Have you noticed that, especially at this time of year, there are many more charity advertisements plucking at our heart strings? Only £2 or £3 a month will secure a free conscience. Competing for our conscience pounds are cuddly animals, not so cuddly animals and even less cuddly people. We can adopt a dog, cat, old person, homeless person, snow leopard, African child with terrible eye disease and so on. Why not cut out the middle man and, for example, send the donkeys off to feed the snow leopards and use the saved money to eradicate eye disease? Donkey burger anyone?
Seriously, though, I find it incredible that we are asked to support thousands of donkeys in so-called “sanctuaries” all over the place when, at the same time, our compassion is tested by The Salvation Army and homeless charities like Shelter. It ought to be no contest, really, and yet the Donkey Sanctuary is a multi-million pound business employing hundreds of people in the UK alone. Not only that, but the charity owns and, as far as I understand it, continues to buy many hundreds of acres of productive farm land on which to let these beasts gambol and frolic. Don’t get me wrong, I love animals, and abhor cruelty and ill-treatment – but surely people come first?
Something wrong somewhere, or am I Donkey Hotay and tilting at windmills?