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CVA Weekly Newsletter
December 26, 2012

  1. Become a CVA Sustainer or Renew Membership
  2. Essay: The Holocaust and My Journey
  3. The December Peaceable Table Is Now Online
  4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Become a CVA Sustainer or Renew Membership
CVA Sustainer donations are crucial to the success of our ministry. Among the benefits of a $25 Sustainers donation is receipt of Lorena Mucke’s daily Take Heart! e-note, with quotes, stories, reflections, and recipes. To become a Sustainer or renew membership, go to  freemembership_level.htm 

2. Essay: The Holocaust and My Journey
There are always multiple important factors that contribute the major choices we make in life. What led me to be unusually concerned about the plight of nonhumans?  Early childhood experiences that I can’t recall likely played significant roles, and I suspect that living in the shadow the Holocaust was also important.
My family did not lose any close relatives in the Holocaust, but my being of Jewish descent likely added to the horror I have felt when contemplating the systematic murder of millions of innocent people. Trying to understand the causes of this enormous tragedy and thinking about how humanity might avoid repeating such events has been a major focus of my research and writing. I’d like to think that my book Guided by the Faith of Christ offers some insight into these important questions.
A probing personal question, which I think all of us should ask ourselves, is what would I have done if I were a German living under the Nazis? What would I do if my government were bent on killing innocent people? I remember well a discussion with my mother when I was about 12. She expressing dismay that the German people allowed the Holocaust to happen. I pointed out that resistance would almost certainly have led to death. She replied that sometimes evil is so great that you must resist, even if doing so would likely be fatal.
At the time, I thought that one should resist as best one could, even if doing so were very dangerous, but it would be foolish to die only for the purpose of taking a stand against evil. What would I do in the face of such evil? I know what I’d hope I would do, but I can’t know what I would do under a Nazi-like regime because my moral courage has never been put to such a test. However, contemporary factory farms present a somewhat analogous situation in that I see and have the opportunity to respond to evil.
Our society engages in animal abuse and murder on the most massive scale in human history. Nearly all of today’s societies treat nonhuman beings as the Nazis treated Jews, Gypsies, and other people for whom the Nazis had contempt. I am fortunate to live in a society where I can respond to this evil with little threat to my well-being. I have no excuse to be silent or inactive. I am convinced that I have a personal and moral obligation to advocate on behalf of the victims as best I can.
Next week I will further explore whether or not it is appropriate to use Holocaust imagery when describing factory faming – a form of institutionalized, contemporary animal abuse.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D. 

3. The December Peaceable Table Is Now Online
Contents Include:
The Editor's Corner Essay reflects on Matthew's story of the massacre of the Holy Innocents, the babies and toddlers of Bethlehem, and compares these victims of a cruel local tyrant as well as systemic imperial violence, to one category of victims of individual and imperial violence today: the furred and feathered Holy Innocents massacred for food.
A Glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom shows a pair of friends who don't look much alike enjoying a nature walk together.
Robert Ellwood suggests in an Unset Gem that when the gulf between two animal nations--as, e.g., that of elephant and human nations--is bridged, it is like a gate into the Heavenly Jerusalem.
A link to a video clip of the rescue by a knot of humans of a young humpback whale trapped in a gill net, and her joyous demonstration of freedom afterwards, is given in the NewsNote.
The December Pioneer is Titus Flavius Clement, aka Clement of Alexandria, a teacher of the early church who vigorously defended a vegetarian lifestyle, saying that we humans ought not to kill animals to indulge our tastes, but to treat them decently (including mothers and newborns, whom we should not separate in order to take all their milk).  In short, a simple vegetarian diet, says Clement, is in keeping with respect for God's good creation.

Most of the expenses of producing and advertising The Peaceable Table come out of the pockets of a few members of Quaker Animal Kinship, our sponsor.  We would be grateful for a Christmas present of some donations!  (Make out checks to Quaker Animal Kinship; we also receive PayPal.)

To read this issue, see http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue93.html

Until the Kingdom comes,

Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor 

4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
It’s the Sunday Before Christmas

Your question and comments are welcome

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