HOW WE MAKE IMPACT
We're on a mission to fight animal cruelty, prolong pet lives, and reduce PAW-prints. Proudly contributing to UNSDG 12: “ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns”. Our vision to these goals are providing pet parents with all essentials to raise healthy, animal-friendly, & climate “PAW”-sitive pets. The first steps on this journey are introducing our freshly dried vegan dog food and reinvesting 1% of its sales toward biodiversity restoration. Explore this page to learn more about the impact ON!ST has on your pet, other animals and the environment.
As pet parent your first priority is to make sure your companion is thriving. With ON!ST you don’t have to make compromises because our natural plant-based formula ensures your four-legged friend eats real food - so it can be in sync with your conscious lifestyle. Continue to read if you want to know how ON!ST’s petfood is true to your pet’s nature, enhances their health, life expectancy, goes beyond nutritional requirements, prevents nasty diseases, and avoids the hazards of conventional pet foods.
dogs true nature
You might find yourself wondering if dogs thrive on a plant-based diet since they descend from wolves a true carnivorous ancestor? The short answer is yes! Because dogs do not have the same nutritional needs as wolves do. This is because dogs went through an evolutionary spit from their wolf ancestors 30 thousand years ago. Instead, they evolved in parallel to the genes of humans due to domestication. As a result, modern dogs just like humans are omnivorous and thrive on both meat, plants, and a mix of both diets. Looking at the science, dogs can digest plant starch unlike their wolf ancestors which is a clear indication that they are not one and the same. Furthermore, wolves are not solely meat-eaters either, they hunt small prey and eat their intestines filled with, you can guess it plant-based food!
When choosing a species appropriate food, it's essential to focus on the nutritional value & quality, rather than simply the ingredients. A plant-based diet provides all the essential nutrients a dog needs, such as protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, as long as it is formulated to meet the specific nutritional requirements. The ingredients used in vegan dog food, such as peas, lentils, potatoes, and rice are combined in various ways to provide a balanced and complete diet. After all, that’s where the lovely farm animals also get their nutrients from when we feed them to our pets. All ON!ST does is cut out the middleman and focus on providing complete quality nutrition.
a longer & healthier life
Not only is a plant-based diet in line with a dog’s naturebut various research indicates it healthier than a meat-based diet too! On average vegan dogs live 1,5 years longer, visit the vet less (nice bonus for your wallet), show better protein profiles, have healthier coats, oral health and stools,show decreased risksof contractingallergies, cancer, crystal formation, infections, hypothyroidism, obesity, and have superior health vitals over meat-fed and even vegetarian dogs. A practical example was Bramble who turned 25 on a vegan dietbecoming the oldest dog alive ever in his time. Note, that Bramble is not the exception, asall his brothers and sisters also fed a vegan diet lived up to 19-21 years of age. These are exceptional ages when compared to the average life expectancy of a dog only being 12 years.
meat quality conventional pet food
Choosing a plant-based diet for your pet is a great way to ensure a long and healthy life. The major components to why plant-based is healthier than meat-based pet food is the quality of meat in it. The main source of meat in most pet foods comes down to animal waste that cannot be used for human consumption. Typically animal waste includes; damaged and diseased tissue, ground bones, leather, connective tissues, fecal waste, feathers, cattle hair, euthanized pets, and plastic items such as ear tags from livestock which is not removed before slaughter. These ingredients are labeled as “meat-meal” & “meat by-products” on the ingredient list of your pet food. If you want to improve your pet’s health, why would you feed them with ingredients that are to far gone to eat ourselves?
Even if you provide your pet with the nicest quality meat on the market there is another major component that contributes to the low quality of meat; the toxic build up in meat tissue called “bioaccumulation”. Bioaccumulation is the buildup of toxins in animal tissue caused by using harmful substances such as anti-biotics, illegal grow hormones, pest control poisons, radiation, toxic heavy metals, and microplastics as the result of our intensive factory farming industry. These toxins like to nettle in the tissue of livestock. Ones another species consumes that tissue the toxins then jump onto the tissue of the animal/person who consumes the livestock. Especially in ingredients such as “meat-meal/by-products” the bioaccumulation is found in its most concentrated form. Obviously discarded meat is most likely to come from the “sickest” animals who needed the most antibiotics etc. and hence contain more toxic build-up in their tissue. However, in general everyone who consumes meat is exposed to the buildup of these toxins. As a result, 50% of pets develop cancer and other diseases caused by this poor meat quality. By avoiding animal-derived products, pet owners can reduce the chance of their furry friend ingesting these substances altogether.
