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Pet Food | Fatal Conveniences™

Pet Food | Fatal Conveniences™

You wouldn’t eat a bag of dried pellets made of meat by-products. So why would you feed it to your pet? Just like humans, animals need proper nutrition to thrive and live happy, healthy lives. Most store-bought pet foods consist of low-quality meats, fillers and preservatives. Our four-legged friends are our family, and they deserve better.

Welcome to Fatal Conveniences

Pet diseases have increased 80% in the last fifty years. 

When most of the store-bought pet foods on the market are filled with junk, it’s not very hard to figure out why. Pet food manufacturers are constantly trying to make the food making process cheaper. So that means cheap ingredients and cheap packaging. All of that results in poor nutritional health for your furry friends.

This one isn’t tough, guys. We need to make sure our pets are eating whole, nutritional foods. I choose a plant-based diet for myself, but I know a vegan diet isn’t best for my German Shepherd, Chaga. So I give him a fresh, mostly raw diet consisting of 75% meat and 25% veggies and ancient grains. I’ll give you some tips on how to use fresh food for your dog and some fresh pet food companies that I love. Our pets are our babies, so let’s make sure we’re giving them the best life possible.

Other info in this segment:
  • The gross history of pet food companies
  • Signs that your pet has a poor diet
  • Why raw food is best for pets
  • Studies that reveal the horrifying ingredients in dry pet food
  • Is grain-free better for your dog?
  • What foods are best for cats and dogs
  • Great fresh pet food companies 
Links & Resources:

A Study on the Nutritional Effects of Grain in the Diet of a Dog: The University of Maine

Holistic Guide: 

Expert Opinion Dog Food Reviews Website (Dog Food Advisor

What’s Killing Our Pets? By Earth Island Journal

The Farmer’s Dog 

Darwin’s Natural Pet Food

The Darin Olien Show is produced by the team at Must Amplify. If you’re looking to give a voice to your brand, and make sure that it’s heard by the right people, head to to see what Amplify can do for you.

Episode Transcript

Darin: It’s that time of the week for another fatal convenience. This is a bite-size segment that addresses some of society’s fatal conveniences and the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of them. I define fatal conveniences as the things we may be doing because the world we live in makes us believe we have to, tap water, shampoo, sunglasses, food. I dive into the hidden truths behind some of our everyday choices that could not only be harming us but even killing us, so let’s dive in.

