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Update Newsletters
9 Nov 2008 Issue

1. Quotation
2. Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
3. California Proposition 2 Passes
4. Activist Feedback
5. November Issue of the Peaceable Table
6. Commentary: Change Can Happen

1. Quotation

Perhaps you are right that I used shock tactics. But how else do you get at the well-shielded?

William Sloane Coffin

2. Today’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

True Faith in the Midst of Overwhelming Strife http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s10nov91.html  

3. California Proposition 2 Passes

By a margin of nearly 2:1, California voters passed a groundbreaking legislation for farmed animals. Proposition 2 - the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act - requires that pregnant sows, calves raised for veal, and the over 20 million egg-laying hens in California be given enough space to stand up, lie down, turn around, and extend their limbs and wings.

Battery cages are arguably the most barbaric confinement system used on factory farms today. Five to eight hens are typically confined in each file drawer-sized wire cage. In such crowded conditions the animals are unable to walk, perch, fully spread their wings, or engage in other natural behaviors.

Many national and regional animal protection organizations collaborated in the effort. In May, Mercy for Animals exposed cruelties at Gemperle Enterprises, one of the largest battery-cage facilities in the state. Their undercover hidden cameras showed workers kicking, throwing, and breaking the necks of hens. It also revealed birds crammed in tiny cages, covered in filth.

Then, three weeks below the election, Mercy for Animals disclosed sick and injured birds living in filth and sequalor at Norco Ranch, the largest battery-cage facility in the state, and also one of the major funders opposing Prop 2.

4. Activist Feedback

Timothy, leafleting at the Women of Faith Conference in Greensboro, NC, writes: Well we had fun. We went yesterday and were allowed inside to pass out the booklets. Lots of questions and many people seemed interested in learning more. We were asked to leave one by a misinformed gate watcher, and thankfully a supervisor told her that we were allowed to pass them out.

Carol, leafleting at the Women of Faith Conference in Houston, writes: I passed out a box [300 CVA booklets], and everyone seemed receptive and nice. It seems like CVA is becoming a much more acceptable topic for most people now and that makes me very hopeful for the future.

Upcoming Leafleting Opportunities

11/20 OK Tulsa CreationFest – The Tour

11/20 IN New Albany Mercy Me Christian Rock

11/20-22 TX Houston Joyce Meyer Ministries Conference

11/21-22 AZ Glendale Women of Faith Conference

11/21 TX Austin CreationFest – The Tour

11/22 TX Dallas The Katina’s Christian Rock Concert

11/22 TX Corpus Christi CreationFest – The Tour

11/23 AL Montgomery Mercy Me Christian Rock Concert

11/23 WI Milwaukee Joel Osteen Conference

1125 IN Frankford Mark Lowry Christian Comedy

11/29 OH Youngstown Michael W. Smith

12/5 PA Philadelphia Joel Osteen Ministries

12/17 NY Brooklyn The Katina’s Christian Rock

Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com  if you can to help. 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/.

5. November Issue of the Peaceable Table

Contents Include:

* The Guest Editorial, "Perils of a Peaceable Kingdom," describes the work of a wild animal sanctuary in Bolivia, and the danger it presently faces from local authorities planning to build a road through it and make other drastic changes.

* A Gem by Peace Pilgrim tells of her dawning awareness that she could no longer eat meat and remain true to herself.

* The Book Review presents and evaluates Stephen Kaufman's new book Guided by the Faith of Christ, which deals with scapegoating and other forms of sacred violence in the context of the Biblical message.

* One of the Recipes is for a hearty and delicious Cannellini bean stew

* The November Pioneer is Peace Pilgrim, the remarkable woman who made a vow to walk until all people had found peace--and whose conception of peace involved our animal cousins as well.

You can read this issue at http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue48.html

We welcome letters and submissions, especially for the "My Pilgrimage" column.

Peace and Healing to All Beings--
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

6. Commentary: Change Can Happen

The Monitor (McAllen, Texas)
November 7, 2008
By Ingrid E. Newkirk, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

When President-elect Barack Obama was born, numerous states would have prohibited his black Kenyan father from marrying his white Kansan mother. The Voting Rights Act was still a few years away, and the Supreme Court's order to desegregate schools was being fought tooth and nail. Look at how far we have come. Who alive then would have believed that just a few short decades later, Americans would elect their first black president?

We have broken through a significant barrier, but we cannot stop there. We must now break down the barrier that prevents us from caring about all the "others" who are "not like us," regardless of race, regardless of gender _ and regardless of species.

Prejudice and oppression come about because of a belief that "we" are important and that "they" are not.

In the days of slavery, for example, not so long ago, some people honestly believed that African men did not feel pain as white men do, that African women did not experience maternal love as white women do. And so it was quite acceptable to brand men's faces with a hot iron and to auction off slaves' children and send them vast distances away from their mothers. All evidence was to the contrary, yet highly educated people defied their own eyes and ears and common sense by denying the facts before them. Society accepted this horrible exploitation, and then, as now, it takes courage to break away from the norm, even when the norm is ugly and wrong.

Today, we have abolished human slavery, at least in theory. But we continue to enslave all the others who happen not to be exactly like us but who, if we are honest with ourselves, show us that they experience maternal love as we do, that if you burn them, they feel the same pain as we do, that they desire freedom from shackles as we do.

In their natural homes, elephants live in complex multigenerational social groups, mourn their dead and remember friends and relatives from years past. Yet we tear them away from their families, confine them with chains to stinking, squalid boxcars and beat them into performing ridiculous tricks for our amusement.

Rats are detested, yet even these tiny animals, mammals like us, have been found to giggle (in frequencies that can't be heard by the human ear) when they are tickled and will risk their own lives to save other rats, especially when the rats in peril are babies. Although no mouse or rat bankrupted our economy, invaded Iraq or set poison out for us, we dismiss their feelings as inconsequential and somehow beneath our consideration.

Mother pigs sing to their young while nursing, and newborn piglets run joyfully toward their mothers' voices. On factory farms, a sow spends her entire life surrounded by the cold metal bars of a space so small that she can never turn around or take even two steps. Chickens raised for the table fare even worse and have their beaks seared off with a hot blade. They will never enjoy the warmth of a nest or the affectionate nuzzle of a mate.

The time has come to stop thinking of animal rights as distracting or less deserving of our energy than other struggles for social justice. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." All oppression, prejudice, violence and cruelty are wrong and must be rejected no matter how novel the idea or how inconvenient the task.

And for those who think that we will never be able to achieve the dream of liberation from oppression, not just for human beings but for all beings, regardless of race or gender or species, I have just three words for you: Yes. We. Can.

About the Writer:

Ingrid E. Newkirk is the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and author of the new book "One Can Make a Difference." Readers may write to her at PETA, 501 Front Street, Norfolk, Va. 23510; www.peta.org.

Comment from the CVA e-newsletter editor: Feedback from CVA members indicate that some admire PETA’s work, while others disapprove of PETA’s tactics. Whatever one thinks of PETA or Ms. Newkirk, if her commentary offers insight and understanding, I think it bears repeating.

Your question and comments are welcome

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