Sir Isaac Newton is our Feline Editor At Large (just how large, he’s not saying) who writes very brainy and very well researched articles for us. Newton lives in the North East and is fond of storms, our catnip toys, a soft bed, sunbeams, and naps. He has an ongoing email flirtation with our Daphne. This is his current, and as always, very well done article.
Fellow cats! With all the crazy things going on in the world today I have to admit it is very tempting to curl up in my Cat Faerie bed and ignore it all. But it is time for everyone to step up and act responsibly for the good of our health and that of our planet. Remember – “There is no Planet B” as seen on a T-shirt! Another t-shirt points out – “Save The Earth, It’s the Only Planet With Cats!”
I know I got your attention when I recently talked about the dangers to our beloved sacred wild herb from screwy weather conditions, our beloved Catnip could be in peril. But I am sorry to be the bearer of more bad news. The situation is much worse than even I imagined. Climate change is also threatening our food supply! Yep, that’s CAT FOOD!
If you did not rise up and speak to your maids and butlers (perhaps by doing a little discrete nail sharpening on their shins) it is not too late to start your campaign. Climate change is here. And as they said in the 1960’s: “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”
The central part of the US has experienced extreme weather conditions this past year. Of course, the most obvious adverse effect of too much rain is flooding. Property, lives and infrastructure have all been impacted. Our hearts go out to all the people and animals who lost homes, or more. The huge amount of flooding also affects agriculture, though the precise mechanism may not be so obvious. The good news is that the recent flooding did not happen during the growing season, so crops may still be planted and harvested on the normal schedule. The bad news is that any crop stored in barns or silos is at risk for water damage. Dampness can lead to mold, of course, rendering the crops unsuitable for food. Also, flood waters also carry dangerous contaminants such as pathogenic organisms, pesticides and other toxic substances.
Toxins could also remain in the soil after floodwaters abate. And as you know, everything is connected to everything else. The FDA has already issued warnings to farmers. https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/cvm-updates/resources-animal-food-producers-flooded-central-southern-plains-us
Although this is a proactive gesture it reminds me that not all quality regulations are equal. Standards for human consumption are generally higher than those for nonhumans. In fact, the FDA report alludes to the fact that contaminated feed may be somehow permissible for domestic animals. I, of course, am outraged! Why should we dear animals eat food considered unfit for humans?
I’ve been talking about the effects of floods on crops. Are cats affected by the quality of silage? They certainly could be. We just don’t know all the potential pathways for toxins to move into our food.
As obligate carnivores we cats cannot be complacent about the quality of our food. Cat food can, and does, contain a variety of fruits and vegetables. You unknowing felines could be eating lettuce, blackberries and… yuck: artichokes! I kid you not. http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2017/07/research-update-new-insight-into-grain-free-cat-diets/ There is nothing wrong with a little vegetable or herb matter in the high-end cat food that was studied and I don’t even want to think what might be in bargain brands.
I will be 12 years old in August and I’ve lost my kittenish naïveté (though not the desire to play with bottle tops). I have definitely become more cynical about our government. The “Green New Deal” has lots of ideas to improve life for all in America. But, as with anything that originates in DC it will cost a lot money, and just as bad, it will take a long time, time which we don’t have. We cannot rely on THEM to fix the messes we are in, but must step up and WE must fix impending disasters that have already begun to befall this planet!
Frustrated individuals and communities are taking things into their own hands. Strategies range from youth educating older generations, to planning boards changing local building codes to towns filing suits against companies that threaten community resources. We have to demonstrate what we really want and need because those lazy-bones, bribe taking politicians rarely do the job they were elected to and paid to do.
As always, I urge you to make sure your servants get the facts and then get out and vote. In fact, don’t wait for November. Call or write NOW! I know most of us are frustrated, but we must not let apathy rule us. If I had opposable thumbs I would be calling my government representatives. Because your cat depends on YOU here are a few phrases, articles and videos that you should become familiar with we cats and our beloved people can live long and prosper.
Sir Isaac Newton, Feline Boy Genius and Cat Faeries Editor At Large