|Full Book Review|
by Ann N. Martin
Ann Martin does not waste your time with niceties. After a foreword by Dr. Michael W. Fox, in which he compares her to Rachael Carson, and a short introduction, she plunges you into the meat of what may be the most important book you'll ever read for the sake of your pets' health. The true animal lover will find it impossible to ever regard a package or can of commercial pet food in the same way, after reading this book.
The book is not easy to read. If you find yourself feeling disgusted or uncomfortable by the mental images your mind will uncover; if you are tempted to set the book aside for another time, try to resist the feelings. If you can make it past Chapter 2, which uncovers the concept of "companion animals used in pet foods," you will find yourself reading chapter after chapter. At the same time, while hoping against hope that Martin's conclusions are faulty, you'll be forced to ask yourself if there couldn't be a glimmer of truth in them.Ann Martin did her homework well. This book was seven years in the making, from the time she filed a courageous lawsuit against one of the largest manufacturers of pet food in North America, until the first publishing of "Food Pets Die For. She lost that lawsuit, which alleged that toxic amounts of minerals in her dogs' food was responsible for serious illness, however the evidence she has collected since that time makes one wonder.
The book's chapters include information on the possibility of Mad Cow Disease in North America (and how it could relate to pet food); a comprehensive section on the legal sources of meat, carbohydrates and fiber used in pet food; hidden hazards in pet foods (did you know that rendering does not effectively degrade antibiotics and other drugs found in meat source, including phenobarbitol used to euthanize pets?); and a discussion of the seriously inadequate laws governing the manufacture of pet foods.
The author does not leave you hanging, without options. The final chapters of the book offer both recipes for home-prepared food, other tips for maximizing your pet's health, and a resource section for consumer action. A Bibliography at the end will give you more food for thought.
It's possible that you will consider leaving this particular book unread. On the other hand, you couldn't perform a more loving act on behalf of the cats and dogs who share your home and trust you to do what is right for them, than to read this book and take to heart its admonishments. Who knows, it may be the impetus you need to become an involved advocates for the creatures who share this planet with us.
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