"What’s wrong with the Heifer Project?"

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

UPDATE, 12/27/06: More links over at the Veg Blog, including a very thoughtful post from Eric at An Animal-Friendly Life.


This time of the year, my inbox is inundated with requests for donations, sponsorships, and the like. One of the more objectionable solicitations I’ve received (probably due to my membership on many enviro mailing lists) is from the Heifer Project. The Heifer Project “work[s] with communities to end hunger and poverty and to care for the earth” – through the “gift” of animal agriculture. “What’s wrong with the Heifer Project” may seem glaringly obvious to you and I – or anyone who cares about the fate of animals – but, unfortunately, many well-meaning people are suckered into donating to a cruel and misguided cause.

So, a link dump: If a friend or family member is considering donating to the Heifer Project or a similar organization, pass these articles along to them, along with recommendations for more humane recipients. (My current favorites are Best Friends Animal Society, Farm Sanctuary, and the Equal Justice Alliance.)

* What’s Wrong with the Heifer Project, by Rev. Gary Kowalski

* The Heifer Project: A Bad Approach to Solving World Hunger Problems, by Evelyn Giefer, DVM

* Heifer Project International Information, by Evelyn Giefer, DVM

* Heifer Project International: A Critique, by Ellen Bring

* Vegetarian Advocate: Heifer Project International Breeds Animal Slavery , by Jack Rosenberger

Hat tip to Episcoveg, where I found many of the above links.