In my best books for 2006 post, I mentioned the book Intuitive Eating. Here’s an article about the same subject: Common Sense Approach to Eating.

It just makes so much sense to me. I watch my cats, for instance. They have dry food available 24/7, and canned food twice a day. They eat when they’re hungry, and (to my consternation) turn their noses up at the canned food if they don’t feel like eating it. They routinely lick all the juice off the canned food and leave most of the meat behind.

So… they eat what they want, when they want, as much as they want, refuse the things they don’t like, almost never clean their plates, and have never had a weight problem of any kind.

I know that’s not true of all pets. I’m convinced my parents’ cat has an eating disorder. But there’s a reason for that… when their other cat was still alive, the younger cat was terrified of eating, afraid the older one would come along and attack her. So when she did eat, she would eat really fast so she could run off and hide, and often ate so fast that she’d end up throwing up. Now that the older cat has passed away, the younger one has lost some weight (and gained a lot of confidence). Surprise, surprise.

Animals don’t restrict their diets – at least not by choice. I daresay if we go back a few hundred years (or maybe not even that far), the majority of human beings didn’t eat that way, either. Why do we seem so convinced that’s the right way for us to eat?