There are approximately a billion companion animals prowling the planet, including 20 million cats and dogs in the UK. That’s a lot of petfood with its proportionately huge impact on the environment. Two new companies, Lovebug and Percuro, have turned to insects to solve the problem, and pets are eating it up.
Lovebug is aimed at the feline population. Its founder is Soli (short for Solitaire) Townsend, who owns a tabby cat called Skye and has had cats her whole life. “I’m an obsessive cat person,” she says. “But my sister probably loves cats more than people.” Townsend was one of the first cohort to take a Masters in Sustainable Development at Middlesex University and she went on to set up the Futerra agency to focus on sustainability around the world.
“I’m a climate [conscious] veggie-becoming-vegan,” she says. But her cat wouldn’t be happy with the same plant-based diet because cats are “obligate” carnivores – after thousands of years of Tom and Jerry, they have to eat meat. But insects fit the obligate bill.
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