Recently Vani Hari, the Food Babe, published a fantastic blog post about what the big kibble companies are putting into dog food. Her article had a great list of things to avoid, and a great list of brands that are out there doing it right. We were amazed that such an advocate for clean living did not mention a single raw brand on the market - the fact is she probably hasn't learned about raw yet.
It can be easy to forget that not everyone knows as much as you might about the philosophy and science of raw food for pets, because it is the type of thing that seems so obvious you feel like you have always known it. Just over a year ago I was interviewing with Steve’s Real Food, and hearing about raw food and its health benefits for the first time. My dog was on a kibble, and one of the main draws of the company was that I could bring my dog to work; I loved the idea because I thought Baxter was getting on in years and I wanted to be with him in his old age.
In these and so many other ways, my life was completely different a year ago. Now I can’t believe I thought of Baxter as an old man at 8 years old. At 9 he is the picture of doggie health – his digestion is fantastic now, he has lost about 8 pounds (he was a fatty before) his energy is better, his smell has improved, and he is just a happy, energetic dog. My 2-year-old husky, Asa, is lithe and slender, and every other husky I see in my neighborhood is overweight – I want to chase them down with a bag of Steve’s and yell nutritional information at their owners.
Vani, along with all the other healthy living advocates out there, need to know about raw food for pets! How do you, as a raw food advocate, help spread the message about how much benefit can come from a species-appropriate diet?
The Power of Social Media
I genuinely believe that the majority of advocacy in the future will come from behind a computer screen. We share our opinions and our knowledge through social media, and it has the ability to shape our world. It is especially powerful because the corporations that have exerted so much control in the past are losing their grip on the world of information – they do not have the ability to stop the spread of knowledge via social media – though they try. This is the only truly safe area for grassroots movements to swell, for voices to be heard, and for change to happen. With only 2% of the pet food industry’s sales coming from raw food, there is a ton of work to be done. Here is what you can do:
- Follow raw food advocates, holistic health figures, and companies you believe in (like Steve’s Real Food) on social media.
- Share the information they post with your friends and family, via social media and also through conversation.
- Like, comment, and click on the links they share, too. Facebook and other social media outlets have algorithms to try and force communities to pay for advertising, so if you aren’t active, you will slowly see less and less from your favorite people. That also brings down how many people the algorithms spread the word to.
- Sign petitions to call on government action and other changes in the pet food industry. Susan Thixton with Truth About Pet Food is a great person to follow for these opportunities.
- Comment on blogs like The Food Babe’s article on pet food. Others are reading the comments to see other people’s opinions and journeys. Telling them what you feed, your pet’s journey to health etc. can bring the target demographic of interested consumers towards raw food.
- Join local pet community pages. This will give you another audience to share your knowledge with or to re-post interesting blogs.
- Get active in your real community, too! Going to the dog park you will get to meet other pet owners and conversations just naturally happen. Join a hiking group or a pet-swimming group, whatever your interest is with your dog, find other people in your area to socialize with. You can be a Raw Advocate wherever you are.
- Don’t be too pushy. People don’t take kindly to being told they are caring for their fur-babies wrong. Just tell them what YOU do, and the healthy results they will see in your pet will be enough to make them open to the idea of change. Don’t try to force them, be accepting of their choices, while offering them a chance to learn about a better way.
By being an active member of your pet community, whether in person or online, you will go far in spreading the word about the benefits of a raw diet. But in the end, your dog (or cat) will be the best evidence you can have as they live longer, have fewer health problems, and enjoy a better quality of life on a raw diet.