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why do veterinarians recommend 'Hill's' and 'Purina'?

When you're in the veterinarian's lobby next, take a look at the brands that they sell. You will probably see Hill's (Science Diet, Prescription Diet), IAMS, and maybe Purina. These food made by these companies is usually toxic and not good for your pet's health. They sell them at the vet because Hill's funds, and thus controls the content of, veterinary schools in this country.

WARNING: Conflict of interest!

Honestly, it blows my mind.

"...hundreds of thousands of dollars a year funding university research and nutrition courses at every one of the 27 US veterinary colleges. Once in practice, vets who sell Science Diet and other premium foods directly pocket profits of as much as 40%" (Parker-Pope, T. 1997. For You, My Pet. The Wall Street Journal. 3 November 1997. In Lonsdale, T. 2001. Raw Meaty Bones. p266).

Please keep in mind that veterinary clinics are just businesses. They aren't regulated like human doctors offices (and even those aren't void of corruption, but that's a discussion for another day). The giants of the pet food industry and related lobbies have a near monopoly on retail (food, supplements, medications, etc) found in vet clinics. And since Hill's funds veterinary schools, they also control the class content, which is why veterinarians continue to recommend pet food that is harmful for your pet. Veterinarians aren't "out to get us". They're doing their job and are just as wonderful as we think they are! But be an informed dog or cat guardian, because conflicts of interest are red flags.

Topeka, Kan. - Michigan State University (MSU) College of Veterinary Medicine recently presented the 2004 Partnership Award to Hill's Pet Nutrition Inc. The award recognizes the working relationship between the MSU and Hill's. Hill's provides financial and educational support to nearly every veterinary college in North America, as well as to veterinary students attending those institutions. This commitment to the profession includes Hill's sponsored teaching programs, residencies and faculty programs in veterinary schools and teaching hospitals all over the world. 'Hill's is incredibly responsive to anything students or faculty have asked of them,' says Dr. Lonnie King, dean of the college of veterinary medicine at MSU. 'Their steadfast support, generosity and collaboration in advancing the college's mission is recognized as a vital part of our veterinary medicine program.' Hill's has shown its commitment to the partnership with MSU by providing support to many student groups and student activities; covering costs for students to attend the SCAVMA Symposium; providing students with the textbook Small Animal Clinical Nutrition and other various handouts; providing employment to student representatives; and by supporting the awards banquet for seniors graduating from the program. —DVM News Magazine, August 2004

Just as an example of how large the industry of pet food has become:

Hill's is owned by Colgate-Palmolive.

Iams is owned by Proctor & Gamble/MARS.

Purina (ex: Beneful) is owned by Nestle.

Royal Canin is owned by Mars.

Meow Mix is owned by Smuckers.

The quality of the ingredients in the above pet foods (as well as in the majority of commercial pet foods) is low. Much of the grains and meat comes from throwaway crops and livestock. These products often are made with things that your pet is not designed to eat, and/or have carcinogenic preservatives and additives, and often contain euthanized dogs and cats from shelters, as well as the "DDD's": dead, dying, or diseased animals from farms, that can be purchased at a very low cost.

This isn't meant to be horrifying just for the sake of shock value. But when I discovered how much the pet food industry was intentionally deceiving and confusing customers like me, not to mention selling products that make our beloved pets sick, I was no less than outraged.

So... what to do about it?

See this post to find out.

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