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Update Newsletters
11 May 2008 Issue

1. Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman’s Sermon for 5-11-08
2. Major Report by Union of Concerned Scientists
3. Animals and Religion Course at Duke
4. Regarding Animal Welfare Reforms
5. Upcoming Leafleting Opportunities

1. Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman’s Sermon for 5-11-08

The Spirit of Life

2. Major Report by Union of Concerned Scientists

CAFOs Uncovered: The Untold Cost of Confined Animal Feeding Operations http://www.corporatecrimereporter.com/documents/CAFOsUncovered.pdf

3. Animals and Religion Course at Duke

This fall, CVA Member Rondy Elliott, who holds a Master of Theological Studies from Duke University Divinity School, will be co-teaching a new course with Dr. Kathy Rudy, Assistant Professor in the Department of Women's Studies at Duke. The course is titled "Religion and the Moral Status of Animals" and will be for credit. There are 14 students already signed up!

This course will address the teachings of all the major world religions regarding compassion for animals, including Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Native American teachings. A key component will be to compare what these religions profess and what actually happens to animals in the cultures each represents. We will use A Communion of Subjects edited by Paul Waldau and Kimberly Patton. Anyone interested in the teachings about animals in Christianity and other religious traditions will find this book is a very complete resource!

4. Regarding Animal Welfare Reforms

I consider every little step toward compassion for animals a good thing. Criticizing the baby steps people take will only prevent the potential giant steps that may follow in the future.

Let us be gentle encouragers instead of harsh critics. Remember Colossians 4:6 "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

Barb Lancki

I think that there is a place for animal welfare reforms – from the animals’ perspective, anything that relieves the massive suffering of billions of animals on farms in the United States each year has value. However, I think animal rights groups should be clear that killing young, healthy animals, even if they did not experience substantial physical or behavioral suffering, is a violation of their rights. Those animal rights groups that work for improved animal husbandry standards should insist that the goal is to stop harming animals altogether. Otherwise, the notion of animal rights becomes confused in the public mind, which will likely weaken the impetus to stop harming animals. Industry will always try to misrepresent what animal rights means; animal rights organizations should not make this easier by claiming that animal welfare reforms constitute animal rights measures.

The Christian Vegetarian Association encourages us to apply the principles of love, compassion, and peace that Jesus embodied to all our decisions, including what we eat. These principles do not mandate a specific position on whether or not animal welfare reforms that fall short of abolishing animal exploitation are desirable. In my opinion, the Bible does not categorically reject humanity’s exploitation of animals, but it does prohibit unnecessarily harming animals. Because Americans have access to healthy, nutritious plant-based foods, the vast majority of animal mistreatment is unnecessary (and often harmful to human welfare). Therefore, applying Christian principles to diet would call for 1) cessation of factory farming, 2) a huge reduction in animal agriculture, and 3) very high standards of animal welfare for the small number of animals whose products are needed for people who appear to require animal foods, such as those people with short-bowel syndrome.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D., CVA chair

5. Upcoming Leafleting Opportunities

5/18-TX-Lubbock-Rebecca St. James

5/23-KS- Dodge City -Mark Lowery Christian Comedy

5/24 -TX -Amarillo -Mark Lowery Christian Comedy

5/25 -TN -Clarksville -Rebecca St. James

5/26 -WA -Seattle -Advent Stronger than Hell Tour

5/27 -OR-Portland -Advent Stronger than Hell Tour

5/29 -CA -Sacramento -Advent Stronger than Hell Tour

5/29 -TX -Tyler -Mark Lowery Christian Comedy

5/30-31 -SD-Rapid City-Time Out for Women Conference

5/30 -MI -Troy -Rebecca St. James

6/6 -TX -Canton -Seventh Day Slumber Christian Rock

6/6 -NY -Rochester -Women of Faith Conference

6/13-14 -MO -St. Louis -Women of Faith Conference

6/14 -NC -Charlotte -SonFest with Third Day

6/20 -IN -Warsaw -Seventh Day Slumber Christian Rock

6/21 -NJ -East Rutherford -Women of Faith

To find out about all upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/christian_vegetarian/. Read the home page, and then join. You will then be able to log in anytime to identify upcoming events in your region. Contact Paris at [email protected] if you might be able to help.     

Your question and comments are welcome

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