When you see mice attacking alien creatures to save the earth in "Task Force X: All Assembling"——
When "Little Elf Mouse" became the most witty and brave friend of the Georges family——
When more and more young people start to raise pet mice of different breeds-you may see a cat with a mouse in its mouth and will be full of sympathy:
Shushu is so cute, how can you eat Shushu…
Don't worry, now the world's first cell-grown "artificial mouse meat" is here.
Of course, it is not artificial meat for humans, but for pets. It is not to protect mice, but to give pet cats one more choice.
This cat food is trying to change the future of pet food with a safer, healthier and more environmentally friendly attitude.
The world's first artificial meat for pets
This is an artificial mouse biscuit called Harmless Hunt , manufactured by the biotech company Because Animals, and recently debuted at SuperZoo, one of the largest trade shows in the pet food industry.
However, upon seeing this news, a question mark first appeared in his head: Nowadays, pet cats don’t eat mice, why do they want to make mouse meat?
And accompanied by a series of confused questions:
- Is it expensive?
- is it safe?
- Is it really healthy?
- Will cats like to eat it?
- Is it really better for pets to eat artificial meat?
Let's take a look one by one.
[Cat and mouse, a natural pair]
Since their ancestors, cats have liked to catch mice and eat them, because mice are not only countless, but also have a well-balanced body nutrition.
It is rich in protein, as well as balanced amino acids, vitamins, etc., which can make cats bright, refreshed and beautiful. Most importantly, mice are rich in taurine, which can strengthen cat nights. If cats lack visual ability for a long time, they will suffer from "night blindness."
Although pet cats do not need to eat mice nowadays, taurine is also added to many cat foods, but mice are still a relatively better meat for cats.
Directly producing rat meat is not only nutritious, but also no need to add various ingredients.
In addition, now cat food is mainly derived from chicken, fish, and beef. These meats are actually the most common food allergens for cats.
▲ Shannon Falconer, founder of Because Animals (left)
Shannon Falconer, co-founder of Because Animals, said that many pet meat products are made from the viscera, head and bones left over from the meat that people eat, and animal meat that is dying, dying, and disabled:
The reason these meats are made into pet food is because they have been produced by humans.
[How to artificial mouse meat? 】
Just like the artificial meat produced for humans before, artificial mouse meat also needs to obtain cells from mice first, and then provide various nutrients for these cells in a food-grade bioreactor that mimics the uterus of animals until they grow into meat. .
However, one of the biggest advantages of this company is that they use their own proprietary medium, which can achieve 100% animal-free and slaughter-free culture of mouse tissue.
The current controversy in the cultivation of cells from artificial meat in the laboratory is to use a key ingredient for cell growth-Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS), which is extracted from the fetus of pregnant cows during the slaughter process. And the cost is also high.
But because Animals only needs to extract mouse cells. There are three mice in their laboratory . When extracting cells, they will be given a mild anesthetic, which is also harmless to mice.
▲ Three mice in the laboratory provided the cells for the experiment, the picture comes from: Because Animals
These three mice have been adopted by the laboratory staff for two years. They live in a luxurious mouse house every day. They eat and drink every day, and their lives are full of simple abundance and ordinary happiness.
[How does the artificial rat meat taste? 】
Of course, no one tries to eat mouse meat. Researchers also try to eat cats constantly to see if they like it or not.
According to Because Animals , they have gone through a lot of tests by "fussy cats" and finally decided on this new animal protein product.
We can also roughly imagine the taste of this rat meat biscuit from the ingredients.
It is not a pure rat steak, but a mixture of artificial rat meat and other plant ingredients, such as pumpkin puree, flaxseed, tempeh, miso and so on.
Because it has more artificial motility, this mouse biscuit is also added with probiotics and nutritional yeast , which can strengthen digestion and immunity, and is more conducive to the health of cats.
▲ Dr. Shannon Falconer and scientist Taylor Brooks
In fact, this is also a way to make it easier for pet owners to accept artificial meat foods, Shannon Falconer said :
Because this is still a new concept, but in fact both are real meat, artificial pet meat can be safer and healthier.
In addition, it is produced in a sterile, controlled laboratory environment, and the meat itself does not contain antibiotics and pathogens, and there is no risk of becoming an allergen.
In addition, another important point is that it is very environmentally friendly.
This also makes the artificial meat food of the pet industry more widely concerned.
