Over the past several days, I've been scouring the Web, looking for cat food companies that don't do business with Menu Foods. It's not always easy to find out which companies do business with Menu Foods and which companies don't. As a professional wordsmith, I have a tendency to read into the language that people or companies use when they communicate.
Let's look at two pet food company Web sites and how they describe their lack of involvement in the recall. Our first example comes from Old Mother Hubbard's Wellness site, which as of this writing, reads:
Wellness and Old Mother Hubbard products are NOT affected by the recent Menu Foods product recall.
If you click-through to a longer explanation, OMH uses the term "not involved," but they never say that they do with Menu Foods on their site. That said, in an email to me, an OMH rep confirmed that they use Menu Foods and they're proud of it.
Now, let's look at the home page for Natural Balance Foods:
NO Natural Balance® products are producedby ANY company associated
with the Pet Food Recall.
That's a pretty clear statement that Natural Balance Foods does not do business with Menu Foods. I see this statement from Natural Balance about not working with Menu Foods and also their message about animal testing and I want to buy their products:
Natural Balance® was built on the premise of helping animals, and we have never nor would we ever allow any testing that would be considered harmful to an animal. We do not conduct laboratory testing on animals, whatsoever. All of our feeding trials are conducted in the animal's own environment, in conjunction with veterinarians, kennels, breeders and pet owners, to ensure that all Natural Balance® products are extremely palatable, nutritious and the best possible formulation for the health of your pet. Our feeding trials are a positive experience and enjoyable for animals!I think we have to appreciate that level of honesty and full disclosure from a company like Natural Balance. And I'll also give Old Mother Hubbard, the maker's of Wellness, some credit for owning up to their relationship with Menu Foods. I'll never buy their products again, but at least they were honest with me when I asked them about it.
As of this writing, I have emails out to a couple of pet food companies whose products I use or would like to use, asking them about whether they do business with Menu Foods or not. One of these is Blue Buffalo, makes of Spa Selects, whose Web site, as of this writing, ambiguously states:
We want to inform all of our friends that BLUE products are NOT part of the national pet food recall.
Ok, but are they made by Menu Foods or not?
The lesson of this recall is that pet parents need to know more than that to feel good about buying pet food. We need to know whether our money is helping Menu Foods. At least this consumer does.