Slow Food Movement and cats

We have been supporters of the Slow Food Movement since around 1990. We shop, eat, cook, and live . . . slowly. When we work we try to make every move slowly and carefully with much thought and attention to detail and its cause and effect. Unless forced otherwise we buy only food grown or produced by persons in our bio region or watershed who are committed to organic, Permaculture, or Biodynamic principles. The same principles of Slow food and living Slow extend to how we care for and feed our cats and bunnies.

Our cats are fed a diet of raw grass fed meat. We purchase it from a local producer who we know by name and have the personal phone number of. We can ask them questions and get real answers. We know these folks well enough to know the names of their family members and their housecats! We enjoy the relationship we have with Linda Alston of Alston Farm and trust that the meat she sells us is as pure and clean as can be. We know the animals are raised with compassion, that they are healthy, and that they are not given drugs. The Jersey cows graze year round on grass in the California sunshine. We also like that Linda is close to our 100 mile watershed and is in our bio-region.

Our cats eat twice a day, breakfast and dinner. Preparing their food is a way we can slow down and put our energy into their good health and well being. As I put the meat in a bowl I think of Linda who I bought it from and I send nice thoughts her way. When I stir in minced baby greens I think of my garden where they grew or the person I bought them from at the farmer’s market, again sending out good wishes and nice thoughts.

If I add baked sweet potato (which cats love) I think about how I incorporate what the cats eat with what we eat. I roast or bake enough sweet potatoes for all of us. The greens which go into their food are also in my salad or part of a meal. We don’t give our cats much grain, but if there is some left over rice I’ll add a bit to the mix. My rice comes from a grower who’s in my bio region. Sometimes its from a fair trade company which works with organic and sustainable growers in far away places. I add Kidney Kitty flower essence formula as all of our cats are over 12 years old.

As I mix their food carefully and slowly I think about my beloved geriatric cats who’s ages range from 12 to over 18. I know that they look great and have lustrous fur and fairly minor health problems compared to other cats their age or even younger. I believe that eating commercial cat food on a daily basis is not good. Our cats do sometimes get canned cat food, but I’m very fussy about what I buy. I call the cat food companies and ask if all of their ingredients are US manufactured. I will not buy any food items which contain ingredients from China or similar countries (with the exception of things like tea, but its organically grown). Rarely do my cats get canned cat food more than a few times a week. While I mix their food and spoon it into their bowls I send out healthy and loving thoughts to all 6 to my cats.

I like homemade food for my cats for many reasons. I know the name and source of every single ingredient which is how I feed my human family and friends. The mystery ingredients in commercial cat food scare me. And how do we know for sure that the ingredients in prepared food for animals and humans are not toxic or safe? We don’t! We cannot trust corporations to put care and love into what they produce. We certainly cannot trust companies in other countries.

When news of the tainted cat and dog food first hit the media I wondered “why would any US or Canadian company consider buying ingredients like wheat or rice from China when we grow them right here?” Its madness. China and many other countries have appalling standards of cleanliness and health. Do you really trust US corporations who care only about the bottom-line and which buy cheap ingredients to feed you and your cats? Do you trust corporations in places like China?

We feed our cats food made with love. Do corporations love you? Or just your money? Do those workers, who are often slaves or barely paid, resent and hate us? As they are working under force or for little money are they putting their angry thoughts into those goods and ingredients?

Speaking of ingredients, how do we know for sure that every ingredient in prepared food – be it your cat or dog, or yours – does not contain toxic ingredients. Does that food bowl which was made in China contain toxins or give off toxic fumes? If you think we are alarmist then read the recent news articles about the millions of children’s toys which have been recalled because they contain deadly toxins

Cheap cat toys from China, cheap clothing from China, cheap appliances from China. Cheap and cheaper, toxic and dangerous, the list of cheapness grows every day. Then there is the pollution its causing in the countries where all of our manufacturing has gone because they do not have safety standards. Think your safe here on US shores? Read about the clouds of pollution which blow across the Pacific right into our backyards.

Do you know that only 1/2 of 1% of all imports are inspected? That’s not a typo, its a fact. Are you outraged? You should be. The recent cat and dog food deaths caused by poisoned ingredients from China should have scared you, gotten you to ask questions, and changed how you spend your money.

Transporting all that cheap junk to the US on ships requires the burning of a staggering amount of fossil fuel. The next time you say “Wow, I love it, its so cheap.” Think about what your saying and the effect shopping like this has.

Earlier in this post we tossed out some words you may not be familiar with: bio region and watershed. Hop over to Google and learn something new!

Shop: To find grass fed in your state:

Read: The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan
Read: In Praise of Slowness, Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore’

View: Manufactured Landscape, a film by Edward Burtynsky. View the trailor:
View: Lou Dobbs on MSNBC

Web: FDA website for recalls and warnings on food, health care items and more. Very eye opening indeed!

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