How the pet food industry is killing your pet

October 23rd, 2015, by

Decorated in colorful, vibrant packaging and costing a pretty penny, commercial pet food is one product many of us blindly trust; after all, who would want to hurt animals? Turns out, a lot of people, including the commercial pet food industry, which only recently gained popularity in the 1980s.

The commercial pet food industry is keeping a big secret from its loyal consumers. Their products not only contain a bunch of cheap, unhealthy junk, but contain euthanized cats and dogs that are supposedly added for extra protein.

Author Ann Martin dives into this controversial and little known topic in her book titled Food Pets Die For: Shocking Facts About Pet Food.

Her book opens with a bit of a disclaimer, warning readers that the information within it “may not be easy to accept”; however, she adds, “if you care about your animal companions, and you want to be informed about what is in most commercial pet foods, then keep reading.”

Martin says throughout her research she uncovered things that were “absolutely horrifying” about the pet food industry.


“In 1990 after the illness of my two large dogs, Louie, a Saint Bernard, and Charlie, a Newfoundland, I began to ask questions about the ingredients in commercial pet foods and the manufacturers.

“I quickly learned that this is a multi-billion dollar industry that operates with virtually no government regulations[emphasis added] and in many ways is self-regulated.

“I also learned that there are many deplorable ingredients that legally can be used in pet foods as sources of protein – in particular, euthanized cats and dogs, diseased cattle and horses, roadkill, dead zoo animals, and meat not fit for human consumption.

“In addition, sources of fiber in many foods are composed of the leftovers from the food chain, including beet pulp, the residue of sugar beets, peanut hulls, and even sawdust sweepings from the floor of the rendering plant!”

Martin says reading the ingredients on pet food is only half the battle, as deciphering what they mean is where the real leg work comes in.

“Even conscientious consumers couldn’t possibly detect the hidden ingredients that can be legally put in pet food, because only about half the actual contents of the pet food are listed on the label due to minimal legal regulations,” Martin wrote.


“Meat by-product” may “include a variety of unsavory animal parts. According to Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), ‘Meat by-product is the nonrendered, clean parts of slaughtered mammals other than the meat.’”

Under the guidelines, acceptable meat products may include “animal lungs, spleens, kidneys, brains, livers, blood, bones, low-temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. Livers can be infested with worms (liver flukes) or diseased with cirrhosis.

“Lungs can be filled with pneumonia. If an animal is diseased and declared unfit for human consumption, the carcass is acceptable for pet food,” Martin explains.

“Even parts of animals, such as ‘stick marks’ – the area of the body where animals have been injected with antibiotics, hormones, or other drugs – are cut from the carcasses intended for human consumption and used for meat by-product for pet food.

“The most objectionable source of protein for pet food is euthanized cats and dogs.

“It is not uncommon for thousands of euthanized dogs and cats to be delivered to rendering plants, daily, and thrown into the rendering vat – collars, I.D. tags, and plastic bags – to become part of this material called ‘meat meal.’”


“If your dog or cat becomes ill after eating a pet food manufactured in the United States, can you go to the FDA/CVM [Center for Veterinary Medicine] and request that this government agency investigate?

“Unless you can provide scientific data that indicates the source of the problem, the answer is no. FDA/CVM requires chemical analysis of the food, veterinary reports, any blood work, urinalysis, or any other medical tests done on your pet, which can be very costly for a consumer. Then, and only then, will the FDA investigate.”

Additional sources:

Is America the greatest country in the world?


I’m in New Haven today to attend the funeral of Irwin Schiff, who unfortunately passed away last weekend.

If you’ve never heard of Irwin, he was one of the original “tax protestors”.

He believed not only that paying federal income was unconstitutional, but actually went so far as to stop paying tax altogether.

And he spent years of his life in prison as a result.

Now, you may not agree with his philosophy or its legal basis.

But I hope we can agree that keeping an 87-year old terminally ill cancer patient handcuffed to a hospital bed for failing to file taxes is a disgusting reflection of modern America.

The fact that failing to file taxes is even a criminal matter at all in the Land of the Free is truly bizarre.

