errors in nutritional and medical thinking have resulted in much harm and running in place with little, if any, meaningful advance.
In principle, the things I will discuss apply as well to human health. Thus, you will find me crisscrossing my discussion between humans and animals. In the context of health, there is little difference between the two. Both humans and animals are in the same modern setting and thus subject to similar dangers. It follows that both can enjoy relief through similar rethinking and remedies.
There is a veil obscuring the truth about pet foods. It is a tapestry of appliqués including faulty science, commercial greed, regulatory imperiousness, professional egoism, marketing legerdemain, consumer naiveté, desire for ease, and old paradigm romance. By and large, the accepted dogma about how to feed and achieve health is wrong, very wrong. It remains in place because reason does not usually rule the mind, rather bias and mythologies designed to protect status quo reign. Skepticism, not acquiescence, is critical in the search for wellness. The temporary suspension of disbelief is fine at the movie theater, but has no place in health and nutrition.
Set aside preconceptions and the grip of conformity for the short time it will take to consider what follows. Let's reason together. Perhaps a little revolution is in order.
* For further reading on important paradigm shifts, see: Kuhn T, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 1996. Frank P, Philosophy of Science, 1974. Feyerabend P, Against Method, 1993. Grof S, Beyond the Brain, 1986. Sheldrake R, A New Science of Life, 1995.