These days, You can feed your pets insectsThe newest lifestyle choice to combat climate change is
In order to reduce the enormous carbon emissions associated with raising livestock for traditional, animal-based diets (which is why pet owners are so concerned about the environment), they feed their pets black army flies, mealworms, or crickets.
High in Protein
(Photo courtesy of Alice Castro
Experts believe that this is because Insects are rich in proteinPets may be allowed to be kept, and farmed species can contain high fats, oils and minerals. Initial studies show that commercial insect farming produces lower emissions, uses less water, is less expensive, and requires less land than cattle-based production.
Insect proteins can be converted into a nutritious pet food that is both tasty and healthy. SustainableNicole Paley, Pet Food Manufacturers Association deputy chief executives, said that this is possible. Pet owners who prefer to feed their pets insects-based foods have an alternative.
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Rabobank, a Dutch multinational that is based in the Netherlands, estimates that the market for insect-based petfood could grow 50 times by 2030. This would mean that half a million tons of food will be produced.
Andrew Knight, a University of Winchester lecturer on veterinary science, says this reflects increased consumer demand for alternative pet food, including vegan, to meet environmental needs.
This is partly due pet owners’ concerns about pet food’s high carbon footprint. According to a UCLA study it is equivalent to 64 millions tons of CO2 per calendar year. This is the same climate impact that 13.6 million cars driving for one year.
(Photo: deborahmiller56, Pixabay).
Knight says that many customers may be hesitant to adopt insect-based diets.
Insect-based pet foods are more expensive than traditional pet food. A bag of insect-based Lovefood dry kibble, for example, costs £12 per kilogram, against £9.75 for a 2kg bag of Iams dry cat food with chicken.
Solitaire Townsend, co-founder and CEO of Futerra, is collaborating Mars Petcare to create Lovebug. Its first insect-based catfood line. Market research indicates that nearly half of pet owners (47%) would consider feeding their pets insects. 87 percent of those polled said sustainability was a key factor in pet food selection.
Townsend wanted a vegetarian option “for my cat” and “for my conscience” as she is a vegetarian for ecological reasons. She stated that cats don’t fear eating bugs but some people do. Millions of people eat insects as part their daily diet. It might seem strange in the UK but I am old enough to remember when sushi and spaghetti were the same.
She advised pet owners to be aware of the possibility that unexpected changes in their pets’ diets could cause stress. She suggested a week-long transition. Start with 75 percent old food and then gradually shift to 25% new food.
Justine Shotton, president and CEO of the British Veterinary Association, says that owners should ensure that their dog’s nutrition needs are met with insect-based pet food. Additional research is necessary.
“At present, there is not enough data to support the use of insect-based protein to replace complete pet food diets. However, it is something that we are looking into.” She stated that a veterinarian who has a good understanding of nutrition should always monitor any changes made to a pet’s diet.
According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, seven insects have been approved by the EU for use in pet food components. The insects are fed discarded cereals, palm kernel, fruits, and vegetable by-products. Although most of the farms are located in the tropics now, there are more than 100 in Europe.
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