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Maybe–For Once–You Should Give a Cow

October 22, 2009

give a pigI just received for the second time a catalog that unabashedly claims to be “The Most Important Gift Catalog in the World.”

Turns out…it is.

The catalog is from Heifer (yes, like the cow) International.  And with it or its website,, you can buy a cow–or a sheep or a lama or chickens or rabbits.  Not for yourself, Silly, but for people in impoverished nations.  In some parts of the world, a cow can transform a community by providing milk for a family (that improves health) then providing income for school attendance and medicines, then, ultimately, calves that can be given to a neighbor…replicating the process.  For $500 bucks you can give a whole cow.  Or for just 50 bucks you buy a share of a cow.  $120 will give a goat that provides milk, $60 will send a needy family three rabbits, and 20 dollar bills will buy a whole flock of geese.  And sending fractions of these amounts can help you share in the giving the gift, even if you can’t afford the whole, er, hog.  You can get in the action for as little as 10 bucks.

heifer international

The receiving families are taught how to raise the animals to the best advantage of the family and the community.  Heifer attempts a holistic approach to building sustainable communities, including:

  • Agroecology
  • Animal Well-Being
  • Gender Equity
  • Microenterprise
  • Urban Agriculture

All with a heavy emphasis on teaching the young.

Check it out.  There’s nothing you could purchase from the Neiman Marcus catalog that will bring you as much joy.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 23, 2009 9:01 am

    Thanks for posting this. We need organizations that provide immediate relief (food, water, shelter, etc.) and those that provide a livelihood (microfinance loans, a cow, etc.) Here are some other organizations that are working to provide gifts of sustainable development: (every Christmas they provide you an opportunity to give things like a goat or sewing machine to a family/individual from the Dalit caste in India)

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