All Animals Need to Eat Right

The eagle noticed something terrible was happening to the animals living at the edge of Silver Sound this spring. Birds were losing their feathers. Bears were losing patches of fur. Mountain goats complained of sore feet. Beavers got cavities in their teeth, and the caribou all seemed to have colds. The red squirrels had become so overweight they could barely waddle across the road.

Eagle was pretty sure it happened after Forrest's Fast Food Mart opened at the edge of Silver Sound. Forrest Fox, "The Fast Food King," thought he could make some extra money opening a quick stop eatery for his forest friends. Forrest knew it was difficult to find food during the harsh northern winter. He told himself he was doing the animals a favor.

Forrest's store offered birdseed in five candy-coated flavors. For hungry bears, he offered thick, artificially flavored honey syrup and deep-fried berries. Salted reindeer moss with a lichen-flavored sour cream dip was on the shelf for mountain goats and caribou. Hollow chocolate and cream-filled chocolate logs were sold to hungry beavers. The sugar-coated-double-dipped-chocolate-covered peanuts were a hit with the red squirrels. Forrest could barely keep them in stock. It was a profitable winter for Forrest. But eating all the junk food at Forrest's Fast Food Mart was taking its toll on the health of these beautiful wild animals.

You see, nature made everything in perfect balance. Birds are supposed to eat fruit, worms, insects, and seeds, not candy-coated birdseed. Bears are supposed to eat berries, plants, and fish, not artificially flavored sugar and deep-fried berries.

Mountain goats and caribou eat lichens, mosses, leaves, and grasses that provide the right kind of nutrition they need to survive. Anyone, including red squirrels, would get fat eating a diet of sugar-coated-double-dipped-chocolate-covered peanuts all day long. Eating only fast food and junk food is not healthy. Eating too much of the wrong foods can produce disastrous results in all kinds of animals.

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