Darin: Hey, everybody, welcome to the show. Another installment of Fatal Conveniences. I’m Darin Olien. This is The Darin Olien Show. Thanks for tuning in. This is a great one because hopefully we’ll liberate you with more awareness about your pet. This fatal convenience is pet food. It’s so convenient to go out and buy just big bulk bags of dried food and all of that stuff and those nasty canned foods with BPA all exposed in there too that I didn’t even get into on this because there are so many different parts to this. The manufacturing process is nasty, the allowance of certain ingredients. This one’s very personal. Obviously, my furry friend, my amazing companion, Chagga, a four-year-old German Shepherd. My point of view just straight off is he is a member of the family. He’s essentially my child. The better I take care of them, the better health he’ll have, the more happy he’ll be, the more energetic he’ll be. That’s in alignment with my morals, my ethics, my standard of care for myself. So that’s how I treat my dog. That’s how I treat my family member. He gets the best water that’s filtered, it’s vortated, it’s mineralized. The food, obviously, I’m a vegan. I choose that for myself but dogs and cats are not vegan, so 75% of Chagga’s calories comes from raw meat. I get it fresh, delivered, frozen, but it also has 25% sweet potatoes and other vegetables as well, and that’s what I choose. Cats are a completely different thing. They’re 100% carnivore. They can’t eat the same things that dogs can in terms of that. Dogs can get exposed to carbohydrates and produce actually enzymes that can help it break it down. So they have a wider variety of choice in the wild. So, listen, I would just encourage you to up-level and update and upgrade yourself as it relates to the care of your animals, their love for you, their connection to you, and you are the steward for them. So your choices are affecting their life and therefore, our choices are creating more and more cancers, degeneration in our pets. So we are taking a little bit of a look and a little deeper dive into pet food. So if you’re seeing things like laziness and obesity and skin problems and everything that your child or you would go through is pointing back to nutritional challenges, digestive challenges. So look at it through the same lens. If you were going through this, look at it from a nutritional standpoint. Understand if you can afford it, get your animal tested, and have a holistic type doctor help guide you instead of putting you on medications all the time. The same point of view I have for myself, the same point of view I take for my dog, except he can’t communicate directly to me. So I have to use my wisdom and my common sense to what he needs. That’s my point of view of how I view the caregiving relationship I have with my dog, Chagga. Here’s a bit of a history. So dog biscuits and cakes reportedly came around in the Roman times and then in the 1800s they kind of popped up commercially. And then in 1860, a businessman, James Sprat, introduced the first commercial prepared pet food in England after seeing dogs fed leftover biscuits from a ship. He had this great idea, an entrepreneurial person, and therefore he started making biscuits. He made it out of the excess wheat meals and vegetables and beetroot and beef blood. And they called it Fabrine Dog Cakes, one of the most heavily advertised products of the 20th century that probably started off this whole industry and how much we pay for the convenience and also the health of our four-legged friends. In 1918, and World War Two just ended and the technology, like cars and tractors, eliminated the need for horses. This created a surplus of horses. This is horrible. A man named PM Chappell saw the opportunity to buy up cheap horse meat. I hate talking about this, but this is the origin story and the fact that they were feeding dogs and cats, horses. You know, all animals are sacred. 1941, dry dog food took an upgrade. And the necessity to also help support the animals that were involved in World War Two basically created the pet food industry. Companies innovated to keep up with the demand and found that by using byproducts from cereal manufacturers, they could make shelf-stable foods that could be sold in bags, and there you go. So it really took 45 years for pet food companies to convince people that pet food should be the only food that your pet should eat. That was where advertising and manipulation of people saying, “Hey, this is perfectly formulated. This is the only thing your dog needs.” And therefore, that’s where the fatal convenience came from. According to the nonprofit American Pet Product Association, people will have spent upwards to 38 billion dollars on food and treats for their pets in 2020. That was up from 36.9 billion in 2013. So clearly, this is a massive, massive industry that also has conflicts of interest and also has agendas to be able to give you more and more of the processed food. And I’ve been in hundreds of manufacturing facilities all over the world, and I know without a doubt everyone cuts corners until you come in there and sheriff how people are manufacturing not only human food but dog food. Humans are the only species to cook their food. So it’s very, very new introduction into the animal world that food has been cooked. So keep that in mind because I promote that you should eat a bunch of raw food every day. Nuts, fruits, seeds, soak them, of course, vegetables, all of that stuff. You should eat raw food all the time, get all the fiber, get all the micronutrients, all of that stuff. Yes, we’ve introduced cooking. There are also appropriate things that you should cook. But in terms of dogs, if you’re feeding them primarily cooked and pressed and dry foods, that’s going to create a problem but obviously this is super convenient, long shelf life. Easy for you to scoop that out, throw it in the bowl and have them eat. Again, they’re just going to eat almost anything. They’re hungry. They look to you as their alpha that’s going to provide them food. And that’s where the responsibility needs to come back on you. Now, just a side comment. I can’t help it. But like, listen, any animal trainer will tell you that what’s going on with the pet is 99% what’s going on in the owner. So dogs and cats have an ability to be empathetic, take on energies from not only the owners but the people around. So why should we care? Our pets are getting sicker. Diseases and dogs have increased by 80% in the last five decades. So just sit with that for a second. We are imposing the way we’re taking care of our animals. And studies have backed this up and found that processed food, same as us, not surprised, the more processed food we eat the more issues we have. So a great study done by Blue Buffalo Company in 2014, dry pet foods contain subpar ingredients. Shocker. As numerous sources point out, including an alarming 2007 report. I have this in the show notes by Earth Island Journal, dog food is permitted to contain just about any meat-related ingredient imaginable, regardless of how rancid or appalling that might be. This includes restaurant grease, euthanized pets, diseased farm animals, and materials from a range of other crazy, dubious sources. Wow. That’s what you get pressed into those pellets of dog food, anything. It’s basically industry said, listen, we have all the stuff we can’t sell to humans, let’s sell it to the animals. No one’s going to know anything. There are barely any regulations. No one cares if we heat it and we cook it up enough, then therefore it’s not going to immediately kill them. It’s just going to slowly kill them. Need to be aware of this stuff, people. These are your precious animals and they’re only going to create a huge burden on you towards the end of their life and they’re going to be miserable. The shelf life argument is a myth. This is by Dr. Karen Becker, known as the most followed veterinarian states that no complete and balanced food exists that is also shelf-stable. Hear that from one of the top veterinarians said no amount of trust in processed food that is shelf-stable can have everything that your pet needs. As soon as that big bag of kibble is opened up, then rancidity is starting. Long-term consumption of these rancid fats is definitely going to affect your animal and over time really start destroying things. Keep in mind now rancidity with fats destroys everything else around it. So it starts destroying the vitamins that they claim