going beyond "mandatory" nutritients
Pet food manufacturers must meet the nutritional requirements set by the FEDIAF (European Pet Food Industry) to be allowed to sell their products in Europe. These requirements describe in detail all the necessary carbohydrates, amino acids (proteins), vitamins, fats, minerals, and trace-minerals that are needed to make your dog thrive. ONIST’s plant-based ingredients are selected and matched in such a way that when combined provide complete and balanced nutrition fulfilling all the nutritional requirements of the FEDIAF. Furthermore, ONIST’s Pet food goes beyond the nutritional standards of FEDIAF. Being pet parents ourselves we want to make sure that nutrients that are not required by the FEDIAF but are beneficial to ours dog’s health such as vitamin c, k, B7, taurine, omegas 3, 6, and 9 are additionally included into our formula.
bioavailability of real food
Bioavailability is the amount of nutrients in food that are effectively absorbed by the body. Whole foods, in other words “unprocessed foods” such as food that comes directly from nature (e.g. fruit and veggies) have the highest percentage of effectively being absorbed by the body. Whereas highly processed foods such as most petfood’s, any type of kibble and or heat-treated food are lower in bioavailability.
This is because most petfood manufacturers break down all the natural nutrition provided by the ingredients during their intensive heat manufacturing processes. The ingredients are pressed, extruded, or baked up above 180 degrees Celsius even though nutrients are typically destroyed above a temperature of 100 degrees. After all the nutrients are lost, they add a cocktail of synthetic artificial nutrition to the food to meet the FEDIAF standards again. You may find this cocktail of ingredients on the packaging of your petfood under “nutritional additives”. This practice is the human equivalent of you surviving by solely eating vitamin pills and astronaut food instead of fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and yeast.
Instead ON!ST dehydrates all fresh whole food ingredients at a low temperatures (below 100°) keeping all the natural nutrients intact and preserving the recipe without using artificial additives, con/-preservatives, minerals, or vitamins providing maximum bioavailability. So next time instead of feeding astronaut food (kibble and canned wet food) you can provide your pooch with real food and natural nutrition.
human grade & clean labeling
Human-grade petfood, are foods equally safe for humans to consume. Human-grade food are healthier for pets because they show higher digestibility than extruded (kibble) and even fresh-foods! Not that surprising if you ask us. If you provide human-grade high-quality ingredients for yours pets instead of upcycling waste ingredients such as the average pet food brand does, of course the digestibility and health of your pet will improve. Don’t be surprised to find these ingredients in your pet food; meat by-products (e.g., feathers, leather, fecal waste, hair, ground bones)., leftovers of processed human foods (e.g. potato peelings, beet pulp, brewer’s yeast) with little nutritional value, discarded human ingredients (e.g. moldy rice), and the last one will shock you beyond your grave: euthanized pets. Dogs can only digest 75% of these ingredients.
Instead, ON!ST only uses clean ingredients. Meaning you could eat the recipe yourself (human-grade), all ingredients are whole foods (unprocessed, directly sourced from the earth), locally sourced (EU, preferable NL), from native decent (so no soy beans grown in a Dutch greenhouse), and pronounceable (no weird unreadable ingredients you’ve never heard of).
kibble is not key to teeth health
The question we get a lot is: Don’t dogs need to eat something crunchy like kibble to clean their teeth?Nope, is the short answer. Do you clean your teeth by eating crunchy cookies? Is the cheeky and a bit funny rhetorical answer. And here is our Scientific answer; the assertion that eating kibble helps to prevent oral disease is not backed up by any credible study. Kibble's tough structure makes intuitive sense that it may scrape off teeth debris and prevent oral disease,but this assumption stays unproven. On the contrary 80% of dogs on a kibble diet develop some form of dental health before they turn 3 due to the artificial coating on kibble. These coating are stuffed with artificial colorings, sugars, salt, and chemical additives to make the kibble more appealing to your pooch. These coating actually harm the top layer of canine teeth and ultimately cause teeth debris and oral disease. A natural whole food diet without artificial additives is the best approach to healthy oral hygiene.
tackling pet obesity
Meat-diets have a high caloric intake. A high calory diet is only necessary when a lot of exercise is involved. But the average dog does not walk for more than 30 minutes a day causing many dogs to become overweight and developing disease such as arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease and cancer. ON!ST nutrition is lower in fats and high in plant-based fiber the perfect combination to maintaining and regaining a healthier weight. A great example is Lewis Hamilton’s dog Roscoe who suffered from arthritis. After switching his dog to a plant-based diet Roscoe made a full recovery and even regained superior breathing abilities!
