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8 June 2008 Issue

1. Today’s Sermon

2. Help Spread the Word with CVA Materials

3. International Compassionate Living Festival in NC 10/3-5

4. Letter Regarding PETA’s “Holocaust on Your Plate” Exhibit

5. CVA Materials at Veggiefest in Richmond

6. Why Was There Animal Agriculture in Europe and Not the Americas


1. Today’s Sermon


from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Love Your Enemies and Bring Peace to Your Soul


2. Help Spread the Word with CVA Materials


We have t-shirts, bumper stickers, coffee mugs and more at very reasonable prices at www.christianveg.org/materials.htm


3. International Compassionate Living Festival in NC 10/3-5


Tom Regan of the Culture and Animals Foundation and Ken Shapiro of the ASI to invite you to join us at "Speaking Their Truth," the 23rd annual International Compassionate Living Festival, taking place in Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, on October 3-5, 2008.


CAF and the ASI are once again bringing together renowned scholars, authors, activists and artists dedicated to animal protection worldwide. Our unique combination of presenters and topics attracts "activist thinkers" from across the U.S. and beyond, to learn about and discuss important animal issues in an intimate atmosphere of respectful discourse.


This year's program features Dr. Irene Pepperberg as our keynote speaker, discussing her 30-year relationship with the now-famous African Grey parrot Alex (who passed away last fall) and what he taught her about animal cognition and interspecies communication. Alex and Irene were featured in the March 2008 cover story of National Geographic magazine, and Alex has been cited as an example of why more legal rights should be extended to nonhuman species. Our other speakers include:

* Michael Mountain of Best Friends Animal Society, describing how his group is rehabilitating 22 of Michael Vick’s pit bull dogs

* Chef Ron Pickarski, the monk-turned-chef who will discuss vegetarianism and spirituality

* Gianluca Felicetti, president of the Lega Antivivisezione, Italy’s most prominent animal rights organization

* Dr. Lori Marino of Emory University, a neuroscience and marine mammal specialist who will talk about concerns related to dolphins used in animal-assisted therapy

* Norm Phelps, who will discuss his latest book on animal rights history, The Longest Struggle: Animal Advocacy from Pythagoras to PETA

* Dr. Leslie Irvine of the University of Colorado, whose book If You Tame Me examines animals’ sense of self

* A panel on business strategies featuring Jennifer Fearing of The Humane Society of the United States, Ché Green of the Humane Research Council, and Adam Durand of Animal Rights International

* A political organizing panel, led by Kim W. Stallwood, featuring Lisa Jennings of Animal Protection of New Mexico, Nicole Paquette of Born Free USA, and John Phillips of the League of Humane Voters of New York City

* Renowned artist and comedian Dan Piraro of “Bizarro,” who will open the conference on Friday night, and

* Singer-songwriter Kyle Vincent, who will be our special musical guest

* And as always, Dr. Tom Regan, CAF’s co-founder, will inspire us with a presentation that will conclude the event on Sunday. “Speaking Their Truth” is an all-vegan conference with exhibit space available for organizations and businesses whose work reflects our shared interests.

Because Ron Pickarski's talk will focus on spirituality and vegetarianism, we believe you would find this a very worthwhile event to attend. By sponsoring and/or exhibiting, you would be spreading your compassionate message to a very receptive audience. The attached information provides details, but please contact me directly if you have further questions.



Jill Howard Church, Communications Director

Animals and Society Institute

(direct) 770-719-9773

(fax) 770-719-9783 


4. Letter Regarding PETA’s “Holocaust on Your Plate” Exhibit

(selected comments from CVA members will be published in future e-newsletters)


Re "Trivializing the unbearable" (Manfred Gerstenfeld April 29):

As your paper has reported favorably on PETA's work to reduce cruelty to animals I was saddened to see a writer point a finger at me as someone who reduces the horror of the Holocaust. On the contrary I am an ally of the persecuted and I object to mischaracterization bolstered by a misquote or two.

I apologize for any pain caused by PETA's Holocaust on Your Plate exhibit but the exhibit's message - that all needless suffering is an atrocity - is sound. The exhibit bore that name because of Georges Metanomski a Holocaust survivor who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. He wrote: "When I see cages crammed with chickens from battery farms thrown on trucks like bundles of trash I see with the eyes of my soul the Umschlagplatz (where Jews were forced onto trains leaving for the death camps). When I go to a restaurant and see people devouring meat I feel sick. I see a holocaust on their plates."

One always hopes that tremendous suffering causes empathy for the plight of others instead of causing people to hold to their chests only the suffering of those they can readily relate to. As for the remark about chickens my point was and is that those who struggle for the rights of billions of animals slaughtered in fear and pain each year are the sort of people who - undistracted by race religion or other differences - worked to hide Jews and help Jews escape from the great horror of the Holocaust.

Ingrid E. Newkirk, President
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
Norfolk, Virginia


5. CVA Materials at Veggiefest in Richmond


We are grateful to Vegetees (www.vegetees.com) which will offer CVA booklets at their booth at the Veggifest (www.veggiefest.org) on June 21st from noon - 6pm at Azalea Gardens in Bryan Park.


6. Why Was There Animal Agriculture in Europe and Not the Americas1


Two weeks ago I discussed why infectious diseases from Europeans invading the Americas afflicted the Native Americans, but the Europeans got few diseases from Native Americans. The answer had much to due with the extensive animal agriculture Europe and little such animal agriculture in the Americas. Why was that? Many Native American tribes had domesticated plant foods, but there was very little domestication of animals for food. The explanation is complex, but there were several major factors. The animals best suited for domestication for purposes of meat production have been large terrestrial herbivorous and omnivorous mammals. It is difficult for humans to domesticate a given type of animal. The animal must have several characteristics, and lacking any one of them will often render them unsuitable for domestication:


Diet: Herbivores tend to be much more efficient at converting biomass (matter from living things) into flesh. Carnivores need to eat herbivores, and cycling plants into herbivores and herbivores into generally slower-maturing carnivores is often too inefficient.


Growth Rate: Many animals grow too slowly to be good candidates for animal agriculture.


Problems of Captive Breeding: Some animals breed poorly in captivity.


Disposition: Many farmed animals are large enough to kill humans, and some animals are too dangerous to be domesticated, such as the grizzly bear.


Docility: Some animals are slower and less nervous than others, seek protection in herds, and stand their ground when threatened, making them better candidates for domestication.


Social Structure: The ancestors of domesticated animals have almost always tended to live in herds, have well-developed dominance hierarchy among herd members (which makes them amenable to perceiving humans as the dominant animal of the herd), and have herds that occupy overlapping boundaries rather than being territorial (because territoriality makes it difficult to pen different herds together).


There were far more candidates for domestication among wild animals in the Eurasian continent than in the Americas, for several reasons. One reason is that the Eurasian continent is much broader than the Americas and it has greater variability in climate, resulting in more ecological niches. Another reason is many of the large mammals in the Americas went extinct about 13,000 years ago – probably due to human hunting. Warmer climates support more life and can therefore support more biodiversity. In the Americans, the land mass is narrow north of the equator, and the equator is dominated by the Amazon rainforest, which is not amenable to grazing herd animals.


1. Much of the material in this section comes from Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.

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