are in their food and then you’re not getting it anymore, which also leads to vitamin deficiencies that you think your dog’s getting, but the rancidity is undermining it. Most dogs today are vitamin D deficient just like us. They’re not getting outside enough, malnutrition, hair loss, diarrhea, kidney and liver disease has gone crazy from all of the stuff, reproductive problems and even cancer and death. This stuff is nuts. Ingredients to stay away from that says meat meal. Gary Rechter, veterinarian and author of The Ultimate Pet Health Guide, explains, this is a product of the processing called The Rendering, where the scraps of diseased and dead animals are heated up. Meat producers take all of the leftover bits and scraps and cook them down to remove the fat. After the fat is removed, the meat meal remains. This is gnarly, nasty crap. While meat meal does contain protein, the quality of nutrients from it can vary wildly, not to mention void of anything else. It’s this whole idea of just macronutrients, as well as a massive exposure of aflatoxins that I’ll get into and micro toxins. Food grade ingredients, I have allowed all of these toxins, such as mold produced mycotoxins that are acceptable and significant, the reduced quantities in human-grade foods, but also is acceptable in animal foods. Crazy. It’s just destroying our pets. According to a study in the nutritional effects of grain in the diet of dogs done by the University of Miami in 2014, the excessive amount of high protein and high fat in dog’s dry food is harming the kidneys due to being overworked and not being able to flush out enough urea in the system. So these manufactured concentrations of these high proteins in this non-food anymore, overcooked grains causes a lot of problems in the kidneys. Regarding grains, the same study shows that most of these grains are GMO, horrible leftover stuff. The same study states that the formulas with high protein and low or free grains can cause azotemia and uremia, these can cause stress in the kidneys due to the overload of protein, amino acids, and excessive nitrogen the body can’t get rid of and causes serious kidney damages. Again, I have this in the show notes. The researchers find out that the labels that read grain-free are more harmful to dogs and should not be given unless required for other specific needs. So keep that in mind. So they’re saying stay away from the grains now understand that you can have ancient grains. So there are some other grains that you can maybe cook big batches and add it to like farro, teff, things like that that could be great for because they’re like pseudo-grains, even quinoa would be good. So all of these overly processed grain-free alternatives are actually more toxic as well as their chemicals exposed to plastic molds, antibiotics, salmonella, all of these things as well. There’s another nasty chemical called melamine. There are multiple recalls on food all the time as it relates. And there’s been several popular brands, Purina, Sport Mix, Sunshine Mills, to name a few that have been recalled several times for the melamines. In 2007, for example, they had record-breaking recalls of nearly 100 different brands that had wheat flour within the food that had laced with melamine. And this stuff causes directly, severely kidney damage. Melamine is a small nitrogen-containing molecule that has a number of industrial uses, including industrial binding agents, flame retardants, and part of the polymer in manufacturing and cooking utensils and plates. That’s what’s in your bloody dog food. Bloody hell. It’s crazy. Why is it in our pet food? Well, study at Cornell University scientists also found melamine in the urine and kidneys of deceased cats that were part of a taste testing study conducted by pet food manufacturers. Another study in 2021, FDA alerted a Sport Mix had a ton of fatal levels of aflatoxins and molds, creating 70 deaths and over 80 illnesses. And those were only the ones that were reported. The aflatoxins are showing up and there’s toxic mold showing up in high levels causing severe illnesses, kidney damage, cancer. Pets are highly susceptible, even more so to aflatoxin poisoning because unlike us as people, we eat a wide variety, but pets just continuously get exposed to the same foods. Therefore, driving up this level of aflatoxins again from these highly processed types of food, it’s basically a slow poisoning. And then it leads to sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice, skin problems, liver, kidney, diarrhea, things like that. The other thing you need to be aware of is salmonella. I don’t need to get into that. That causes all kinds of liver and diarrhea and things like that. Again, this is a big topic. So I’m just lightly going over some of the gnarly things. There’s a bunch of harmful preservatives in there, DHA, DHT, and this is connected to longer and longer shelf lives. The World Health Organization has named both DHT and DHA as suspect cancer-causing compounds. And the state of California has identified DHA a possible carcinogen too. So, again, this stuff is all over in your dog food. So here are some things that you definitely want to avoid, corn, wheat, corn gluten, wheat gluten, soybean meal, wheat flour, and the term by-product meals along with some of the other things I was bringing up in terms of the meat meal. Stay away from those things. We need to be aware of that. And if you are buying a food, check right now. Whatever food you’re buying, read the labels, check to see if any of those companies that you’re associated with have been recalled in any way, then I would just like not support them at all. Be aware of misleading marketing strategies, of course, by these companies. Complete balanced diet for all life stages. Bullshit. Stay away from these things that are causing liver problems. There’s a concept called biologically appropriate raw food or bones and raw food for your dogs, cats even more so. Raw food if you can afford it, if you can at least start supplementing raw food for your cat, 100% meat, 75% for the dog, 25% carbohydrates. Muscle meats are fine. Raw, meaty bones, organ meats, vegetables, and fruits are great. Chagga loves sweet potatoes. So sweet potatoes are also great fiber. There’s a lot of great supplements out there. I also feed Chagga omega oils. I put coconut oil. That’s good for skin and hair. Look at this is the same as you would anything else but protein for the animals. All the varieties of wild-caught salmon, lamb, turkey, beef, chicken. I even hate saying this as a whole food plant-based person but again, this is the choice of having an animal. And then, of course, the fiber is super important. So carrots and green beans and spinach and sweet potatoes, all of these things are great. Essential fatty acids. Leafy greens is great. Flax seeds, fantastic to add back in, some yogurt you can even add-in. I put prebiotics probiotics in Chagga’s food as well. Carbohydrates, brown rice is great. Brown rice is totally great, barley. These things like I said, some ancient grains are wonderful. Quinoa, pseudo-grain, teff is great. And then foods to avoid, especially dogs, chocolate and cats to onions, raw garlic, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, avocado, especially the outer part of the avocado can kill dogs and cats. Apple seeds are bad and wild mushrooms. So there you go. I hope that helps. Bottom line, do your research. Start moving away from processed foods of your animals. Getting raw food, fresh. If you can work it in your budget, fresh and frozen. There’s some great companies, Farmer’s Dog, I’ve used. Darwin’s, I’ve used for Chagga. I switch them up. So there’s a lot of good companies out there. Support your dogs, your cats, your animals with the same rigor of not having them being exposed to toxins and also getting them fresh, healthy food because they’re just going to be happier and healthier as your companion, as your loving family member. So there you go, Fatal Convenience, pet food. Be smart, use your awareness. You know, this stuff. I don’t even have to go into this stuff because you know that these things are going to be exposed to toxins. You know that. You know this by now. The more I talk about processing and all of this stuff, it’s the same thing. If we eat processed food, we suffer. We feed this to our animals, they suffer. I love you so much. Thanks for tuning in, and may the universe shine on you and may you have the happiest day, week, month, year ever.

