Weekly Newsletter - May 4, 2016
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. On Evil, part 2
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
  4. The May Peaceable Table Is Now Online

1. Activist Feedback

Leafletter extraordinaire Rick Hershey, who leafleted at Winter Jam in North Little Rock, writes:

Dave, Judy, Kyrstina, and I handed out 2500 CVA booklets for Winter Jam at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock today to a huge receptive crowd of kids and their parents. One woman said that she was a farmer, but that they treated their animals humanely.I asked if it was ever humane to kill a young healthy animal.She thought so.A few people received booklets from us last year.We saw many kids reading the booklet.

2. On Evil, part 2

Last week, I discussed what I think evil is not, and this week I will start to explore what I think evil is. I think evil is related to intentions and not necessarily outcomes.

Our bodies are subjected to the same forces of nature as inanimate objects such as stones. Sometimes those forces prove fatal, but I don’t regard the forces of nature as evil. Rather, they are just impersonal and impartial, and tragic outcomes of natural events do not indicate that natural forces are evil.

It seems to me that we should rarely, if ever, describe the actions of nonhumans as evil. As best I can tell, they have limited empathetic capacities. I am doubtful that the cat who toys with a mouse appreciates the pain and terror that the mouse likely feels.

When it comes to human behavior, outcomes do not necessarily correlate with intentions, because results of well-intended actions might prove tragic. For example, a ride to someone in need might end in a terrible accident.

Of course, if there are unfortunate outcomes from human decisions, it is more likely that there have been bad intentions. How do we discern intentions? I will explore this next week.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

Holy Spirit Guided People

4. The May Peaceable Table Is Now Online

Contents include:

  • In the Editor's Corner Guest Essay, Judith Carman describes a tour of purportedly humane family-type farms in which she participated last fall. Though they are not the conspicuous hellholes factory farms are, she points out ways in which, in order to be profitable, they necessarily involve violence, work only for elites, and are ecologically destructive.
  • May is Respect for Chickens month, particularly May 4.In honor of the occasion, see an enlightening Calvin and Hobbes strip about the possibility of a Pollomorphic God in our Unset Gem.Calvin clearly sees disturbing implications that his oblivious parents don't.
  • Robert Ellwood Reviews Every Living Thing: How Pope Francis, Evangelicals and Other Christian Leaders Are Inspiring All of Us to Care for Animals, a valuable took whose subtitle is virtually self-explanatory.
  • Did you ever hear of the Doukhobors? What I heard as a young person growing up in Washington state gave me the impression they were crazy, wild people, scarcely human. For most of them, the image couldn't have been more wrong: they were (some still are) unpretentious Christians committed to nonviolence, simplicity, and kinship with "our brothers" the animals. Read about these remarkable Pioneers.
  • If you like barbecued anything, you will enjoy my Barbecued Beans dish, rendered a little more mellow with veggies.
  • This month's Poetry selection, "Metanoia" by PT subscriber Sam Gold, describes the transforming experience from which he emerged knowing he could never eat flesh again.

Read this issue at www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue124.html. You are invited to respond to any of these materials on our Forum.

Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

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