Weekly Newsletter - December 16, 2015
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Please Be a CVA Sustainer!
  2. Activist Feedback
  3. Essay: Does Christian Mercy Inspire Compassion for Animals?
  4. The December/January Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online
  5. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Please Be a CVA Sustainer!

We don’t charge for membership, but our ministry does have expenses for which donations are essential. Among other things, we distribute about 100,000 booklets at Christian events each year. To become a CVA Sustainer or to renew your Sustaining membership, please go HERE and scroll down to DONATIONS at the bottom of the page (all donations are tax-deductible).

2. Activist Feedback

Dara, who leafleted at Christmas on Broadway in New York City writes:

Carla and I enjoyed our efforts for the CVA cause at Christmas on Broadway last week. The festive spirit seemed to work in our favor as we handed out flyers and the first "Merry Christmases" of the season. Many people accepted them.It is fun to share the experience with my CVA buddy, Carla (I'm still amazed that we both found our way from small farms near each other in Kansas to animal advocacy together in NYC!) Her bright spirit gives me more confidence to stand out there and speak up for God's creatures.

I handed out flyers for about an hour before the show. Carla also did more leafleting after the show, too!

Merry Christmas wishes,

3. Essay: Does Christian Mercy Inspire Compassion for Animals?

Throughout history and throughout the world, humans have mistreated nonhumans. There have been exceptions (e.g., the Jains), but the vast majority of humans have participated in a reign of terror over animals. Sadly, only a small fraction of Christians has been an exception to this general rule, and many animal advocates assert that the religion founded on love, compassion, mercy, and peace has been a major impediment to progress in animal welfare. Why is this so?

There are many passages and stories in the Bible, particularly the Hebrew Scriptures, which seem to endorse harmful treatment of nonhumans, such as the sacrificial codes in Leviticus. However, there are also many passages that condemn cruelty to animals, and the later Hebrew prophets denounced animal sacrifices. With somewhat mixed messages, it appears that Christians can choose whether or not to prioritize animal welfare. Most Christians, evidently, have prioritized obtaining inexpensive meat and other animal products, adorning themselves with animal skins, and supporting animal experiments of highly dubious value.

These priorities are not shocking, given that humans also show a tendency toward selfishness when interacting with other humans. Since animals are much more vulnerable than most humans, it is not surprising that animals tend to be abused to far greater degrees. What about Christian institutions – the clergy and churches that are charged with transmitting the teachings of Jesus to Christians? Why have they been so reluctant to point out our duties to love, to show compassion or mercy, and promote peace apply to the least of these, our fellow creatures? I will consider this next week.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

4. The December/January Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online

Contents include:

  • Vegetarian Friends is now opening its Forum, where readers are invited to share views on PT, recipes, and other concerns of Peace-ful living and dining. Links are provided.
  • The Editor's Corner Essay, "Unlocking the Door," inspired by a quotation from the prison letters of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, reflects on the Advent theme of waiting as it applies to imprisoned animals and to human beings imprisoned both by cruel cultural practices and by hearts only partially opened to other humans.
  • We are warned by Bonhoeffer in an Unset Gem that it is not enough to bandage the wounded victims under the wheel--we must jam a spoke into the wheel itself.We must stop the juggernaut.
  • Here is an easy Recipe for roasted mushrooms that will be a high point in your holyday feast.

Go HERE to read this current issue.

Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

P.S.Perhaps Taking the Adventure:Faith and Our Kinship With Animals, a selection of essays from past issues of PT, might speak to someone on your holyday gift list.Order a copy for half price ($13.50) plus $3 for postage from Robert Ellwood, Treasurer, 14 Krotona Hill, Ojai, CA 93023.All funds are donated to our nonprofit sponsor Quaker Animal Kinship.

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

Recognizing Corruption

Archived 2015 Newsletters
See Newsletter Archives