You eat vegan food, you wear vegan clothing, your household is vegan, but have you considered if your money is vegan??

Last year the United Kingdom’s £50 note incurred the wrath of some vegans for having animal fat in it. Clearly they felt the paper money note wasn’t strictly vegan.

Maybe you agree with this position, maybe you don’t – but let’s consider other scenarios.

  • If your pension is invested in SASOL which is involved in fracking and hence environmental degradation – is your pension then vegan?
  • If your fund manager has your portfolio invested in RCL shares which owns Rainbow Chicken – is that ethically vegan?
  • If you invested in gold, but this facilitates a mine destroying part of the amazon – is that vegan?
  • If you have Rands but the South African government provides subsidies to dairy producers, are your Rands vegan??

These raise very interesting questions about the broader relationship between money and veganism.

As we expand our veganism from food, to clothing, to household products, I believe that we should consider our wealth next.

Where do we as vegans invest? How do we grow our wealth? Where do we put our money so that it’s consistent with our beliefs and we make a ton of money so that we can accelerate veganism adoption?

Investment Options

I’ve been exploring this space heavily ever since I went vegan so here are some options.

Company Shares

I was surprised to learn that PETA is a shareholder of Tesla.

They decided to become a shareholder to influence the direction of the company. The result is that Tesla is now the most vegan car in the world.

There are similar companies making big positive changes and massive earnings. Examples include Beyond Meat and Tofutti. My investment in Tesla stock was the best performing stock I’ve ever had until I was forced to sell. So it’s well worth your while looking into these.

Check out PETA cruelty free company search to learn more : https://features.peta.org/cruelty-free-company-search/index.aspx

Investment Funds

You can also invest in ethical investment funds like Kale United or ETFs like the U.S. Vegan Climate ETF (VEGN). I’ve been invested in Kale United for just over a year.

It gives me exposure to stocks like Beyond Meat, Allplants, Tesla, Tofutti Brands and others but oddly enough this hasn’t done great.

I thought it would have performed brilliantly but I’ll need to see how this plays out.

Precious Metals

Gold is the be all and the end all of wealth preservation.

During Roman times a senator’s toga would cost one ounce of gold, during Victorian times a Brooks brothers suit would cost one ounce of gold and even today a hand crafted Italian suit will cost you one ounce of gold

Throughout history gold has always done well and maintained it’s value. Even during this current crisis gold outperforms almost everything, except bitcoin.

It is very difficult to get 24 carat gold here in South Africa, but gold as an investment speaks for itself. However, I don’t think gold it’s particularly vegan, so it’s a grey area for me.

Revenue Generating Projects

You can also invest in projects that do good and provide a return. The Sun Exchange is a brilliant example. It allows you to buy solar panels for a school, retirement home or store. The Sun Exchange will then install solar systems at one of these locations in the Western Cape.

The Western Cape has legislation in place that allows for electricity to be sold back to the grid, and in doing so generate income – you then get a piece of this income and you can earn it in either Rands or Bitcoin. I’ve chosen to earn Bitcoin.

I feel really great about the project. After about a year I’ve almost made my money back. Going forward everything should be profit. https://thesunexchange.com/

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH and HEX have been phenomenal for me. There’s no animal exploitation involved. They’re increasing using renewables, there’s no government intervention and it’s the best performing asset ever!

It went from $0 in 2009 to $9500 in May2020. Personally I think it’s the most vegan money and has the highest return. Even during this COVID-19 crisis it’s outperformed every other asset known including gold.

Businesses

I’ve put cash into vegan businesses and these have been stunning failures. Granted my vetting and involvement was exceptionally poor. This is a sad outcome because I really would like to be involved in a Vegan business.

However, given my poor track record in this area I’ll skip this for a while, but I really do believe that Vegan business will be massive.

Property

I was fortunate enough to get a farm when I was younger. This has turned out to be an incredible investment from a wealth perspective.

I don’t farm the land, but the value increased considerably especially because of what I’ve done with it. Farms are vegan and a great investment if you can handle the hassle that goes with it.

With interest rates this low and properties going for low prices this is a good investment if you got the adequate down payment and business opportunities for it. 

Conclusion

None of this is financial advice, but I hope this gives you some idea of the types of investments opportunities that are available to vegans, and in particular how we should view money.

I personally feel that every vegan should have massive wealth so that we can expedite the transition to veganism. 

Some of us are great at business, some of us are great at investments, some of us are great at producing; but we are all committed to bringing about a vegan world.

It’s weird to say but money will help us get there – so let’s make sure we’ve got the war chest to make that change.

Photo by Clifford Photography on Unsplash