Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Whoa Shep, That's Not For You

Janeen over at Smartdogs and Patrick at Terrierman have covered most of the bases on the HSUS scam that is "Humane Choice" pseudo-vegan dog food. (Not tested on animals.)

There's ways to gradually kill a dog through malnutrition that are a lot cheaper

Trust me, dogs love chicken feed. Nom nom nom. And feeding it to a housepet will allow you to experience the hygenic pleasures of poultry standards of sphincter control right in your own home.*

Plus it gives the dog a sporting chance. His "food" bowl could possibly attract a chicken, which he could then kill and eat.

I have been particularly impressed by the marketing for this granola.

Because a picture of a sneering shiny lobbyist in an a bespoke suit, $200 hair, and Very Expensive Dentistry always says great animal nutrition to me. And absolutely nothing about egomaniacal self-promotion in the absence of any self-awareness or internal editing capacity. Why not put Wayne right on the label? It would support my blink impression of the bag, in which I read the product name as "Human Choice."

Human Choice is made out of people!

Which have plenty of bio-available protein. I'm told. And if they are North American people, lots of fat for energy and flavah. Probably not so much if they are Uruguayan people. Nevertheless, long pig is long pig. Why rot it underground?

But no, they took the conventional route, the cheap choice, the trope that will play in Peoria, and put a picture of a cute mongrel puppy on the bag.

Which would be fine, except they come right out and admit that you must not feed this silage to puppies.

Yup, it is formulated for "adult maintenance." Same as the kibbled cornmeal 'n' slaughterhouse sweepings that you can buy in the dollar store (for about 1/20th the price per pound). In theory, it meets the threshold for keeping a dog alive as long as it isn't growing, lactating, working, sick, or stressed out in any way. They didn't even bother with an AAFCO feeding trial.** On paper, the forage-in-a-bag will keep 75% of adult dogs alive for six months.

But not a puppy.

Which is the very thing they put a picture of on the bag.

Kind of like this bag:


* I suspect that, given the instructions for converting your dog from a food eater into an Uruguayan vegan over 4-6 weeks, this "food" might offer that very same benefit.

** Eight dogs. Six months. You can kill two of them and still get a pass. I am not making this up.


  1. And veterinarians have the gall (or unbounded ignorance) to warn us about the dangers of a home-prepared diet?

  2. I used to use layena chicken feed as clumping cat litter.

  3. They already tried to make dogs vegan.

    In Hawaii.

    The Hawaiian fattened their "edible dogs" on poi.

    The dogs developed deformed skulls because they weren't chewing meat, bone, or anything hard. They had very low energy, and because they had low protein in their diets, they had all the sagacity of a three-toed sloth.

    When the American took over the island, they banned dog eating. The edible dogs started eating real food, and the unusual Hawaiian dogs disappeared. It is usually said they disappeared due to interbreeding with imported dogs.

    I don't agree.

    Once the dogs started eating real food, they began to develop as real dogs. One generation raised on that diet would look very different from the previous generation that was raised on poi.

  4. If I didn't think it was cruel, I'd say let's do our own feeding trial and see what kinds of results we get with our dogs eating this food. But I really can't spare any of mine. I've gotten all attached and stuff.

  5. I was doing a Q&D search for other reactions about the food to see if there was going to be a general consensus...and seriously, I should just learn right now that my expectations are way above the nutjobs out there. So from now on, I will have next to my computer a watertight container suitable enough for a heave or two. Pity my poor Cheezits...they were so good...

    By the way, YesBiscuit, if you send the right documentation supporting the benefits vs risks of the study to the appropriate people, it would not be considered cruel as long as certain protocols were followed. In most institutional studies with which I'm familiar, the main thing is to NOT have the subjects die (and if it does happen, you better have a good reason WHY and how to not make it happen again), so instead of feeding TO the point of death, find a definite correlation between the food and body condition, then correct the problem.

    Then again I'm not familiar with how AAFCO goes about with its studies. I've more of a background, albeit very limited, in institutional research, probably of little relation to the actual things that go on in labs everywhere else.

  6. I have parrots. My parrots do not eat seed, they eat a pellet-based diet supplemented with whole grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, and pasta. I also have a dog. A hungry, hungry hippo of a pit bull, to be precise. Therefore, I have seen what happens when a dog eats food intended for our avian friends. It's not pretty. Masks were involved, as were scrub brushes, bleach, essential oils, a mop, a roll of paper towels, and two loads of laundry.

    I dare anyone to feed Humane Choice to their dog.

  7. I haven't seen a Nat. Geo yet where a pack of hungry wolves stalk and bring down a wheat field.
    As a kid our dog caught a rabbit and laid down under a tree and started to eat it, mom wanted dad to take the bunny away so the dog would not eat raw meat. Dads reply, who cooks for wolves in the wild, let him have his prize.

  8. I don't expect my chickens to be healthy on a vegan diet -- why on earth would anyone expect a dog to be healthy on one?

  9. Everyone buying this food should get a coupon for their local pet rabbit rescue.

  10. By the way, when I say that dogs love chicken feed, I am not being sarcastic. They really do. I've had to take measures regarding coop security because of this.

    It is one of the few culinary indiscretions that earns a dog a night out in the kennel. It always sends out forward patrols in gaseous form before the main explosive force, which likes to start artillery salvos around midnight and go on until morning.

    The concept of cat-box crunchies presented in a bed of Layena terrifies me.

  11. The premium kibble I feed my dogs is currently out of stock because they are making it 100% grain free (it had very little grain in it to begin with). Cool. When Dixie hunted up a mouse and Skye saw it, she dove to eat the mouse, not the vegetation around it. Could this marketing be a way to capitalize on our habit to anthropomorphize our pets? I mean, if I eat vegan obviously my pet should too?! I'm not putting down vegans; that is a lifestyle choice. But dogs don't have the choice; they eat what we give them.

    Rachael Roper

  12. You know who else loooooooves them some chicken feed? Goats. It is not all that much better for goats than for dogs, though the goats don't yak it up like the dogs, and since they aren't in the house, the gas isn't nearly as horrid to deal with. And I have had to deal with the keg-stand-like inhalation of chicken food with subsequent regurgitation and after effects. Then a certain puppy got trained in what exactly "Not for dogs" means.

  13. This new "dog food" sounds like it came right out of "Tree Lobsters".
    Are you sure you don't ghost write for them?

  14. Retrieverman, do you have any links regarding the hawaii dogs?

    I think the fact that the overwhelming majority of vegan diets don't even meet AAFCO minimum standards ON PAPER would convince people to avoid using their pets as test subjects. At least, that makes sense in MY head...


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