As pet parents we love animals. That is why we have four-legged floofsin the first place. because we love animals so much, it is not a surprise that most pet parents are also more likely than the average population to be vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian. But as soon as we became pet parentsbeing vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian directly faced us with a moraldilemma; feeding the animals we love with other animals we adore. Lucky for your this dilemma is an issue of the past with ON!ST pet food made for animals not from. In this section you can read about the animal welfare crisis we find ourselves in today due to the growing global meat demand. Beware, the information provided belowwon’t leave you feeling like a ray of sunshine after reading it.
lost animal lives
We all know we need to reduce our meat intake to reduce the global animal suffering and climate impact of livestock farming. But what is the role of our pets in this crises? Our pets are equally driving this global problem. On average 20-30% of the world’s meat production is driven by the demand of meat for petfood. In the Netherlands alone that is equivalent to 360.000 animals a day (for pet food alone). Switching an average dog from a meat to a plant-based diet would save 8.030 animal lives in a dog’s entire life.
These numbers only account for the animals that are directly processed in pet food; however, you should also consider the lost and displaced wildlife when cutting rainforest areas to farm the livestock for the meat in our pet food. Experts estimates that we are losing 137 plant, animal, and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. At least 75% of this is driven by agriculture used to raise and feed livestock for dairy and meat. Therefore, 15% of deforestation is a direct result of demand for meat in pet food (based on the minimum 20% mentioned above). An average dog cuts about 2,2 hectometers of rainforest (about 2 football fields) in its entire life.
lifestock disease & health
Factory farming has various implications for animal welfare. Firstly, the spread of diseases such as viruses, bacteria, and parasites due to overpopulation, bad ventilation, and low hygiene standards are unpreventable. In the Netherlands up to 10% of all chickens are infected with endoparasites causing chronic pain in several organs. And about 5% of all chicks die from stomach fluid buildup. Many pigs suffer from infected longs caused by the air quality.Furthermore, cows are bred so vigorously to produce more meat that they contract disfiguration such as the phenomena “dikbil” (e.g. fat legs) which prevent them from standing up straight independently. Instead, their legs are changed together to prevent collapse. These are just a fraction of the many examples amongst diseases in livestock farming. You can image the living conditions these animals are exposed to and how theycontribute to diseasesbioaccumulation that end up indirectly in your (pet’s) food.
Factory farming inflicts various forms of pain on their livestock. For example, according to the Dutch government’s 28-hour law; it is permitted to keep animals in their transportation truck for up to 28 hours without food, water or a break. I think it is safe to assume this would cause suffering. Otherways thatcause physical pain are thecutting off tails (packed with nerves) and filling teeth with pigs, breaking chicken beaks, and perforating ears with tags all without anesthesia. Not to mention the living conditions around livestock birthing cages. Breeding pigs are chained in a birth cage for 80 days per year giving birth twice a year only to live 3 years (normal age is 15). Furthermore, 90% of cows give birth through a c-section without anesthesia because the calves are bred to be bigger than natural. These are just a handful of examples on how livestock animals suffer daily.
You might considerorganic farmed animals for your meat consumption to improve upon these animal living conditions. Unfortunately, the organic farmed animal living conditions barely increase their life quality. For example, where normal chickens are slaughtered at 6 weeks, organic chicken are slaughtered at 12 weeks. Furthermore, the normal size of a pig’s living quarters is 0.7m2 (a big is 0.5m2) and depending on the organic quality standard this space increases to a maximum of 1.3m2. The natural living space of a wild big would be 178.000 m2. However, whether the animal is organically farmed or not, the transportation and laughter of the livestock is all the same.
