1 EAGLETON NOTES: Where Does Charity Begin

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Monday, 30 May 2011

Where Does Charity Begin

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. 

5 comments:

  1. I just think how much pleasure I get from the birds coming to eat at my feeder. So far, the pleasures seem to outweigh the cost of the food.

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  2. You could, of course, combine the thoughts from this and your last blog. Buy paper books, then give them to a charity shop, where those who can't afford or don't want a Kindle, may buy them. You keep books going and you give to charity. Elementary my dear Watson.

    And buying food for birds is entertainment. Compare the cost of an evening at the ballet with a year's entertainment from watching the birds on your bird-table. Alternatively, you could stop buying cds, dvds, wine, nice cheese, bird food, and theatre and ballet tickets - you could lve in a cold house, wear shoes with holes in them, and give all of that money to charity.

    Decisions, decisions.

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  3. Of course, if you choose the last, you merely allow the chief executive or fund-raiser for your chosen charity to enjoy those things you have eschewed.

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  4. Hi GB - Yes, they seem to thrive withor without our seed, but it is nice to bring them in close to our homes for a look. It's an expense, but also a nice hobby, one I happen to share!

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  5. At least your birds do you the courtesy of eating your offerings. My locals don't lower themselves to eat what I put out for them. Well off snobs, I say.

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