We’re honored to be chosen by Susan Thixton to be on her 2019 List of foods she’d be comfortable feeding to her own pets. (That’s high praise for anyone familiar with this very select list!) Susan puts in a ton of time researching different companies and gathering details from each manufacturer to verify the claims they are making. Are the ingredients they use human-grade or feed-grade? Where are they produced? What about the supplements?
Over the years, her list has evolved – new companies have made the list (like us) and other companies have fallen off. While we cannot speak to why companies may have been dropped, we can tell you that Susan is very thorough in her evaluation. In our case, we supplied Susan with documentation verifying that each individual ingredient we use in our recipes is 100% human-grade, as well as documentation that our meats—every meat, every recipe—are 100% grass-fed, free-range and/or organic.
These are things Susan, and our customers, value highly. So, while we are proud to have made ‘the List,’ we do want to share a few comments on the Certified Humane criteria (and our lack of a checkmark in the box next to ‘Meats from certified humanely raised animals.’) Sourcing our meats from humanely raised animals is a core value for us, and we use only humanely raised meats in our recipes. However, not all of our farmer partners have this formal certification, and for understandable reasons.
Certified Humane is one of many available certifications available to farms these days. There are many important factors that this program addresses; however, in our view, it certifies as humane practices that are questionable at best and does not rise to the level of standards that the farms we work with adhere to. Here are a few examples:
- Certified Humane gives the same certification to corn-fed, feedlot beef as it does to grass-fed, pasture-raised programs.
- Certified Humane does not require turkeys to have access to range.
- Certified Humane says chickens must have sufficient room to stand, turn around and stretch their wings…that’s it.
We could go on, but you get the point. (To learn more, visit Understanding Certified Humane Standards: https://certifiedhumane.org/how-we-work/our-standards/.)
As one of our farmer partners says:
“I think that our methods of growing turkeys outdoors and without medication speaks for itself when it comes to animal welfare. As you probably know, there are a plethora of animal welfare/humane treatment certifications right now, and we haven't taken the step of pursuing any because of cost and the difficulty of knowing which audit program would best serve our customers. And, frankly, we know many of our customers personally, so can answer their questions directly—which I think carries more weight than an audit. I hope that our growing practices paint a good picture for folks of the level of care we exhibit throughout our turkeys’ lives.”
Of course, as Susan put it, “In this day and age of pet food, verification means a lot,” and we agree—but our visits to our farmer partner operations to personally observe their commitment to even higher standards than those encompassed by ‘certified’ is more than satisfying. Again, we’re honored to be on Susan’s 2019 List of foods she would feed her own pets. Please take a moment to support her efforts in creating this list of trusted pet foods at https://truthaboutpetfood.com/
About Susan Thixton & The Truth About Pet Food
Just like so many pet owners, Susan learned the 'truth' about pet foods the hard way. Her four legged best friend, Sam, died from bone cancer. From that day forward, Susan studied the pet food industry. TruthaboutPetFood.com began in 2004; today pet owners from all over the world visit TruthaboutPetFood learning about pet food regulations, ingredients, and recall alerts. TruthaboutPetFood.com provides a free newsletter and since 2012 annually publishes the 'List' of researched pet foods Susan trusts to feed her own pets.