In April and May this year, Lee Coates, OBE from new website Cruelty Free Money and the founder of Cruelty Free Super (Australia’s only dedicated cruelty-free Superfund for People, Animals and our Planet) is coming to Australia from the UK to speak about how to allign your Money and your Values with his Cruelty Free Money Speaking Tour & Animal Sanctuary Fundraiser:
Lee Coates lives in the UK where he has had a successful ethical money investment firm for the past 20 years. Lee launched Cruelty Free Super in October 2010 in Australia to allow people involved in the animal rights, human rights, environmental to invest in line with their values. I've been organising this speaking tour for Lee and hope to see you at some of the venues. I will definitely be at the Queensland dates.
Here's the Press Release:
The average Australian now seems to be very comfortable with issues such as the GFC, subprime lending, market volatility, equity losses, gearing etc, but ask the average person where every dollar of their Superfund payments are invested and most wouldn't have a clue.
Lee Coates, OBE owns and runs one of the largest specialist, ethical investment financial planning firms in the UK, as well as a separate ethical research company. Lee is coming to Australia in April and May this year to deliver a speaking tour all about money. The Cruelty Free Money speaking tour is the first of its kind and aims to lift up the financial services rug and see what lurks beneath. Most people will be shocked, even disturbed, to see exactly what is done with their money in their name.
Lee explains: “If one is campaigning for an end to animal exploitation, then what is the point of investing one’s money in those companies who are exploiting animals? Benefiting from the activities of a company that one is campaigning against makes no sense at all. If one’s Superfund is invested in companies conducting or commissioning experiments on animals, involved in live exports or factory farming then one’s entire future and long term retirement will be based on the exploitation of animals.”
Lee will be looking at the activities of the banks, investment and Superfund companies as he makes his way from the Sunshine Coast, through Brisbane and the Gold Coast before heading to Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. From there Lee will head to Adelaide before completing his speaking tour in Perth and heading home to the UK. Lee will be speaking at various venues with money raised donated to new and established animal sanctuaries throughout Australia.
“I hope that people will enjoy the presentation, will have their eyes opened about the activities of the financial services industry and, most importantly, feel inspired to take back control of their money,” said Lee from the UK as he prepared for the tour.
I have interviewed Lee previously when him and his wife Sue were in Brisbane in 2010:
Speaking Dates for April & May:
For more information, please see the FaceBook events for each venue
Lee explains more about taking control of your Money:
Investing in non-ethical and not cruelty-free companies gives a very mixed message to the companies that are exploiting animals: we don’t like what you are doing but we do like sharing in the profits you make. As companies are legally bound to act in the interests of shareholders, if the shareholders are saying that everything the company does is fine, then the company will carry on with business as normal. If people are unhappy with what a company does, they should disinvest and continue their campaigning. It is possible to protest as a shareholder, but unless one gathers support from a majority of shareholders this route is not effective. Better to disinvest and keep up the campaigning.
During the day I wore my suit to the office, studied for professional qualifications and in the evenings I campaigned for animal welfare, justice and environmental issues. Work and campaigning were separate because I had no idea the two could be linked – and I was in the investment industry! I felt uneasy about the investment industry but couldn’t put my finger on what it was or how to solve it.
I changed jobs in 1987 and worked for a company that had an investment fund called ‘Stewardship’. I was told it was an ethical fund for Quakers and it was like someone had switched on a very bright (but low energy) light bulb. Suddenly I understood what my concerns were and how to deal with them – I would invest my money ethically. Within 2 years I had set up a financial planning business that dealt exclusively with advising on ethical investment. It is now 22 years old and we still only advise those who wish to invest ethically.
In the early 1990s I developed the idea of Cruelty Free Money to ensure that those who lead a cruelty free lifestyle can invest their money in line with their principles. No one had looked at animal welfare issues in detail before so I thought it about time that these issues were moved up the ethical agenda and placed equally alongside human rights and environmental issues. I developed what I called the “three pillars of ethical money”; animals, people and planet.
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