Beware of Live Animal “Gifting” for Charity
During the holidays, many of us come across ads which promote live farmed animals as “gifts” to help alleviate hunger and poverty in low-income countries.
Don’t want to choose between helping animals or humans? There's no need! Let’s discover why this is the case, and what you can do instead.
Below are three important reasons why gifting live animals is counterproductive to alleviating human suffering, as well as being unsustainable and cruel to animals. We have also provided an alternative cruelty-free gifting option which helps suffering humans and animals more effectively, and that holds up in the long run.
1. Gifted live animals must be provided food and water in poverty stricken areas where these resources are already scarce. This isn’t very helpful. Although comforting to believe otherwise, these animals can’t actually survive by grazing on the land. In fact, organizations such as Heifer International (one of the most popular and well known charities which gifts live animals during the holidays) have a zero grazing policy, meaning “gift” recipients must pledge to use crops and provide water. Why? Because most poverty stricken areas are already plagued by desertification and drought. So essentially, these helpless animals become a burden, adding to the problem which they were “gifted” to alleviate - it makes no sense!
2. There is no guarantee whatsoever that the recipients of live animals have the capacity to take care of them, which is not the recipients’ fault. However, most of these unfortunate animals will suffer from neglect, malnutrition, confinement, weather extremes, long and cruel transportation of long distances, and horrific slaughter methods.
3. There are large, negative consequences to the environment. The World Land Trust states “Grave consequences of introducing large numbers of goats and other domestic animals into fragile, arid environments is well documented, WLT considers it grossly irresponsible.”
There are alternative gifting options which can help alleviate human poverty and hunger more effectively which don’t harm animals or the environment. Such alternatives include gifting resources to grow sustainable plant crops which can provide better nutrition and more income for poverty stricken communities and families!
A Well-Fed World is a great example of a non-profit organization which addresses hunger relief and animal protection both ethically and in a sustainable manner. Read more about A Well Fed World here.
Please don’t support live animal gifting over the holidays, and please be sure to share this information with any friends or family who primarily support human charities. There is no reason to forgo one type of suffering for another when we can make compassionate gifting choices.