So you're a vegan. You may be wondering, why should I bother to think about whether my investments are vegan?
Some people are vegan for ethical reasons, others for nutritional and health reasons, other for environmental reasons or any combination thereof. Let's go through these one by one.
Those who are vegan solely for nutritional/health reasons may want to consider investing in vegan lifestyle companies because they are well positioned to make more money as plant-based lifestyles become more popular. Indeed, I believe solid plant-based food companies have a great outlook for future growth right now. This factoid is a little dated but I think still relevant: "Sales of vegetarian foods in the U.S. were estimated at $2.8 billion in 2006, which represented a constant-price growth rate of 72% since 1998." (Source: widecirclefund.com). Forks over Knives's smashing success is a testament to the plant-based diet moving into the mainstream.
Serious environmentalists know about the devastating impact animal agriculture has on the environment. From being the #1 carbon emitting industry to using disproportionately large amounts of precious clean water, animal farming has a lot to answer for. Why go to all the trouble of recycling, composting, or conserving energy if a company of which you are a partial owner is wreaking havoc on the environment? Furthermore, as the world gets more crowded and more people realize that animal agriculture is not sustainable at large scales, animal-based companies will be exposed to increasing levels of restrictive environmental regulation and gradually begin to lose out in the marketplace, paving the way for more future-friendly vegan companies to be more profitable.
Investment considerations for ethical vegans coming in the next post..