Monday, 30 May 2011
I have often heard people say that charity should begin at home and that whilst there are many in need in our own country then we should give to those in our own country before we give elsewhere. This is an argument that could occupy a book never mind a few inconsequential paragraphs on this blog. It's not an argument to which I wholly subscribe, by the way. I don't, in any case, tend to give to charities dealing with needs of poverty per se. I prefer those dealing with problems (like Age Concern or The Macmillan Nurses) or medical advancement or the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. These are personal choices and we all have our own and often varying views.
It struck me this morning, however, that I actually spend a disproportionate amount of money on wildlife that would, in all probability, survive almost as well without my help. I was looking at the two sacks of birdseed, the tub of fat balls and the tub of peanuts which are in my garden shed for the Sparrows and Greenfinches and Starlings and so on which inhabit my garden. Lots of other birds come but, on the whole, they are insectivorous or eat worms and the like.
From my observation the Sparrows who live under my eaves can have three broods a year and I think that is probably because of the plentiful and close food supply. So it helps keep the numbers up here even if they are declining rapidly elsewhere.
When, however, I weigh up what all this costs per year it does make me wonder whether that money would be better given to one of the other charities.
Just a thought.