Henry Greenspan

What Pet Food Manufacturers Can Learn From Drug Companies

As lawsuits continue to pile up over dogs and cats poisoned by adulterated pet food, pet food manufacturers can learn a lot from the ways drug companies have defended themselves.

With that in mind, here are some of the arguments they may want to deploy:

1. All pet foods have dangers.

2. Pet food manufacturers deserve protection. After all, they are constantly pouring billions of dollars into the risky business of developing new, life-sustaining chows and kibbles.

3. Pet food manufacturers are just the demon du jour. The media rarely reports all the great things the industry is doing for animals that cannot afford commercial pet food. When, for example, is the last time you read the good news about table scraps?

4. If there actually was a rat, the cat would have smelled it.

5. The "tort tax" will inevitably drive up the cost of pet food, with the consequence that millions of pets will simply starve to death on your sofa. Eventually, so will you.

6. Like pharmaceuticals, pet foods are regulated by the FDA, the gold standard of safety throughout the world. FDA's approval of a doggy biscuit should preempt state tort liability.

7. Let's be fair. If dogs (or their lawyers) feel endangered, they can always grab you by the throat, whip you around like a rag doll, bite through your carotid arteries, and kill you. All pet food manufacturers can do is phone someone in Congress.

8. Given that cats have nine lives, they obviously have a few to spare. If not, it becomes evident that pre-existing medical conditions, and bad lifestyle choices, caused their demise.

9. Because cats and dogs cannot vote or hold public office, they should not be allowed to manipulate the vagaries of state courts and the emotions of lay juries. Rather, their cases should be referred to a Special Master to decide whether they are, in fact, dead.

Or just playing.

Henry Greenspan: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 9:42 AM, Apr 10, 2007 in
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ROFL! This is the best post I've read in quite some time. I particularly chuckled at the "gold standard of safety throughout the world" bit. These days, FDA approval seems like the "turns your finger green flea-market gold standard."

On a more somber note, my heart goes out to those people whose pets died from defective pet food. It's unfortunate that these owners may be denied the opportunity to receive meaningful compensation due to shortsighted laws that don't allow for recovery of more than trivial damages when a pet dies due to negligence.

Posted by: Justinian Lane | April 10, 2007 9:59 AM

May I suggest that people change to Organic food? I started feeding my pet Life's Abundance, got a free sample from I have been feeding it to him ever since. I figure spend a little bit more on food and much less at the vet!

Posted by: Kayla | April 10, 2007 9:10 PM

Needless to say, the piece is not about minimizing the losses suffered by those whose dogs or cats were killed by adulterated pet food. It is about what happens to arguments - that sound reasonable to some people in some contexts - when they are moved to other contexts. Humor is often about exposure through juxtaposition. Here, it is about exposing what has become all too familiar inanity.

Posted by: Henry Greenspan | April 12, 2007 1:53 AM