X

Pets Eat a Staggering Amount of Meat. Now, a New Wrinkle

2 startups working on growing meat in a lab, reducing the need for farm slaughter
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2021 4:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – The push to find alternatives to the traditional production of meat isn't confined to humans. Modern Farmer has an amazing stat to illustrate the issue: "If cats and dogs made up their own country, they would rank fifth in terms of meat consumption." The need to produce all that meat for pet food takes a toll on the environment in the form of 64 tons of carbon dioxide a year, writes Shelby Vittek. And while plant-based meat alternatives may be gaining traction with humans, they won't work for pets, or at least for cats, which need actual meat to survive. Solution? Cell-cultured meat. The process involves taking cells from living animals, then nurturing those cells in the lab until they essentially grow into a piece of meat. At least two startups, Because Animals and Bond Pet Foods, are working on it.

story continues below

"More than a quarter of the environmental effects of animal growing is due to the pet food industry,” says Shannon Falconer, CEO of Because Animals. “What this [cell-cultured] food would provide is the first environmentally sustainable, ethical meat for people to feed their pets.” Because the concept is so new, his company doesn't plan to have a product on shelves until 2022. An entry from Bond Pet Foods will probably arrive the following year. The story includes a quote from a representative of the meat industry, in this case Sarah Little of the North American Meat Institute. The group's position on cell-cultured meat is that it be clearly labeled so consumers can decide for themselves whether to choose it over the traditional stuff. (You can get a ribeye steak via this method.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X