Because much of the food our pets eat is meat-based, our beloved furry companions carry quite a heavy environmental pawprint. Scientists estimate that dogs and cats are responsible for a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal agriculture, which adds up to a whopping 64 million tons of CO2. But in the near future, that may no longer be the case.
Pet owners could soon trade in chicken and beef cat and dog foods for ones made from insects – a move that experts say could benefit both the environment and humanity. Insect farming is arguably much less of a burden on the environment than raising cattle or poultry.
In fact, the Dutch firm Protix, which runs the world’s largest insect farm, estimates that producing one kilogram of insect-based food requires just 2 percent of the land and 4 percent of the water needed to produce the same amount of beef. What’s more, insects can feed on human food waste, produce very low emissions and don’t require the use of fertilizer or pesticides.