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By Craig Cline - 9 Feb 2016

Hi Veda and Pastor Frank,

Thanks again for the link to Melanie Joy and her presentation on "carnism."  As you know, I passed it on to a fairly large number of friends and family and -- as is typically the case -- got no response (not even an acknowledgement of their having received it).

I have for years now provided such information reasonably "softly."  That is, I don't "hammer" people into having to go vegan -- or else accuse them of being immoral, dis-compassionate, environmentally unfriendly, etc., etc.

However, for those same years, the number of responses, or even acknowledgement of receipt thereof, has been minimal -- and I really mean minimal, with a capital m.

To me, that significant test of time represents a "study" of sorts.  And the results of the study tell me that people, even if they know you (and even love or at least think highly of you), just don't want to "see and/or hear the vegan message," nor much of anything that relates to it, for that matter.

So I have a dilemma that I'd like your help with and suggestions about.  The dilemma relates to continuing to do what I have always done, and somehow expecting different results.  Arguably, this is the quintessential definition of insanity.  I may therefore be "insane," from a time spent versus results achieved basis, to continue doing it.

I looked at a few of the reviews for Melanie's book.  Among the comments were "...this book is an important part of the ongoing moral expansion."   Replace the word moral with Golden Rule (organized religion's most widely known moral and ethical precept).

Another review said that once you become aware of carnism, "you're no longer neutral; you either support or oppose carnism."  Substitute Golden Rule for carnism.

And finally, there was a comment about the psychology behind carnism.  Certainly there is also a certain psychology behind the Golden Rule and its application.

Note too that Gary Francione is big on the "M word;" his theme being "if animals matter morally."  And to us, YES they do.  And they presumably matter to Christians in general; or at least the companion animals do.  The "food animals" matter virtually not at all.

Fyi, most of the people to whom I've sent info. over the years purport to be Christians.  But will they willingly expand the application of the Golden Rule that they "own" to encompass ALL sentient beings, both humans and non -humans alike?  NO, they won't.

That brings me to where I'd appreciate your help and/or "what to do next" advice.  As you may recall, I've written 3 or 4 articles on the subject of the Golden Rule and its expanded application.

There are over 2.2 BILLION (emphasis added) Christians in the world, and by virtue of their very numbers, it is clear that they are the "key" group that could move the needle of compassion toward the vegan lifestyle that "their" Golden Rule most closely represents.

Frankly, I think that most Christians can rightly be said to be hypocritical in that they profess to believe in and practice the Golden Rule, yet greatly limit that belief and practice to what is convenient for them.  Sadly, it is still convenient, and acceptable, for them to continue to indirectly use and abuse and kill animals because they refuse to change their non-vegan ways.

Haven't we animal advocacy activists come to the point at which we simply MUST A.S.K. (Ask -- Seek -- Knock/from the Bible) Christians everywhere, but certainly beginning in the U.S., to truly live a life that revolves around "their" Golden Rule?

We've seemingly asked them, or shown them, or told them, just about everything else.  It seems to me that perhaps ONLY the Golden Rule can come to the fore and make a significant impact.

I wonder if Pastor Frank and all-creatures could team with the Christian Vegetarian Association/Steve Kaufman (which should be the Christian Vegan Association in my opinion), the Faith Outreach program of the HSUS (yes, Veda, I know that the "company policy" of the HSUS about "humane" farming is at great odds with how we vegans feel about it; but the HSUS is admittedly an organization of immense power and influence), Dr. Will Tuttle (who is traveling internationally talking about "The World Peace Diet"), and other religious leaders and their organizations.

I think we need a massive, yet unified approach to the existing dilemma.  Absent a huge outreach program to "the religious," I doubt the sensibility of my continuing to persuade people to change their animal-product-using ways.  It just does not work effectively.

I am not personally religious, but I respect those who are.  My "issue" with them is that I don't feel that they are religious enough.  If they were, they would willingly, and immediately, expand the application of the Golden Rule to each and every sentient being that shares the temporal world with them.  Yet they -- most of them -- don't.

Please let me know what you think can and should be done to make the Golden Rule THE main topic for discussion, and the EXPECTATION that Christians employ its expanded definition as part of their belief and action system.  That indeed would be "The Golden Rule thing to do," right?


Craig Cline

P.S.  If you'd like me to send you the articles I've previously written, to save you time in looking for them (in case you WANT to look for it), just let me know and I will forward them as attachments.  I think they "make the case" quite well that the Golden Rule SHOULD be fully utilized for the moral and ethical precept it is supposed to be.  They could help you in formulating the proposed outreach plan, with some talking and action points to focus on.

Of course, Pastor Frank knows all of this far better than I do.  I was just attempting, as a lay person, to get this subject "on the table" with the world's Christians, and other "religious people" too.

Go on to comments: By Frank and Mary Hoffman - 10 Feb 2016
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