After looking at the catalog I was quite disgusted. The goal of this company is to “bring help, healing and hope to millions of impoverished families worldwide.” Basically, you (as the “gift giver”) buy an animal and they send it to a family in a third world country to use as they wish.
The catalog pulls at the heartstrings because it has photos of small children hugging the baby animals. Who doesn't love little kids and baby animals!?
Here is a list of the animals that you can buy as a gift to send to a family.
Gift of Goats: The gift of a dairy goat is a lasting, meaningful way for you to help a little boy or girl on the other side of the world while sharing your caring spirit with those closest to your heart.
Pigs as Presents: Heifer animals are like “living savings accounts” for struggling families, and the pig may well be the most interest bearing. Each gift can give a valuable source of protein, income from the sale of offspring and natural fertilizer to nourish crops and soil.
Wrapping Paper, Ribbons…and Rabbits: Giving the gift of a trio of rabbits from Heifer International for the holidays is a low-cost, high yield gift that helps impoverished families increase their protein intake and income.
Other animals you can “gift” are: Sheep, Chickens, Honeybees, Llamas, Buffalos, and the “GIFT ARK” Which includes many of the animals Noah “saved”.
As you can see, this holiday season you can buy these animals and send them off to die.
Now, I’m sorry, but I do not think that animal products, milk, flesh, etc. are good for anyone, let alone people living in poverty.
Colleen Patrick –Goudrea, from www.Compassionatecooks.com
did a podcast about this topic a few years back, and this is what she recommends:
There are many other programs dedicated to providing solutions to hunger without exploiting animals. Trees for Life (treesforlife.org) and the Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (http://www.ftpf.org/) enable you to buy a fruit tree in someone’s name, providing a food source to communities in developing countries. Every time you buy a gift from the Women’s Bean Project (womensbeanproject.org), you help a woman break the cycle of poverty and unemployment by supporting their programs that provide skills and training to women. One of Plenty International’s (plenty.org) programs includes training villages in soy bean agriculture and production as a way to improve nutrition, soil quality, and food security. Through Sustainable Harvest International, whose website is http://www.sustainableharvest.org/, you can contribute to planting trees in Central America, which has lost more than half of its rainforests in the last 50 years, and of course we know that much of this occurs to provide grazing land for cattle, who will be slaughtered and exported, so that Americans can have cheap meat. Finally, Animal Aid, a UK charity, http://www.animalaid.org.uk/, is supporting a tree-planting initiative in Kenya, which will provide fruit-bearing trees for local families. The aim is to help 100 families to plant 20 trees each, which will bear oranges, avocados, mangoes, and macadamia nuts, with a few additional trees for timber and firewood.
So, in conclusion, I will be making a donation to several charities this Christmas that do not exploit anyone, as well as sending a letter to Heifer International expressing my thoughts and to request that they take me off their mailing list immediately. I hope to get a response letter from them to publish on a later blog entry.
Please, for the animals, for the people, and for true PEACE ON EARTH…..Go vegan.