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Update Newsletters
26 May 2010 Issue

1. Their Lives, Our Voices Conference
2. Book Review of Eating Animals

3. Activist Feedback
4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Their Lives, Our Voices Conference

Compassionate Action for Animals will host the 3rd Annual Their Lives, Our Voices Midwest Animal Advocacy conference (TLOV 2010), which will take place June 11-13th, in Minneapolis.

We could really use your help to spread the word!

We've recently extended our early bird rate until Friday, May 28. The ticket price is just $25 for students and low-income individuals, and $50 for everyone else. After May 28, the rates will go up by $15.

TLOV focuses on animal agriculture and vegetarianism, providing practical tools for activists to help animals. We are expecting around 200 attendees this year, including community members, students, professionals, and speakers from across the nation. You can check out our current line-up of speakers at http://www.tlov.org/tlov2010/speakers.html. To learn more, go to http://www.tlov.org 

2. Book Review of Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer (2009, 267 pp + footnotes)

Is it possible to eat animals ethically? Jonathan Safran Foer, author of acclaimed fiction novels Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, carefully, thoughtfully, and compassionately addresses this question. Foer relates how his feelings about food have changed and evolved from youth to adulthood, and he compares his views and experiences to those of other people, from dedicated meat-eaters to determined vegans. Particularly revealing are Foer’s detailed accounts of the conditions of factory farms, which house 99% of animals raised for food, as well farms that raise the other 1%.

Foer rightfully condemns factory farms as cruel to animals, environmentally unsustainable, and harmful to humans. Regarding the last, he points out how routine use of antibiotics is generating “super-bugs” – infectious organisms that resist our most powerful antibiotics; how having animals crammed and stressed in intensive confinement systems provides the perfect breeding ground for zoonotic infectious that could jump the species barrier and, potentially, kill many millions of people; and how massive collections of waste from factory farms contaminate groundwater, cause asthma, and harm people in other ways.

What about the 1% of animals not raised on factory farms? Foer looks closely at several farmers and slaughterhouse operators who seem genuinely concerned about the welfare of the animals and go to considerable lengths to provide animals contented lives and painless deaths. Foer expresses admiration for their efforts, but he concludes that the food laws designed to benefit large, industrialized animal agriculture systems make it almost impossible to avoid causing pain and suffering. And of course killing animals in their adolescence, even if done painlessly, harms them.

Though Foer denounces factory farming, he does give factory farmers an opportunity to defend their practices. They assert that their industry is honorable and essential to “feeding the world.” Rather than refuting their claims one-by-one, Foer simply shows what factory farming involves. It is hard to escape Foer’s conclusion that factory farming is inexcusably cruel to animals, and ultimately it is unsustainable and self-destructive for humanity. Foer predicts, I think very reasonably, that factory farming is doomed. Either sensitive humans will dismantle the system, or its contributions to ecological devastation, resource depletion, and spread of infectious diseases will lead to its collapse. Of course, much of human civilization will collapse with it.

Though I am quite familiar with many of the specific abuses of factory farms that Foer describes, I found this book one of the most compelling and best written I’ve seen. It is an excellent book to recommend to those who claim that we are sentimental animal lovers or that eating meat raises no serious moral issues.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

3. Activist Feedback

Rick, who leafleted at a recent Cece Winans event in St. Louis, writes:

I leafleted a friendly, receptive group of mostly elderly women and handed out 950 CVA booklets. I offered them a booklet saying “Honoring God's Creation!” I handed out booklets before and after the event. I heard from three vegetarians and one vegan.

I mostly leafleted to people exiting the buses and to those boarding. One woman in her late 80’s kissed the bus driver who was in his early 80s as she departed the bus. I called out to her that I saw that. Without saying a word, she walked over to me and kissed me; I gave her a booklet. About 25 booklets went to women in their 20s and to teenagers.

Upcoming Activist Opportunities  

06/1 ID Nampa Carrie Underwood Concert

06/4 FL Tampa Joel Olsteen Conference

06/4-5 CA LakePort MIKESCHAIR Christian Rock Concert

06/5 TX San Antonio Building 429 Christian Rock Concert

06/5 IN Indianapolis Need to Breathe Christian Rock-Wine and Food Fest

06/6 VA Williamsburg Glory in the Gardens Christian Rock Fest

06/7-11 MO Lake of the Ozarks Unhindered Christian Rock Concert

06/9 TX Lubbock Thousand Foot Krutch Christian Rock Concert

06/11 CA Redlands Thousand Foot Krutch Christian Rock Concert

06/11 DC Washington Tikkun Conference

06/12 MN Blaine Joyful Noise Family Fest

06/12 CO Burlington Mikes Chair Christian Rock Concert

06/12 CA Irvine FishFest Christian Rock Concert

06/12 PA Quarryville Witness Festival 2010 Christian Music Festival

06/13 VA Williamsburg Glory in the Gardens Christian Rock Fest

06/13-07/17 AL Orange Beach Student Life Christian Camp

06/14-18 FL Fort Walton Beach Unhindered Christian Rock Concert

06/16-19 KY Wilmore Ichthus Festival 2010 "BeCause" Christian Rock Fest

06/19 MA Holyoke TABLE Sustainable Energy Summit 2010

06/19 VA Richmond TABLE Richmond Vegetarian Festival

06/19 NJ Newark McDonald's Gospelfest

06/19 NJ Newark 3rd Annual McDonald’s Gospelfest

06/20 VA Williamsburg Glory in the Gardens Christian Rock Fest

6/21 TX Lindale Teen Mania Acquire the Fire

06/21-25 FL Deland Student Life Conference

06/23-26 OH Mineral City Alive 10 Christian Music Festival

06/24-26 MI Gaylord Big Ticket Festival Christian Rock Fest

06/25 WI Green Bay Building 429 Christian Rock Concert

06/27 VA Williamsburg Glory in the Gardens Christian Rock Fest

06/28-7/3 IL Bushnell HUGE! Cornerstone Christian Rock Fest

06/30 ID Nampa God and Country Festival

7/1 PA Shirleysburg SEABIRD Christian Rock Concert

7/2-6 MN Harriett Island Taste of Minnesota Festival

08/20-21 TX Dallas Women of Faith Conference

International events:

05/28-29 CAN AB Edmonton Thousand Foot Krutch Christian Conference           

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/  

4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

Miracle With a Purpose (The True Power of the Holy Spirit)
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s30apr89.html  .

Your question and comments are welcome

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