With hundreds of companies selling raw meaty diets to dogs in the UK, I thought it necessary as a vet to draw a comparison between the feeding of this raw food and a chinese wet market.
Imagine an elderly villager gathering up her chickens fed in her backyard that are her only form of income and bundling them into a makeshift wire basket so that she can sell them at her local wet market. She sets up her stall next to a fresh turtle supplier and a dog meat supplier – both with live animals also kept in wire containers.
Many dogs sold at wet markets for meat are Golden Retriever types. I had one client who owned Bella – a gorgeous gentle Retriever who passed away quietly at home from a long standing heart condition last year. Bella’s owner had been working in China and just before moving back to London, he went to a market and fell for one of the dogs – Bella. She was rescued as a young adult from the meat market and she lived a long and happy life with him. I have never forgotten her as my impression was that dogs sold at meat markets hardly resembled ‘dogs’ as we know them, but she made me realise that my assumption was wrong and most dogs at meat markets are large retriever types.
Back to the elderly villager and her chicken stall cramped between the exotic turtle seller and the dogs in their cages. When people stop to buy her chickens for their evening meal, they select the one she wants, she chops the head off and prepares the meat for them to take home. Her customers are not too keen on the neck or entrails, so instead of wasting them, she throws them to the hungry dogs in the crate next to her – a little like cattle being fed after they are offloaded at the abbatoir.
So where is the difference between these dogs in the wet market being fed the chicken necks and our dogs in our kitchen feeding off raw food?
Raw meaty feeders may justify it by saying that they only feed the ‘meat; they eat themselves such as raw mince or chicken fillets; but it is still the same principle. Similar to a market where the elderly lady will hand her customer the raw chicken in a plastic bag; all meat is packaged and transported in ocean-destroying plastic – most of it not recycled as the black containers that hold raw mince cannot be recycled and very few owners want to wash out the raw feed containers in their sink where they wash their fresh food – they would much rather just bin it.
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