okay, so this is what my vet told me:
during the war (i didn't ask which war, i assumed ww1) the president wanted to have people's pets destroyed because they didn't have enough food and humans needed the food. someone said, "if we can create food for the animals without using human grade products, will you be happy with that?". and so, they created kibble out of all the yuck of the killing room floor. hooves, hair, blood and other things i'd prefer not to envision.
so, i know that they have improved the ingredients, but, alot of those foods out there are still containing meat and bone meal, pork flavor, animal digest (ew, what's that?). how abut chicken by products and of course, no food is complete without high fructose corn syrup. then they spray the resulting kibble with flavoring to make it palatable to the dog.
and part of me thinks, hmm, my dog will eat horse poop and his own vomit. they're not exactly connoisseurs. but, just as i would never feed my kid lucky charms and count chocula for breakfast just because he likes it, i would rather feed my dog something better.
because i feel we should do the best we can with the knowledge we have at the time and now is a time when i am learning so much about nutrition, that i would be remiss if i didn't take a serious look at my pets' foods as well.
right now, my dog's and cat eat a 5 star pet food that is made of free range ingredients, no wheat or grains and made fairly locally. can i do better? i don't know. but, for today, i am aware and interested in doing more research.