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Into the Future: Cultured Mouse Meat

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We love companies that give back, are environmentally responsible and, most of all, do no harm. That’s why the latest creation from Because, Animals, a small company out of Chicago with the mission to create sustainable pet food without harming animals or the environment, has made our whiskers twitch. Its new product will be coming down the pipeline as soon as cultured meat products are approved for U.S. markets. Harmless Hunt Mouse Cookies for Cats uses cultured meat created from humanely harvested mice cells.

What exactly is cultured meat? Cofounder and COO Joshua Errett tells us, “Cultured meat in general is 100% bio-identical to traditional meat. It has the same nutritional value and composition as animal-based meat. You can look at it this way: All meat is simply a collection of animal cells. Meat in the traditional sense is produced when these cells grow inside a body. But, when given the right nutrients, these cells can also grow inside a bioreactor.”

To make the Harmless Hunt Mouse Cookies, Because, Animals took a small sample of cells from mice rescued from a lab. Joshua explains that taking the cells is the equivalent of an ear piercing in a human, is done by a veterinarian and an anesthetic is used. “From that sample,” he says, “the necessary cells are isolated and fed a nutritious blend of nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, all inside a bioreactor. As those cells consume nutrients, they continue to grow and divide, ultimately producing more cells to yield a larger and larger biomass. At harvest time, the cells are collected from the bioreactor and blended with other nutritious ingredients to form treats and/or nutritionally complete foods for cats and dogs.”

Some of the other nutritious ingredients in the cookies are tempeh, miso, nutritional yeast, pumpkin purée and flaxseed to make it super healthy and tasty. The company hopes to take animals out of the pet food supply chain, easing humans’ reliance on animal agriculture to lessen the environmental impact of the animal agriculture industry and end the suffering of animals raised for slaughter. The company also wants to create safer and healthier cat and dog treats with no risk to pet or public health in terms of bacterial contamination, antibiotic resistance and zoonotic diseases. Because, Animals will start sampling Harmless Hunt Mouse Cookies sometime this year. When they are through the regulatory system and ready for market, we’ll let you know about them here at Catster in our new product section. In the meantime, learn more at becauseanimals.com.

About the Author

Melissa L. Kauffman
Melissa L. Kauffman

Covering the pet world for more than 25 years, Melissa L. Kauffman has been an editor/writer for a wide variety of pet magazines and websites from the small critters to parrots to cats and dogs. Her advisory team of rescued pets — dogs Tampa Bay and Justice and parrots Deacon and Pi-Pi — help keep her on top of the latest and greatest pet health research, training and products, anything to give keep them in the high life they are accustomed to. Follow Tampa and his crew on Instagram @tampa.bay.pup.report while Melissa can always be found working on the next issue of Catster and Dogster magazines at caster.com and dogster.com.

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