Get the Goat This Year

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This season, the globally aware and trend conscious want to get the goat under their Christmas tree. Charitable organizations have started selling the four-legged critters and other “virtual gifts” in order to address demands for ethical gifts and increase fundraising.

Oxfam is one such organization and has launched a website to sell charitable gifts such as medicines for an entire village, training for a teacher, or even the installation of “lovely loos” to prevent the spread of cholera and typhoid. But goats and chickens have been the best sellers.

While ethical gift giving may be gaining in popularity, some critics say that these karma boosting stocking stuffers may only work as gimmicks—enticing consumers with cute pictures and overly idealistic promises. They say, without the proper resources, goats can actually be detrimental to the vegetation in rural areas.

So be kind, but beware. The Oxfam website sells its goat care kits (including training, food, water and vet care) separately.

–Caroline Dobuzinskis

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And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

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