Compassionate Giving Does Not Involve Cruelty to Goats
An Animal Rights Article from


Stephanie Ernst
December 2009

heifer project gifting animals goat

Prepare yourselves for the frustrating, fellow animal advocates. The spoof music video here is being circulated as a promo for an effort called "I Want a Goat." (The only words more frequent in the music video than "I want a goat" are "motherfucker" and "motherfucking.") The video features two groups who deserve our consideration: villagers from eastern India who are living in poverty and sweet-faced young goats, who the lyrics shout will bring in "all those profits when [villagers] sell [their] kin." Indeed, there's a graphic depicting the goats reproducing more and more babies, all to be sold.

The person behind the project, which encourages people to donate money to buy these goats for the village, explains, "Families who breed goats can earn a good profit selling the kids in the local market." In other words, the goats are merely baby-producing machines in this misguided plan. The mothers give birth, the babies whom they love -- love -- are taken away to be cruelly slaughtered for meat, and the milk meant for the babies is consumed or sold by humans, and the cycle repeats, until the mother wears out and is slaughtered too. The whole premise of this project and those like it -- which mirror the larger dairy-industry system that impregnates goats and cows, kills and sells their babies as "lamb" and "veal," and steals the milk -- is to benefit human families by outright tormenting nonhuman families.

Our fellow humans absolutely deserve our consideration and help, but these practices aren't humane whether they're happening on U.S. farms or being set up in other nations, and whether they are even sustainable and good for humans is highly questionable (see next paragraph). The intentions may be good, but the reality is cruel. We can help our fellow humans without using our fellow animals like tools, without depending on a cycle of torment and killing for mothers and their babies.

Return to Animal Rights Articles
Read more at The Heifer Project - What's Wrong With Gifting Animals...