Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary –  Good Morning to Betsy and to Liz

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: May 17, 2020
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My friend Betsy emailed me and said, “You’re having too much fun.” Thank you, Betsy. You are correct, as usual.

Guest Commentary - Cumberland Advisors - Good Morning to Betsy and to Liz

Dear Readers, we have to maintain some sense of something or other (joie de vivre, perhaps) during this constant barrage from the news flow.

The Sunday morning missives started with “Daffodils” (https://www.cumber.com/cumberland-advisors-market-commentary-daffodils/). The response to Sunday continues to be terrific and grows weekly. Many, many, many thanks to all readers for their replies and suggestions. We appreciate them.

Today, we want to dedicate this missive to Liz and Richard. Richard is a retired physician, highly professionally skilled, a climate defense activist, and a serious formidable world thinker. Liz is a passionate policy firebrand. She is also a fierce bundle of energy and an accomplished musical personality. From a seat in a mezzanine when the hall was completely full, I have experienced her performance and conducting of a full program. Simply stellar and magical!

So we will open this Sunday morning missive dedicated to Liz with a YouTube clip of a music teacher as introduced by Canadian television: http://www.ctv.ca/Your-Morning/Video/Teachers-song-about-her-feelings-during-the-pandemic-made-our-hosts-cry-of-laughter-vid1943353


Next we have a special trip for those who cannot sleep. Pun intended. We thank Carmen for sending the link to “No Corona”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uL52AuF4QzY.

And now, this fabulous performance by a wonderful group of women, the Salut Salon quartet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKezUd_xw20. We thank Sharon for sending this link.

Now to Richard’s curated letter and list of supporting arguments for his position. We thank him and Liz for sending it. At the end of today’s missive we have a choral treat from Lauren that readers will not want to miss.

Richard wrote:

“Here’s a subject that I’ve been thinking about, that is just now coming into the mainstream media. Liz and I became “pescatarians” last year as a result of my work in environmental justice. The three main reasons to stop eating meat are (1) environmental [huge amounts of CO2 equivalent gas production, especially from cows; water and land pollution from animal waste; rain forest destruction], (2) animal rights [horrific conditions of farmed animals]; and (3) health [atherosclerosis from eating meat, especially from byproducts of cooking meat; superbugs from overuse of antibiotics to increase animal weight].

“The current pandemic has once again brought to the fore the devastating consequences to our health and the global economy of industrial animal farming from the creation and the transmission of novel viruses from animals to humans. The “wild animals” in the Wuhan wet market were actually raised in crowded cages in animal farms for human consumption, just as our livestock are.

Fareed Zakaria ended his CNN show today on the post-COVID world with a segment about this subject. And here’s an excellent 2 minute read: https://theecologist.org/2020/may/05/vegan-diet-can-stop-future-pandemics. Veganism turns most people off and isn’t really necessary to stop pandemics. But if we can drastically decrease eating cows and pigs we’d go a long way towards eliminating animal borne diseases.”

Richard

Richard appended the following list of links for consideration. The Sunday musical finale YouTube is below this list.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/20/factory-farms-pandemic-risk-covid-animal-human-health

https://thehill.com/opinion/energy-environment/493811-link-between-factory-farmed-animals-covid-10-and-preventing-the

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/4/22/21228158/coronavirus-pandemic-risk-factory-farming-meat

https://www.grain.org/en/article/6437-new-research-suggests-industrial-livestock-not-wet-markets-might-be-origin-of-covid-19

https://www.animalsaustralia.org/features/how-covid-19-coronavirus-linked-treatment-animals.php

https://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/news/covid-19-pandemic-shows-banning-factory-farms-more-important-ever

https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/54-groups-urge-congress-dont-use-covid-19-funds-to-prop-up-factory-farms-2020-04-15/

https://connpirg.org/blogs/blog/usp/factory-farms-pandemic-making

https://www.peta.org/blog/links-between-meat-and-coronavirus-facts-myths/

https://www.euronews.com/2020/04/01/the-best-way-prevent-future-pandemics-like-coronavirus-stop-eating-meat-and-go-vegan-view

https://www.nationalreview.com/magazine/2020/04/06/senator-booker-is-right-about-factory-farming/

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/one-root-cause-of-pandemics-few-people-think-about/

https://www.wired.com/story/opinion-modernizing-meat-production-will-help-us-avoid-pandemics/

Thank you to Carmen and Sharon and Liz and Richard, and to Lauren for the finale: “The Longest Time.” Please notice the haircut starting at 1:45. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpAKcQufacc

Betsy, it was fun and I hope it helped lighten the day. Everyone, please be safe and careful.

David R. Kotok
Chairman of the Board & Chief Investment Officer
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