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The Way It’s Always Been Done

COWBOY with LONG GUNI’m sure most of us have invoked this saying as justification for our actions at one time or another in our lives. But when on the receiving end, a sensation of unfairness may come across our systems.

By way of example, let’s look back into human history. Two hundred years ago it was normal for humans to own other humans. Fifty years ago slavery and humans owning humans as property was not acceptable. Fifty years ago it was normal to shoot your dog if it’s health was failing. Today, shooting your dog is animal abuse.

Neither of these behaviors are okay anymore but when the times changed there was a group who said “we’ve always done it this way.” Those who led change led people to see the old ways were no longer applicable to the new world and the new information society possessed.

These brutal examples demonstrate how things change. And those caught in the middle must deal with fighting “the way things have always been” attitude. There are those who fight change and those who embrace change.

Our (Next Gen PFMA) members embrace change in the pet food industry – setting new standards themselves. Regulators and government officials, by virtue of the institutions they represent, resist change. And this is where so much difficulty is borne.

We can see this difficulty in non-acceptance by the general veterinary community of feeding real food to pets. We can also see this most clearly in the zero tolerance policies regarding bacteria in raw pet food.

But remember when pet food didn’t exist (okay, most of us aren’t of that generation, but there was a time)? Even that has changed. Feeding “scraps” was the “way it’s always been.” Now, feeding “people food isn’t healthy;” but it begs the question of what is unhealthy about chicken and green beans?

Everything changes. We are constantly learning and improving.

Now, we know real food is better for pets.

What is my message here? If we are going to be on the cutting edge, it’s our responsibility to question the way things have “always been.” Through education and communication we can create a new way for things to be. However, it’s unrealistic to think that in the future there won’t be another situation which invites change and causes people to invoke the “way it’s always been” adage.

I encourage everybody to consider the way things have “always been” and maybe the way things “should be” given what we know now. That way, we move forward as a society feeding pets to the standards that they deserve.

We are here for your needs, as a manufacturer of real food, or a retailer of these products. Join NGPFMA here.

About Cathy Alinovi

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