During transport to the slaughterhouse many animals break their bones and die before arrival due to harsh transportation, onboarding, and offboarding methods. On arrival the animals are hung on hooks alive, electrocuted to numb the animals before the actual slaughter and then shot, cut or electrocuted. All animals experience a tremendous amount of pain and stress throughout this process.
In 99.9% of slaughterhouses, according to the Nederland VoedselenWarenAuthoriteiten (NVWA), reckless slaughtering is routinely carried out: animals are not adequately sedated and are still alive when they are sliced open and bleed to death. The NVWA frequently examines the slaughterhouses, but it is a well-known issue that many inspectors frequently ignore conditions and seldom impose sanctions. The tougher supervisors are readily avoided since whistle blowers within the NVWA expose information about their arrival times so that sick and weak animals are transported and killed.
slaughterhouse employee wellbeing
Furthermore, we should consider the mental wellbeing of the farmers and slaughterhouse employees. The impact of slaughtering hundreds of animal’s daily causes post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression, and pathological sadism which in turn again further decreases the living conditions of the livestock as these employees will inflict more pain on the animals because of the mental illness they have developed because of it. On top of that, the employees who are exposed to these working conditions are predominately minority groups such as immigrants who do not have much choice for other jobs.
speciesism & ethics
Ever stopped to consider that we are feeding our animals with other animals? Speciesism means to believe that the human species or that of companion animals are inferior to all other animal species. Treating them as property, objects, or ingredients. For example, most people would not treat their dog the way pigs are treated in the factory farms even though they experience the same pain, joy, fear and misery that our pets do. We gruesome at dog meat festivals in Yulin and the hunting of dolphins & whales in Japan but don’t blink an eye for the factory farmed chicken around the corner? Shouldn’t we equally value all life?
What about ethical consideration. If we don’t know they are treated inhumanly, do we hold responsibility? How can you guarantee that the animals used for the petfood meat are treated and killed humanely? Is it humane to kill an animal that does not want to die? Livestock farming is focused on making the most meat for the least amount of money. So how can such ambition coexist with more time, space, and care for farmed animals? We are of the opinion that there is no such thing as an animal-worthy life for factory-farmed meat. The best way to guarantee animal-worthy lives is to eat less or no meat at all.
At ON!ST we fight for the needs of our pets without compromising the ability of future generations to be able to. UNSDG 12: ensuring sustainable consumption and production patters is the foundation on which we base our decisions. Because unsustainable patterns are the root cause of our planet crises: climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. In this section you can read in detail about these crises and how sustainable pet food can make a significant difference.
greenhouse gas emissions
Globally, our pets are driving 20% of the demand for meat production. This accumulates to 106 million tons of co2 yearly and contributes to 3% of the global emitted greenhouse gasses.
If a dog switches to ONIST pet food, it will instead save in its entire life, 80 ton CO2 equivalents (350 2-way flights from Amsterdam to Paris), Plus 15 drives by car around the planet (in fossil fuels) and prevent the cut of 2,2 hectometer of rainforest (more than 2 football fields). Instead, the rainforest can absorb the emitted carbon dioxide and sustain the biodiversity that is in decline around the world.
food resource scarcity
70 to 80% of agricultural land is used for livestock (to both raise them, and feed them), only about 20 to 30% of crops are for humans to eat directly. On top of that, only 4% of the plant-based proteins eaten by the livestock ends up in their meat. If the world population where to adopt a plant-based diet, we could feed everyone using only 25% of the land we use today. If our pets were to adopt a plant-diet, removing livestock as the inefficient middleman, we would free up additional resources to feed 200 million more people.
water resource scarcity
72% of all water withdrawals are used by agriculture and about 4 billion people (two-thirds of the global population) experience severe water scarcity during at least one month of the year. Shifting our pet’s food from a meat- towards plant-based diet would unlock 15% of the earths fresh drinking water. This water is now used to produce meat for pet food. On an individual dog level if an average dog would switch to eating plant-based, it would save its life 33 million liters of water.
