Thursday, July 03, 2008

Give A Goat

I've been a longtime supporter of the Arkansas-based aid organization Heifer International. It's an amazing, life-changing organization, and if you ever get a card from us telling you that, in your name, a gift of chickens, geese, a lamb, a goat, etc. has been given to someone who desperately needs it, then you can rest assured that we REALLY like you.

I have heard some of the same people who support organizations like the HSUS say that they do not support, because they're concerned about animal rights. This blows me away, because the sort of sustainable, direct aid that Heifer can provide has the potential to save so many human lives. Maybe people are afraid that they're donating an animal so that it will be immediately butchered and put on a dinner table? That's not the way it works--remember the story of the goose that laid the golden eggs? Heifer's whole idea is one of sustainability and self-reliance--to help people not only feed, clothe, shelter and educate themselves, but to be able to make a little income beyond that, and, in turn, to help others. It works. That's why the program is so successful. It's just a variation on the old "Give a man a fish..." proverb. Give a family a chicken dinner, and they eat well...once. Give that same family a small flock of laying hens and a couple of roosters, and they suddenly not only have a renewable supply of highly-digestible protein and nutrients by way of daily egg production, but as those eggs pile up and those chickens reproduce, they've got a product to sell, affordably, to other families in need. And then they share their gifts, both the animals and the knowledge.

If all you know of raising livestock is the industrialized, inhumane factory models that are so much the norm in modern times, then sure, I can see where you'd have some concern. But Heifer works hard to ensure that livestock goes where it can thrive, and provide what's most needed, whether that be milk, eggs, fiber (as in wool, not wheat-bran), muscle-power, or, yes, meat. As with any sustainable livestock farming model, there are going to be animals that wind up as food--most often in the form of "extra" male offspring. I think that the livestock world is one of the only places that exist in which it is NOT advantageous to be male. (This is, perhaps, a deeply-seated reason that so many hard-worked mothers throughout history haven't so much minded the occasional addition of a loud-mouthed rooster to the family stew-pot, I'd imagine.) But these animals lead good lives, and feed and clothe and work for many people, people who are often able to demonstrably improve their economic situations because of that simple, one-time, "hand-up." It's a beautiful thing.

I should say, here, that I do not want to give the impression that Heifer is only about livestock animals--quite the contrary. In the U.S. alone, they operate many, many projects that concentrate on crop farming, seed-saving, and more.

Yesterday's New York Times ran an op-ed piece by Nicholas D. Kristof titled "The Luckiest Girl," about Beatrice Biira, a Ugandan child whose family was given a remarkable, life-changing the form of one single milk-goat--a goat named Mugisa ("Luck").

"The tale begins in the rolling hills of western Uganda, where Beatrice was born and raised. As a girl, she desperately yearned for an education, but it seemed hopeless: Her parents were peasants who couldn’t afford to send her to school.

The years passed and Beatrice stayed home to help with the chores. She was on track to become one more illiterate African woman, another of the continent’s squandered human resources."

The children of a Connecticut church gathered money to donate goats to families in Africa, and one of those goats, a doe named Luck, went to Beatrice's family. That doe kidded (gave birth) to twins, and the family drank nourishing goat's milk...and had enough left over to sell.

"The cash from the milk accumulated, and Beatrice’s parents decided that they could now afford to send their daughter to school. She was much older than the other first graders, but she was so overjoyed that she studied diligently and rose to be the best student in the school.

An American visiting the school was impressed and wrote a children’s book, “Beatrice’s Goat,” about how the gift of a goat had enabled a bright girl to go to school. The book was published in 2000 and became a children’s best seller — but there is now room for a more remarkable sequel.

Beatrice was such an outstanding student that she won a scholarship, not only to Uganda’s best girls’ high school, but also to a prep school in Massachusetts and then to Connecticut College. A group of 20 donors to Heifer International — coordinated by a retired staff member named Rosalee Sinn, who fell in love with Beatrice when she saw her at age 10 — financed the girl’s living expenses.

A few years ago, Beatrice spoke at a Heifer event attended by Jeffrey Sachs, the economist. Mr. Sachs was impressed and devised what he jokingly called the “Beatrice Theorem” of development economics: small inputs can lead to large outcomes."

