heifer

Don’t kill an innocent animal when you can gift a vegan meal

HI-cow-transport

The Case against Animal Gifting During the holiday gift-giving season, a popular choice for gift-donations are programs that send live farm animals as “gifts” to help alleviate hunger and poverty in low-income countries. A Well-Fed World examines the flaws in concept and practice with animal-gifting groups in general, and with Heifer International in particular (since they are the largest and most well-known) in their thought-provoking article covering every angle you can imagine, including: it causes more harm to the environment; the fact that many people are lactose-intollerant; the flawed economics of the program and the misleading advertising, etc. The article extensively quotes the opinion of many experts too. The full article is here: http://awellfedworld.org/no-animal-gifts Here is a summary of some major reasons: Increased dairy production is frequently touted as one of the greatest successes of animal gifting programs. However, 75% of the world is lactose-intolerant, and 90% of Asian and African populations (toward whom dairy programs are aggressively targeted) are lactose intolerant. Heifer International is largely considered responsible for kick-off of industrialized dairy in Japan after World War II. Heifer International boasts that their projects produced 3.6 million gallons of milk in one year in Uganda and developed a national dairy program in Tanzania. “In Ethiopia, over 40 percent of the population is considered hungry or starving, yet the country has 50 million cattle (one of the largest herds in the world), as well as almost 50 million sheep and goats, and 35 million chickens, unnecessarily consuming the food, land and water… [P]oorly managed cattle grazing has caused severe overgrazing, deforestation, and then subsequent erosion and eventual desertification. Much of their resource use must be focused on these cattle. Raising animals for food requires up to 10 times more water than growing crops for direct consumption. Yet, organizations such as Heifer International promote inherently water-intensive animal farming, even in areas identified as water-scarce. The World Land Trust calls animal gifting programs “madness… […]