A lot of people love bacon. As a result, it is natural for them to wonder whether they can share one of their favorite foods with their cat. Fortunately, cats are capable of eating bacon, though it is best for cats to eat small amounts of bacon from time to time rather than large amounts of bacon on a regular basis. It is one of those foods that should be considered sometimes foods.
Why Can Cats Eat Bacon?
There is nothing mysterious about why cats can eat bacon. Simply put, they are obligate carnivores, meaning that they need to eat meat for their continuing survival. Something that makes cats quite different from dogs, which like to eat meat but are capable of surviving on plant matter. This can be seen in the cat’s diet when it is out in the wild on its own. Generally speaking, they will predate on mice, rats, and other small rodents. However, cats are perfectly willing to go after other animals, which can be almost as big as they are. As a result, their diet can include but are by no means limited to rabbits, birds, lizards, and even insects. Cats are willing to go after just about anything provided that it doesn’t have something that makes it unpalatable. For example, they tend to be unenthusiastic about adult hedgehogs, which are protected by spines. Similarly, they tend to be unenthusiastic about bigger turtles, which are protected by shells. Cats have been known to seek out grass from time to time. However, this isn’t because they are interested in eating plant matter, particularly since they tend to throw up afterwards. Instead, there are a number of potential explanations for what is happening. It is possible that the cat is seeking out the folic acid contained in the grass, which it can benefit from even if it can’t digest everything else. Alternatively, it is also possible that the cat is specifically seeking to throw up. After all, they aren’t as discerning as humans when it comes to eating their prey, so it is common for them to wind up with fur, bones, and other indigestible substances in their stomach. Something that needs to be cleared out even if the clearing out is unpleasant for them. Bacon is meat. In fact, bacon is a much more convenient form of meat than most of what a cat would consume out in the wild, seeing as how it isn’t attached to either fur, bones, or other indigestible substances. Having said that, bacon can pose a problem because of its creation, which is one of the reasons why eating too much bacon is a bad idea for cats.
What Is Bacon Anyways?
Generally speaking, bacon refers to a kind of cured pork. For those who are unfamiliar, curing is the practice of preserving food by using salt to extract the moisture contained therein. This is beneficial because the extraction of moisture makes the food inhospitable for the microbes that are responsible for food spoilage, thus enabling it to be stored for a much longer time than otherwise possible. Once upon a time, curing was used pretty much everywhere by pretty much everyone. After all, fresh meat doesn’t last for very long. Its exact shelf life can see significant variation depending on factors such as its temperature and its moisture level. However, the fundamental fact is that fresh meat starts spoiling within a very short period of time. Theoretically, people can try to eat meat that has gone bad anyways. In practice, that doesn’t work because most people aren’t going to risk food poisoning or worse for something that is going to taste absolutely awful. Never mind the fact that fresh meat will eventually rot away.
That wasn’t an issue if people had easy access to meat. For instance, if someone could just have a pig slaughtered whenever they wanted to eat meat, they didn’t need to concern themselves about extending the shelf life of pork because it is irrelevant to them. However, that described no more than a very small proportion of individuals in pre-modern societies. This is because producing meat has always been much more resource-intensive than producing crops, meaning that kind of extravagance would have been impossible for the small farmers who made up the overwhelming majority of the pre-modern population. For that matter, even most of the well-off would have lacked that kind of easy access to meat because that would have been extremely expensive even for them. As such, people sought out various ways to extend the shelf life of meats and other foods. Curing was one of the most popular preservation methods. We know this because it is one of the main reasons that salt was such a valuable substance in pre-modern times when compared with the present. For context, there were numerous trade routes that connected salt-producing regions with their non-salt-producing counterparts, thus enabling salt to move from the former to the latter. Moreover, this wasn’t something that came about under the oversight of large states with considerable administrative capabilities. No, those trade routes sprung up in prehistoric times, which makes it very clear that people have been curing food for a very long time.
Regardless, curing started out as a way of preserving food. However, the process of curing brought about a change in the flavor of the food as well. Nowadays, much of the curing that takes place is meant to bring out those flavors rather than extend the shelf life. The latter is still important. However, modern techniques and technologies mean that people have much superior access to fresh foods than ever before, both because the latter can be preserved for longer periods of time and because the latter can be brought in over longer distances. Of course, this is true in places with a certain level of development. Nowadays, there are still places where people lack access to a lot of the conveniences that most of us take for granted, meaning that curing still sees use for its older purpose.
