New nonprofit Cruelty-Free Investing (CFI) launched this week to help investors find companies that do not contribute to animal exploitation. CFI evaluates each stock traded publicly on the United States Stock Exchange and classifies companies in two lists: those that exploit animals and those that do not. CFI classifies a company as one that exploits animals if it meets any of its four criteria, including using and/or selling animal skins and byproducts in clothing manufacturing; using and/or selling products that are tested on animals; breeding animals for food and/or testing purposes; and manufacturing or serving food and/or beverages that contain animal products. Currently, government criteria used to identify socially responsible companies does not cover those that participate in animal cruelty, exploitation, or abuse. Founder Dave Brett Wasser created CFI to allow conscious investors to use their capital wisely and financial advisors to assist clients who want to divest from stocks that involve animal exploitation. “As we looked at the growing sector of socially responsible investing,” Wasser said, “we were surprised to discover that there is no criteria that evaluates animal exploitation, an issue that is essential to a growing number of investors. We are thrilled to bring a service to the marketplace that is thorough, useful, and of the utmost importance to the new generation of investors.” Several financial organizations currently exist for the sole purpose of funding plant-based companies, including New Crop Capital—a venture capital fund that has invested in vegan cheese brand Miyoko’s Kitchen, vegan meat brand Beyond Meat, and vegan seafood company New Wave Foods, and other disruptors of the animal agriculture industry.
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