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Mark Gilbert

Capitalism, Red in Tooth and Claw, Is Going Vegan

When pressure from investors dovetails with index-beating returns, fund managers are sure to notice.

Investors will want to take a bite.

Investors will want to take a bite.

Photographer: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The Economist dubbed 2019 “The Year of the Vegan” in its edition detailing world trends for this year. “Where millennials lead, business and governments will follow,” the magazine said. And just as the youth-driven movement to save the planet has pushed environmental, social and governance concerns to the top of the finance industry’s agenda, asset managers are about to start feeling the heat about the food industry’s contribution to climate change.

Veganism is an idea whose time has come, partly due to individual lifestyle and health concerns but mostly because of the environmental damage caused by animal agriculture. Ruminant animals including cattle produce methane which contributes to global warming, while growing feedcrops for livestock leads to deforestation.