Weekly Newsletter - August 12, 2016
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Motivations to Protect Nonhumans, part 1
  2. The August “Peaceable Table” Is Now Online
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Motivations to Protect Nonhumans, part 1

Last week, I discussed how many Christians today interpret Genesis 3:16 in ways that preserve contemporary empowerment of women, even though the passage states that Eve must submit to her husband. Yet, when it comes to Genesis 1:25, in which God gives Adam “dominion” over all of creation, most Christians assert that this passage endorses contemporary human tyranny over nonhumans. Last week, I noted that several factors have contributed to men relinquishing some power to women, including 1) women’s employment of the power they possess, 2) men’s recognition that justice dictates greater rights for women, and 3) the discovery that empowering women improves relationships between men and women. During the next three weeks, I will consider how each of these three considerations applies to human-nonhuman relations.

Regarding the first of the three factors, when it comes to animal issues, animals do have some power. They can resist their oppression and abuse, though their power is very limited. If threatened, humans and nonhumans will exhibit fight or flight behavior, preferring to escape from danger but choosing to fight for their lives if there is no alternative. Slaughterhouses are designed to prevent large animals from recognizing that death is imminent.

Selective breeding has reduced “aggressiveness.” For example, dogs, with the exception of those bred for fighting, are much more docile than their wild wolf counterparts. Indeed, the reason that dogs are often preferred in experiments is not that they more closely resemble humans in anatomy, physiology, or other features that render them good scientific “models.” Rather, dogs are less likely to bite when subjected to painful procedures. Monkeys in laboratories, in contrast, frequently throw feces at their abusers.

Next week, I will discuss #2 above – our sense of justice.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. The August “Peaceable Table” Is Now Online

Contents include:

  • The Glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom shows Themba, an orphaned elephant youngster, taking a companionable nap with his adoptive father Albert, a sheep.
  • The slaying of Harambe the gorilla and the rescue of little Isaiah Gregg took place in May, but the tendency to blame victims that appeared in many people's response to the event is, sadly, not a thing of the past.  See "In Memory of Harambe," Part II, the Editor's Corner Essay.
  • One of the Unset Gems, by Franceen Neufeld, points out that ". . . the soul of kindness is kindredness . . .", the awareness that every body is part of my family.
  • In Buenos Aires, according to one of the NewsNotes, the 140-year-old zoo is being closed for essentially compassionate reasons.
  • Our Pioneer for August is James Thompson, "the Animals' Padre," a feisty and compassionate English clergyman who has championed animals since at least the 1960s.
  • Meathooked:  The History and Science of Our 2.5-Million-Year Obsession with Meat, a book addressed to readers of all levels of awareness about animal eating, is Reviewed by Robert Ellwood in this issue.

To read this issue, go to www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue127.html. Please consider making a donation to help offset costs.

Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

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

Cease Striving, Be Still 

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