Ingredient Breakdown — Taurine
What is it?
Taurine is named after taurus, the Latin word for bull (bulls are just big cows, right? I like cows…they’re tasty) because the human that discovered it found it in ox bile! (humans are so weird…when I barf, I bury it, and then I walk away from it — I don’t dissect it to find out what’s in it. Gross. And I don’t dissect *other species’ barf* either. *shudder* Glad I’m a cat.)
Oh, and it’s also a building block, so we need it for, well, almost everything in our body.
Why is it in pet food?
Are you kidding? Taurine is like, the most important thing ever. Cats have to have it added in, because we can’t make it ourselves. Dogs can make it, but not all breeds are great at it (because of course not because dogs are dumb), so it’s added for them, too.
Cats have gotta have it for a lot of reasons. Big one — we go blind without it, and last I checked, seeing is kind of important, because you don’t want me pooping wherever I feel like pooping. And oh, yeah, if we get pregnant and have kittens, they don’t grow how they should. Heck, we may not even be able to *have* kittens without it. And our hearts need it, and our digestive tract does, too.
Dogs need it because they can get dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) without it…you mighta heard of that in the news not too long ago. DCM is when your heart can’t pump blood, and, well, that’s *really* bad, and they can die from it (and ok fine, I don’t like dogs, but I REALLY don’t like dead dogs, so give them taurine).
What are its other uses?
I mean, humans need taurine for a lot of the reasons us animals do — it’s a building block, and it’s in everything. And it’s also in energy drinks, because supposedly taurine + caffeine = people who think better (hah). Dunno about that, but humans definitely need it because without, they can have issues with their heart, kidneys, pancreas, eyes….you get the point.
And like dogs, humans can make it, but they’re not always great at it, so they get a boost from eating a diet with foods that give them taurine (like fish…tasty, tasty fish!
Ummm, didn’t I already cover why we need it? Like you need more reasons?
Where is it sourced?
If I was living outside, which I totally refuse to do because there’s no air conditioning outside, I would hunt, and hunting means I would get taurine from the mice and stuff I would catch and eat.
And you want to know what’s scary? Not all heart is the same. Farm-raised animals have less taurine per bite than the prey I would catch in the wild. That means I’d have to eat, like, a bazillion farm-raised chicken hearts to get the taurine I need, and yeah, gross. Or I’d just have to eat chickens that were lifting weights on a regular basis — ya know, bulking up so their hearts have more taurine. That’s a fun mental image…buff chickens…*licks lips*
Any issues with its use?
Only if you’re not getting enough of it!
Thinking about chickens lifting weights made me tired. Off to nap!