In civilized countries, tax matters are precisely that– civil. They don’t throw people in prison with violent felons over something so trivial.

But this has become the way of so many things in the Land of the Free.

Aside from the most obscure violation of the US federal tax code, which goes on for thousands of pages, you can go to jail for violating any number of federal regulations, the sum of which could fill an entire football stadium.

And that’s precisely the problem with this place.

You see, I think the United States really is wonderful… with a huge caveat.

America has some of the nicest malls in the world. There are so many quality brands and luxurious shops. The restaurants are fantastic with speedy, efficient service.

You can buy the nicest cars models and live in big McMansions. All the latest technological gadgetry is available for sale at the big box retailer down the street.

Street corners are dotted with gourmet coffee shops or convenient drug stores. And there are thousands of programs to watch on television at any given moment.

Yes, the United States is one of the greatest places in the world… to be a consumer.

If you want to shop, spend, and consume, the US is pretty damn near #1 in the world.

But if you want to build. If you want to create. If you want to be a producer in the United States… it’s a whole different story.

Just think about what it takes to start a business these days– there are permits, licenses, and regulations to follow, most of which you have probably never even heard of.

Every single business day the federal government publishes hundreds of pages of new rules and regulations in what’s called the Federal Register.

Today’s edition alone is a massive 815 pages.

On Monday there will be several hundred pages more. And Tuesday. Wednesday. Etc. It never stops.

Many of these rules come with severe penalties as well.

Months ago we discovered that the Commerce Department was threatening people with a $25,000 fine and potential litigation simply for not filling out a survey.

And on top of everything else are all the rules you have to deal with regarding employees, taxes, and now Obamacare.

Oh, and that’s just at the Federal level. State and local governments add their own burdensome requirements as well.

No one is immune. They even chase away little girls who dare to operate a lemonade stand without a permit. It’s unbelievable.

And young people who try to become productive by going to university graduate with $30,000+ in debt that they’ll spend the next fifteen years paying down.

Then there’s the additional hassle of dealing with the financial system; just getting a bank account open for a new business is now a major challenge.

Banks force small businesses to jump through all sorts of ridiculous hoops to prove that they’re not money launderers, just for the privilege of depositing their money to earn 0% interest.

What’s really ironic is that a consumer can walk into a bank and easily obtain a loan to buy a new car, or even a television.

But you have basically no chance of obtaining a loan to start a new business or invest in a great company.

These are all symptoms of the same problem. If you want to spend, borrow, and consume, America is fantastic.

But if you want to save, invest, and produce, America is becoming more challenging every year.

The Universal Law of Prosperity is very simple: produce MORE than you consume. And it applies equally to people, governments, and entire economies.

In the US, and most of the West, everything in the system is designed for the exact opposite– rewarding consumption at the expense of production.

And this is a massive problem that’s causing a major decline.

Sure, you might have accumulated more ‘stuff’. But every year the West is less wealthy, and less free.

Here’s the bad news: Your government can’t fix this. They’re a huge part of the reason this problem exists in the first place.

And you can’t fix this yourself either. There is no grassroots campaign, no ‘get out the vote’ movement to get your nation back on track.

But what you can do is take care of yourself. Make sure that, if this trend continues, you’re not going to be a victim of other people’s stupidity.

Produce more than you consume. Safeguard your purchasing power. Protect what you’ve worked for. Diversify abroad. Invest wisely. Have a Plan B.

In short, you can’t fix your country, or your government. Especially if the system is designed to make you less wealthy and less free.

Because if you really want to be able to change something for the better, just make sure that no matter what happens, you’re always going to be in a position of strength.

Americans renouncing US citizenship soars to yet another record high


1,426. That’s the number of Americans who renounced their US citizenship last quarter according to the US government’s report just released this morning.

That’s a record high for a single quarter, easily beating the last record high set earlier this year, which beat the previous record high set in 2013.

Dashboard 1

This is clearly a trend on the rise, and it certainly raises the question: why?

What is it about the United States that drives so many citizens to leave?

Two main reasons:

The first group consists of people who just can’t take it anymore. Constant warfare, intimidation, and the steady erosion of freedom have pushed them to their breaking points.

