Talk to your cat about sustainability and clean meat for cats, and he’ll probably yawn and go back to sleep. For an animal who loves nothing more than stalking tiny rodents, compassionate eating is pretty much a nonstarter.
But to a growing number of humans, the cruelty involved in the production of our cats’ food is becoming a major concern. In an online survey, nearly 600 people said they’re interested in feeding their animal companions a plant-based diet, mainly because they’re concerned about farm animal welfare.
The only thing that’s stopping them is the worry that a diet containing no animal protein will provide inadequate nutrition for their cats and dogs.
Clean Meat For Cats: Cruelty-Free Food For Our Obligate Carnivores
That sounds like a bit of a stretch to me. But cats could care less about the origins of their food as long as it smells and tastes good. So there’s no yuck factor to overcome if you offer them meat grown in a lab.
To make clean meat, manufacturers start with cells from a live animal. For Bond Pet Foods, the donor was a chicken named Inga, who contributed some cells and then went off to do whatever chickens do on an animal-friendly farm.
To make the protein into pet food, it’s mixed and cooked with other natural ingredients. Bond will be launching its first product — dog treats — sometime this year. Cat food will be coming later.
It’s “animal protein without the animal,” the company says on its website. “We don’t think one animal needs to be harmed to feed another.”
The Future Of Cat Food And The Planet
Bond won a Purina Pet Care Innovation prize at last month’s Global Pet Expo. But when it awarded the prize, Purina might have been thinking as much about the planet as the plight of farm animals.
To make pet food more sustainable, manufacturers are experimenting with using black fly larvae and crickets as protein sources. And Purina recently launched RootLab, which uses cricket powder, invasive fish species like Asian carp, chicken organs that are usually discarded and cod meat that’s typically wasted during processing as ingredients in dry dog food.
For humans who are able to overcome the yuck factor, the food is available now at Pet Supplies Plus stores in the Chicago area.
And clean meat for cats? Because Animals is using the cells of mice to develop clean treats for cats. It’s also working on clean meat cat and dog food.