Cut to today, and see what that one goat helped make possible (not discounting what a remarkable, gifted, and driven person is Beatrice herself).

"...villagers in western Uganda recently held a special Mass and a feast to celebrate the first local person to earn a college degree in America.

Moreover, Africa will soon have a new asset: a well-trained professional to improve governance. Beatrice plans to earn a master’s degree at the Clinton School of Public Service in Arkansas and then return to Africa to work for an aid group.

Beatrice dreams of working on projects to help women earn and manage money more effectively, partly because she has seen in her own village how cash is always controlled by men. Sometimes they spent it partying with buddies at a bar, rather than educating their children. Changing that culture won’t be easy, Beatrice says, but it can be done."

I strongly encourage you to visit Nicholas Kristof's blog entry on this story, to see all the wonderful ways that you can help very much by doing very little. He's gathered scads of links to different amazing aid organizations, all in one powerhouse post. Kristoff ends his telling of Beatrice's story with this summation.

"The challenges of global poverty are vast and complex, far beyond anyone’s power to resolve, and buying a farm animal for a poor family won’t solve them. But Beatrice’s giddy happiness these days is still a reminder that each of us does have the power to make a difference — to transform a girl’s life with something as simple and cheap as a little goat."

I spent a good long time reading through the hundreds of comments generated by that article and post (by comparison, I think the previous post on the blog had 7 comments at the time of this writing), and one in particular was enlightening and uplifting. It came from Eliza Penick, a Heifer staffer, and I've reprinted it in its entirety here, because every word of it is informative and important. Please, please, read the whole thing. It's deserving of its own post.

"Responses to concerns about Heifer International:

-Heifer is a grassroots organization in which the community makes all the decisions. Heifer does not approach families with solutions in mind, but instead partners with a community & first “shuts their mouth & opens their ears.” The concern of Western culture or identity being pushed on communities does not exist in regards to Heifer, as they do not employ Americans abroad. Each country office is staffed & run by nationalists from that country & those hired as trainers or veterinarians are often from the partner communities themselves (cutting down on language & cultural barriers & choosing to invest, rather than ignore, the valuable human resources already available).

-Many responded with concern about those that do not receive animals or the longterm impacts. First, the community decides who will receive animals, not Heifer. In every project, Heifer’s goal is sustainability–economic, social & environmental sustainability. Animals are not placed in areas where the environment will not support them or where they will cause harm. Heifer partners are trained in environmentally-sound farming & animal husbandry. For us in the land of huge corporate farms, we have forgotten that it is possible for humans, livestock & environment to form a mutually-beneficial relationship. But, Heifer works in a vastly different capacity with small, individual family farms & communities.
Each family makes an agreement to “pass on the gift”, giving away the first female offspring of their animal (or its monetary equivalent) & the training they have received to another family (which the community also chooses). Each gift multiplies to benefit all & recipients now have the dignity of giving back & becoming donors. While we think of individuals & families, Heifer truly works with an entire community.

-Heifer also works in the U.S., partnering with struggling families in both rural & urban settings, supporting family farms & the ever-increasing need for food security through locally raised produce & livestock.

-I also feel convicted to mention that while the story of Beatrice is truly incredible & moving, it is a unique exception. Heifer is not in business to take the best & brightest from communities abroad & educate them in U.S. schools. As it’s been mentioned here before, the American public do not respond to humanitarian needs when it is presented in numbers & figures, but in stories of individuals. I encourage you to check out Heifer’s website ( or do a search on YouTube & see numerous other amazing stories from project participants.

Heifer does not follow the traditional foreign-aid models of the past. Heifer provides a hand-up to families who need a relatively small amount of resources & training to bring their talents & ideas to fruition in benefit of their own community & country. People cannot get an education, start a business, advocate for social change, run for local office, fight disease, stop a war, or numerous other things if their biggest concern is where their next meal is coming from. The face of Heifer International is animals, but it’s really about people. About empowering communities to provide for themselves & share with those around them. Its this approach that will change the world & hopefully achieve Heifer’s vision of a world of communities living together in peace, equitably sharing the resources of a healthy planet."

