Saturday, December 19, 2009

A holiday letter to send Heifer International

Their programs might look good at first glance (to a non-vegan, anyway), but there's nothing animal friendly or even sustainable about Heifer International, or any of the other "animal gift" schemes popularly given as holiday presents. You might like to send this letter, too. Feel free to use this one, or edit it to suit your own writing style.


Heifer International
P.O. Box 8058
Little Rock, AK 72203-8058

Dear Heifer International,

I am writing to ask that you please remove my name from your mailing list, and that any gift donations given in my name be refused.

For over 50 years, vegetarian organizations and animal advocates have criticized farming animals as inefficient, expensive and environmentally destructive, and livestock donations as especially inhumane and ineffective in fighting poverty as well as being environmentally unsound. Animal gift schemes seek to persuade people of the poor world that their best nutritional interests are served by buying into modern farmed animal production processes, but with that comes an addiction to high capital input systems, additional stress on precious water supplies, environmental destruction, a loss of control over the means of production, bad health, cruelty to animals, and more human poverty and malnourishment.

The "donation" of animals to other countries amounts to nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to spread dairy and meat consumption to new parts of the world, with detrimental consequences for the health of those nations and disastrous consequences for the animals. Many recipients of gift animals are unable to feed them to maturity, let alone feed and raise any offspring, and all farmed animals require large quantities of water, shelter from extremes, and veterinary care, resources typically in short supply in impoverished areas.

I hope that Heifer International will consider restructuring itself to join in reforestation efforts instead of bringing a cruel, unhealthy, environmentally destructive diet to cultures that are primarily vegetarian and creating a nightmare animal welfare scenario.

Please remove my name from your mailing list, and do not process any gift donations given in my name. Thank you.