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This episode features impact investor and entrepreneur Claire Smith. Claire is a well-known figure in the conscious capitalism space, who created the humane investment platform Beyond Investing. In 2019, Claire and her team launched what the media has dubbed the world’s first vegan-themed ETF (VEGN). An ETF is an investment product that consists of a bundle of securities that you can buy or sell on a stock exchange just like stocks and Claire's screens out all animal exploitation and fossil fuel from a US market benchmark. It's currently listed as a tracker fund on the NYSE. Claire is also Chief Investment Officer at Beyond Impact, which undertakes VC investment in vegan, plant-based, and cruelty-free businesses. Episode highlights include: What is an ETF? How does it work? Can "regular people" invest in one? How Claire and her team came up with the idea to start the world's first vegan ETF. The unique data-driven process by which they evaluate companies in the ETF to ensure they are ethical, sustainable, and cruelty-free. How exactly to get started if you want to put money into an ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) or vegan-themed fund such as Claire's. Why Claire invests in diverse founding teams through her venture capital firm and how she identifies successful startups.Beyond Investing's website: the show (
For our final episode of the year, we're sharing a roundup of top 10 animal-free food news from 2021! Sharanya and Ulara dive into some of the biggest breakthroughs and exciting updates from the cutting-edge food technology companies they’ve featured on the podcast so far.  Note: May drool while listening. Don't say we didn't warn you! Some episode highlights include: Super protein made from fungi harvested from Yellowstone National Park now available!Lab-grown mouse meat cat treats are (finally) ready for sale!3-D meat is getting rave reviews from top global chefs, to be served in high-end restaurants soon....and so much more, including major updates on cultured seafood, plant-based chicken and fish, bee-free honey...Support the show (
Can tiny, lab-made replicas of the human brain FINALLY lead us to cure devastating illnesses such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and brain cancer? NETRI is a fast-rising French biotech startup that believes they absolutely can... while also eliminating costly, often inaccurate animal experiments along the way. Founded in 2018, NETRI has already grown to 30 staff globally, boasting a handful of organ-on-a-chip technology patents, including their flagship technology: brain-on-a-chip. Excitingly, NETRI works hand in hand with major clients and partners across the cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and medical industries to advance these giant industries towards a better future of health for us all. So we are thrilled to share this episode featuring Thibault Honeggar, CEO and Co-Founder of NETRI, to give us the scoop on their trailblazing work. In this fascinating and engaging interview, you'll learn all you need to know about brain-on-a-chip: the tiny technology that will have a huge impact on the future of brain health.NETRI website: Support the show (
German biotechnology pioneer TissUse is making mini human bodies in the lab. Sounds creepy? It's not. Here's why: TissUse has developed a unique, patent-protected "human-on-a-chip" platform. Since 2012, this revolutionary technology has been replacing animal testing for pharmaceutical drug development, cosmetics, consumer products, chemicals, and food safety. TissUse's "human-on-a-chip" consists of miniaturized tissues and organs that can be connected together to mimic the whole human body. Unlike other single "organ-on-a-chip" platforms, TissUse's multi-organ chips help provide a more accurate picture of a human body's reaction to foods, medicines, chemicals, and even diseases. In this episode, TissUse's CEO Dr. Reyk Horland takes us on a journey from the inception of the idea of the technology to a look into a future without animal testing.TissUse website: the show (
TARA Biosystems has raised $21.3 million to date and is the world’s only company that generates human cardiac tissue—outside of the human body. Instead of testing on animals, researchers will be able to test drugs right on actual human tissue and the industry will be able to save time, money and unnecessary animal suffering throughout the drug development process. In this episode, we feature an eye-opening interview with TARA Biosystems’ CEO Misti Ushio, to learn more about how their breakthrough technology came to be, how it works, the enormous potential it holds, as well as some of the challenges that still need to be overcome for it and other similar technologies to be used widely in the “real world.” In the episode intro, Sharanya and Ulara share some key stats and figures from the animal testing alternatives landscape, and discuss some of the surprisingly major players already involved in the emerging space, including government leaders and regulatory agencies.  TARA Biosystems’ website: The article we refer to in the episode is “The next phase of drug creation: Why animal models are on the brink of extinction” via Pharma Manufacturing: Support the show (
