Making pet food is similar to the manufacture of sausage in the sense that you don’t really want to know what the process involves or watch it as it is happening.
To get sausage you often add to the mix some parts of an animal that are not particularly appetizing, such as pig snouts and tails and a large dollop of fat.
When making pet food these days many companies supposedly throw in an unhealthy dose of slave labor.
That is the charge a law firm based in Seattle, Washington, is making in lawsuits that target such pet food giants as Mars, Procter & Gamble, and Nestle.
Natura Pet Products
Mars sells the popular Iams pet food brand. Purina Pet Care is a Nestle company, and Procter & Gamble companies include Natura Pet Products.
Some of the allegations are that the companies in question have been well aware that slave labor played a role in the pet food supply chain and turned a blind eye to the abusive practices.
The questionable labor relations apparently involve Thai Union Frozen Products of Thailand and its subsidiaries Songkla Canning and Thai Union Manufacturing.
Plaintiffs say they would not have bought the pet food, or have paid as much as they did for it, if they had known it was likely to have been produced using slave labor at some point.
Regardless of how the lawsuits turn out, American companies and foreign corporations as well need to take extra precautions to make sure that their overseas suppliers are using acceptable business practices that do not include slavery.
New global opportunities
This vetting process has become especially important since the computer age has created opportunities to make international business connections that did not exist previously.
In the current global economic environment, it is vital that businesses do their due diligence when choosing partners to make sure that foreign entities are acting in a legal and ethical way.
Making sure your dog gets a square meal is important, but so are the human rights of workers regardless of which country they live in.
In my opinion, the dignity of human beings takes priority over a luxurious lunch for the family cat.