There is a growing trend of awareness when it comes to the environmental impact of our actions. Recycling has become a common practice. People reduce plastic waste by buying and using less plastic and generally making decisions that are kinder to the environment.
This way of thinking is now being applied to pet food as well. More and more pet parents are buying and feeding their dogs’ ethical dog food, believing it is more environmentally conscious. But what does it mean to feed your pets ethically?
What Are Ethics?
Ethics use a moral reasoning model. It defines the best decision as to the one which is the most truthful, honest, good, right, and consistent with the nature of things. It also considers the outcome of whether people will benefit or suffer from the action or decision.
According to Gandhi, humans have a moral obligation to treat animals fairly. So the question is, how would humans make moral decisions when it comes to the treatment of animals? The answer is simple, and it is through applying ethical decisions to situations where animals may suffer. It is in simple everyday decisions and actions such as considering the sources of ingredients of the dog food you choose for your dogs where ethical decision-making can be seen.
What makes Dog Food Ethical?
- Ingredients – Pet foods are manufactured using various ingredients, including fruit, grains, meat, vegetables, herbs, and other botanical elements such as turmeric. Some manufacturers of ethical dog food who follow strict animal welfare practices source their ingredients locally to lessen long-distance travel, which impacts the environment by reducing emissions. This, in turn, will leave a lower environmental footprint.
- Manufacturing – Dog food is often manufactured using rendering, which involves heating ingredients and removing the resulting solid materials. Rendering is a financially viable process because the cost of the finished product is cheaper. However, the process produces high levels of methane, which directly affects the environment and climate change. A more ethical process used by some manufacturing is freeze-drying which involves less emission and produces a better quality of dog food because all the nutrients of the raw ingredients remain intact in the finished products.
- Animal Welfare – The basis of high-quality pet food is protein. The higher the pet food’s protein content, the better it is for your pets. The main source of this protein is meat, and it is sourced from different locations. Therefore, the welfare of the animals used to produce meat for pet foods should be considered. Farms that follow strict animal welfare practices where animals are raised with kindness and respect will result in happier and healthier animals. This, in turn, will lead to a higher quality of meat for both human and pet consumers.
- Environmentally Safe Packaging – One of the most vital aspects of reducing ecological footprint is reducing the use of plastic and its by-products because it is not biodegradable and only ends up in landfills. Some companies are now switching to biodegradable plastic or materials that combine paper and plastic to create a more environmentally friendly product. Environmentally friendly water-based inks are also being used when printing packaging.
It is important to always be aware of your pet’s food’s ethical and environmental impact. But it is also important to ensure that your pets are thriving on the pet food you provide for them. Switching to ethical dog food is a great option to be eco friendly. As a responsible and informed consumer, you have the chance to influence the world around you, and you can begin that by making the right choice for your pet’s well-being.