The Rivas Vaciamadrid animal protection center, located near Madrid, is drawing attention to the environmental impact of traditional pet food, which contributes significantly to carbon emissions. With more pets than children in Spain and rising pet populations globally, the carbon pawprint of pets, primarily due to their meat-based diets, is a growing concern.
A Madrid-based company, Ginqo, is addressing this issue by producing sustainable pet food made from insects. Gianpaolo Pugliese, the entrepreneur behind Ginqo, believes insect-based pet food is a viable alternative to traditional farmed animal feed. The production of insect-based pet food is presented as a more environmentally friendly option, requiring less land and water compared to conventional meat-based pet foods.
Cesar Sastre, a vet and pet food expert involved in the project, emphasizes the importance of finding proteins that are easy to produce with minimal environmental impact. Insect-based pet food, according to studies, requires only a fraction of the land and water needed for traditional cattle farming to produce the same amount of protein.
Despite the potential benefits, the pet food industry, valued at around $100 billion annually, is dominated by animal protein brands that resist change. The challenge lies in shifting consumer attitudes, norms, and business models to embrace alternative products like insect-based pet food. While the “ick” factor may initially deter consumers, the positive response from pets at the Rivas Vaciamadrid center suggests that insects are a palatable and sustainable option for their diets.
Source – CGTN