Written by Heather Faraid Drennan
goats at the Heifer International farm that I went to as a kid were
particularly feisty; I remember the struggle that my mother had to get them
into the milking pens, always wary of being kicked. Luckily, my mom's milking
gig was only once a week, but now that I've learned more about animal-donation programs,
I can only imagine how women in the drought-prone areas that Heifer shipped the
goats to must have tussled daily with the animals, in addition to the headache
of trying to provide them with enough food and water.
Animal-donation programs like those run by Heifer International
and Oxfam do not
provide a sustainable solution for global hunger. Grazing animals often cause topsoil
runoff and land degradation, which can contribute to drought, leading the environmental group World Land Trust
to call these programs "environmentally unsound and economically disastrous."
An exposé about
a program in India that gave cows to impoverished farmers noted that the "beneficiaries"
have a difficult time providing even the most basic care to the animals who have
been forced upon them. Having another mouth to feed often adds to a family's burden, and the animals often suffer from horrible
neglect, including malnutrition, dehydration, lack of veterinary care,
and lack of shelter from the burning midday sun or freezing nighttime
temperatures. On a recent trip to India, PETA
President Ingrid E. Newkirk saw the distinctive black-and-white Holsteins and
Holstein-crosses from America roaming the streets and eating plastic bags out
of trash cans, which will clog their intestines and kill them. Many donated
animals will end up in filthy, unregulated slaughterhouses and have their
throats cut with a dull knife.
your friends and family to avoid animal-donation programs and instead consider
supporting sustainable, animal-friendly organizations that work to end hunger,
such as The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation, Food for Life Global,
and Feed My Starving
Children. Another way to aid poor
families is to donate to the PETA-supported program Animal Rahat,
which provides free veterinary care to working animals in India who are lame,
sick, or injured.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
here. If you are reporting an animal in imminent danger and know where to find the
animal and if the abuse is taking place right now, please call your local
police department. If the police are unresponsive, please call PETA
immediately at 757-622-7382 and press 2.
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.