The petfood market is very hard to break down (much like kibble!) as the petfood selection available in supermarkets comes mainly from two major manufacturers – Mars and Nestle.
However you can think about ways in which to ‘ethically’ feed your pets. Try by focusing on buying organic food – that way you can avoid factory-farmed meats. There are some organic brands now being stocked such as Yarrah and Pascoe’s, so keep an eye out.
Why should we be concerned about the ethical nature of our petfood? Our concern is not linked to the other business activities of the parent companies, although again there are issues there. The actual procedure of research and development that goes into the production of new petfood products may shock you. They include (in the UK):
The isolation of animals for long periods of time
Endoscopy and tissue biopsy
Irregular diets being fed to test subjects which may cause dietary distress
The application of skin irritants to animals
Plucking of hairs from the base of the tail.
This is just in the UK where restrictions are already considered fairly strict. Elsewhere, including the US, the treatment of animals in test environments may be more invasive.
Where possible, try to avoid tins – the petfood content can be as little as 40% with the rest of it made up of water, increasing the weight of the goods being transported. Try to stick with paper bags which are lower-impact packaging. If you can, buy in bulk!