Does Veganism extend to Banking?

Simon

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Hello,

I've asked several prominent vegans this question and have yet to receive a response.

I ask from a place of genuine curiosity.

I have asked my bank if they invest in animal agriculture or products that use animal testing etc again I have never received a reply so assume that they do.

I'm aware or so called ethical banks like Triodos, but I believe they do invest in animal agriculture albeit the organic sector.

I am based in the UK and recently looked into Credit Unions, this does seem a relatively ethical option but I believe no interest is paid on accounts and instead one receives an end of year dividend but this is not guaranteed.


Just interested if there are any other options in the UK.
 

Indian Summer

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Does Veganism extend to Banking?
I don't think it's mandatory, but someone could obviously make the argument that they don't want their bank account to help un-vegan businesses. It makes some sense, though I'd think it's quite rare to actually go through with this.
 

Jamie in Chile

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One argument is to avoid banks that have fossil fuel investments, since these are, via global warming, causing a lot of suffering and death to animals, even extinction of many species.
 

Simon

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I find it interesting that this subject seems to generate so little interest.
I would ask, why isn't it mandatory?
Surely if you believe in an ideology and an aspect of your life goes against that ideology, which it is possible to change, even though that may mean taking a financial hit, why wouldn't you?
I bought some toiletries recently that cost me £14.00 that if I weren't vegan I could have bought for about £4.00 so take regular financial hits already.
Most banks won't tell you what they invest your money in but it's quite easy to assume that they are making money from investments in animal ag, cosmetics, drugs etc which will all involve animal exploitation.
If this is something that we just turn a blind eye to isn't it just giving anti-vegans more ammunition to talk about hypocrisy?
 

Jamie in Chile

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It's likely the amount of animal exploitation caused by putting £1000 in a bank account for a year is very, very small and it's impractical to try and deal with it. Instead, it perhaps makes more sense to focus on ending factory farming and then many other things should naturally follow.

I did look into vegan banking and investments for a while, but it seemed like there were no true vegan products available that I could find in a short time, and it felt like it would cost a lot of time for little or no gain.

There is a supply side issue at the moment - i.e. no vegan products available even if there is demand. A fully vegan mainstream bank, that invests only in 100% vegan companies, seems unrealistic. But a movement to ask banks to divest from animal agriculture, and some products that specifically exclude this, are possibilities. I"m not sure if there has been any progress made here. I'll look into it.

One idea I did have was to invest in the Beyond Meat company. I think they are going public soon. You could invest in vegan companies if you are willing to take the risk, and just keep a bank account for day to day needs. Obviously you need thousands in savings that you aren't touching for at least some months to make this worth considering.

I invest in some specific funds and I read the list of companies that are invested in from time to time. If I ever see animal agriculture in there, I will complain and probably close down that investment.

I am living abroad at the moment and that makes it hard to change bank account providers that I still need in the UK. I'll take a look at it when I return to the UK.

Here in Chile it's very hard for a foreigner (especially as someone who isn't employed by a Chilean company based here) to even get a basic bank account, so we have to take what we can get, and we just can't afford to be choosy.
 

Jamie in Chile

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Just did a quick google. Looks like the campaign for divestment from animal agriculture has barely got started.