The Start-Up

How Lovebug and Percuro are using insects to feed pets and help save the planet

Crickets emit 80 times less methane than cows and use much less land. Percuro and Lovebug tell Andy Martin about why they think insects are the future of pet food

Wednesday 25 August 2021 21:30 BST
<p>Catfood Lovebug is from larvae farmed and fed on food waste </p>

Catfood Lovebug is from larvae farmed and fed on food waste

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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