I read something interesting the other day and it made me think. It’s something I knew. I’d just never really thought about it in these terms. It happens in every country of the world from the richest to the poorest. No matter where in the world you live, it happens in every household every day of every year and has done for centuries. And what was the subject of this recent earth-shattering epiphany? I realised that whether some of us like it or not, people are eating dog food!
What is people food anyway?
We hear a great deal from the commercial pet food industry about ‘people food’ and how it’s bad for dogs. Of course many of us know this is nonsense on a number of levels. Apart from anything else, what the industry scathingly calls ‘people food’ goes into the making of commercial dog food whether the manufacturers like to admit it or not. Okay, it’s not the good bits that you and I eat. It’s the rubbish with little or no nutritional value. The rubbish that more fittingly belongs in landfill. The leftovers from human food production like beaks and feathers, hair and hooves, beet pulp and prairie meal.
But whether they like it or not, it’s still strictly people food because it’s food that was originally produced for people to eat. It’s just that human beings choose not to eat those particular things. And who can blame them!
(Actually, it’s just ‘food’ because no plant and no prey animal that I’m aware of ever came with the label ‘people food’, ‘dog food’, rabbit food’, etc. But let’s play the commercial pet food industry at their own game for a moment. Let’s call the food that we human beings eat ‘people food’ for just a little longer).
The wolf was here first
But here’s the interesting thing. According to fossilized remains found in Ethiopia, the human race is estimated to be around 300,000 years old. Canis lupus on the other hand, that’s the grey wolf to you and I, is estimated to be around 1 million years old. This means that the grey wolf, the animal from which the domestic dog was developed, was actually here long before we were.
So in point of fact, by virtue of the fact that the domestic dog came from the grey wolf and the grey wolf roamed this planet long before homo sapiens, dogs are not eating people food. People are eating dog food!