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I was hopping from page to page about euthanasia statistics, and came across something incredibly horrifying.

"When a cow is slaughtered, about half of it by weight is not eaten by humans: the intestines and their contents, the head, hooves, and horns, as well as bones and blood. These are dumped into giant grinders at rendering plants, as are the entire bodies of cows and other farm animals known to be diseased. Rendering is a $2.4 billion-a-year industry, processing forty billion pounds of dead animals a year. There is simply no such thing in America as an animal too ravaged by disease, too cancerous, or too putrid to be welcomed by the embracing arms of the renderer. Another staple of the renderer's diet, in addition to farm animals, is euthanized pets -- the six or seven million dogs and cats that are killed in animal shelters every year. The city of Los Angeles alone, for example, sends some two hundred tons of euthanized cats and dogs to a rendering plant every month. Added to the blend are the euthanized catch of animal control agencies, and roadkill. (Roadkill is not collected daily, and in the summer, the better roadkill collection crews can generally smell it before they can see it.) When the gruesome mix is ground and steam-cooked, the lighter, fatty material floating to the top gets refined for use in such products as cosmetics, lubricants, soaps, candles, and waxes. The heavier protein material is dried and pulverized into a brown powder‹about a quarter of which consists of fecal material. The powder is used as an additive to almost all pet food as well as to livestock feed. Farmers call it protein concentrates.² In 1995, five million tons of processed slaughterhouse leftovers were sold for animal feed in the United States. I used to feed tons of the stuff to my own livestock. It never concerned me that I was feeding cattle to cattle."
http://www.madcowboy.com/02_Book_First3.000.html

I was wondering if anyone on here has heard about this before. It was also on the wikipedia page for animal euthanasia. Does anyone have any information to support/debunk this info?

Another question is whether anyone knows how to tell if it's in the food they feed their animals. I feed my cats solid gold and my last dog ate innova EVO (although I am currently dog-less, I'm getting ready for my next one). Those are high quality foods, so I'm hoping it's not in them... But does anyone have any ideas on how to be sure?

*Note: A lot of credible sources put the number of euthanized dogs and cats per year at close to 10 million. See the AHA stats for info.
 

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This seems to be another case of somebody (or several somebodies) taking a factoid or datum and, through a series of embellishments, expanding it into a major scandal/conspiracy/health threat/gross-out story.

This particular one appears to have originated with low levels of phenobarbital detected in some pet foods. From there, the only limits are those of human imagination.

http://www.fda.gov/cvm/FOI/DFreport.htm

Dogs, cats not found in dog food

Because pentobarbital is used to euthanize dogs and cats at animal shelters, finding pentobarbital in rendered feed ingredients could suggest that the pets were rendered and used in pet food.

CVM scientists, as part of their investigation, developed a test to detect dog and cat DNA in the protein of the dog food. All samples from the most recent dog food survey (2000) that tested positive for pentobarbital, as well as a subset of samples that tested negative, were examined for the presence of remains derived from dogs or cats. The results demonstrated a complete absence of material that would have been derived from euthanized dogs or cats. The sensitivity of this method is 0.005% on a weight/weight basis; that is, the method can detect a minimum of 5 pounds of rendered remains in 50 tons of finished feed. Presently, it is assumed that the pentobarbital residues are entering pet foods from euthanized, rendered cattle or even horses.
 

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"Meat and bone meal" can have almost anything in it. I've been told they DO use euthanized pets to make bio-fuel (you can make bio-fuel with just about anything), but whether the meal left over after the oil is extracted is used for livestock feed I don't know. Ugh.
 

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On a side note gelatin which is in a lot of human food is 'extracted from the bones, connective tissues organs, and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, pigs, and horses.'

There are a lot of things they add into our foods that we don't know about. I'm sure somewhere they have added crazy things into dog food too.
 

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I was wondering if anyone on here has heard about this before. It was also on the wikipedia page for animal euthanasia. Does anyone have any information to support/debunk this info?