Darin: Thanks for tuning in everyone. I hope that left you feeling inspired to take a closer look at the everyday choices you’re making and how they could be impacting your health and even the planet. If you want to learn more about life’s fatal conveniences, head over to You can sign up for the exclusive access to Fatal Conveniences episodes, news, insights, and more. And all this great stuff gets sent each week straight to your inbox, making it really easy. Now, that’s a convenience without the negative side effects. It only takes a few seconds to join. Just fill in the form and take that amazing step towards making better choices. Remember, small changes can have big impact. So, keep diving my friends, keep diving. And if you haven’t had a chance to check out the interview, I released earlier on the week, here’s what you missed:

Sadhguru: 1998, when a UN agency came to Southern India and made a prediction, the state in which we are living, which is called as Tamil Nadu, 60% of it will become a desert by 2025. I don’t like any predictions because predictions don’t take into account what is beating in human hearts. They are going back old statistics. So I wanted to see for myself. So I drove around all over looking for this. Then I saw that it could happen much sooner than 2025 because many rivers, major rivers had dried up, all streams dried up, tributaries gone. People were building buildings in the riverbeds because there was no hope of water coming back. So I was just thinking what to do. Then I saw the green cover in the state was only 16.5%. The national aspiration is 33%.

Darin: This episode is produced by my team at Must Amplify, an audio marketing company that specializes in giving a voice to a brand and making sure the right people hear it. If you would like or are thinking about doing a podcast or even would like a strategy session to add your voice to your brand in a powerful way, go to That’s

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