Can Lab-Grown Cat Treats Get the Pet Food Industry Out of Animal Agriculture?

So far, most of the developments in cultured meat have revolved around food for humans, from chicken nuggets to foie gras. But one company is working on lab-grown cat treats made from mouse meat. And she hopes to bring them to market as early as next year.

The first product of the Chicago-based startup “Weil Animals”, Harmless Hunt Cultured Mouse Cookies for Cats, can be pre-ordered on the website before the hopeful start date of 2022.

Like other forms of cultured meat – including lab-grown, cell-based, clean, and cultured – it starts with obtaining cells from a real animal. In this case a mouse, a cat’s native protein source. (According to the company, mice are not harmed by the process.) These cells are fed a nutrient-rich serum in a bioreactor, and within a few weeks you will have real meat without slaughter.

Because Animals mixes the cultured mouse meat with a variety of ingredients, including pumpkin, tempeh, miso, nutritional yeast, to create a nutritious cat snack.

“The ultimate goal of most cultured meat companies is to develop a product that can remove animals from the food supply chain,” Shannon Falconer, CEO and co-founder of Since Animals told Fast Company. “And since humans are the largest consumers of traditional meat, it makes sense to focus on humans when making a cultured meat product. What most people are not aware of, however, is that there is another, very important population group besides humans that drives the animal breeding industry: our pets. “

The lab-grown cat snacks also contain ingredients like pumpkin and tempeh. | Because animals

Animal husbandry has a huge impact on CO2 emissions, biodiversity loss and human health. This comes from meat, dairy products, eggs, and other products intended for human consumption. And while the amount of food our pets consume each year is small compared to the amount of meat humans eat, our cats and dogs also have a food carbon footprint of 64 million tons of emissions each Year.

Most of the meat they eat is a by-product of animal husbandry and is made up of leftover parts like bones and blood. Sometimes it includes animals that have died in transit, in institutions, or even from disease.

Falconer says pet food helps prop up the livestock industry. The goal is to disrupt this industry with something more sustainable and ethical.

According to “Weil Animals”, in addition to increasing production, the production of cultivated rabbit meat for dogs is also on the agenda.

About the author

Senior Editor | New York City, NY Kat writes about sustainable eating, fashion, and food technology. You have a BA in Cinema and Culture Studies from Stony Brook University.