Canned love for your surrogate child

You haven’t? Well, just check out some of the ingredients in this mouthwatering stew: beef broth, beef, beef liver, egg whites, bison, barley, spinach, cranberries, rosemary, artichokes, pumpkin, tomato, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, and kale.

Hmmm, maybe there’s a reason you haven’t sampled it…

It’s dog food.

Seriously, dog food. Just who is Nature’s Variety, manufacturer of Homestyle from the Prairie dog food, marketing to? That ’50s-era kitchen-prep photo on the can summons up memories and mythologies of a Betty Crocker period when families ate around the dining room table, satisfied with their Mom-cooked meals, while the dog cowered in the backyard, lonely and cold and living off stale kibble dumped into a dirty bowl.

Yes, your dog will love this beef and bison stew, but how hard is that? Coltrane has been known to lunge after rotting animal carcases on the street. No, the Homestyle line is a reminder that, for many, the pet has replaced the child in our homes, and we want to spoil them as if we were all June Cleaver. It’s kind of sad, really.