Larry Bain, dog lover and green entrepreneur, decided to shift his business focus from people to pets—or rather from hot dogs to real dogs. His previous business sold sustainable hot dogs sourced from local ranchers. Using his ranching connections, Bain inspired Scrappy Pet, a local, sustainable pet treat.
Why did you decide to start Scrappy?
Having a puppy, I was committed to not only provide my pet safe and healthy treats but also support local ranchers with my purchase. Pet food is a $30 billion market, and I became obsessed with moving this revenue stream away from CAFO-sourced meat and toward a more humane, safe and environmentally focused food system.
How does Scrappy contribute to a more sustainable food economy?
The current system of more, cheaper food takes a terrible toll on the people who eat that food and an even more tragic toll on the workers who put food on our plates (or in our pet bowls). Conventional meat systems are further marred by the terrible cruelty inflicted on livestock.
Ranching responsibly is difficult and expensive. If we don’t find ways to financially support these ranchers, they will disappear. Scrappy is helping good ranchers survive and thrive.
Scrappy also contributes to a sustainable food economy in other ways:
A significant amount of the meat we purchase can’t be sold through the restaurant and grocery channels, and much of it ends up as waste.
The methane produced when protein is put into the waste stream is a major contributor to the climate crisis.
Scrappy Treats are good for the environment. How are they good for dogs?
Dogs are hardwired to eat meat and their active lifestyle demands good nutrition. The meat we use in our treats—from pastured livestock produced in small batches by small family-run packers—is safe and nutritious. We season each batch to be delicious for pets (and for people) by making small batches, so they are always fresh, tender and juicy.
In California, you have quite a fan (dog and owner) following. Tell us about your eco-friendly PupCycle.
Our PupCycle is a custom-built tricycle that we use to take our treats to the streets. We go to events for pups and for people. We visit local parks, and do demos at the pet and people stores that carry Scrappy. And it’s damn good exercise for me.