Corporate Charity: When Bloggers Unite, Who Really Benefits?

by Mary Haight on September 26, 2010

Image by TW Collins via Flickr


There was a rash of bloggers who broke out in unison to blog about Pedigree. For each blog the company Foundation would provide one 20# bag of food to an animal shelter up to a pre-determined limit.  This is well meaning, something that makes people feel good that they are doing something to help and that is laudable.  Yet thinking about it, this is what I see.

1 bag of food, specialty or not, isn’t going to be very useful for most shelters, unless of course they are already feeding that particular food to a couple of their residents. If a shelter needs 1 bag of food, they should transfer their animals and close their doors. Better perhaps to concentrate such a gift across a handful of shelters in an impoverished area. That can make a measurable difference in lives. Just a thought.

Everyone who has read this blog with any regularity knows I have issues with commercial feeds.  “Adequate” nutrition is a phrase used by many vets to describe commercial kibble.  Is this what we want for our dogs–just adequate?  But then, here’s a litte background of why I think it’s important to speak up now.

Diseased, dying, downed and dead animals(4Ds) are rendered into pet food. The government requires that 4D meat be denatured at the slaughterhouse – a chemical wash of toxics used to prevent the meat from being marketed. The FDA recently reported that while no DNA of euthanized pets have been found during testing, euthanasia drugs have been found in pet food. These drugs cannot be burned off during the heating process.  There are laws against including any diseased/euthanized animals in pet food, but the FDA looks the other way. The link here lends a possible answer to why laws are not being enforced.

I would love to see the same enthusiasm from a rash of bloggers break out asking major pet food companies to change their practices, stop accepting and test rendered product for the “4Ds” showing the test results and batch number on each bag; send emails to their reps asking that current laws be enforced. Such changes would be a service to a large part of the pet owning population who can’t spend more than supermarket prices for their pet’s food. Never mind that it’s right thing to do for any pet food company that wants to get ahead of the curve, and really give our pets what they deserve. There may be a lot of points we can argue about food, but this should not be one of them. And now I’ll toss out one more thing I need to ask.

Some of the participants who wrote blogs for Pedigree were also sponsored by them to attend the Blogpaws conference.  Accepting sponsorship carries with it at least a subliminal if not overt need for reciprocity. Maybe some focused on the adoption drive commercials to change the tune, but that series would have been aired without pet bloggers’ participation. Would all the bloggers who blogged for Pedigree feed it to their dogs?  If I’m missing something, let me know.

(In case you’re thinking sour grapes or something, Iams did offer me a full sponsorship, which was a very nice offer I had to refuse for other reasons. As much as I wanted to go, I don’t know that I could have accepted had I been free to because that principal of reciprocity is tough to get around. Money changes everything. Well, and in my case. the term “hypocrite” also came to mind!)

If nothing else, it’s good for us all to examine our motivations and the value of the end result when joining, or not, a charitable group effort.  How do you see this?

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  1. […] I feel used, angry and I am not alone. Read the comments at Dancing Dog Blog’s article, Corporate Charity: When Bloggers Unite, Who Really Benefits? […]

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