Wednesday, March 21, 2007


The latest pet food recall is big news, not to mention a big disaster. Several dogs and cats have already died from acute kidney failure from eating certain types of canned and pouch pet food packaged under 95 brand names by Menu Foods, and, sadly, more deaths are likely.

60,000,000 (yes, that’s 60 million) cans and pouches have been recalled, although testing has not as yet pinpointed what caused the kidney failure, even in young, healthy animals. Moldy wheat gluten is suspected, but not confirmed.

You can find more information on the recall at Pet Foods/Recall. You can click on individual brand names under cat or dog to read the specific wet food being recalled or other contact information. Or you can call either of these numbers: (866) 463-6738 or (866) 895-2708. A few other major pet food companies have voluntary joined the recall and these can be found at FDA News.

Every so often human food or pet food recalls hit the news because of E.coli, mold, heavy metal, or aflatoxin. Anything we eat could possibly become contaminated with something toxic and sicken or kill instead of providing nourishment.

Recalls are expensive, and not just from the loss of revenue from the product. Medical bills mount for those affected, legal fees can accumulate, and most importantly, lives are affected – and sometimes lost.

One contaminated ingredient is all it takes to do widespread harm.

And one unkind comment or accusation is all it takes to cut another to the core.

Some of us really do need to learn to think more often before we speak, and I include myself in that category. I have been known to open mouth, insert foot and then wonder what I did to end up in such a ridiculous position. But I have also been on the receiving end, so I know how much careless, rude, or angry comments can hurt.

Just yesterday I learned a professional person neglected to do something he was entrusted – and being paid - to do in a timely manner and the result is a delay that leaves me legally responsible for accomplishing something but without the legal right to actually do it properly. When I asked why his function had not been fulfilled within the required time frame, he turned on me in anger, closed his ears and mind to the subject at hand, and (to give the short version) told me I need to hire an accountant because I don’t know what I am doing and I will mess everything up. In other words, he made a mistake and that makes me incompetent.

Talk about someone ruining your day! That sure ruined mine. The words, though untrue, stung. They have been circling round and round in my mind for two days. I really wanted to refute them and, to be honest, to retaliate in kind.

Tonight, however, I am putting them where they belong – in the garbage. Just like the contaminated food being recalled, these words are contaminated and carry life-threatening germs. The one who spoke them is well-thought of in the community and holds a position in his church, but like many of us, when faced with a mistake with potential consequences, instead of admitting the mistake, he opened his mouth, stuck his foot in, and now is indelibly imprinted in my mind in that position.

I really desire to eliminate the angry, cold, careless, vengeful, accusatory and demeaning words that cut the heart from my speech, because, unfortunately, no apology in the world can effectively recall them once distributed.

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