Weekly Newsletter - September 10, 2014
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Review: The Protein Myth by David Gerow Irving
  2. Essay: Peacemaking
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Review: The Protein Myth by David Gerow Irving (O-Books, 2011, 427 pp, $19.95)
This well-documented book provides a lot of helpful information about how a plant-based diet promotes our health, and how various establishment forces have been trying to convince the public to eat animal products. Animal agribusiness, the pharmaceutical industry, vivisectors, and their political “friends” have all conspired to mislead the public about the dangers of eating animals and animal products. Though Irving supplies a wealth of data to back his claims, every study has strengths and limitations. This includes the China Study, to which Irving refers frequently.
The China Study, directed by Cornell’s Dr. T. Colin Campbell and colleagues, shows that a rural Chinese people have far low incidences of heart disease, cancer, and other killers. While the China Study’s findings make a compelling case for a plant-based diet, there are a few caveats. First, rural Chinese people generally don't have vegan diets. Their diet is primarily plant-based, but there is a significant amount of fish. There is little non-fish animal protein in their diet. Second, rural Chinese people generally have a much higher level of physical activity than Westerners. Third, rural Chinese people generally have a much lower prevalence of activities known to increase cancer and heart disease risk, such as smoking. So, it is reasonable to conclude from the China Study that diet and lifestyle together confer impressive health benefits, but the study does not prove that avoiding animal produces alone will reduce the risk of disease.
In summary, The Protein Myth shows how the choices we make significantly impact our degree of health or disease, and the first thing we should do is to refuse to accept uncritically the self-serving claims animal agribusinesses and their scientific and legislative friends. We should not be surprised that those involved in abusing and killing innocent nonhumans mislead and harm humans.
Stephen R. Kaufman, MD

2. Essay: Peacemaking
What are the shared values that might bring communities together and generate peace? Jesus taught that “you shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 19:19, 22:39). This is one way to express the Golden Rule, which in various expressions is seen in virtually every religion and secular ethic. I think Jesus’ expression of the Golden Rule is an effective one.
For one thing, the “love” that we have for ourselves includes concern and respect. It should not be confused with feelings of affection that constitute the love we might have for a partner. This is helpful, because we might be concerned about the well-being of our neighbor, but it is often difficult to feel affection for people who are strangers or, especially, people we dislike.
Second, the principle of loving our neighbor as ourselves presumes that we are all equally important. It is natural to regard our own lives as far more important than the lives of others. However, to an outside observer (and this would evidently include God) we are equally valuable.
How do we apply this principle of loving our neighbor in everyday life? Next week, I will consider the question: Who is our neighbor? Then, I discuss how compassion and mercy are two rather universal sentiments that can help direct our actions.
Stephen R. Kaufman, MD

3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Unlimited Love Fulfills God’s Heavenly Will

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