LETTER: Animals the gift that keeps taking
LAURA Weyman-Jones reminds us that it is a bad idea to give dogs and cats as Christmas gifts. (Animals not always the best gifts, 19/12).
Her letter reminds me of another type of animal giving which is, likewise, a bad idea.
Each year at Christmas our major charities urge us to give goats, chickens, pigs etc to people in third world countries. But, animals require food and water, both of which are in short supply in poor, semi-arid countries.
If allowed to forage, the 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.
It's somewhat ironic that these charities are encouraging the giving of animals as a solution to world hunger when, in fact, the world's hunger problem would not exist at all if the food fed to animals raised in the west was fed directly to humans.