*Note: A lot of credible sources put the number of euthanized dogs and cats per year at close to 10 million. See the AHA stats for info.
The AHA, ASPCA, NCPP, and Spay-USA put the current number at around 4 million, actually. Not sure where your '10 million' stat comes from, unless you're using old data. The average was 10-15 million in the 1980s, but it's dropped quite a bit since S/N education became widespread.

I think the misconception about euthanized animals in pet food, is that TECHNICALLY they could put dead pets into food, but really, if there was even a HINT that was happening, you really think no whistleblowers would have leaked the fact by now? The scandal would be spectacular.

The argument that 'there could be euthanized pets in your dog food!' is a scare tactic. Cheap-o food is bad enough, imo, that it's not really necessary to be to melodramatic. Just because there is a legal loophole doesn't mean the companies are sick enough to do it. At least, major ones like Purina who have a LOT to lose if such a thing was eve uncovered... and really, there is plenty enough farm-animal byproducts available, that to use pets just seems pointlessly risky.
 

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I was wondering if anyone on here has heard about this before. It was also on the wikipedia page for animal euthanasia. Does anyone have any information to support/debunk this info?
Well the beef industry tried very hard to find the Mad Cowboy and Oprah liable for the "truth", however, the beef industry was not successful. So...

The documentary was excellent I thought.
 

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I think the misconception about euthanized animals in pet food, is that TECHNICALLY they could put dead pets into food, but really, if there was even a HINT that was happening, you really think no whistleblowers would have leaked the fact by now? The scandal would be spectacular.
Ya know, I'm not sure there would be a scandal. Most people just want cheap pet food. They like to say "ewwww" and tell all their friends about about there being euth chemicals and dog and cat meat in their pet food, but in the end they just don't care, as long as it's cheap.
 

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I wonder if there's a good living to be made from stirring up panic amongst the ignorant masses. People got completely wigged out about Mad Cow, but 36,000 people died from the flu (non-swine, non-bird type). Most people won't even wash their darned hands to avoid that.
 

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It's people! Soylent Kibble is people!
 

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Ya know, I'm not sure there would be a scandal. Most people just want cheap pet food. They like to say "ewwww" and tell all their friends about about there being euth chemicals and dog and cat meat in their pet food, but in the end they just don't care, as long as it's cheap.
The people who've had beloved pets euthanized would sure care. Most Americans see their animals as family members. How well would YOU handle knowing there was a good chance your dog or cat was secretly ground up for meat after their death? Folks would be horrified.

As it is, I seriously believe the entire thing is an urban myth. I've never seen any proof of it, and the people spreading it around the most seem to be anti-kibble in general.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The AHA, ASPCA, NCPP, and Spay-USA put the current number at around 4 million, actually. Not sure where your '10 million' stat comes from, unless you're using old data. The average was 10-15 million in the 1980s, but it's dropped quite a bit since S/N education became widespread.
I got the AHA information here:
http://www.americanhumane.org/about-us/newsroom/fact-sheets/animal-shelter-euthanasia.html
According to them, "...We estimated what is occurring nationwide. It is widely accepted that 9.6 million animals are euthanized annually in the United States."
I've read this statistic in other places, but I don't have them bookmarked.

I watched the video that Curbside Prophet posted and found the guy to be pretty decent seeming. I don't know about the euthanized animals bit, but I do know for a fact that cows eat other diseased cows here in the US, unfortunately.
Marsh Puppet's info from the FDA seems solid.

Edit: Pai, you could be totally right about the stats. I don't think there's any way for anyone to be sure. This is just the stat that I've read in a lot of places. Anyway, I just wanted to post my source here so you would know it wasn't ... imaginary.

Another add-on: Just to be clear, my intention with this post wasn't to stir up drama or gross people out. I just wanted to see if anyone has information on this. And the responses have been very helpful, thanks.
 

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Edit: Pai, you could be totally right about the stats. I don't think there's any way for anyone to be sure. This is just the stat that I've read in a lot of places. Anyway, I just wanted to post my source here so you would know it wasn't ... imaginary.
I just think it's weird that one AHA page would say 9 million and another from the same site would then say 4 million.