They look around and think, “This is NOT the country that I grew up in.” And they renounce their citizenship in protest of a government they no longer want to be associated with.

But that’s a small percentage of former citizens.

For the vast majority of people who renounce their US citizenship, it ultimately comes down to a single issue: taxes.

And there are three categories of tax-motivated renunciants.

The first is wealthy Americans who want to end Uncle Sam’s claim on their income once and for all.

Some famous people in this category who renounced US citizenship include Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and singer Tina Turner.

It’s an expensive decision for this group, as the US government levies a nasty exit tax on their entire estate before they leave.

Now, this group is often held up as the villainous “tax traitor” who leaves America. But not everyone who renounces is a moustache-twirling billionaire.

There are far more people in the second group, what I call ‘Accidental Americans’.

These are people who, in many cases, have never lived in the US or potentially even never set foot in the US.

But simply by having, say, a US citizen mother or father, or being born in a place like the Panama Canal Zone, they became US citizens at birth.

There are countless people in this situation who lived their entire lives in peace. And then one day they received a letter from the US government demanding back taxes.

You see, the Land of the Free is almost unique in the entire world in that it has citizenship-based taxation.

In most civilized countries, the governments tax their citizens based on residency.

If you live in Canada, you pay taxes in Canada. But if you’re a Canadian citizen living in the Cayman Islands, you no longer pay taxes to Canada. Simple.

Not so in the United States. US citizens are obliged to file taxes wherever they go in the world.

And aside from an exclusion on the first $100,800 ($101,300 for 2016) of ‘earned income’, US citizens are also subject to pay tax on their worldwide income, regardless of where they live.

(Note ‘earned income’ does not include investment income. So if you trade stocks or FOREX, you generally pay taxes on all of your gains.)

So imagine you’re a Panamanian citizen who was born and raised in Panama, who just happens to have a father who’s a US citizen. That makes you a US citizen.

You trade stocks for a living, primarily on the London Stock Exchange.

The UK has no withholding tax on stock trading, so you pay no tax there. Panama is a territorial tax system, so you owe no tax there either.

But simply because your dad was a US citizen, the US government has its hand out for its ‘fair share’ of your worldwide earnings.

This has clearly propelled a LOT of people to renounce their US citizenship.

But what’s really obscene is that before they let anyone renounce, the US government forces them to settle the tax bill. Only then are they ‘allowed’ to renounce.

The third category of people is Americans living overseas who have been hit by a barrage of offshore compliance laws.

72-year old Donna-Lane Nelson is a great example.

Ms. Nelson was forced into renouncing her citizenship after her local bank threatened to close her account back in 2011 because of her US citizenship.

She felt she had no choice. And the bank had no choice.

Back then Barack Obama had just signed the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, into law, pushing banks to dump all their American customers.

Ms. Nelson was one of them. And faced with the prospect of having to live without a bank account, she made a difficult choice and renounced.

As she explained to CNN, “After I did it, I was so emotional that I threw up outside the embassy.”

These people aren’t multi-billionaires. Many of them are retirees or expats living on modest incomes.

And in many respects they’re not even people who want to renounce. They’ve been pushed out by their own government.

According to the US State Department there are 7.6 million Americans living overseas.

Altogether they would comprise the 14th most populous state in the union, just behind Washington and ahead of Massachusetts.

They receive almost zero benefit from the US government. They don’t drive on US federal highways, and they aren’t ‘protected’ by Homeland Security.

Yet they still have to pay for it.

Even if they don’t owe any taxes, they have to file a bunch of silly disclosure forms each year to the Treasury Department, sometimes having to spend a lot of money on accountants to file the forms.

Or, like Ms. Nelson, they get penalized for being American.

It’s understandable, though sickening, that these people are renouncing their citizenship; US citizenship has simply become too expensive to maintain.

Nearly 14,000 Americans have renounced their citizenship since FATCA was passed.

This is a number on the rise.

And it’s a sad reminder of the depths that governments sink to when they go broke, even to the point of chasing out their own citizens.

