I am technically a pescatarian, although I only eat seafood a few times a month, and almost never at home with the exception of a can of tuna once in a while. Even spell-check doesn't seem to know what pescatarian is though, so it's simpler to say vegetarian. I was raised by vegetarian parents and made the decision on my own around the age of twelve when I read the factory farming issue of Animal's Voice magazine and started on the path to becoming a junior animal right's activist. Whenever I could choose a topic to report on or a subject for an art project, it was on animal welfare. I used to get into arguments with cattle ranching kids on the school bus. After college I was offered a job at the Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York, but had to decline it because I couldn't bring my dog. My views are more moderate now, and in fact I wish there were more small family farms like those where I grew up in agricultural southwestern Colorado, because I think that factory farming is one of the single worst things for animals, humans and the environment.
|Three tasty varieties: Pork & Root Vegetable, Turkey & Chicken and Whitefish & Green Lentil|
I don't talk a lot about the vegetarian platform, because it's easy to feel like a hypocrite when you sometimes eat fish, when you support the dairy industry, and when you have dogs that eat meat several times a day. I'm a pragmatist and I don't pretend that the whole world or even the whole country will ever go meat-free, and in that meat-free utopia I have to ask how we'd feed our dogs...Still, I firmly believe that every small change matters. Eating less meat, enacting Meatless Monday, buying local. Whatever our eating habits, preferences or lifestyle, we can choose our food more consciously, including the food we give our dogs. This brings me to an exciting new dog food company I've learned of recently - Open Farm.
|Boca is ready for the sniff-test and taste-test.|
Open Farm is a family-run Canadian company that cares about farm animals as well as pets. They source their meat from farmers that are certified by an independent organization, Humane Farm Animal Care. They ensure that the animals are treated with kindness and respect in every step of the process and raised in a way that is closer to nature than dark, cramped cages and pens. They use wild-caught fish, selected seasonally for sustainability and make efforts to source the most local fruit and vegetable ingredients. They seek the highest environmental standards and have a dog food bag recycling program. They do not use any ingredients from China. These are all things that make me feel great about their food, and the ingredients make me feel even better.
|We used the Pork & Root Vegetable recipe for a little down-stay and recall training.|
Taking a look at Open Farm's certified-humane, grain-free recipes, I am happy with what I see. From the book Dog Food Logic, I learned that the first five ingredients are the most important. The first five ingredients of Open Farm's Pork and Root Vegetables formula are: humanely raised pork, garbanzo beans, ocean-caught whitefish meal, field peas and green lentils. It also contains some of my other favorite things for my dogs: coconut oil, salmon oil and pumpkin. The protein content is 30%, the majority of which comes from animal sources. Open Farm states they do not use meat or poultry meals because they are mass-produced, but their fish meals are made in smaller batches and easier to regulate. I love for my dogs to eat a variety of proteins, so the fact that Open Farm's recipes contain multiple proteins is a big plus for me. Open Farm receives a 4.5 star rating on Dog Food Advisor. This is one we will definitely be adding to our rotation, and something I can feel good about feeding my dogs, not only for their well-being, but for that of small farms, farm animals and the environment.
|The Ginger Sisters come running for Open Farm|