Stock Evaluation Guide

We’ve developed a provisional scale to use in rating a company’s level of animal use.

This is an initial version that may be subject to revision in future.

As of 2019, it’s still the case that most, if not all, public companies trading on regional exchanges are engaged in some level of animal use.

This will no doubt change in the future, but at present there are few to no companies that avoid animal use, either incidentally or directly.

Medical and pharmaceutical companies, for example, may get their products tested on animals by third parties, or even test directly on animals themselves.

Many other companies may use and or sell products made with animal materials. For example, clothing or industrial chemicals.

While some investment funds have looked at various other issues such as the environment, arms, tobacco and so on, it’s only in recent years funds have begun to take the routine use of animals into account.

Even so, companies like Cruelty Free Super and Beyond Fund Advisors are not being honest with people when they claim to be vegan funds.

Cruelty Free Super, in line with its disingenous name, makes various investments in companies that aren’t vegan.

Yet they trumpet their claim to be:

Australia’s only vegan superannuation fund., March 2019

A look at their investment portfolio, for example, tells people that among the sectors they invest in are:

Cruelty-free healthcare, March 2019

Yet a brief look into some of the companies they include in this sector hardly reveals a roll-call of ‘cruelty-free’ firms.

For instance, Healthscope, explains they are:

a leading private healthcare provider in Australia. In 2017 alone our 43 hospitals provided care for over 985,000 patients, performed over 150,000 inpatient surgical procedures and delivered over 12,500 babies., March 2019

This is a commendable in itself, yet at least some—if not all—of their hospitals serve animal food, and presumably they have no hesitation in using animal materials for medical procedures.

The Gold Coast Hospital, advises patients to eat:

different sources of protein, for example, red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes and nuts., March 2019

Cruelty Free Super also proclaims that they:

do not invest in regional banks due to their significant lending to companies involved in live animal export, intensive farming and activites cruel to animals., March 2019

Yet they invest in the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), which lists all kinds of companies, including those involved in “animal agriculture,” and invests in banks, that despite their claims, also invest in animal farming:

Dated May 2015, viewed March 2019

Futher they declare that:

We do not invest in live animal exporters or in companies involved in the live animal export trade.

We believe that live animal export is a cruel and unnecessary way of operating, and many of our members feel the same way.

Most Australian super funds invest in the live animal export trade. In December 2015, Australia’s largest live animal export company, Wellard Group, listed on the Australian stock exchange and already appears in the portfolios of many super funds. They transport over 400,000 live animals every year, and operate ships that carry up to 75,000 animals at a time.

We say “NO” to Wellard Group. We also say no to other companies involved in the live animal export trade including:

* Australian Agricultural Company

* Elders Ltd

* Qube Logistics, March 2019

Yet they say themselves that Wellard is listed on the ASX, as is the Australian Agricultural Company, Elders and Qube Holdings.

If they were honest with customers they would explain that it’s impossible to be ‘cruelty-free’; the idea of being ‘cruelty-free’ is an infantile concept that doesn’t belong in an adult view of the world; they aren’t a vegan fund, since they don’t invest exclusively in vegan businesses; and that they do invest in companies involved in animal use of one form or another.

Instead, they choose to follow the well-trodden path of whitewashing and greenwashing, to ‘veganwash’ their image so they can declare themselves “Australia’s only vegan superannuation fund.

How Cruelty Free Super passes themselves off as a vegan, let alone ‘cruelty-free’ is difficult to understand.

The Scale

In any case, here’s the scale we’ve developed to classify the level of animal use companies are involved in:

  1. Has owners that oppose animal use, sells vegan products or services and doesn’t support animal use, including under the guise of animal ‘welfare’ – a vegan company.
  2. Sells vegan products or services and owners say they’re opposed to animal use, but support animal ‘welfare.’
  3. Sells vegan products or services but doesn’t have vegan owners.
  4. Doesn’t feature animal products but uses them within the company.
  5. Doesn’t focus on animal use, but uses and sells animal products eg a technology company that offers animal food at events, and sells some products featuring animal materials (such as leather phone cases).
  6. Sells products or services specifically for animal use eg slaughterhouse construction, stun guns.
  7. Directly involved in animal use eg butchers, slaughterhouses, steak houses.