In any case, bacon is an excellent example of a food that is cured for flavor rather than for preservation. As mentioned earlier, it tends to refer to a kind of salt-cured pork. However, it is interesting to note that it can come from a number of cuts of meat. In most cases, bacon refers to side bacon, which comes from the pork belly. People can recognize this by the fact that it has clear layers of fat and muscle that run parallel to the pork skin. Besides this, there are other kinds of pork bacon such as back bacon, collar bacon, and jowl bacon. Chances are good that interested individuals can guess the cuts of meat that these kinds of pork bacon are made using. If not, back bacon comes from the loin, collar bacon comes from the part of the pig’s back that is close to the pig’s head, and jowl bacon comes from the pig’s cheeks. There are also other kinds of bacon made from the meats of other animals. Examples range from beef bacon and lamb bacon to chicken bacon and turkey bacon. These products are particularly popular for people with certain dietary restrictions but nonetheless enjoy similar preparation methods. For that matter, companies are now putting out vegetarian bacon as well, which is a great example of the general enthusiasm for capturing markets that enjoy the taste but not necessarily the meat responsible for the taste.
How Is Bacon Produced Anyways?
In some ways, the production of bacon has become very different from what it was in the past. In other ways, the production of bacon remains very similar. In particular, it is worth mentioning that the production of meat has become industrialized in a way that wasn’t possible in the past, which has resulted in both upsides and downsides. On the one hand, the process is extremely efficient, so much so that it has played a major role in bringing down the price of meat to the point that it is something that the average consumer can eat on a daily basis. On the other hand, efficiency isn’t synonymous with niceness. If anything, it rides roughshod over the latter. There is a reason why so many people speak about the cruelties of industrialized meat production, which may or may not matter to individual consumers. In any case, the meat is cured in a couple of ways. One would be dry curing, which means that it is rubbed with salt. Meanwhile, the other would be wet curing, which means that it is either injected with brine or immersed in brine. Of course, there are other steps and other ingredients involved, both of which can introduce additional nuances to the ultimate taste and texture. This is similar to the production for salt-cured pork. Something that should come as no surprise because bacon is ultimately just a kind of salt-cured pork differentiated from the others by the cuts of meat used as well as other details in the production method.
Why Is Bacon So Popular Anyways?
Bacon has become very popular in the United States and Canada, so much so that it has received the name of bacon mania. This isn’t something new. After all, there are a lot of people who trace it to the late 1990s, which was when a surge of interest in the Atkins diet brought about a surge of interest in high-protein foods. For that matter, people have made a note of the American love for bacon in early colonial America, which would put the genesis of the trend even further back. In any case, it isn’t quite clear why people like bacon so much. Certainly, the taste is nice. However, there are plenty of foods that taste nice without inspiring clubs, celebratory events, and other cultural elements. There are some people who have speculated about it being a matter of bacon being inherently funny. Meanwhile, others have suggested that the consumption of bacon is seen almost as an act of rebellion in a world that puts so much emphasis on eating in a healthy manner. Something that can appeal to a wide range of people under a wide range of circumstances. Whatever the case, bacon is extremely popular. Moreover, it seems safe to say that it will remain extremely popular for the foreseeable future even if it sees small rises and falls in the short run.
What Else Should You Keep in Mind If You Are Thinking about Feeding Your Cat Some Bacon?
If people are planning to feed bacon to their cat, they might want to keep some other things in mind. For instance, they might want to cook the bacon before doing so. Some bacon is treated to prevent the eater from the threat of getting trichinosis, which is a kind of parasitic infection that can happen if the eater is very unlucky. However, this isn’t true for every single kind of bacon out there, meaning that it is a good idea to be safe than to be sorry. Having said that, people should also refrain from feeding their cat too much bacon. Unsurprisingly, it is a food that contains a lot of fat and a lot of salt, which should come as no surprise when it is literally salt-cured pork. These substances aren’t good for feline health for much the same reasons that they aren’t good for human health. As such, bacon should be a sometime food for cats for the purpose of protecting their health. On top of this, bacon can be useful as a reward for good behavior. However, it will lose that power if a cat gets too much bacon too often. Instead, it is much easier to retain it as a tool of positive reinforcement by using it with a strong sense of restraint.