Why Not to Give Farmed Animals as Gifts

This year, our family has chosen to donate to others for the holidays in place of the usual gift-giving to each other. We've had the opportunity to support items to both animals and people affected by the Camp Fire, local organizations for families touched by domestic violence, and various online requests from friends requesting donations for organizations. In the past, I thought that donations were only valuable if they were large. I'm taking a new approach this year, and it feels good to give even if it's $5.

One gift people consider giving is donations to organizations that give farmed animals to impoverished communities. On the surface, this might seem like a benevolent gesture, but it's not. I recently received a holiday "gift" catalog from one of them and did some research.
What do these organizations do? They request donations of money so they can send farmed animals to communities in need of food. It’s distressing to me on many levels. I wrote to a few of my activist friends to find out if they had already written a note I could include with my letter to them about being removed from their mailing list. (Of course, my intention was to be efficient, not lazy. 😉) They offered resources but none had a ready-made letter. Later, I'll share the one I wrote with you in case you unwittingly receive one of these catalogs and wish to respond similarly.
Thankfully, a little research lead me to a non-profit I already knew about, A Well-Fed World, which is a hunger relief and animal protection organization. In addition to their advocacy, they work through their partnership network to distribute vegan food to people in need, build food gardens in low-income communities, and strengthen farmed animal rescue.
On their website, A Well-Fed World posted a comprehensive piece with information about the concerns of this practice, including (click on each to learn more):

Another source of information is the All Creatures website.

After educating myself, along with my request for removal, I included the note below.

"Please remove me from your mailing list immediately and do not rent/sell my information. I never requested this catalog, nor would I ever.

Promoting animals for sale as "gifts" to people who are living in poverty is cruel to animals, people, and planet. These people have little means to feed and care for the animals, and their villages are often damaged by erosion and excessive use of natural resources, like the water needed for animal agriculture.

I believe your intentions are good. Please rethink this inhumane and harmful act.

Learn more by reading this with an open mind:

Thank you,
Allison Rivers Samson”

If your passion is helping alleviate planetary hunger, please consider donations to organizations that promote true food security through sustainability, better human health, and kindness toward non-human animals.

With love,

P.S. As always, our brilliant and talented friends at Vegan Street captured this well.


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