In this episode, we revisit our Season 1 conversation with Dr. Sandhya Sriram, CEO and Co-Founder of cultured seafood maker Shiok Meats. In December 2020, Singapore became the first country to approve cultured cell-based meat for human consumption. So for this replay, we’ve included a special segment to discuss how diners are reacting to trying cultured meat (chicken) in the real world, for the first time! We then go back to our original episode in which we talk with Dr. Sriram about how her fast-rising startup initially raised $4.6 million in funding AND created an MVP (minimum viable product)… in under a year. Now, that funding has hit over $20 million, and Shiok Meats is poised to become the first cultured cell-based crustacean meat company to have their products widely available in the market by 2022. Dr. Sandhya Sriram takes us into the fascinating world of lab-grown shrimp, crab and lobster, and also shares some valuable tips and insights for rising entrepreneurs in the space. Shiok Meats website: interlude created by Lee Rosevere.Support the show (
California-based startup MeliBio is creating real honey that replicates AND actually improves upon bee-made honey—without ever exploiting or harming bees. In this eye-opening episode, CEO Darko Mandich tells us how MeliBio is creating vegan, bee-less honey that is based on the molecular composition of commercially available honey. MeliBio also plans to take their honey a step further and customize it to be better than the bee-made version.Darko also shares with us why it's so important we work to stop the destruction of our planet's bee population by creating alternatives that consumers can turn to. Honey is one of the most powerful super-ingredients ever to exist in nature, but commercial production is damaging to bees and their ecosystems. If Earth's 20,000 wild and native bee species died, the surface of our lush planet would quickly turn barren and look more like Mars. MeliBio's website: the show (
Let's face it. Zoos and aquariums suck for animals. In this episode, we hear from two companies that are creating encounters with wildlife without ever harming or disturbing animals. Some of their top projects include life-size realistic animatronic dolphins who can communicate with us and 3D cameras that enable us to see the world through the eyes of an elephant on the African savannah. In this episode, Roger Holzberg of Edge Innovations and Adrien Moisson of Wild Immersion tell us how their companies are using cutting-edge technologies to reinvent and reshape the wildlife display and marine park industry worldwide. This is the After Animals podcast's first-ever double feature! Edge Innovations' website: Wild Immersion's website: Support the show (
The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) has noted that a staggering 95% of all drugs shown to be safe and effective in animal tests FAIL in human trials because they don't work or are dangerous. This is just one sobering data point from a growing body of evidence that animal-based research doesn't translate to human health. Dr. Aysha Akhtar is the CEO and President of the Center for Contemporary Sciences (CCS). She and her team at CCS are working to accelerate the industry's shift towards more innovative, reliable, and promising scientific testing methods that draw from human biology vs. animals. In this episode, she explains why we can end unreliable and cruel animal testing within our lifetimes... and replace it with something far better for the future of human health. It's an eye-opening and hopeful interview, filled with facts, data, and anecdotes on an important topic. Center For Contemporary Sciences' website: the show (
TurtleTree Labs—a Singapore-based startup—has set its sights on disrupting the baby formula industry, which is projected to grow to US$103 Billion by 2026. Co-founders Fengru Lin and Max Rye explain how they are using donated human stem cells to create mammary cells in the lab that lactate real human breast milk! Their first-of-its-kind biotech approach is getting a lot of support—from investors and from the Singaporean government—and the company believes it could be in the market within the next year. Once they perfect human breast milk, they plan to expand their sustainable, contaminant-free milk production methods to encompass other mammalian species including cows.TurtleTree Labs' website: Support the show (