Because these new foods are not only closely related to pets, but also determine whether we can live a sustainable life in the future.
▲ Picture from: The Pack
Is it better for pets to eat artificial meat in the future?
When the first wave begins to surge onto the coast at high speed, the next layer of waves will follow.
With more and more Millennials love pets, pet domestic and foreign markets are growing rapidly, Grand View Research is expected in 2025, the pet food market will grow to $ 90.4 billion left and right.
▲ Picture from: Wild Earth
Although the scale is small, the momentum is not small.
At present, although the artificial rat meat biscuits of Cause Animals are not available in China, they are already available for pre-order on the official website of Cause Animals. They stated that they will be sold in limited quantities at the end of the year and will be widely available next year.
Therefore, not only Because Animals is eyeing the pet artificial meat food track, there are currently more than 30 companies around the world that are studying artificial meat for pets through cell cultivation in the laboratory .
▲ Picture from: Shameless Pets
In addition to the cell culture method of Because Animals, the pet food company Bond Pet Foods also uses another method-genetic engineering technology.
They collect chicken blood samples on the farm , and then extract the DNA from them to isolate the protein genes that make up the meat, and then use microbial fermentation technology to inject the protein genes into the fermenter for growth. After obtaining a certain amount of animal protein, they They are dried and made into more nutritious pet food.
▲ Picture from: Bond Pet Foods
They are preparing to launch artificial mouse cat food and artificial rabbit dog food in 2023, one year later than Because Animals.
In addition, some start-up companies are still looking for better quality alternative proteins, such as insects. "They may be more sustainable than traditional mammalian protein sources and are very nutritious."
Just like artificial meat is also divided into artificial animal protein and artificial plant protein, artificial pet meat food has long been a pioneer of plant protein.
▲ Petaluma launched the first plant-based pet food
Wild Earth has previously launched artificial vegetable protein dog food. These foods are derived from Asian strains and are made of vegetable protein through biotechnology and fermentation processes, and then turned into dog food.
V-Planet, a vegetable protein dog food brand, has been selling well in more than 10 countries . Their dog food is 100% made from vegan and non-GMO ingredients, including peas, oatmeal, brown rice, potatoes, etc. Can give the dog comprehensive nutrition.
▲ Picture from: V-Planet
However, there are not many plant-based pet foods sold at this stage. First of all, the taste of plant-based artificial meat is not as good as animal protein artificial meat, and in terms of the price of Wild Earth’s products, it is also three or four times more expensive than traditional pet food .
It is worth mentioning that all artificial meat pet food companies have the same propaganda slogan-in addition to making pets eat safer, healthy, and high-quality, they can also make a great contribution to environmental protection.
After all, animal husbandry will have a non-negligible impact on climate change. The main cause of global warming is, in addition to industrial waste gas emissions, animal husbandry also accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions .
A new study shows that cats and dogs account for a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by animal husbandry, and the annual production of cat food and dog food emits 64 million tons of carbon dioxide. However, there are still divergent opinions among scientists in this study. For example, keeping dogs can also encourage walking and reduce aviation flights, thereby reducing carbon footprint.
Although eating artificial meat is obviously beneficial to environmental protection, it cannot damage the nutritional needs of animals for environmental protection. They are not like humans and can have more choices .
Because Animals founder Falconer has always been an animal protector. She has been vegetarian for many years, but has never let animals not eat meat. "Because cats are carnivores and dogs are omnivores."
▲Shannon Falconer and Joshua Errett, and the cat they rescued Frankie. Picture from: Because Animals
Therefore, through years of continuous research, they finally made pet artificial meat cultivated by animal cells a reality.
Nowadays, people treat pets as their family members. When more and more people want to live a more environmentally friendly life, they also want their pets to follow.
Artificial meat for pets is moving from the laboratory to the market, but before it becomes popular, it needs to pass the inspection and approval of the regulatory authorities to see if the safety and health promoted by these brands are really safe and healthy.
In general, the benefits and problems faced by pets eating artificial meat and humans eating artificial meat are almost the same.
▲ Picture from: Because Animals
Next, in addition to the artificial rat meat for cats, there will also be artificial rabbit meat, an animal eaten by dog ancestors.
People will finally be able to take out the artificial rabbit meat and gently stop when the butcher knife is aimed at the cute little white rabbit:
Bunny is so cute, how can you eat bunny…
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