Cat and Dog nutrition, Mad Cow Disease and Human Cannibalism: Part 3 of the series: Weird Bants and the People Who Love Them.

Cat and Dog nutrition, Mad Cow Disease and Human Cannibalism: Part 3 of the series: Weird Bants and the People Who Love Them.

My wife and I think of our two dogs and our guinea pig as our little fur children. I also have a cat that I got when I was younger and before we were married. My wife is allergic to cats, but I still love my kitty. A lot of people love their pets like they are little people. We find that they have personalities like people so caring for them like they are human becomes easy.

Cats and dogs are not humans, but scientifically we are related and we do share some genetic similarities. We humans are biologically classified as Kingdom: Animalia, Phylum: Chordata, Class: Mammalia, Order: Primates, Genus: Homo, Species: Homo Sapiens. It is hard to find ultra-reliable data for this, but for fun I am going to call the following numbers close… Cats and dogs are pretty genetically similar with cats having 82% homologous genes with dogs. But cats are oddly more closely related to humans than dogs with a surprising 90% similarity. Genetics can be truly mind blowing, but they are incredibly relevant in some circumstances. I call cats and dogs being so similar to us a pretty relevant factoid.

We are not all that genetically different from any animal, many gene codes for basic necessary life processes are present in most organisms. (For that matter, we have some genetic similarity to plants, but that is much harder to conceptualize and I am not going to talk about it in this article.) The more you learn about how animals compare and differ the more you can see this. There are 11 systems to the human body (SLIC MEN R RED): Skeletal, Lymphatic, Integumentary (skin), Circulatory, Muscular, Endocrine, Nervous, Renal, Reproductive, Excretory and Digestive. It makes sense to me that God would use a similar design with other creatures.

Life is indeed very complicated, but life forms are very similar to each other in many ways. All animals are a Eukaryote: meaning we all have cells membranes as opposed to cell walls like plants have. Cats and dogs are not just in the same kingdom we are in the same Class as we are. Cats, Dogs most things we think of as “animals” and surprisingly, the gigantic BLUE WHALE are all mammals just like us. Mammals breathe air and are “warm” blooded, we all have: a back bone, hair (not always obvious), three little bones in our ears, and mammary glands for nursing our young. If you were to ask a veterinarian how many systems to the bodies of cats and dogs they will tell you something that sounds an awful lot like the 11 systems that we humans have. It is spooky how similar we are.

We know that nutrition is very important for humans, yet for some reason we never think about the nutritional requirements of animals. OR WORSE we blindly trust dog food and cat food companies to be perfectly ethical and give our animals the nutrition they need. I see it all the time, I will be in line at a grocery store and the person in front of me will be buying tons of health food and then BAM a bag of dog food or cat food. Oddly the macro nutrient analysis for both dog food and cat food is nutritionally better suited for human consumption than it is for dogs and cats. DON’T EAT DOG AND CAT FOOD, it may not be that dangerous to do so, but do we really know what is in there?

I don’t recommend looking too deeply into the contents of dog and cat food because it gets really sad and extremely gross very quickly. IF the dog/ cat food does not say it is made with only “human grade ingredients” it most likely contains the meat of euthanized animals. Seriously doing a little research into this can cause nightmares. Anything that contains “Meat Meal” should also be avoided.   

 Anyway…   

Dogs and Cats are both carnivores (guinea pigs are herbivores). I know a good deal about the actual nutritional requirements for dogs, cats and guinea pigs; because these are the animals that I am responsible for to feed. My wife and I, am not comfortable letting the carnivores hunt for their food or our little herbivore scavenge and graze; because we do not want our little fur children getting lost. We feed our dog’s raw meat as they would have hunted for themselves if they could have, and we feed our guinea pig raw vegetables and grasses as he would have gotten for himself. My cat is not on a raw food diet because after she is done eating another cat that has kidney problems eats whatever she fails to eat. My cat is on expensive “for kidney health” cat food. Not all cat food or dog food is that bad but the kinds that are not horrible are always expensive. Feeding your animal the actual food they are supposed to eat is more expensive than cheap dog and cat foods, but it is also cheaper than expensive (higher quality) dog and cat food.

Typically feeding dogs and cats a “food” from a bag is the nutritional equivalent to feeding humans an all cookie diet. Dogs and cats are carnivores; they need lots of protein and fat and very little carbohydrates as this is what would be naturally present in a nearly all meat diet. (Sorry low carb people this is not a solid argument that carbs are bad for people.) Look at the back of the bag of dog/cat food you have, often it will say it has a guaranteed 10-15% protein content which is way too low to be healthy.

There are two reasons I choose to quickly write about the nutrition requirements for dogs and cats. 1. I do not think it is fair to feed your pets a diet that is bad for them, their only real choice is to eat the food we give them. 2. If we really want to see the potential effect near perfect nutrition can have simply switch your pet to a proper diet. Nutrition is not that hard for humans, if we know what we’re doing, but for most animals nutrition is SUPER easy.

There are many sites to learn more about how to raw feed your animals here is one of them:

http://www.rawlearning.com/

All animals must ingest other organisms (plants are organisms) for substance the fancy science word for this is heterotrophs. Carnivores are very clearly a “hunter.” Herbivores are very clearly a “Gatherer.” Humans are hunters/ gatherers. Often during the course of our history it has been necessary to hunt animals due to a lack of ingestible food. Often during our history we have had to do the opposite and live solely off of plant sources. As hunting/gathering omnivores it is healthy for us to eat quite a lot of things… but is it healthy to eat people.

Zoological cannibalism is rare but it is not too terribly uncommon; most of us have heard about the infamous black widow spider… Female black widows eat the males as part of sexual cannibalism.  

It is not natural for Cows to eat other cows… But sometimes we humans are dumb enough to feed cows to cows. This is the leading theory behind what causes Mad Cow disease. It is known that if a cow that has Mad Cow disease is used as ruminant feed (ground up and fed back to cows) the disease will spread. Mad Cow can be spread to humans as well; mad cow is just as scary as the news networks made it out to be. Mad Cow causes the crazies and eventual coma and or death.

People eating people is always a bad idea!

There might be a special place in Hell for the Hannibal Lector like people out there. But is it really morally wrong to eat the already dead to prevent starvation? I say, yes, yes I do believe it is morally wrong, but morals aside is eating human flesh ever a good idea? It turns out the answer to this question is NO. When a human eats another human this weird gene known as the PRP gene gets pissed off (activated) and causes a chain reaction of abnormal prion generation. A prion is a protein found in nerve cells like that of your brain. Once prions become abnormal they have the nasty habit of making other prions abnormal and there is little the body can do to defend against it. If one finds themselves starving to death, don’t eat the dead guy next to you. Doing so could cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) a degenerative brain disorder similar to MAD COW. (CJD can also just sort of “happen” but it is rare.)

You would have to be a bit crazy to eat another human being, but doing so will physically change your brain and make you crazy and potentially kill you. If you find yourself in such a life or death situation you should fast, you will outlive the people who have resorted to cannibalism.  Cannibalism is perhaps the weirdest diet there is, and most likely the worst one for you.

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