Good Startup exists to remove animals from the food system.
No one started out intending to do harm. But in a quest for efficiency, profits and scale, we have created a food system where animal agriculture contributes more to global warming than the transportation sector, utilizes more than a third of our habitable land and water, while subjecting animals to wretched lives followed by an undignified death, not to mention causing ourselves major chronic health issues along with exposure to zoonotic diseases. Livestock provide just 18% of calories but take up 83% of farmland. A single burger takes 660 gallons (or 2,500 liters) of water to produce. Chickens are fed to the point where they can’t stand on their own feet. Pigs live their lives in cages so small that they can’t turn around. Calves are separated from their mothers at birth. Fish in our oceans are being replaced by plastic. Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, habitat destruction and ocean dead zones. It accounts for 75 percent of global deforestation. And the trends aren’t encouraging. There will be nearly 10 billion of us on this planet by 2050, who will want twice the amount of meat and 50 percent more dairy. We can do better.
As it turns out, historically we have done better, with the help of ingenuity and innovation, science and technology. We stopped killing whales for oil when we invented kerosene. We stopped abusing horses when we invented the automobile. We stopped taking animal insulin out of pigs and cows to treat diabetes when we produced insulin in a lab. So, we can create lasting change, meaningful change, when we get serious about it. A future without animal agriculture may seem far-fetched, but no more so than the electric lightbulb, car, airplane, transistor and the Internet. All seemed beyond reach at one point; today, life is unimaginable without them. We have accomplished feats that once seemed like science fiction. We have exceeded our own expectations in the past. It’s time we do so once again.
Alternative proteins, whether they are produced from plants, grown from animal cells, or created using microbial organisms, can give us the same food we enjoy today but without the unsustainable cost to the environment and the suffering of other inhabitants on this planet. We have a responsibility to create a better future for the generations that follow, to treat every living being on this planet with dignity, and to care for the only home we have as a species (even when we get to Mars, we dare say Earth will remain the planet of choice).
So, to the entrepreneurs who are building the next generation of food by creating these alternative protein sources, we believe you hold the key to a better future. We’re here to help you build the next wave of great technologies and companies. We exist to help you accelerate and scale your efforts, to achieve your dreams. In the process, you will create a better future for all of us. We honor your work, and feel privileged to be a small part of it.
It’s time to build. Let’s get started.