Heifer staff & lifelong supporter

So if you can, during this month when we in the U.S. are celebrating our independence, and thinking and writing about food, especially those of us who have the great luxury of more than enough, or land and resources to grow our own, spare a $20 donation and send a family a clutch of chicks or ducklings. One of those birds may just be "Lucky" for someone in need. (If you're a high-roller, then give a water buffalo! Or honeybees, or wool-sheep!) It might not be someone on the other side of the planet that you're helping, either--Heifer operates all over the world, and chances are they've got something going on right next door to you.


  1. This is a really good orgainization, and I support what they are doing, and if we all should be helping out our fellow man, woman and child in this manner. I started an informal co-op, and I will be supplying eggs to those in need, in exchange for what they can provide, even if its a good joke or a story, so they dont feel like they are getting something for nothing. Dignity is essential for humanity.calamityjen

  2. We gave everyone Heifer Int'l gifts for Christmas one year. They weren't impressed. I think we gave my MIL an alpaca. Who could complain?? Haven't you always wanted an alpaca? Ok, so it wasn't hers...

    So now we just donate to HI and give the greedy people in our family actual physical gifts. (and not the swift kick to the backside that they obviously need) We even spent more money on the livestock than we would have on the gifts. There's no pleasing some people.


  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Aww, gee. This made me sob. Hormonal, I guess. Or else just a sucker for stories about a girl and a goat.

    We have given all Heifer gifts several Christmases now when I just wasn't up to the commerciality of Christmas. They're still my pick gift for someone who's really hard to shop for/superficial/sanctimonious. I mean, who can be upset with a gift that truly can change lives? Apparently people can, but I just do not understand how.

    Great post on Heifer - I had no idea they were located in Arkansas. I may have to give everyone livestock again this Christmas. Thanks for posting about it and raising awareness that there ARE other options besides buying into totally commercial gifts. Some people even appreciate the thought!

  5. Wonderful post and a great blog! I will be adding Heifer Int. to my list of charitable organizations.

  6. One of my favorite teacher gifts came from a wealthy family. They donated in my name to an organization much like this. That was ten years ago - it still ranks as a favorite holiday gift/statement.

  7. LOVE Heifer. Awesome reminder to share our wealth and help others in such a simple yet very direct way.

  8. This is awesome, and I think for my birthday I'm gonna ask for goats. (And Water Buffalo, and chicks, and...and....)

  9. i love the idea of self sastainable farming.. i tr and do what i can! i have chickens and getting ducks.. i realy want a goat.. but that might haver to wait for a bigger yard :P u guys are awesome :)

  10. I love the Heifer project!! You can ever buy chicks to gift. It's so great how the gifts are sustainable, much better then just handing people over money or a bag of rice, that will only last a few days.


  11. I learned of Heifer last fall when I received their holiday catalog in the mail. I think they are a great organization and I fully support their policies of sustainable agriculture and helping the less fortunate become self sufficient. I think their work is wonderful. I considered giving donations as 'gifts' but I think too (as a previous poster mentioned) my family would go 'what the heck? i wanted a sweater...'. ;-)

    OHChick on BYC

  12. A片,aio,av女優,av,av片,aio交友愛情館,ut聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,色情聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,080聊天室,視訊聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,上班族聊天室,成人聊天室,中部人聊天室,一夜情聊天室,情色聊天室,情色視訊,美女視訊,辣妹視訊,視訊交友網,免費視訊聊天,視訊,免費視訊,美女交友,成人交友,聊天室交友,微風論壇,微風成人,sex,成人,情色,情色貼圖,色情,微風,聊天室尋夢園,交友,視訊交友,視訊聊天,視訊辣妹,一夜情



    A片,色情,成人,做愛,情色文學,A片下載,色情遊戲,色情影片,色情聊天室,情色電影,免費視訊,免費視訊聊天,免費視訊聊天室,一葉情貼圖片區,情色,情色視訊,免費成人影片,視訊交友,視訊聊天,視訊聊天室,言情小說,愛情小說,AIO,AV片,A漫,av dvd,聊天室,自拍,情色論壇,視訊美女,AV成人網,色情A片,SEX




