Because, Animals is a small company with a big mission: To make the most sustainable and nutritious food for dogs and cats on the planet — without ever harming any animals or the environment.
The biotech startup Because, Animals is the first to focus on pet food, and hopes to launch its first products—including a “mouse cookie” snack for cats—by 2022. “The ultimate goal of most cultured meat companies is to create a product that will allow animals to be taken out of the food supply chain,” Shannon Falconer, CEO and cofounder of Because, Animals, said in an email. “And, given that humans are the largest consumers of traditional meat, it makes sense to focus on humans when making a cultured meat product. However, something that most people are unaware of is that, in addition to humans, there is another hugely significant population driving the animal agriculture industry forward: our pets.”
The CEO of pet food start-up Because Animals, Shannon Falconer, doesn’t eat meat and hasn’t for years, but the former Stanford microbiologist and longtime animal rescue volunteer says she never denied her pets the meat they craved. After all, cats are carnivores and dogs are omnivores in the wild. Falconer and Because Animals co-founder Joshua Errett (also an experienced animal rescuer) have been working to make pet foods that cater to cats’ and dogs’ “ancestral diet,” but do not require slaughtering animals, or raising them in an industrial setting.
“Our mission is almost the exact same as Impossible Foods, which is reduce or eliminate factory farming, which has this giant environmental footprint,” Josh Errett, CFO of Because Animals, told Marketplace. “I mean, calling it a ‘footprint’ is too nice. It’s an environmental disaster.”
Among these visionaries are Shannon Falconer and Joshua Errett, the founders of Because Animals, a firm based in Philadelphia. They have taken the idea to what might be seen as its logical conclusion, for the starting point for their cultured cat food is that favourite feline prey, a mouse.
"The main sources of protein in pet food of course are the remnants of the human food system, and they’re the cheapest and most convenient to give our pets,” says Shannon Falconer, chief executive and co-founder of Because Animals. “We saw this as a real opportunity to grow a meat that is [in] the [animals'] ancestral diet.”
“Cats and dogs consume more than 25% of the US meat supply. Pet food company Because Animals wants to see those diets replaced with meat grown in the lab.”
To satisfy cats’ appetite for meat while offering owners a way out of their environmental and ethical guilt, some startups are developing slaughter-free meat. US-based Because Animals, for instance, is growing animal tissue in the lab.
CEO & Co-founder
Shannon Falconer is the CEO and co-founder of Because Animals, a biotech start-up creating nutritious, sustainable, cultured meat pet food. Shannon holds a Masters degree in Biochemistry, a PhD in Chemical Biology, and worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at Stanford University prior to co-founding Because Animals in 2016. Shannon has spent decades volunteering in the animal rescue community and is a fur mom to two amazing rescue dogs, Gaia and Nori – both failed fosters!
COO & Co-founder
Joshua Errett has worked as a journalist, banker and, most importantly, cat rescuer. After he graduated with an MBA from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business, he set out to use his business skills and feline knowledge to help animals. He lives with three cats right now but always assumes he's about to take in another.
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