Imagine yourself on a road trip from hell

Imagine yourself on a road trip from hell. It’s late, you’re tired, and according to the odometer you’ve got 524 more miles to go. You’ve got to drive it straight or you won’t get there on time.

As you race down the highway, you notice the variety of hit and run dead animal carcasses strewn to the side. There’s raccoons, skunks, birds, rats, opossums, and even the occasional dog. Suddenly out of no where, eyes appear shining in the darkness ahead. It’s some kind of animal blinded by your headlights. You can’t stop but you manage to swerve and barely miss. In the rear view mirror, you get a glimpse of a shadowy dark figure crossing the road.

About 100 miles down the road, the monotony of the darkness is broken by another set of glowing eyes that seem to appear out of thin air. You’re coming up on it too quickly and you know in your adrenalin heart there is no way you can steer out of the way and still maintain control of the car. You hear that familiar dreaded “thud” sound. Another armadillo has just bit the dust. You cringe in your seat but you don’t stop.

It’s a stretch of highway where there’s nothing good on the radio so you start pondering on things. What happens to all these dead animals on the road? Do vultures come and eat them all? Does someone come and pick them up? Where do they take them? You ask yourself, where does roadkill go to die?

The real answer to these questions may surprise you.

The next time you open up a bag of dog food, think about the road kill you’ve seen on the highway because if you’re using a commercial dog food, there’s a really good chance there’s some roadkill in that food you’re about to feed your dog.

No, this is not fiction. It’s the disgusting truth.

Now, I know your dog food may be labeled something like “Beef Dinner With Gravy” but if they had labeled it more truthfully as “Roadkill with Gravy,” would you have ever bought it to feed to your beloved dog? Yes, it is legal for them to do this – and that’s just one of the dirty secrets of the multi-billion dollar pet food industry. It is legal for “Beef Dinner with Gravy” to contain many other animals as well including possibly half rotten skunk with maggots.

Roadkill collected by road crews is commonly given to rendering companies who turn the roadkill and other discarded animal carcasses into dog food. They put it in a big vat, chop it up, raise it to very high temperatures, and melt it down into one big rendered soup. The fat rises to the top, some of the rest is then dried and sold to pet food companies to make dry dog food. Some of the amalgamated fat is mixed in with can dog food to make it more appealing to the dog. Have you ever wondered what that top layer of jelly is when you open a can dog food? Now you know and yes it’s yucky.

It doesn’t matter how long the carcasses lie in that sweltering summer heat. It doesn’t matter if the corpses are full of maggots. It doesn’t matter if they are diseased and/or half rotten. The rendering factories use whatever cheap “meat” they can get their hands on and their standards are not very high. There are very little controls on what enters the pet food chain at this point and it is legal for them to use old road kill.

Now, here’s an even more disgusting thought. What if the roadkill included dog? Would you be willing to feed dog to your dog? Guess what, they also use euthanized dogs and cats from animal shelters so that can of dog food you’re about to feed your best canine friend has a higher chance of containing dog than you may realize.

Where does roadkill go to die?

The burial ground is the rendering vat where the dead carcasses are chopped up and melted. The final resting place is often, legally so, in commercial dog food. Besides the gross factor, is this healthy for your dog? Of course not!

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