A new approach to pet supply retailing has taken hold in East York. It’s got a little to do with ethics and a lot to do with the love of animals.
Increasingly, the idea of merging ethics with pet ownership is making its way into the hearts of animal lovers worldwide. In part, it’s about getting animal food that has ingredients derived from sources like free range farm animals and chemical-free grains — all manufactured using sustainable resources.
It may sound like a tall order, but saving the Earth while saving your pet is not as hard as you may think.
Not when, on Pape Avenue, animal rights activist Marilyn Murray has opened a new ethical pet store called For the Love of Animals.
Located at 930 Pape near Mortimer, it’s a small store dedicated to healthy animals with serious owners.
“If I can promote the proper health and proper care, regardless of what the animal is, then that’s what I need to do,” Murray said. “That’s always been my dream… being able to supply things that are going to take a little puppy to this extraordinary healthy dog.”
Murray is no newcomer to conscientious animal care, having helped run a guinea pig rescue agency — aptly named Guinea Pigs R Us — from her East York home for years. She’s even written a book on guinea pig care.
An ethical pet store sells pet foods, toys and accessories that are made with all-natural products according to a set of environmental standards; something that Dr. Paul McCutcheon, a veterinarian at the East York Animal Clinic, says is a good idea.
A vet for 48 years, Dr. McCutcheon has seen many of his clients embrace the natural way.
“People have come to the realization that there have been more companies providing unprocessed food,” he said.
He went on to say that some of his clients used to make their own pet food, but natural food is now becoming more “user-friendly.”
McCutcheon believes that animals eating more nutritious foods are the healthiest.
Murray has seen this as well, saying that animals that eat natural foods are energetic and have better immune systems.
“They’ve got the ‘Go-Go-Go’ all the time and they’re not as overweight,” she said. “I think it helps the immune systems as well, just as it would for us. The less preservatives and chemicals we put into our body the better off we are.”
According to Murray, the difference in price for regular food and organic is only a few dollars.
And while making the transition to ethical pet ownership could seem daunting, Murray can lend you a helping hand. It starts when you walk in the door and are greeted by wind chimes and Murray’s friendly smile.
The only thing you won’t find in an ethical pet store is actual animals.
“We don’t sell anything that breathes,” Murray said. “We won’t even sell crickets.”