She says that by gifting farm animals, which “are purchased in great numbers by generous donors” can result in unintended consequences. This can include lack of veterinary care which “is often limited or totally lacking.” The gifting programs can also hurt gift recipients by burdening them with more mouths to feed in areas where food and water are often scarce. “The animals must be fed and they need a lot of water,” says Dr Goodall in her video.
The Animal Save Movement and In Defense of Animals’ Interfaith Vegan Coalition are urging charities to switch to plant-based aid programmes which they say provide more food, and more stability by growing crops to eat directly instead of feeding them to animals. They say plant-based projects can help alleviate poverty, reduce world hunger, and create sustainable practices for a healthy planet.
The Stop Animal Gifting campaign claims that the true cost of sending a goat, cow, chicken, or other farmed animal is environmental degradation, soil acidification, water contamination, air pollution, global deforestation, forest fires, extreme weather, flooding, zoonotic disease outbreaks, health problems such as diabetes and more community slaughterhouses. The campaign includes open letters from scientists and interfaith leaders, action alerts, a petition and email letters calling on development charities to undertake carbon disclosure of their projects, stop animal gifting, and implement plant-based food system projects as a crucial step in addressing the escalating climate crisis.
Dr Jane Goodall says in her video statement: “In the lead-up to Christmas, many people are feeling generous and want to help those less fortunate than themselves. There are a number of organizations that have launched campaigns, suggesting that one way to help those suffering poverty and hunger is to gift them an animal, such as a heifer. As a result, farm animals are purchased in great numbers by generous donors. Unfortunately, this can result in unintended consequences. The animals must be fed and they need a lot of water, and in so many places water is getting more and more scarce thanks to climate change. Veterinary care is often limited or totally lacking. It will be ever so much better to help by supporting plant-based projects and sustainable irrigation methods, regenerative agriculture to improve the soil. Well this means charities must develop plans to create a gift package that will appeal to the generosity of those who want to help those less fortunate than themselves. Thank you.“
“We are so pleased Dr Jane Goodall is supporting the Stop Animal Gifting campaign by urging shoppers to boycott animal gifting this Christmas in favour of plant-based projects,” says Anita Krajnc, ED of Animal Save Movement. “The campaign which launched in the run up to the holiday season aims to mitigate climate impacts, save water, alleviate poverty, improve human health and eliminate animal suffering.”
Dr Jane Goodall’s views are supported by fellow scientists, religious leaders, and celebrities who are urging world aid charities to end animal gifting.
Marc Bekoff, professor emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, a Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, and a past Guggenheim Fellow, signed the scientists’ open letter to Stop Animal Gifting. Dr Beckoff states: “We must act on the science and act now. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss, and ecosystem destruction. Globally, we need far more plant-based meal plans to create long-lasting, sustainable change — for everyone.”
Nicola Harris, communications director for Animal Save Movement, says, “Thousands of concerned members of the public have emailed Oxfam, World Vision, Heifer International and Christian Aid asking them to stop animal gifting and implement plant-based projects. All the charities declined requests to meet with Animal Save Movement ahead of the campaign launch to discuss the roll out of plant-based projects.”
A spokesperson from Oxfam told Dorset View: “Oxfam Unwrapped funds a wide range of projects to support people living in poverty, with funds allocated following discussions with communities to identify the greatest need. Animal welfare is a priority for livestock projects, with veterinary services, training of animal health workers, drugs and treatment included alongside training in managing and maintaining livestock.
“Long-term environmental sustainability is an essential requirement for human development and wellbeing – especially for people whose lives and livelihoods are more closely linked with the natural environment. Oxfam only provides livestock to communities where keeping animals is a traditional or essential part of their way of life.”
Dr Jane Goodall Video: https://youtu.be/C6w5HoOVAHo
Scientist Letter and quotes: https://thesavemovement.org/scientist-letter
Interfaith Letter and quotes: https://thesavemovement.org/interfaith-letter
Animal Gifting Campaign: http://stopanimalgifting.org
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