The main problem with the internet is sites that copy/paste information without context or even incorrectly. However, the AHA page references the National Council on Pet Population for their numbers; however the NCPP site says 4 million... so not sure why AHA would refer to a source that contradicts them. NCPP actually does the surveys themselves, so I'd trust them over someone who's only quoting them.

Personally, I agree that farming in this country is pretty screwed up. Even after the Mad Cow scare, they're STILL feeding dead cows back to other cows and who knows what else. I wouldn't be surprised if the accusation that pets are rendered for meat ended up true, I just have never seen any proof anywhere, so I hesitate to believe it.
 

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If you're concerned, simply don't buy food with "animal fat" or "meat meal", etc. Buy "chicken meal" or "deboned lamb" and you'll not have to worry about fido in the kibble.
 

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You know, it's not related but I don't put it past any company being so cheap as to put whatever in its dog food. I just found out that the owner of the clinic I work at feeds her dog the expired dog food from her clinics. She has 7 clinics so it's not like she can't afford it but Hill's and Medi-cal are bad enough but to feed her dog rancid kibble is cheap and disgusting. I used to think that she could send them back to the company but no, she is feeding the food to her dog. And I would assume her cats too.

And Hill's just sent us a brochure explaining the myths of by-products and how we shouldn't judge a food just by its ingredients. It said the by-products consisted of Vitamin E, organs etc. So, if by-products are so good, why not name what's in them? However, I don't think Hill's or Medi-cal use dead, diseased, disabled or euthanized dogs or cats in their food because it's not like they have any meat in them anyway.
 

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This is a subject I researched some months back. Forgive me, as I don't remember the exact details, but I'll try my best...

I first heard of it when I read Ann N. Martin's book "Food Pets Die For:Shocking Facts About Pet Food". Ann spent a good many years doing the leg work, trying to find out what IS actually in pet food.

I had an article once regarding pentobarbital that was straight off of the AAFCO website. For the life of me I can't find it on their website now, but I THINK I saved a copy of it. I'm at work right now though, so I'll have to do a search for it once I get home.

Basically, traces of Pentobarbital were showing up in the pet food, and they were claiming it was from the meat used such as cattle. There was a reason Ann Martin came to the conclusion it was from euthanized pets instead of livestock, but for the life of me I can't remember what it is now.

From what I've seen, read, and heard about, there are plenty things to be concerned about regarding pet food, and whether or not there are actually pets in it I'm not sure (though honestly find it hard to doubt). Pets in pet food is just one of many reasons why the pet food industry NEEDS better regulation. However, many argue that if we're guna create stricter regulations on food, we'd better be starting with people food first.
 

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From what I've seen, read, and heard about, there are plenty things to be concerned about regarding pet food, and whether or not there are actually pets in it I'm not sure (though honestly find it hard to doubt). Pets in pet food is just one of many reasons why the pet food industry NEEDS better regulation. However, many argue that if we're guna create stricter regulations on food, we'd better be starting with people food first.
It's all the same thing, really. The meat (or meat by-products) and veggies (or gluten meal) that go in commercial dog food comes from the same sources as 'people food'. The salmonella peanut butter recall that happened recently was a prime example: you had dog treats as well as people food made with peanuts being affected, as the peanut paste used in both was from the same place. It's a scary thing if you think about it.
 

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It's all the same thing, really. The meat (or meat by-products) and veggies (or gluten meal) that go in commercial dog food comes from the same sources as 'people food'. The salmonella peanut butter recall that happened recently was a prime example: you had dog treats as well as people food made with peanuts being affected, as the peanut paste used in both was from the same place. It's a scary thing if you think about it.
Yup. After I started researching pet food it made me sick to my stomach. I still feed my dogs kibble, but about 50% of what they get is real food as well. I'd like to eventually feed them a raw diet, but right now I just can't do it due to unavailable resources. Also, once I started researching good food for dogs and everything these good, organic foods do for your body, it made me realize I should be taking better care and be more aware of what I put into my own body as well.

It's unfortunate that everything's about what's "cost effective" and what's cost effective in the food industry (be it human or pet), doesn't equal what's right and what's healthy.
 
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