Bóthar is a charity in Limerick that sends farm animals to Africa. The animals are donated by Irish farmers, who give them freely as a way to help their less fortunate confreres in Africa. It started with heifers, but now they send goats too. As I understand it, the idea is that when the heifer or goat has a calf / kid, the recipient family have to pass the offspring on to another family and so on and so on. Marvellous.
No, really: it’s all marvellous, and there can be no doubt whatever that the people who receive the animals benefit in a very tangible way from the scheme.
They do. They certainly do. And the Irish farmers, quite rightly, feel good about what they have done. And so they should. Good old Bóthar.
Why are the African farmers starving? Sorry? Was that Bóthar interjecting there? No. It wasn’t.
Did Bóthar say, but obviously, Bock, it was because the European Union was paying our farmers a huge pile of fucking money to grow cows and grain that nobody wants?
Well then, did it say we dumped that produce on Africa for pennies, destroying the local market, and ruining the livelihoods of local farmers over there?
Ehh, no Ted.
Well, what about the Americans, then? Our Allies? Y’know? Was there anything about how the American cotton-farmers couldn’t make money and so the American Gubmint gave them a huge heap of cash so they could send their produce to Africa far cheaper than any African farmer could make it? Killing the local industry?
Eh, no, Ted.
Well then, surely they want to do something about hunger? That’s right, so Monsanto goes in and sells the seeds to the locals, genetically modified and copyright, so that, every year they have to pay Monsanto a huge pile of money to plant their crop again. Not like in the old days when they could just scatter seed on the land. Not any more: that’s progress. That’s the American way, and the European way too.
What did we really do? Would you like to know? All right then.
We said, Lads, the poor niggers are starving.
And the Irish farmer, in his genuine compassion, said, No problem, we’ll send them a goat.