What if you could feed your companion animals real meat without ever having to slaughter an animal? Because Animals is working to make this dream a reality, and the CEO and co-founder, Shannon Falconer, Ph.D., joins the podcast this week to tell us how they’re doing it. Traditional companion animal foods are made with byproducts of animal agriculture, including meat found unsuitable for the human food supply chain. In our conversation, Shannon tells us how Because Animals can create cultured meat, such as mouse and duck meat, for companion animals using cell samples obtained only once and without cruelty. Plus, she tells us how cultured meat fares against a vegan diet for dogs and cats.
*We are thrilled to expand the accessibility of our podcast by offering written transcripts of the interviews! Click here to read Jasmin’s interview with Shannon Falconer*
Shannon Falconer is the CEO and co-founder of Because Animals, a biotech start-up creating nutritious, sustainable, cultured meat pet food. Shannon holds a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology and worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at Stanford University prior to founding Because Animals. Shannon has spent decades volunteering in the animal rescue community and is a fur mom to her amazing rescue dog, Nori.
“More than a quarter of the devastating side effects of the animal agriculture industry—in terms of deforestation, water, and fossil fuel use—are directly attributed to the foods that people feed their cats and dogs.” – Shannon Falconer
Highlights for Episode 680:
- How Because Animals is working to revolutionize food for companion animals
- How traditional food for companion animals, made from slaughtered animals, can be damaging
- How Because Animals makes cultured meat without harming animals
- Shannon walks listeners through the process of getting cell samples and how they ensure the cultured meat is safe for consumption
- The risk to people and animals of eating diseased meat from animals with undiagnosed cancers
- The marketing challenge of using cultured meat in food for companion animals
- How Because Animals assures the safety of its products without testing on animals
- The regulatory requirements for getting companion animal food on the market as opposed to getting human food on the market
- Why animal-based cultured meat is better for dogs and cats than vegan diets
- How Shannon’s cat inspired her to put her training and education to work to develop a companion animal food she didn’t feel guilty about buying
- Largest global bird flu outbreak ‘in history’ shows no sign of slowing
- Just Egg Full Page ad in The New York Times
- Pit bulls have a bad rap. These advocates say it’s a harmful myth about gentle, loving dogs
Connect with Shannon Falconer:
- Because Animals Website
- Because Animals on Facebook
- Because Animals on Twitter
- Because Animals on Instagram
Connect with Our Hen House:
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Don’t forget to check out Our Hen House’s other podcasts: The Animal Law Podcast, The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and the Antiracism in Animal Advocacy Audio Series.
The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by Michael Harren.
This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at awfw.org.