In case you needed another reason to love British funnyman Ricky Gervais, we’ve got one for you. Ricky was on the David Letterman show last week, and when Letterman asked him what he got for Christmas, he responded that the worst gift he received was “the gift of a goat.” He explained that a goat was donated to a family in Africa in his name. Letterman looked puzzled. Gervais continued:
Ricky: They’re 50 quid down, I’ve got nothing, the African family’s going, “Not another mouth to feed.” It’s ridiculous. There’s nothing in it for the goat. The goat wakes up in barren land going, “Where am I? A week ago I was gamboling through the Cotswolds in glades and then someone just kidnapped me, put me on a boat, took me to Africa.” It’s like Roots in reverse. I bet he didn’t want to go to Africa. I think the goat had no choice. …
Letterman: There may be another way to look at this, but I accept your point.
Ricky: I can’t see one.
Ricky is right! Donating animals is no gift for the animals who are “gifted” (they must forage in a dust bowl where they often can’t find water, and they end up tethered and are usually slaughtered!). And it can actually make things worse for the impoverished family that receives them. Luckily, there are great alternatives. Ricky’s friend could have donated to Food for Life or The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation instead, both of which support sustainable (and cruelty-free) programs to combat hunger. Take a leaf from Ricky’s book, and let the goats continue “gamboling through the Cotswolds in glades” or wherever they belong.
Written by Lianne Turner