Weekly Newsletter - October 6, 2016
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Regarding Human Exceptionalism
  2. The October “Peaceable Table” Is Now Online
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Regarding Human Exceptionalism

Why are humans so arrogant and callous when it comes to animal issues? Obviously, self-interest plays a part – humans believe that they benefit from eating, wearing, experimenting on, and otherwise exploiting nonhumans. But, there appears to be more to the story, because most people do not justify abuse of animals on the grounds of “might makes right” but rather because nonhumans are “inferior” by virtue of lacking human intelligence, the human capacity to suffer, or a “soul.”
In previous essays, I have explored how humans’ desire to feel immortal might contribute to callousness toward nonhumans. Humans often want to perceive themselves as fundamentally different and far more important than nonhumans, because nonhumans appear to live, struggle, and die without evident cosmic importance. Do we have the same fate as nonhumans, as the writer of Ecclesiastes asserts (Ecclesiastes 3:19-21)? If so, does that mean that once we die that is the end of our story and our sense of being vanishes forever? Such a prospect is discomforting for many people and encourages them to regard humans as infinitely more valuable and important than nonhumans, however the flimsy the arguments for such a stance might be.
Next week, I will consider how the human tendency toward tribalism might contribute to humanity’s general disregard for nonhumans.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. The October “Peaceable Table” Is Now Online

Contents include:

  • The Glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom shows a dog and fawn in a happy mutual nuzzle--this beats violence any day, as anyone can see from their contented faces.
  • The Editor's Corner Guest Essay, "Eagle in Disguise," tells of the friendship of animal activist Maru Vigo at age seven with her beloved companion rooster Jorge, who never gave up trying to fly. That love still informs Maru's work today.
  • One of the Unset Gems is a line from an ancient Hebrew psalm assuring us that God's tender mercies cover every one of God’s creatures.
  • Did you know that humpback whales have been observed sabotaging orca hunts, and rescuing their intended victims? Apparently humpbacks feel, and act upon, tender mercies for the victimized. See the NewsNote and check out the link.
  • If you like pancakes--as most of us do--this Recipe for nonviolent Raisin Pancakes, together with tips for success, might end up becoming your standby.

To read in this issue, visit http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue129.html.

Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor 

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

Weeping Over Sins versus Obedience

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