Letter from Jenny Moxham as published in the Church of England newspaper
December 11, 2015
I was dismayed to see that Church of England weekly newspaper readers are being encouraged to send animals to third world countries (4 December) because giving animals is not in the best interests of either the recipients or the animals concerned.
Animals require food and water - both of which are in short supply in poor, semi-arid countries. If allowed to forage, animals will rapidly destroy the environment, turning vegetation and grass into dust and leaving the land even less productive than before.
The harsh environment will be hard on the animals too, and with no laws to protect them, many will lead miserable lives and be inhumanely slaughtered. Although families may value their animal for what she can produce, their desire to keep her alive and productive does not mean they will keep her comfortable or meet her needs.
Two charities devoted to helping the hungry without exploiting animals are Vegfam (vegfamcharity.org.uk) and A well fed world (awfw.org).
Donations are used to supply such things as wells, irrigation, seeds, fruit and nut trees, tree nurseries and plants. These projects empower the poor to become self-supporting without degrading their environment and harming animals.
In a world that is becoming increasingly aware that our non-human counterparts are intelligent, sensitive individuals with feelings and needs much like our own, putting price tags on them and offering them as ‘gifts’ is reverting back to the ignorant past where non-humans were viewed merely as human ‘possessions,’ to be used and abused in whichever way we saw fit.
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