From making leather out of mushrooms to growing silk in a lab, innovative textile startups around the world are reinventing how we make and consume materials. Nicole Rawling is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Material Innovation Initiative. Her organization is working to bring together scientists, entrepreneurs, retailers, and consumers—to accelerate the global trend towards a new era of animal-free fashion, automotive, and home goods industries. In this episode, she shares: - The story behind Material Innovation Initiative and this growing movement.  - The reasons why we need to stop relying on animal materials such as leather, wool, silk, down, fur, and exotic skins.  - The unique and cutting-edge types of innovation and technologies next-gen material startups are using.  - How the next-gen materials trend might go mainstream even faster than the fast-growing plant-based food and meat alternatives industry. AND how to learn more—or get involved in this space. Material Innovation Initiative's website: Support the show (
Prime Roots' co-founder & CEO Kimberlie Le and her team are working to bring a new more affordable, ethical, nutritious, and sustainable protein to the world. How? The Berkeley, California-based startup is creating high protein meats and seafood—including their landmark bacon product—from a revolutionary whole food superprotein: Koji. And, they are growing, packing, and distributing it from their facilities, which drives down costs and resources while ramping up production.Prime Roots website: the show (
Yuki Hanyu is the CEO of Integriculture, a rising Japanese biotech startup that recently raised $7.4 million to take cell-based protein production to the next level, globally. He’s also the founder of the Shojinmeat Project, a community of home-made cultured meat growers and enthusiasts. In this interview, Yuki shares with us what space travel, Japanese manga (and anime) and lab-grown meat have in common for him.Integriculture’s website: Project’s website: Food Job Rocks website: Meat Symposium website: interlude created by Lee Rosevere.Support the show (
We hope this episode will bring optimism in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Food startup New Culture is creating mozzarella (and other dairy products) without the “moo.” Their secret strategy? Drawing from the same science that makes animal-based cheese taste so good to humans. Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Inja Radman gives us an inside look.New Culture’s website: the show (
Pembient is a company making big chunks of realistic fake rhino horn in the lab. Its goal is to flood the market with high-quality, "can't-tell-the-difference" replica products, driving down demand for the real stuff—thereby ultimately helping combat poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. In this episode, Pembient's CEO and Co-Founder Matthew Markus talks about the potential he sees in the niche biofabricated wildlife product industry. He also shares some of the biggest challenges to actually getting it to market, and addresses some of the controversy surrounding Pembient’s unique approach.Music interlude created by Lee Rosevere.Support the show (
NovaMeat’s Founder and CEO Dr. Giuseppe Scionti quit his job as a Biomedicine and Bioengineering professor to create a plant-based 3D printed steak that has the appearance and texture of animal-based meat. Dr. Scionti was listed as one of “Nine Innovators to Watch in 2019” by Smithsonian Magazine. In this episode, he talks about the technology and opportunities in 3D printed food—and how we can all row towards a brighter future for animals and our planet.NovaMeat website: the show (
Phaedra Randolph is the founder and CEO of Spero Foods. She gave up a lucrative career in tech engineering to start her own mission-driven food startup. In this inspiring and informative episode, Phaedra tells us how she took an unexpected ingredient and turned it into a delicious, super healthy plant-based cheese that’s better for you, animals and the planet.  (She also shares some of the secrets behind her successful career change.) Spero Foods website: interlude created by Lee Rosevere.Support the show (
Mice may have been the ancestral food for cats but Because Animals CEO and Co-founder, Dr. Shannon Falconer, explains why it is the perfect food for the modern-day cat. Her cultured pet food company is replacing slaughter with science and creating human-grade, nutrient-packed foods for our four-legged family members.Because Animals website: the show (
Fast-rising cultivated seafood startup Shiok Meats raised $4.6 million in funding AND created an MVP (minimum viable product)… in under a year. Shiok Meats CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Sandhya Sriram talks lab-grown shrimp, crab and lobster, and shares some valuable tips and insights for rising entrepreneurs in the space.Shiok Meats website: interlude created by Lee Rosevere.Support the show (
Did you know that NASA is looking for life on Mars without leaving Earth? In this episode, Co-Founder & CEO of Sustainable Bioproducts Thomas Jonas tells us all about how his company is developing a space-age meat-like protein -- from extremophile microbes (fungi) from Yellowstone National Park... with help from NASA and Bill Gates.Sustainable Bioproducts website: the show (
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Nov 3rd
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