I stopped eating meat for animal welfare reasons in my teens. In my early twenties I started volunteering with animal rescues. For much of my adult life as a biochemist, I spent my days at the lab bench, and my evenings tending to feral cat colonies. My first date with my husband was spent at a building demolition site, from midnight to 5 am, trapping a colony of feral cats to safely relocate them to a farm.
But my scientific career and my work with animal rescue had never overlapped.
Then, while working on my post-doc at Stanford University, I realized it was absolutely within my power to merge those two worlds—to use my scientific training to benefit animals.
For a long time, I had struggled with the fact that I needed to feed my cats other animals in order to keep them healthy. In feeding my cats meat I had resigned myself to supporting the animal agriculture industry—an industry that I otherwise did not support when it came to feeding myself. And then came my eureka moment: I had the scientific knowledge to create culture-grown meat so why wasn’t I using that know-how to feed cats?
A week later I left my post-doc and got working on Because, Animals. And from that moment, creating cultured meat for pets has become my lifework. Truly environmentally-sustainable, humane, meat-based pet food does not exist—and the only option for creating it is cultured meat.
Because, Animals is taking animals out of the supply chain by eliminating the world’s reliance on the animal agriculture industry as the only way to feed our pets a healthy diet. Intensive animal agriculture is the greatest threat our earth has ever faced, being the leading cause of:
As for pet food specifically, over a quarter of the environmental effects of the animal agriculture industry in terms of deforestation, water, and fossil fuel use are directly attributable to the foods Americans feed their cats and dogs.
For me, when we talk about Earth Day, we are talking about animals. The earth is not inanimate. It is based on billions of living things—from microorganisms to microalgae to the meerkat—that make up the greater ecosystem.
So, if you care about the earth, then you care about the animals who inhabit it. And, ultimately, taking animals out of the supply chain is the surest way to heal the planet.