Mark Cuban Invests Half a Million in Vegan Dog Food Startup on ‘Shark Tank’

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

Now even “sharks” are jumping on the vegan bandwagon.

Wild Earth, a biotech startup that is developing vegan, humanely tested food and treats for dogs, just landed a whopping $550,000 investment from Mark Cuban on a recent episode of Shark Tank.

The company has developed healthy, tasty, vegan treats for dogs using lab-grown koji, a protein-rich, fungus-based superfood with 10 amino acids essential to dogs’ health. With Cuban’s help, the company can release its treats and develop its vegan dog food. It looks like taste testers are giving Wild Earth two paws up.

PETA worked with Wild Earth to help the company avoid cruel laboratory tests on animals, as it announced in its news release:

 “Wild Earth products will be tested via a protocol approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials and PETA, conducted by volunteers and animals living in homes, as opposed to caged laboratory animals as in conventional pet foods. These humane, non-invasive, cage-free clinical trials test for qualities such as palatability, preference, digestibility studies, and stool quality. In addition to approvals by PETA and AAFCO, this type of trial is gaining favor in the scientific community because it delivers real-world results.”

Foods for companion animals are often composed of the ground-up parts of animals that the U.S. Department of Agriculture deems unfit for human consumption (including the flesh of animals who fall into one of the “four D” categories: dead, dying, diseased, or disabled), some of which contain hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics. Since dogs are omnivorous and usually hearty eaters, it’s relatively simple to keep them healthy on plant-based foods that contain amino acids, protein, and essential nutrients. For more information, check out PETA’s guides to healthy vegan meals for dogs and cats.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind