The environmental impact of animal food

  Articoli (Articles)
  Valeria Fraquelli
  09 February 2024
  4 minutes, 38 seconds

Translated by Michela Scappaticci

We have talked a lot about food and its impact on the environment, as well as meat and intensive livestock farms where animals are crammed into unsafe and unhealthy places and live out their short lives in terrible conditions.

But we humans are not the only ones who need a healthy and balanced diet to stay healthy and have all the energy we need in our daily lives. In fact, there are also our little four-legged friends who need to eat well to have a nice shiny coat, snappy paws and a mind always stimulated for all their games. By now, dogs and cats are members of the family and share everything with us starting with the house, walks, they stay with us in good times and bad, and often if we work from home but not only. They also keep us company and help us unplug a little from our daily worries and so the issue of environmental impact also arises for their food.

Even in the case of pet food, quality must come first and there is no question about that. Carefully reading the label before buying can save the planet from a huge environmental impact and also our pet's health. The most serious companies are those that produce pet food with natural ingredients, without dyes and preservatives and above all take care to minimise their environmental impact.

Sometimes it is difficult to read pet food labels, they are confusing and it is not always possible to understand its environmental impact. But the first thing to look at is the composition, which can already reveal whether we are buying quality food with minimal environmental impact or a poor quality gruel that is bad not only for the health of our little pet but also for the environment.

The journal Nature carried out a study on pets in Brazil, and the result leaves no room for doubt: according to the research, 'wet food produces eight times more climate warming emissions than dry food. Considering that 40 per cent of European households have pets, that means 88 million households, over 100 million people, there are an estimated 300 million pets in Europe, a ratio of 1 pet for every 2.5 inhabitants, so we can see that pet food can have a huge impact on our environment'.

Pet food is therefore closely linked to environmental impact, just like the food we humans eat. So choosing a diet with quality ingredients, respectful of the nature around us, unique and personalised helps our pet feel better but also nature. The journal Nature also points out that 'wet food would produce eight times more climate warming emissions than dry food. In between is 'homemade' food, which would therefore itself be preferable to classic treats.
The analysis was carried out using the same methodology that is used to calculate a human's ecological footprint, and examined a total of 938 diets, 618 for dogs and 320 for cats'.

Natural food certainly has less impact than artificial food. it is healthier, there are no preservatives, no colouring agents and it avoids transport over kilometres on trucks that produce huge amounts of greenhouse gases. All vets point precisely to natural food, which is closer to what animals would eat in nature, makes them feel good with a shiny coat and helps them stay healthy. Obviously, the hectic life we lead every single day often prevents us from cooking and so we are almost forced to resort to industrial food, but in this case it is good to choose brands that are more environmentally friendly and respectful of our animal friends' stomachs, they also suffer if they eat bad, overly processed and fatty things that do not nourish but taste appealing.

Industrial foods are full of colourings and preservatives, and some in the long term have negative effects on our pet's health and have a destructive environmental impact on flora and fauna, and on the water we drink and give to our furry little friends.

The start-up 'Dog Heroes' was created to bring our dogs (but they are also thinking of cats), healthy and easy-to-prepare food that is also suitable for busy people. It cooks healthy, balanced food for our pets as we would do at home and delivers it directly to their homes in recycled, nature-friendly packaging.

Nowadays it is becoming easier and easier to respect nature and the environment, even by feeding our pets we can lend a hand to the natural environment and reduce our impact on the environment, so all we have to do is roll up our sleeves and implement all those behaviours that are truly respectful and green.

Mondo Internazionale APS - Reproduction Reserved ® 2024

Share the post


Valeria Fraquelli

Mi chiamo Valeria Fraquelli e sono nata ad Asti il 19 luglio 1986. Ho conseguito la Laurea triennale in Studi Internazionali e la Laurea Magistrale in Scienze del governo e dell’amministrazione presso l’Università degli Studi di Torino. Ho anche conseguito il Preliminary English Test e un Master sull’imprenditoria giovanile; inoltre ho frequentato con successo vari corsi post laurea.

Mi piace molto ascoltare musica in particolare jazz anni '20, leggere e viaggiare per conoscere posti nuovi ed entrare in contatto con persone di culture diverse; proprio per questo ho visitato Vienna, Berlino, Lisbona, Londra, Malta, Copenhagen, Helsinki, New York e Parigi.

La mia passione più grande è la scrittura; infatti, ho scritto e scrivo tuttora per varie testate online tra cui Mondo Internazionale. Ho anche un mio blog personale che tratta di arte e cultura, viaggi e natura.

La frase che più mi rappresenta è “Volere è potere”.


Sustainability carbon footprint pet food natural food industrial food food education