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The ethics of plant-based pet food
Guardians face a dilemma when it comes to feeding companion animals. On the one hand, a meaty diet might seem suitable for dogs and cats. On the other hand, we are increasingly aware of the problems with animal agriculture. What is there to do? This chapter briefly introduces pet food, reviews the case against slaughter-based (‘conventional’) pet food, and explores the ethical credentials of three possible alternatives. These are plant-based pet food, invertebrate-based pet food, and cultivated pet food. While plant-based pet food provides a viable alternative to slaughter-based pet food in many cases, it may be unsuitable for at least some companions. The ethics of invertebrate-based pet food, meanwhile, are complicated, while cultivated pet food currently remains theoretical. Ultimately, exploring pet food as a collective, political question may lead to desirable, lasting solutions.
British Academy (grant number PF19\100101)
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- International Relations, Politics and History
Published inThe Vegan and Plant-Based Handbook: Multidisciplinary Perspectives
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)
Publisher statementThis book chapter was accepted for publication in the book The Vegan and Plant-Based Handbook: Multidisciplinary Perspectives and the definitive published version is available at