MANY aid charities are, once again, appealing for donations to buy animals to be raised as ‘livestock’ in some of the most deprived nations in the world. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the images of people in desperate need accompanying these charities’ promotions. However, sending animals to such communities does nothing to help their plight.

Animal farming is inherently inefficient and environmentally damaging. Raising animals for food requires more land, water, plant food and energy; and it generates more greenhouse gas emissions than when food is produced directly for human consumption.

Moreover, the charities behind these schemes rarely mention the animal suffering that can be caused. Destitute communities, by definition, rarely have the resources needed to adequately feed, shelter and provide veterinary support for their animal ‘gifts’.

There are effective alternatives that can help people in serious need, including the planting of drought-tolerant fruit-producing trees, and supporting irrigation projects. For details of organisations that fund and support such work, please contact Animal Aid on 01732 364546.

Tod Bradbury

Campaigns Team, Animal Aid