What our furry friends have to teach us about our relationship with food
Until very recently I had the most wonderful dog, a cocker spaniel named Poppy, who was one of the greatest teachers I’ve ever met. Her big heart refused to falter even when the rest of her body was done. And I realise you may be tilting your head to one side looking askance at me, wondering “what’s this got to do with my can eat attitude, Lea?” Well, there are many great lessons our companion animals have to teach us, and sometimes it’s only in the quiet hours of reflection in their absence that we can really see those lessons clearly. So let me share with you the observations I’ve made about the relationships other animals have with food and how they relate to ours.
What we put in our mouths can be the best medicine
Isn’t it a wonderfully empowering thought that we have near total agency over our own wellbeing by making conscious and intuitive food choices? The truth is, we do often find ourselves getting out what we put in. So if we put highly processed, pre packaged things with incomprehensible ingredients lists into our bodies, we’re likely to end up not feeling at our very best.
When was the last time you looked at the ingredients list on your own or your pets’ food?
Good quality wholefoods are essential to coping with sickness
When you’re poorly, do you reach for candy bars or a comforting soup? I think most people tend to opt for the soup – because we know it will make us feel better and our body tells us that’s what we fancy (because it tends to know the way). When our pets are poorly or lose their appetites, we ditch the store bought “dog/cat food” and lovingly cook up fish or chicken with rice or pasta for them, with a few veggies thrown in for good measure.
If that’s how we feed them (or ourselves) to recuperate, why wouldn’t we do this all the time?
We’re perhaps a little too trusting about the food we’re served
We all dislike the idea of “biting the hand that feeds”, but most dogs will accept food (or steal from their plates, depending on their boldness levels) from their owners, even if it is something that is toxic to them. Because they trust that what we are feeding them is good. And we trust that companies producing their food, and our own have our best interests at heart.
Do you need to be a little more food cynical?
There are many, many more lessons in food we could all learn from our furry friends, from looking at how we are all creatures of habit to reminding ourselves that sharing food is much more endearing than coveting it but I’d really like for you to get involved in the conversation – drop me a note in the comments below if you have a nugget of furry wisdom to share x