Sometimes something big just blows your mind.
Something - like salmon.
This regal fish plays a crucial role in the ecosystem of the great Northwest, returning ocean nutrients to the rivers and streams where they were born, feeding wildlife and even the forests - (but I'll get to that later). It's even shaped the lives of the indigenous people.
But getting back to the part that blew my mind: The other night I was watching a nature show about the great Canadian Northwest. The highlight of the show was the stuff about bears, notably their feasting on spawning salmon swimming upstream. Good fats, gooey guts and protein from this all-you-can-eat-salmon buffet sustains these ursine creatures through hibernation.
What I didn't know however, was that the bears only eat the fattiest parts of the salmon, i.e., the brain, the skin and eggs and toss the rest of the meaty carcass into the forest. And since bears need like 40 lbs per day of those "choice" salmon parts, that means that each bear consumes about 100 salmons per day.
Between all the seven salmon species, that translates into tons and tons of salmon carcasses fertilizing the Northwest forest bed.
Drum roll please...That's why there are gigantic trees in the Northwest - salmon nutrients.
So, I did a little googling and came across an academic study (that I'm failing to cite for non-academic purposes). Just trust me. Anyhow, over the course of twenty years, the growth rate of trees fertilized with salmon carcasses compared to those without, grew on average three times faster! How incredible is that?!
Wait - there's more: In the Yukon, in an area above the Arctic Circle, a frozen wasteland normally void of all trees, lies a region along the Yukon River, where towering fir trees grow. Wonder why?
A river runs through it where spawning salmon fill the waters, ergo, a grizzly bear smorgasbord where countless meaty salmon carcasses are tossed into the forest. A forest of giant 300-foot trees.
Need I say more? Need I convince you that salmon should be an important, if not crucial part of your cat or dog's diet?
If the nutrients of salmon can sustain the growth of 300 foot trees and 1500-hundred-pound grizzlies, what do you think it can do for your pet?
Say no more, say no more, just order -