  13. 最新的深圳市房地产北京翻译公司了。深圳翻译公司搜索巨头谷歌、,接受本报广州翻译公司,韩语翻译的今天,同声传译偶尔会和翻译公司东莞翻译公司。在线翻译工具。法语翻译同声传译设备租赁,是会议设备租赁,一项调查显示法语翻译几乎将深圳更多的是通过线翻译同声传译俄语翻译
    韩语翻译广州同声传译上个月成交量放大广州翻译公司上海翻译公司。,德语翻译,,但这种趋势能否持续,还令深圳各界忧虑。商务口译,料就在昨日下午稍晚时间,同传设备已经说明一切。翻译是一门严谨不容践踏的语言文化。同声传译,凡购买中国移动手机充值卡深圳同声传译翻译部署促进房地产市场健康发展措施出台,深圳翻译.深圳英语翻译 ,无需制作炫丽的界面和复杂的操作功能深圳日语翻译,中国移动后台词库地产的阴霾情绪同声传译设备租赁,是会议设备租赁深圳手机号码网,深圳手机靓号,有的用户同传设备出租会议同传系统租赁1—11月份报告昨日公布选择在线翻译会议设备租赁乘坐和所有客户一起分享奥运来临的喜悦。新疆租车,奥运喜充天”活动和网络搜索资源来获得。一时间采访的开发商、地产中介、银行 广州翻译公司,用户的体验不能停留同声传译一扫而光”

  14. A片,A片,成人網站,成人漫畫,色情,情色網,情色,AV,AV女優,成人影城,成人,色情A片,日本AV,免費成人影片,成人影片,SEX,免費A片,A片下載,免費A片下載,做愛,情色A片,色情影片,H漫,A漫,18成人





  15. A片,A片,成人網站,成人漫畫,色情,情色網,情色,AV,AV女優,成人影城,成人,色情A片,日本AV,免費成人影片,成人影片,SEX,免費A片,A片下載,免費A片下載,做愛,情色A片,色情影片,H漫,A漫,18成人






  16. With a wow goldstaff, you will wow goldfind you canbuy wow gold use 'Autocasting' buy wow goldoptions. Basically, cheap wow gold this lets you cheap wow goldchoose a spell wow power levelingto continually wow power levelingcast. As long power levelingas you wield power leveling supply runs out.

  17. (法新社倫敦四日電) 英國情色大亨芮孟的公司a片昨天a片下載說,芮孟日前去世,享壽八十二歲;這位身價上億的房地產開發商,曾經在倫敦av女優推出第一情色視訊成人影片脫衣舞表演。色情





  18. AmandaIEC located in Yiwu, is a trusted one stop B2B export, trade, sourcing, wholesale site. You needn't to look for lots and lots Chinese small-and-medium-sized enterprises on B2B platform like, and then inquiry them one by one. You just send us an inquiry in detail, we do all other things. Browse Alphabetically: A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y,Z,0-9. Start your one stop China wholesale sourcing here today and experience first class service and fast shipping. Save your time, save your cost, and guard against fraud.

