A story on NPR has me wondering about the direction that feeding our dogs may eventually take. When you look at the history of providing victuals for our dogs, there have been, just as there have been with humans, fads, sometimes based on new research but more often based on economy and availability. Though dry food started to gain some popularity in the thirties, it was around the time of WW II that we began to feed commercially prepared foods, both canned and bagged. That trend is so firmly entrenched now that many people maintain that they will not feed Fido “human food.” Interesting in light of the fact that “people food” became “dog food” mainly by processing to increase shelf life.
Organic Is In. Will In Vitro Be In?
When I posed the possibility of feeding Fido in vitro meat to a dog friend, his response was an emphatic “That’s just wrong!” But, really, what is wrong with it? From the point of view of an animal activist, it would have to be welcomed. It could definitely lessen the number of animals that we eat.
The question that springs to mind then, is when will “laboratory grown protein” become a key ingredient on dog food labels? Do you think “in vitro” dog food will ever be “in,” in the same way that “organic dog food” is? Will it ever be as hip as sushi is now?
Protein, Protein Everywhere
It really is much more available than you think. Think grasshopper and cockroach. OK. Nix the cockroach. But I can almost imagine grasshoppers as a palatable source of protein and crunch, if not for humans, then perhaps our pets . Can insects be raised humanely? Is that even a concern? What would Peta say? With hamburger being only about 18% protein, grasshoppers, at 60% would clearly be a better choice in some ways. If you can get over the yuck factor.
But frankly, we have gotten over the yuck factor with hotdog ingredients and sushi - so anything is possible.
What Will You Do?
If, as many predict, our consumption of animal protein is severely curtailed, which source of protein for Fido would you chose?
Photo Credits: Mike Licht on flickr