Livestock farming is responsible for 80% of the global land use for agriculture and through its land use and nitrogen it contributes to around 30% of global biodiversity loss. The Amazon rainforest encompasses the single largest remaining tropical rainforest in the world, and houses at least 10% of the world’s known biodiversity. However, during the last half century, the Amazon has lost at least 17% of its forest-cover and approximately 70% of this deforestation is contributed to livestock farming to supply our global meat demand. A reduction or even better stop in the consumption of meat and dairy would directly reduce the impact of livestock farming on biodiversity loss and 1 dog could save in its life 2.2 hectometer (over 2 football fields ) of rainforest by eating plant based.
Even though, plant-based ingredients are the most sustainable choice for petfood ingredients, they are unfortunately farmed using mono-culture practices in industrialized nations such as Europe. This is a method of agricultural production that grows one single crop working against the natural ecological processes, directly impacting our biodiversity loss. On top of the biodiversity loss this farming practice depletes the soil and weakens the crops. In turn pesticides and fertilizers are used to recover the weak crops and soil initiating a vicious cycle of further depleting biodiversity, and soil and crops health.
organic farming: friend or frenemy?
Organic farming practices unfortunately also apply mono-culture practices. However, they do rotate crops every other couple of years improving the ability of depleted soil and crops to recover. Furthermore, organic farming only applies naturally sourced pesticides and fertilizers to their crops. Under the Green Deal’s Farm to Fork strategy, the European Commission has set a target of ‘at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming and a significant increase in organic aquaculture by 2030’. For these reasons we commit to 30% of the ingredients in our recipe to be from organic origin.
However, we do not stand behind all the principles of organic farming. For examples, organic farming readily applies copper and sulfur solutions as “natural fertilizers and pesticides”. Even though they are naturally occurring resources on our earth they are very toxic to insects, animals, people, and the soil, In our opinion that is not in line with a wholesome farming practice. Furthermore, sulfur is sourced from earth gas and copper from African mines, definitely not in line with our locally sourcing and sustainable philosophy. Therefore, the ON!ST recipes focus on balancing both organic and industrially sourced ingredients.
Our ideal objective is to source all our ingredients from biodiverse promoting farming practices instead. Permaculture is our ideal solution. Permaculture can be understood as the growth of agricultural ecosystems in a self-sufficient and sustainable way. This form of agriculture draws inspiration from nature to develop synergetic farming systems based on crop diversity, resilience, natural productivity, and sustainability. This method is virtually a reversal of the previous systems focused on ensuring the ecosystem remains strong making different plants work together to make the land thrive. However, permaculture is not a commercialized practices readily available to source ingredients from. Our audacious goal is to incorporate ingredients from permaculture farming practices into our recipes one step at a time. Until 100% is reached we will invest a percentage of our sales to projects that focus on restoring lost biodiversity instead. We initially start with 1% and will increase the percentage when possible.
1% of our sales to biodiversity restoration
What would happen if the main priority of companies wouldn’t be to maximize shareholder return but instead to maximize the return to all stakeholders. At ON!ST we want to maximize the return of investors that facilitated our growth, but also the investment of our employees, the community, our pets, partners, the government, AND also the planet form which we take our resources. How do we do that? We reinvest 1% of our revenue towards biodiversity restoration projects. We initially start with 1% and will increase the percentage when possible. By supporting these initiatives, we work to restoring ecosystems and preserving biodiversity, helping to create a healthier and more sustainable planet for future generations. With ON!ST, you can have peace of mind that your pet is getting the best, and the planet is too.
compact, recyclable or refillable packaging
Most petfood packaging is made from non-recyclable materials resulting in 99% of all petfood packaging being thrown away ending up in landfills and oceans. That is why our pet food is packaged in fully recyclable material. But if you ask us the best way to reduce waste is not to make it at all. That’s why we will also sell our petfood in zero waste stores where you can refill your containers without needing single-use packaging. Our objective is to be 100% free from single-use plastics by 2030. Finally, if we must use packaging until then we will do it as efficiently as possible. Because our product is dehydrated it only uses a fraction of the packaging space versus the rehydrated actual size. This enables us to reduce the packaging needed by 3 times.
short & traceable supply chains
All ingredients are sourced within Europe, preferably within the Netherlands from trusted ethical farmers in effort to limit the co2 emitted when transporting the ingredients. By sourcing close to home, we also boost our local economy and increase traceability and transparency of our ingredient’s sources. We want to guarantee traceability, ethical production, freshness, and the quality of our produce so we visit farmers personally and communicate all that we know about our ingredients with your directly on the website.