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J.D. Rasch: the ultimate vegan business insider and prolific creator

J.D. Rasch: the ultimate vegan business insider and prolific creator

J.D Rusch and book

A visual artist, social activist, investor, philanthropist, and novelist, J.D. Rasch is the ultimate vegan business insider with a very creative alter-ego.

J.D. Rasch is your classic overachiever: banker turned vegan investor, philanthropist, artist and novelist.
J.D. Rasch: banker turned vegan investor, philanthropist, visual artist and novelist.

Los Angeles, April 27, 2024  — J.D. Rasch is your classic overachiever, accumulating degrees and skills with dizzying speed. Fortunately, underlying his many accomplishments, is a relentless desire for a more compassionate world. Rasch went from being a banker to an investor in vegan enterprises and a philanthropist. He has supported many animal organizations, including Woodstock Farm Sanctuary and Rowdy Girl Sanctuary. He’s is also a partner at Beyond Impact Advisors, which facilitates investments in vegan and cruelty-free products, many of them very cutting-edge. He is considered to be a pioneer alternative protein investor.

But, that’s not all. Rasch also has a very creative side, and has now become an accomplished visual artist and a novelist. He’s just published The Silver Forest. It’s the first installment in an ongoing fantasy series. UnchainedTV’s Jane Velez-Mitchell had a conversation with this Renaissance man who is veganizing the world of business, literature, and art. You can watch it here:

Rasch’s Vegan Journey

June and Susan at FSAC (c)Farm Sanctuary
June and Susan at FSAC (c)Farm Sanctuary

J.D. Rasch has a BA in economics, an MBA in finance, and is expecting his MFA in painting in 2025. For over forty years, he worked in international finance, both in developed and emerging economies. During his work in finance, he became interested in social justice, developing ways to assess the social behavior of companies. He also advises several not-for-profits, such as Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, Rowdy Girl Sanctuary and Battery Dance Company, using his formidable financial skills and altruistic nature to forge positive social change. He explains that his wife started him on his journey to a vegan lifestyle:

“I became vegetarian back in 1983, and I like to say, it was my idea to do it, but I have to congratulate my wife on that. She read the phrase ‘be the change you want the world to be,’ and she just decided eating meat was something that she didn’t want to do.  I was working in finance at Fortune 500 companies, and it’s like, ‘Yeah, you can do that but, in the world I live in, it can’t be done.’  That lasted for about six months, and then I said, ‘You know, I’m just not comfortable eating the meat.’” 

About 17 years ago, it was his daughter who made him take the last step and become vegan. it happened while visiting Farm Sanctuary and learning about the dairy and egg industries:

“One of my daughters, who was 10 years old at the time, looked at us after the tour and said, ‘I’m going vegan.’ And, it was one of those times where I figured, ‘Well, I could try to talk her out of it, but, yes, she’s right.’  So, that’s how I became vegan.”

“Each different thing that I do is like an exploration. You want to discover things about the world, about yourself, and there are just different ways to do that.” — J.D. Rasch, multifaceted vegan

An Experienced Vegan Business Insider

The Silver Forest Book One
The Silver Forest Book One

Rasch has tried to apply ethical veganism to every aspect of his life, including his job in the financial world. For 13 years, from 2002 to 2015, he was former trustee of VegInvest, former VegFund board member and current advisor to Crowdbureau, which calls itself “…an information technology platform that offers asset and risk management tools for the peer-to-peer lending and securities crowdfunding industry.”

Today, Rasch is doing pioneering work as an alternative protein investor,  He is now a partner at Beyond Impact Advisors. Beyond Impact Advisors was created in 2017 to facilitate investment in vegan and cruelty-free products and services and to remove mankind’s reliance on the raising of animals for slaughter. Among the companies they’ve been helping are mushroom-focused Wicked Kitchen and the Belgian-based precision fermentation company Paleo which produces the meat protein myoglobin with genetically modified yeast (not from animal cells).

This is what Rasch had to say about the evolution of the vegan food sector:

“The vegan market is going through various changes. The first thing was just to have anything out there, and you would have burgers that come out of a cardboard box, you weren’t sure which you should eat. Then, they went to…Vegan 2.0, where the products tasted good. But, in order to get them to taste good, they probably had more fat and salts, and things like that, than you needed. Now, we’re going through, I think, the next phase, where people think that vegan is healthier for you. It is, but now, I think what people are looking for, is even healthier vegan alternatives.”

When asked about the future of investing in vegan companies, this is what Rasch said:

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“Fundamentally, the concept of vegan foods and vegan investing is solid. It goes through its ups and downs. It’s in a down phase right now because of some of the media hype. But, coming out with these new products that actually are healthy will help overcome that.”

“I knew all the stuff about finance, so the question is, ‘How can I make my day job match what my philosophy was?’”— J.D. Rasch, vegan business expert

A Prolific Vegan Creator

Art from J.D. Rusch
Art from J.D. Rusch

Rasch is studying for an MFA in painting as visual art is also one of his passions. This is what he said about the themes behind his paintings:

“The underlying imagery for all of my art is based on scientific themes. So, the one you have here is based on a galaxy, and the one on the right, I believe, is a white blood cell. So, the main themes that I use are physics, radio astronomy, and electron microscopy. I branch out somewhat from those areas as well. But, actually after many years, I’ve gone back.”

Rasch is also a fiction writer who is working on his debut fantasy trilogy, the first book of which, “The Silver Forest, Book One”, can already be pre-ordered. His writing, like his painting, explores the mysteries of the world and our place in the greater scheme of the universe. This is what he says about this book:

“The Silver Forest is an ideal. It’s like Eden. And the book is based on the concept of Return to Eden, return to our basic principles. That’s the trajectory that the main character has to go through. It’s something that the Wizards seek. The Golden Tree and the Silver Forest. The tree of knowledge, the tree of understanding. And the question is how we get there, how do we regain this innocence, how do we regain the knowledge, how do we regain the respect that we’re missing, in this novel and I think also in the world.”

“In order to really make veganism more mainstream, you have to attack it from a lot of different areas, which is, I guess, one of the reasons why I end up doing so many different things.” — J.D. Rasch, vegan creator

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