Moving Ahead, Obstacles Not Withstanding
You may have read my last issue of Vital Animal News where I brought up the pentobarbital contamination found in Evanger’s canned food, and the ensuing recall.
One woman had four dogs eat this food, and now one is no longer alive.
Her story is one of pioneering and bravery and inspiration.
Nikki Mael fed her Pugs a New Years Eve “treat” of a supposedly beef based food, and within 15 minutes, all four were acting dizzy.
A rush to the E.R., the last place on earth she imagined she’d be on New Years, and she came home with one dog seizing and on meds, and her pack leader, Talulah lost to poisoning.
Evangers ran some tests. Negative for bacteria. Negative for endotoxins.
Nikki knew in her heart her dogs were made sick by this food, and sent some cans of the food to the veterinary diagnostic lab in Michigan. The same lab received Talulah’s body for a post mortem exam.
Contrary to Evanger’s negative tests and trying to paint a bright picture, pentobarbital was found in both Talulah’s stomach contents and the cans of the same food the Pugs had eaten.
Recalls ensued, and the company has tried valiantly to look like the good guys, blaming their supplier for sneaking euthanized horse meat into their “beef,” and blaming the government for not policing pet food more thoroughly.
In short, doing everything but taking responsibility for marketing dangerous food to an unsuspecting public.
[For an enlightening, in depth time line of this scandal, visit Poisoned Pets.]
Popular or Not, Tell it Like it Is
What really struck me in all this was the courage it took on owner Nikki Mael’s part to go public with her story.
Nikki posted her sad tale to a crowd funding page, to help recover her vet bills.
And, after realizing where they stood, she refused to communicate with Evangers, while helping the FDA and petitioning her state congressman to get involved.
Her goal: help clean up this messy pet food industry so no other animals need ever die or be sickened from eating food that was supposed to be good for them.
On this public posting, comments came in. Some were downright negative, accusing her of poisoning her own pets to get money!
Can you imagine, grieving as she must have been, the guts and heart it took to stay the course?
It’s this kind of bravery that I want for all of you, dear readers. It comes from knowing what’s true and striding forward on behalf of your innocent animals, even when you know it’d be easier to be quiet.
Together We Stand
When my last course, the Natural Rearing Roadmap was in mid-launch, I posted to this blog about one of you who was being downright abused by her vet.
The post was shared to Facebook multiple times, as I suspect it struck a chord.
The hew and cry from my conventional colleagues was outrageous.
I had a slew of vets and vet techs claiming I had no right to hold a license, to say such inflammatory things that impugned their practice standards (largely, gross over vaccination, based on what we’ve long known to be true in immunology).
My Facebook page was smeared with negative reviews and invective.
I got a letter from a classmate I’d not heard from since we graduated 37 years ago, calling me names for acting so openly critical of my fellow professionals.
Amazingly, while I was busy working to bring out the course (teaching you how to step out of conventional “prevention” and create truly amazing health in your next pup), my pack members rose to my defense.
Taking the high road, they repeatedly called for the naysayers to offer up any data, anything, that refuted my stand.
They had nothing.
Just empty shrieks and foul mouthed outrage.
My pack of pioneers rocked it, in the name of upholding truth and honesty. The negative reviews disappeared and were replaced with glowing ones.
I write this mainly to point out that being a pioneer is rarely easy.
And yet, it’s the only way we can hope to change the system.
Pioneers who dare to stand up to lies, to greed, to practices that stand to harm innocent animals are who move mountains and make a difference.
Your making a ruckus, calling out injustice, or minimally, choosing where you spend your money (on food, on vets, on groomers, breeders, kennels, etc.), it all takes a certain amount of courage.
It’s far easier to do what everyone else seems to be doing.
And, if we all choose to be anesthetized into not making waves, the system continues to roll over the top of us, and our animals, and nothing changes.
You may well have your own story to tell, if this is at all resonating with you, I’d encourage you to share that story in the comments below.
When we stand together, pioneers are a force to be reckoned with.