As I discuss elsewhere, euthanized cats and dogs often end up in rendering vats along with other questionable material to make meat meal, and meat and bone meal. This can be problematic because sodium pentobarbital can withstand the heat from rendering. For years, some veterinarians and animal advocates have known about the potential danger of sodium pentobarbital residue in commercial pet food, yet the danger has not been alleviated. The "Report of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Panel on Euthanasia," states, "In euthanasia of animals intended for human or animal food, chemical agents that result in tissue residue cannot be used."
Feline Instincts: Raw Meat Cat Food
Homemade foods may not be ideal, though, if the owner does not take special precautions about food safety. The American Animal Hospital Association warns against homemade raw diets, because the meats may be contaminated with pathogens. Cat owners who choose a fully homemade diet should be sure to consult their veterinarian about necessary nutrients and how to achieve the right balance of fats and proteins to ensure their cat’s diet is truly complete.
Raw Meat Cat Food / Raw Meat Diet for Cats and Dogs.
That is not to say that the second product has more "meat" than the first, or in fact, any meat at all. Meat meal is not meat per se, since most of the fat and water have been removed by rendering. Ingredients must be listed by their "common or usual" name. Most ingredients on pet food labels have a corresponding definition in the AAFCO Official Publication. For example, "meat" is defined as the "clean flesh of slaughtered mammals and is limited to...the striate muscle...with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh." On the other hand, "meat meal" is "the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents." Thus, in addition to the processing, it could also contain parts of animals one would not think of as "meat." Meat meal may not be very pleasing to think about eating yourself, even though it can contain more minerals than meat. However, animals do not share in people's aesthetic concerns about the source and composition of their food. Regardless, the distinction must be made in the ingredient list (and in the product name). For this reason, a product containing "lamb meal" cannot be named a "Lamb Dinner."
Grain Free Game Meats – Evanger's Dog & Cat Food Company, Inc.