(Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)

Regarding the Aug. 7 news article “U.S. pets’ meat consumption carries high environmental costs”:

Pet food advertising insists that your dog and cat love the same “high-quality” chicken, beef and seafood that you do and can’t get enough of them. The gruesome rendering business converts millions of pounds of animal flesh that is not salable for human consumption, including hundreds of millions of male chicks that are ground up alive as soon as they hatch, into pet food and farm-animal feed.

Human consumption of animal products is the lifeblood of the pet food industry, which converts the unsold and unsalable carnage into two grades: pet-food-grade and livestock-grade. The mess is doctored with flavor enhancers and whatnot to make it palatable to the captive animals who must eat it or starve. Chicken nuggets, chicken strips and other animal products are similarly doctored for palatability. Unlike our captive animals, however, we have a choice not to eat the stuff.

Karen Davis, Machipongo, Va.

The writer is president of United Poultry Concerns, which promotes compassionate treatment of fowl.