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Shot Caller: A Podcast by Shannon Sagawe

Apr 13, 2020

Beyond Investing LogoClaire Smith (@beyondinvest) is the founder of Beyond Investing, Beyond Animal, Beyond Bags and the recently launched US Vegan Climate Index and the US Vegan Climate ETF (Ticker: VEGN).  Claire is a veteran in both banking and sustainable and impact investing.  She founded 100 Women in Finance in Geneva in 2007 and oversaw its growth in Switzerland through till 2014, as a member of the London Board. You can also follow Claire on LinkedIn.

In today's episode, Claire and I dive right into the connection between the inhumane exploitation of animals and the twin global crises of Covid-19 and Climate Change.  Claire advocates for a more holistic response to these problems and mapping the cause and effect of our current behaviour to our health and welfare in perhaps a much more direct way.

We debate and discuss the pros and cons of China's draconian response to issues such as Covid-19.  However, Claire is quick to point out that no country can absolve themselves of guilt from inhumane treatment of animals as bad as China with their wet markets.  We discuss the co-morbidity of COVID-19 and the chronic diseases associated with eating meat and animal products; heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure and obesity. She references Dr. Michael Greger and his NY Times Bestseller How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse DiseaseDr. Greger points out the 15 leading causes of death and how a plant based diet may help prevent, treat or reverse EVERY SINGLE ONE.  Covid-19 shortens the time it could take to die from these diseases from someday in the future to in a few weeks!  The Netflix documentary GAME CHANGERS is discussed as well.

Claire gives us a passionate explanation of why they launched the US Vegan Climate Index and the US Vegan Climate ETF (VEGN).  Claire explains the role of an Index is and how it is compiled to help investors who want to avoid investing in the exploitation of animals.  She tells you which industries she DOES NOT have in the index. Claire explains how they screen stocks on both animal exploitation and environmental criteria.  As Mark Carney said in the above quote, the bigger risk to your portfolio is owning companies who are NOT moving towards lower carbon-emissions.  Furthermore, 13,000 animals "spared" per $1 million of VEGAN invested in for one year!

For better or for worse your portfolio has an impact on the planet.  For better or worse, the planet has an impact on your portfolio.

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