February 01, 2006

There's Kibble in the Bowl, Dammit!

It’s probably no surprise to people that I happen to like dogs. There are three in the house right now, beasts that were starving and injured when I first took them off the street.

Mark Twain once said that the major difference between a dog and a man was that a dog wouldn’t bite you if you took it in. It goes beyond that, though. They become very protective of you, the head of the pack. They guard my house while I’m away, significantly reducing the chance of a burglary. One of them even literally jumped without hesitation in the jaws of death in an attempt to give me a chance to get away.

That kind of regard is reciprocated. One thing I pay attention to is their health, and I shopped around looking for the dry dog food that would provide the best nutrition for a decent price. Read the labels on the bag and it will soon become apparent that there’s nothing in there that would keep a human being from living off of the kibble. In fact, the dog’s diet is rather healthier than my own. I’ve even suggested that dog owners should keep a good supply on hand and use it as emergency rations if they are victims of a hurricane or other disaster.

That’s why I was surprised to see this news item at the BBC. A New Zealand dog food manufacturer offered a product in an effort to relieve some of the extreme suffering that a famine in Kenya is causing. The government in Kenya turned them down while expressing a great deal of anger and outrage.

It’s important to note that the stuff isn’t really dog food, but is instead an emergency food supplement specifically for humans that was developed and made by the founder of a dog food company. That hasn’t made any impression on the Kenyans, who insist that all food shipped to them “conform to standards”.

If one of my dogs turns their nose up at the dry fare I put in their bowl, I just wait. They’ll eat it when they get hungry enough. Pity that the government officials in Kenya aren’t trying to subsist on the same diet that some of their people are forced to try.

Posted by James Rummel at February 1, 2006 08:40 AM | TrackBack

I am thoroughly convinced that governments like Kenya use drought and famine as a method of control. They don't want other countries or businesses to donate food because that reduces the power and control they exercise over their people.

Starving people tend to busy themselves with staying alive and don't worry about such minor things as revolution.

If they were truly concerned with their people, even if the "supplement" really WAS dog food...how about giving it to the people, telling them what it is and let THEM decide whether to eat it or not.

Because it's not about concern for the people, it's about control. That's one of the reasons that many African countries refuse to accept "genetically engineered" food from the US. You know, the stuff that people like you and I have been eating for 50 years with no ill effects (unless you consider a life expectancy over twice that of many African nations to be an ill effect).

On the subject of your lead-in:

My wife and I just rescued a Lab-Pit Bull mix from the SPCA. I was a little leery about the Pit Bull part, but they assured us that Roxy's temperament was more along the lines of Lab than Pit.

I'm glad we took their word for it. She is the best canine companion I've ever had. She is well behaved, very smart, and extremely affectionate. She is great around the grandkids and doesn't have a problem at all with a little affectionate ear pulling. She was a breeze to house train and hasn't had an "accident" in weeks (we just got her at Christmas time). What a great dog. I posted about her here: http://captainofone.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-family-member.html.

By the way, the gas problem has settled down considerably. I guess she's finally gotten used to the dog food.

Posted by: Sailorcurt at February 1, 2006 01:46 PM

"How DARE you send food that I can't confiscate and sell to MY people at exorbitant prices! I didn't cause this famine so western do-gooders could have their day in the sun, I caused it so I could make a profit off relief supplies!"

Posted by: Marc at February 1, 2006 06:46 PM

Quite a few years ago, I donated a huge box of clean used kid's clothing to a local charity to help earthquake victims in some medieval Muslim cesspit in the Himilayas. About a week later I saw on TV, a reporter saying he'd been informed that the local earthquake victims, standing in freezing mud and rain with their children dieing from the cold and hunger were incensed that Americans thought so little of them that they had sent USED clothing. You see, giving them clean, warm clothing that had been worn by an infidel was seen as an insult rather than help.

The point of the story wasn't the ingratitude, it was that WE should be more sensitive to the suicidal customs of some retrograde hellhole so WE wouldn't insult them.

That was the day I decided to keep my charity at home, and help people who were less likely to spit in my face to thank me for helping save their children's lives.

Posted by: Gerry N. at February 2, 2006 03:26 PM

My golden retreiver ate dry kibble his entire (13-year) life, and was completely self-regulating in his calorie intake. I used to go for a daily 3-mile run with him until he was about 8 years old, at which point some arthritis started to kick in, and he just couldn't do it anymore. He ballooned up to around 80 pounds from his normal 75, but dropped back down within 6 months. He just ate a little bit less than he had formerly with the higher energy output.

And yes, I used to personally sample his dog food. I wouldn't want to have a steady diet of only that, but it would sure beat starving. And the large-size Milk-Bones don't taste all that bad, either...

Posted by: Blackwing! at February 3, 2006 11:34 AM
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