1) INTOLERANCE TO MILK. 75% of the world’s population and 90% of Asian and African populations are lactose-intolerant, which results in digestive ailments. Animal milk is associated with other problems like allergies, asthma and auto-immune disorders. Not surprising, as milk is for babies not adults, and animal milk is for the relevant animals not humans.

2) THE WRONG MESSAGE. Promoting gift farm animals gives the wrong message. The only sustainable way to feed the world is with a vegan diet. Encouraging farm animal giving programmes has a ripple effect. It paves the way for greater consumption of meat, dairy and eggs.

3) WASTEFUL. Farm animals are a waste of resources. The environment may be too poor for the animal to graze. If it does graze, it destroys the fertility of the land. Either way, time, labour and resources which should be used for feeding the family are required for the animal. The amount of water needed for gift animals is much more than is needed to grow crops. The animal’s requirements are in direct competition with the requirements of the recipient family, especially in times of drought.

4) SUFFERING. In hard times the animal will be the first to suffer, from neglect and lack of veterinary care. This is unfortunate for the animal and for the family.

The animals may have to suffer long distance transportation. Many will suffer from confinement, neglect, malnutrition, disease, temperature extremes. Eventual slaughter will be horrific.

5) EXPERT OPINION. The World Land Trust calls animal gifting programmes    ‘’madness….environmentally unsound and economically disastrous….’’ They state that they consider it ‘’grossly irresponsible…to continue with these schemes….as a means of raising quick money for charities over the Christmas season.’’ Gift animals, they say, will add to problems in areas of drought and desertification.

Maneka Gandhi, former Indian Minister for social welfare and animal protection, on grazing goats- ‘’….within two years, the people who get goats have an even poorer lifestyle.’’ ‘’A goat destroys the fertility of land and any milk or dung it may give is very little (in value) compared to the havoc it wreaks…’’ He says that ‘’ a cow will drink up to 90 litres of water every single day.’’

6) CRITICISMS.  Maneka Gandhi voiced his disillusionment with charities in general that spend money on their own infrastructure in preference to the target cause. GiveWell, a charity rating organization, expressed concerns about animal gifting charities, as ‘’We have not found a livestock-distribution charity that has published either evidence of impact ….or clear answers to these questions.’’ A list of questions follows relating to the welfare of the animals, the value to the recipients and the consequences to the community.

7) ETHICAL & SUSTAINABLE ALTERNATIVES. There are alternatives. There are hunger relief charities which specifically provide both immediate assistance and long-term community solutions that feed families without using animals.

Here are 4 that Animal Aid ( recommends:-

A Well Fed World (

Food for Life Global (

Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (

International Fund for Africa (

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