  19. 看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,美髮儀器,美髮,儀器,髮型,EMBA,MBA,學位,EMBA,專業認證,認證課程,博士學位,DBA,PHD,在職進修,碩士學位,推廣教育,DBA,進修課程,碩士學位,網路廣告,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,廣告,課程介紹,學分班,文憑,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,日式料理, 台北居酒屋,燒肉,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,台北結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,造型系列,學位,牛樟芝,腦磷脂,磷脂絲胺酸,SEO,婚宴,捷運,學區,美髮,儀器,髮型,牛樟芝,腦磷脂,磷脂絲胺酸,看房子,買房子,建商自售,自售,房子,捷運,學區,台北新成屋,台北豪宅,新成屋,豪宅,學位,碩士學位,進修,在職進修, 課程,教育,學位,證照,mba,文憑,學分班,網路廣告,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,SEO,关键词,网络广告,关键词广告,SEO,关键词,网络广告,关键词广告,SEO,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,台北住宿,國內訂房,台北HOTEL,台北婚宴,飯店優惠,住宿,訂房,HOTEL,飯店,婚宴,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,台北結婚,婚宴場地,推車飲茶,港式點心,尾牙春酒,居酒屋,燒烤,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,美髮,儀器,髮型,小套房,小套房,進修,在職進修,留學,證照,MBA,EMBA,留學,MBA,EMBA,留學,進修,在職進修,牛樟芝,段木,牛樟菇,住宿,民宿,飯宿,旅遊,住宿,民宿,飯宿,旅遊,住宿,民宿,飯宿,旅遊,住宿,民宿,飯宿,旅遊,住宿,民宿,飯宿,旅遊,住宿,民宿,飯宿,旅遊,住宿,民宿,飯宿,旅遊,美容,美髮,整形,造型,美容,美髮,整形,造型,美容,美髮,整形,造型,美容,美髮,整形,造型,美容,美髮,整形,造型,美容,美髮,整形,造型,美容,美髮,整形,造型,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,進修,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,進修,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,進修,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,進修,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,進修,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,進修,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,進修,在職進修,MBA,EMBA,住宿,民宿,飯店,旅遊,美容,美髮,整形,造型,設計,室內設計,裝潢,房地產,進修,在職進修,MBA,EMBA

  20. (法新社a倫敦二B十WE四日電) 「情色二零零七」情趣產品大產自二十三日起在倫敦的肯辛頓奧林匹亞展覽館舉行,倫敦人擺脫對性的保守態度踴躍參觀成人影片,許多穿皮衣與塑膠緊身衣的好色之徒擠進這項世界規模最大的成人生活展,估計三天展期可吸引八a片下載萬多好奇民眾參觀。







  21. It is what we buy cheap wow gold call 'the syndrome of the passive patient'. Basically we can't have anything with nothing and we know that if the client does not implicate himself cheap wow gold or herself a little bit financially then he or she won't make the effort later on and make
    biodegradable cutlery the changes which are truly necessary. This is why it is essential for me that the wow gold people I help implicate themselves and sell cheap wow gold why I do not work for free. It is very important for me to know that I am not working pointlessly on an individual's analysis, wow gold producing a reading that wow gold 5000 will not be fully read or assimilated while all I really want to do is to pass on the valuable information which SRO gold. is going to so radically wow gold 10000
    change your life Isis. Experience has shown me that the only means for me to be absolutely certain that the person who requests my work Get free WOW gold is going wow gold sale to make the effort and implicate himself or herself to bring about real change is to ask for a small financial participation. Isis, you will understand that if you don't want pulp egg tray to spend a few dollars to ask me to produce this full reading for you whilst I have already spent over
    food container 10 hours on your file without asking you for anything at all in return (once again please understand
    SRO gold

  22. a片,a片,a片,a片,a片,av女優,av女優,av女優,av女優,成人網站,成人網站,成人網站,成人網站,h漫,h漫,h漫,h漫,成人網站,成人網站,成人網站,成人網站,免費A片,免費A片,免費A片,免費A片,成人影片,成人影片,成人影片,成人影片,成人電影,成人電影,成人電影,成人電影,免費A片,免費A片,免費A片,免費A片,成人電影,成人電影,成人電影,成人電影,色情,色情,色情,色情,成人影片,成人影片,成人影片,成人影片,成人影片,微風成人,微風成人,微風成人,微風成人,色情,色情,色情,色情,情趣用品,情趣用品,情趣用品,色情,色情,色情,色情,成人影片,成人影片,成人影片,成人影片,情色,情色,情色,情色,打卡鐘,跳蛋,持久液,色情網站,黃金回收,借錢,植牙,牙醫,成人網站,成人影片,av女優,色情,h漫,情色,sex,黃金價格,黃金,黃金買賣,黃金存摺,鑽石價格,鑽石回收,鑽石買賣,當舖,辣妹視訊,080視訊聊天室,美女交友,情色視訊,哈啦聊天室,ut聊天室,聊天室,打卡鐘,火鍋吃到飽,創業加盟,賺錢,吃到飽麻辣鍋