For the first time in history, the United States passed the first Act that addresses climate change, a bill the pet food industry fought every step of the way, one they said would put farmers out of business, hurt livestock, and raise the price of pet food.
President Biden signed a bill on Tuesday that takes significant steps toward fulfilling his goal to reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuels. The bill invests $370 billion in spending and tax credits in low-emission forms of energy to fight climate change. And it aims to cut global warming pollution in half by 2030.
In his remarks, Mr. Biden proclaimed victory as he signed the bill he called “the biggest step forward on climate ever” and “one of the most significant laws in our history.“
Under the Act, the U.S. government provides special incentives for using animal waste material and by-products to produce biofuels. Though the climate policies are the most expansive passed by any Congress, the pet food industry claims the Act will devastate the industry by increasing the cost of the ingredients pet food makers use for the “balanced nutrition and palatability of cat and dog food.”
In a campaign called ‘Food Before Fuel,’ the Pet Food Institute (PFI) lobbied against the bill arguing that it would drive up the cost of animal fats because tax incentives to create biodiesel would create unfair market advantage and hurt their profit margin. As a result, costs they say they will be forced to pass on to consumers driving up pet food prices.
However, the PFI prides itself in using waste ingredients in pet food, thereby lessening the environmental footprint by reducing food waste. In addition, they say that using ingredients created from the by-products of human food helps pet food makers “support a more sustainable agricultural system by reducing food waste.”
But, pet food consumers are unaware of is that those waste ingredients form the basis of pet food.
The industry’s fundamental problem is its reliance on cheap inedible animal-based by-products, such as chicken fat and beef tallow – the ingredients in animal feed and dog and cat foods. The same ingredients the U.S. government is now incentivizing to be used in the making of biodiesel, driving the cost of these ingredients to rise dramatically.
COW SHIT AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Constance Cullman, the President of the American Feed Industry Association (AFIA), believes the answer to reducing methane gas emissions lies in an unapproved feed additive, which could risk human health and the environment.
“Despite what critics may say, the science is clear that livestock can — and should— be part of the climate change solution by quickly reducing methane emissions, a potent, short-lived greenhouse gas produced through livestock digestion.”
It’s unclear what science she refers to supports her assertion. However, Ms. Cullman’s confabulation contrasts sharply with the knowledge that agricultural activities — crop and livestock production for food — contribute 11 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Methane has accounted for roughly 30 percent of global warming, and agriculture’s most significant methane emissions are livestock emissions.
METHANE GAS AND MADNESS
She argues that an unapproved feed ingredient, Bovaer-10, can be added to cows’ diets to reduce methane gas emissions. But she says methane gas will have a negligible effect on the environment because of its “short-lived nature, persisting just a decade in the environment.”
The PFI and the AFIA have made clear that protecting their members’ interests and profits is a priority over the responsibility – we all have – to help fight the apocalyptic climate change that our world is facing.
On another – super important – note: I need your financial support! As everyone knows, I’d rather starve than do affiliate marketing or get paid for pet food endorsements; so instead of selling my soul, I sell my drawings of pets and the people that love them on Saatchi Art. The featured image is a drawing I did of ‘A lady with her cat’ is available at Saatchi Art. Take a look!
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