Evidence Mounts that US Military Knew They Were Bombing Active Hospital

Tales from the Conspiratum

Reporting raises new questions about potential war crimes in U.S. bombing of Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

Source: Evidence Mounts that US Military Knew They Were Bombing Active Hospital | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

Reporting raises new questions about potential war crimes in U.S. bombing of Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan 

MSF staff treat injured colleagues and patients in the hospital's safe room after the airstrike. (Photo: MSF)

MSF staff treat injured colleagues and patients in the hospital’s safe room after the airstrike. (Photo: MSF)

The Associated Press provided new evidence Monday that the U.S. military knew that the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan was an active medical facility before they bombed it, bolstering the aid agency’s charge that the attack—which killed at least 30 people—amounted to a war crime.

“A day before an American AC130 gunship attacked the hospital…

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Urgent action needed to stop CISA! (Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act)

CISA Moves Forward: These 83 Senators Just Voted To Expand Surveillance

from the ridiculous dept

Well, it’s not a huge surprise that it moved forward, but the faux “cybersecurity” bill, which is actually a surveillance bill in disguise, CISA (Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act), has moved forward in the Senate via an overwhelming 83 to 14 vote. As we’ve discussed at length, while CISA is positioned as just a “voluntary” cybersecurity information sharing bill, it’s really none of those things. It’s not voluntary and it’s not really about cybersecurity. Instead, it’s a surveillance bill, that effectively gives the NSA greater access to information from companies in order to do deeper snooping through its upstream collection points. Even the attempts to supposedly “clarify” the language to protect data from being used for surveillance shows that the language is deliberately written to look like it does one thing, while really opening up the ability of the NSA and FBI to get much more information.

This is bad news, which is why nearly all of the tech/internet industry have come out against the bill. Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Google and more have spoken out against the bill in recent days, recognizing that at a time when they’re still trying to win back the trust of their users following the Snowden revelations, the last thing they need is for the US government to pass a new sneaky surveillance bill. But, apparently, 83 Senators chose not to listen.

Bad news.

Despite the fact that nearly every major tech company and security expert has come out against it, Congress is still rushing toward a vote on CISA, and the numbers are not looking good. The House Intelligence chief is claiming that CISA will pass “overwhelmingly,” despite the massive public outcry. 

It pains me to say this, but CISA is going to become law unless we go all out right now and every single person getting this does everything in their power to stop it and their phones ring off the hook.

There’s just hours left to have an impact: click here to tell your lawmakers to vote NO on CISA right now.

If you’re still catching up, CISA is the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, which is one of the most dangerous pieces of legislation in the Internet’s history. It sets the precedent for what the Internet is used for into the future. It would effectively give the government full access to all of our information to use as they wish, end privacy policies, and make all of us more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

CISA would allow spy agencies like the NSA to collect even more of your personal data and then share it with dozens of other government agencies, all the way down to local police, authorizing them to use it for an absurdly wide range of purposes that have nothing to do with “cybersecurity,” including investigating “fake” id’s.

Worse, it will literally do nothing to stop the types of high profile cyber attacks that Congress is using to justify it. So we get less privacy AND less security, while giant companies like Target, Experian, and Sony will get legal immunity that lets them on the hook when they fail to protect our data.

There’s still a chance. We’ve won against these types of odds before. But everyone getting this needs to take action TODAY. Click here to speak out, we’ve made it easy to email, tweet, and call to stop CISA.

No matter what happens, we’ve put up a hell of a fight. Together we put the fear of the Internet into the largest tech companies in the U.S. and got them to take a stand against this bill. Now we need to bring it home.

We at Fight for the Future are working around the clock on this right now. Several of us are en route to Washington, DC as I write this and we’ll be participating in an awesome protest outside Congress TONIGHT at 6:30pm EST with giant light up signs.

Beyond making calls, if you’re in the DC area or know someone who is, go here to get the details and RSVP or spread the word:

Congress is hoping that they can sneak this bill through without a fight. We need to prove them wrong.

The final vote is days away. Click here to take action against CISA right now.

We can’t thank you enough for all you do. This is the free speech fight of our generation, and we’re proud to be with you on the frontlines.

For the Internet,
~ Evan, Tiffiniy, Holmes, Charlie, Jeff, Aki, Jessica, Vasjen, and Sarah

Fight for the Future