Ethical Gifts Ease Western Guilt, Not Third World Poverty

Condescending gifts will not eradicate poverty
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser User
Posted Dec 25, 2008 12:30 PM CST
"Animal Aid has managed to trump the condescension of all ethical gifts schemes by implying that the developing world doesn't even deserve animal farming." writes Nathalie Rothschild for Spiked.    (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
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(Newser) – The trend of giving ethical holiday gifts couldn't be more pompous, writes Nathalie Rothschild for Spiked. "Rather than lifting people out of poverty, Oxfam and the rest are helping to sustain underdevelopment," she argues. And occupying a higher level of condescension is the organization Animal Aid, which opposes gifts of livestock because they "add to rather than diminish poverty."

Subsistence farming "is not a trendy lifestyle choice, as allotment-loving greens in the West like to think," Rothschild fumes. "It’s a condition of poverty which most would surely escape if they had the chance." Animal Aid is one egregious example of a society that insists on only the best for itself, "but when it comes to the developing world, the prevailing sentiment seems to be that ‘beggars can’t be choosers.'"