Celebrities, scientists, religious leaders and others are calling for global aid charities to stop animal gifting, especially during festive season.
They claim that animal gifting can exacerbate climate crisis, decrease food stability, threaten sustainable development, contribute to animal suffering, and cause health effects by encouraging unhealthy western diets.
Dr. Jane Goodall was the founder of UN Messenger of Peace and Jane Goodall Institute. She said that animal gifting programs are harmful to gift recipients because they burden them with more food and water in areas where it is often scarce.
Dr. Goodall, an internationally recognized ethologist/environmentalist, encourages understanding and advocacy for the natural world.
The Jane Goodall Institute (UK) aims to improve the lives of people, animals, the environment, and all living things. It supports community conservation in Africa and grows the next generation of compassionate change makers through environmental youth programme such as ‘Roots & Shoots’.
Dr. Goodall explained that giving animals to people during events such as Christmas will benefit those less fortunate, even though it may have unintended effects.
“It will be ever so much better to help by supporting plant-based projects and sustainable irrigation methods, regenerative agriculture to improve the soil,” she indicated.
In a video statement copied to JoyNews’ Mahmud Mohammed-Nurudeen, Dr Goodall said charities must develop plans to create a gift package that will appeal to the generosity of the less fortunate than themselves.
The ‘Stop Animal Gifting’ campaign includes open letters from scientists and interfaith leaders, action alerts, a petition and email letters calling on development charities, such as Oxfam, World Vision, Heifer International and Cargill’s Hatching Hope project, Christian Aid, Save the Children, Plan Canada, Lutheran World Relief, Feed the Children, Tearfund and others 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.
The ‘Animal Save Movement’ and ‘In Defense of Animals Interfaith Vegan Coalition’ are also calling on charities to switch to plant-based aid programs that provide more food, and stability.
They claim that plant-based projects can reduce poverty, global hunger, and promote sustainable practices for a healthy planet.
This holiday season, thousands of its supporters and concerned citizens joined the campaign. These organizations believe that the true cost of sending a goat or cow, chicken, or any other farmed animal, is environmental degradation, soil acidification and water pollution, as well as global deforestation.
Other effects include flooding, extreme weather, flooding and zoonotic illness outbreaks.
Communications Director for Animal Save Movement, Nicola Harris, 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 to meet Animal Save Movement before the campaign launch to discuss the possibility of implementing plant-based programs. The damaging impact of these programs are huge, with Heifer International alone sending over 720,000 animals last year.”
Professor Emeritus of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, and Fellow of the Animal Behavior Society, Marc Bekoff, 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.”
He said that the world requires far more plant-based meal options to create lasting and sustainable changes for everyone.