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How War is Fought in the 21st Century

hqdefaultI received my warfare education at Officer Training School, United States Air Force. That was our first introduction to this – psychological warfare. Most often called psy-ops, this warfare adjunct was a huge part of many wars, including the Vietnam War – on both sides. Hanoi Hannah (see picture) would broadcast day and night undermining US military leadership and the psyche of GIs. Psy-ops can cause soldiers to lose their will to fight. A government can brainwash its people to support or defeat an initiative based on psy-op warfare.

Fast forward to the 21st-century. Now we have social media. We have bloggers. We have paid trolls. In some cases, it’s impossible to differentiate between the two. These psy-op techniques and resources are being leveraged to destroy the economy of certain types of pet foods – namely, those using real food ingredients which meet the definition of the law. Next Gen PFMA members.

Truly. This is war.

With every recall of raw pet food, the fear mongering accelerates. Certain websites (Dog Food Advisor, Truth About Pet Food) publish all recall information; other websites (Pet MD) only publish raw pet food recalls – as if only raw pet food makes people or animals sick. (Ironically, no one has been reported sick in any species with any of the raw pet food recalls in 2019.) But in war, all of this makes sense.

PetMD is owned by Pet360 which is owned by PetSmart. It’s logical that the only recalls posted in red at the top of PetMD relate to raw pet food. As of the writing of this article, humans are sick from pig ear treats; no one is sick from Texas Tripe products. PetSmart carries pig ears. “They” have not informed their public loudly at the top of Pet MD of the danger of pig ear. “They” do continue to warn the public of the Texas Tripe products.

It becomes obvious the Pet MD recall listing is really designed to use psy-ops to damage the real pet food industry – which, incidentally, PetSmart does not carry or support. When the recall is in their bulk bins, their backyard so to speak, no one is informed loudly of the dangers on an internationally renowned website. Because it would affect their bottomline. (Them being PetSmart and the brands they carry/support.)

The big business propaganda machine is intentionally working to divide parties – the parties: conventional pet food and fresh pet food. The big business propaganda machine has paid trolls to create public uncertainty and fear against fresh pet food. This destroys your business if you manufacture fresh pet food! Psy-ops at its finest.

Here’s another example:

This past month, August 2019, the FDA has issued 6 salmonella-related notices. Let’s take a look:

Pet food/treat recalls:

  • Aunt Jeni’s – raw pet food products, 8/30/19 – NOTE: This is an FDA driven warning letter – there is no recall!
  • Brutus & Barnaby – pig ears, 8/27/19
  • Chef Toby – pig ears, 8/16/19
  • Texas Tripe – raw pet products, 8/15/19

Human food/product recalls:

  • The Milk Lady’s, Peaceful Baby, and Diges-Tea – tea, 8/29/19
  • Dole – baby spinach, 8/9/19

All of these foods caused alerts for presence of Salmonella organisms in the products. Only in the case of the 2 pig ear recalls are humans sick. We have big news about the pet products recalls (understandable, pet owners were devastated by the melamine recalls of  2007); no news about the human recalls. And one of the products was marketed for babies! No news. Psy-ops.

The language of the recall alerts demonstrates more psy-ops at work.

This month’s salmonella-related human food recalls state:

  • “Symptoms of infection may include fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. The illness primarily impacts young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Most healthy adults and children rarely become seriously ill after exposure to Salmonella.” (Dole spinach)
  • Salmonella, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis and arthritis.” (Mountain Mel’s teas)

This month’s salmonella-related pet products recalls state:

  • “Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
    Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.” (pig ears – as reminder, humans are sick with this product)


  • “Pets do not always display symptoms when infected with Salmonella, but signs can include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), fever, loss of appetite and/or decreased activity level. If your pet has these symptoms, consult a veterinarian promptly. You should also be aware that infected pets can shed the bacteria in their feces and saliva without showing signs of being sick, further contaminating the household environment.” (Aunt Jeni’s – no one is sick; emphasis added – again, this is actually not a recall, yet the language is alarming)

Can you see the psychological warfare? What about the humans with salmonella from consuming spinach or tea? How about their feces and saliva? You just think all of their feces make it into the toilet and that they keep their saliva in their mouths. Babies won’t; someone has to clean it. Where is the notification about that risk?

How about people who home-prepare pet food? Or top-dress pet food with fresh food – like spinach? Shouldn’t that recall warning contain the same language?

If the above isn’t enough, here is more evidence of the escalation of the psychological warfare:

In 2012, during the massive salmonella-related kibble pet food recall, during which humans were also infected with the salmonella from the kibble (yes, kibble, not raw food), the comment regarding salmonella was very brief:

  • “Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever, and abdominal pain. Well animals can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.” (Diamond products)

Fighting psychological warfare is challenging! It’s easy to put your head down and just “do your thing.” The problem is, your “thing” is quite successful, and thus, it’s a threat to the “other side.” You will be pulled into the war one way or another.

To paraphrase Robin Williams in “Good Morning Vietnam” (where Hanoi Hannah was featured), “good morning real pet food manufacturers! We are at war! Psy-ops are in effect.”

This trade association works to help all real pet food manufacturers work together and keep an entire category of food operating legally and in staying business – we can survive and win this war!

“They” fight with psy-ops. We fight with transparency.

In fact, we must unite, because this is war! If you aren’t yet a member, join here. Ready to enter the conversation? Check out this post and consider participating in the talk.

About Cathy Alinovi

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