Mars will begin to produce plant-based alternative pet food following its 2018 purchase of an £8.2 million stake in US vegan company Wild Earth. Together the two companies will collaborate on food that is not reliant on meat production.
Writes The Mail Online, worldwide pets eat one fifth of all meat produced. The new vegan range is set to replace Mars's products containing chicken, beef and rabbit; this, in an attempt to lessen the burden on meat producers.
Wild Earth uses the Japanese Fungus Koji to make a protein substitute which tastes like meat.
Ben Jacobs of Mars told the Mail Online, “We can solve some of the planet's most pressing problems.... [if we] efficiently produce protein while reducing the environmental impact of feeding hundreds of millions of pets.”
Meat and the environment
The meat industry is considered by some to be a major factor in the degradation of worldwide ecosystems, although all agricultural practices are known to have some type of impact on the state of the climate.
Meat production in particular however is thought to be a major polluter due to its use of fossil fuels and consumption of land and water. In addition, intensive livestock farming creates a substantial amount of effluent waste and contributes to the burgeoning volume of methane in the atmosphere.
Mars’s new venture may not be to everyone’s taste, especially those who believe that dogs are designed to eat only meat. However, in light of the advances made in the production of meat substitutes - and the protein content within such produce - it seems likely that vegan pet food will become an increasingly popular buy.