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From: J. (dialup-4.156.249.51.dial1.boston1.level3.net)
Subject: Heifer Project International
Date: March 1, 2005 at 6:18 am PST

I recently returned from a visit to Little Rock, Arkansas.
On the banks of Arkansas River near the Clinton Library is a huge office complex now under construction. It is to be the home of Heifer Project International. ( http://www.heifer.org/ )
This organization was highly praised by my host in Little Rock, but having read their colorful catalog filled with images of smiling native people next to "their" animals, I entered into a lengthy debate as to the long-term benefits for the people and regions they claim to help, as well as, the rights and welfare of the animals.
So, my web search led me to this discussion board, looking for what other people have to say about this organization. The only information I could find was on the PETA site, see below.
I'm interested to know what you think, and if you believe there are better ways to which these people can immediately build a sustainable agricultural system that is not animal based; a "real-world" solution.

Here's what PETA's Action Alert had to say:

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Stop the Use of Tax Dollars to Promote Animal Cruelty in Developing Countries


Heifer Project International (HPI) is an organization that claims to work against world hunger by donating animals to families in developing countries. Its catalog deceptively portrays animals in seemingly humane circumstances when, in fact, most agricultural animals sent to developing countries live under deplorable conditions with little sustenance, often adding suffering to the overall picture rather than reducing it. By definition, animals raised for food are exploited in a variety of ways, including enduring cruel procedures without painkillers, restrictive conditions, and extended suffering as a result of illness or injury. After all, if family members are struggling to provide for themselves, how can they ensure adequate living conditions, nutrition, and medical care for animals in their care? To make matters worse, animal agriculture destroys the environment and the consumption of animal products has been shown in studies to contribute significantly to life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and a variety of cancers. We know that in order to end world hunger, humankind must move away from a diet based on animal products and adopt one based on sustainable plants that feeds far more people at less cost to animal welfare, human health, and the environment.

Shockingly, the U.S. government has contributed almost $13 million directly to HPI projects in the past five years. Please write to the agency accountable for this irresponsible use of your taxes and ask that it immediately stop exporting animal cruelty and cease all funding to HPI. Contact:

Donald L. Pressley, Acting Administrator
U.S. Agency for International Development
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20523
Tel.: 202-712-4070
Fax: 202-216-3455




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