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Green Keener is a monthly column chronicling one urban woman’s quest for a greener way of life, without compromise to her fabulous lifestyle.
Cordelia, my 2.7 kg (6 lb) housecat, is yet again running low on provisions. Fully clawed, and theoretically capable of fending for herself, my Russian Blue’s diet is limited to what I serve her, except for the occasional housefly, spider and stolen nibble of extra-old Canadian cheddar. It’s up to me, the designated food source, to hunt down healthy and, ideally, eco-friendly cat food.
While recently shopping at a major supermarket, I found myself intrigued by a display featuring fresh, refrigerated cat food. But, wait a minute. Turning over the tiny container, I noticed, in mice-type, the country of origin: Thailand.
According to timeanddate.com, there are 13,637 km, or 7,364 nautical miles (in refrigerated shipping containers…I hope), between where this pet food originated and my home. For a human travelling by air, less.ca calculates that a one-way trip results in 3,114.8 kg (6,850.8 lbs) of carbon emissions. Shipping humans versus cat food containers is admittedly not a scientifically accurate comparison; nevertheless, I decide not to purchase the product.
Seeing this as an opportunity to at least reduce the carbon footprint of my cat’s food, I made a green keener vow to seek out fresh, healthy food for Cordelia, farmed and processed within my own country.
As a first-time cat owner, I’ve spent hours researching the benefits of wet versus dry food (a topic of surprisingly extensive internet debate). My preference is wet cat food because it most closely resembles the mouse meat my cat and her ancestors would have eaten in the wild.
Hyper-local food sourcing is apparently not an option–my hubby objects to my idea of combining Cordelia’s food and with a little indoor exercise. Strangely, he thinks that buying live mice in their unprocessed state and releasing them in our home would be more than a little messy. I guess there is also the impracticality of having additional tiny mouths to feed, given the one or two mice a day needed to support Cordelia’s hunting adventures.
So, I began my search for a supplier based closer to home. To my delight, I ended up a mere 210 m (689 ft) from my front door, at Rowe Farms, a retailer of meats, poultry, fresh foods and more. Since opening its doors in March 2008, the Leslieville store has been my go-to source for consistently high-quality, locally sourced products. When store manager Eyren Davis confirmed that Rowe Farms pet food is suitable for cats and dogs, I was keen to learn more. I had a chance to catch up with Eyren and ask a few questions.
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