In the world of investment, the generally accepted view is that the decisions made concerning buying and selling shares is done in a moral vacuum. Well, that’s what investment managers want to believe but I am not so sure that this is the case. In fact, I would like to argue that fund managers can’t get away from the guilt they carry.
Now, I appreciate that my argument requires a bit of lateral thinking. However, it is based on some basic investment principles and the principles of agent/principle. I’ll start by summarising some basic principles of investment:
- Individuals invest in a fund, handing their money over to an investment company
- Investment company appoints a fund manager to run the fund on behalf of those who are investing in the fund.
- The investment company analysis what companies do, how they operate and whether they look like a good investment
- Investment manager, on behalf of the customers, chooses to buy shares with the money that is invested.
The key here is that the fund manager KNOWS what companies do and makes a conscious decision to investment money in these companies. It is the fund manager who, on behalf of the individual investors, decides that it is absolutely acceptable to support and benefit from:
- Child labour
- Exploitation of women
- Exploitation of animals
- Destruction of our environment
- Exploitation of workers
Need I go on? As far as I am concerned, either fund managers are just buying any old companies without knowing anything about them OR the managers are well aware of what the companies are doing and give these activities their full support and blessing. In other words, fund managers are agreeing with child exploitation, exploitation of women etc etc. Do you want this sort of person looking after your money?
If you have chosen to lead a cruelty free lifestyle, why invest your money with people who don’t share your values? You wouldn’t let someone control what you eat and force you to consume things you don’t agree with, so why hand over your money to someone to investment in a menu of terrible things?
I’ve just read a fascinating article about how in my lifetime (I hope), we may be able to communicate with animals.
The act of communicating should lead to a fundamental change in the way people view animals. Ideally, a better understanding of the individual, rather than the species, will make a difference to whether people feel comfortable eating them. Whilst the meat and dairy industry would still try to remove us from the reality of consuming their products, social media would be full of food animals expressing their feelings to us. Making such a direct link to what is on our plate and the fact that it has the ability to communicate with us must surely bring about meaningful change.
As a species, what we eat is about personal choice, not about survival. Whilst animals are a product of their surroundings, humans have created their surrounds and can control what they eat. The consumption of animals isn’t necessary to our survival and in fact the production of meat and dairy is damaging our survival. Emissions from meat and dairy production (a great desensitizing word – production) are one of the biggest contributors to climate change so it makes no sense to be eating ourselves into a worse climate!
For now, though, those of us who care about animals need to step up and be their voice. Hopefully, it won’t be long before technology can give them a voice of their own.
Read the article here:
Finally, policy makers may be beginning to make the link between meat production and climate change. Will any of them have the bottle to suggest that meat eaters should significantly cut their consumption? I doubt it, but policy makers have others ways of ‘encouraging’ people to do the right thing.
Taxation may well be the way of achieving a reduction in meat consumption. Making it more expensive to eat meat might wean those in developed countries off their diet of meat at least twice a day. Only 2 generations ago meat was considered a treat and not a staple of every meal. With exponential increases in factory farmed meat driving down cost (and increasing animal suffering) people considered meat a right rather than a privilege or luxury.
As far as I am concerned, any reduction in the amount of meat being consumed has a directly positive effect on the number of animals that are being exploited. So, I am more than happy to see every increasing taxation of meat, and whilst the policy makers are at it dairy too. Every single animal that doesn’t have to suffer the horrors of food production is a step in the right direction.
Imagine the win win of constantly reducing animal suffering, reducing climate change and increasing public health? Sounds good doesn’t it?
Read article here: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/24/meat-tax-far-less-unpalatable-than-government-thinks-research-finds?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other