Weekly Newsletter - August 27, 2015
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Book Review
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback
Charles, who tabled at Veg Fest in Chicago, writes:
The booth attracted a lot of interest. Many were eager to talk a while and came back to express appreciation for the literature. About 1 1/2 cases of booklets [about 900] were distributed. One angry woman came up and said she was going to have a steak dinner. I calmly said, “OK.” She came back and said she had five children who were vegetarian. I said, "Good job. Thanks for being supportive.” She smiled and took a booklet.

2. Book Review
The Modern Savage: Our Unthinking Decision to Eat Animals by James E. McWilliams
Many animal advocates regard James McWilliams as a leading thinker of the animal protection movement. His thoughtful, well-written blogs, articles, and books have lent considerable insight into many of the difficult questions raised by animal rights and animal welfare concerns.
McWilliams begins The Modern Savage by noting that many people now oppose factory farms – although this is more in principle than in practice, because most people who abhor factory farms continue to consume their products. Some factory farm opponents try to translate their objections into practice by opting for “free range,” “organic,” or “happy” meat as an alternative. The Modern Savage takes a close look at this choice.
Though McWilliams dreams of the day when humans will no longer harm nonhumans, he favors changes that reduce the suffering of animals on farms. However, he notes, many labels such as “free range” are poorly defined, and sometimes the distinction between standard factory farming methods and “better” conditions is meaningless. Even the best farms generally fall far short of offering living conditions that closely resemble those of wild animals, and consequently domesticated animals’ natural behaviors and desires often remain frustrated.
Even when animals are raised under the best possible domesticated conditions, there remains the problem of slaughter. The act is violent, terrifying, and painful for the bulk of the animals. Most “humanely raised” animals are killed in the same fast-paced, high-volume slaughterhouses that kill factory farmed animals. Slaughter by the farmers themselves or in mobile slaughter facilities carry their own challenges, often to the detriment of animal welfare. Most importantly, McWilliams notes, an animal’s greatest natural desire is to live, and killing juvenile or young adult animals deprives them of most of their natural lives.
Ultimately, McWilliams argues, eating “humane meat” does not seem to hasten the day when people will forgo consuming animal products altogether. Since we don’t need to eat animals and animal products to thrive, the continued consumption of animals presumes that humans’ brief sensual pleasures are more valuable than the lives of nonhumans.
Stephen R. Kaufman, MD

3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Jesus Makes Faith Simple

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