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Update Newsletters
18 May 2008 Issue

1. This Week’s Sermon

2. Re: Animal Welfare Reforms

3. Question to Ponder

4. Conferences in the Next Three Months

5. Looking for CVA Members?

 

1. This Week’s Sermon

Horror, Stress, Depression, and Resting in the Lord http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons98/s20080504.html 

2. Re: Animal Welfare Reforms

I believe animal rightists have been misunderstood and misrepresented. Most animal rights activists do not oppose animal rights groups fighting for animal welfare. However, I do not believe that such an animal rights organization should reward a group, business, industry, or even themselves for so-called baby steps that improve animal welfare but leave systems of exploitation and abuse intact. This confuses the consumer, and I see it every day.

For example, animal groups will list restaurants that are no longer serving veal from calves who were confined in crates, but the restaurants continue to serve veal. While these animal rights groups likely oppose all veal consumption, this is not the message conveyed to consumers. Most people will make the choice that assuages their guilt with the least change in lifestyle. Consequently, if they believe that eating veal that came from calves not confined to crates has the endorsement of animal rights groups, then it can’t be very objectionable. By naming these small steps as victories, it makes my efforts to end animal exploitation more difficult.

When I table for animals, repeatedly I encounter people who proudly declare that they only purchase "humane meat and dairy" products. They are generally uninterested in my literature, and I find that it is almost impossible to penetrate someone's conscience once they truly believe they are making compassionate choices, not by their own standards alone, but by those who are supposed to be protecting animals. It seems to me that many groups are using these so-called victories for animals as fund-raising tools rather than thinking of how they influence the public.

In addition, many times the steps people are taking to relieve some of the suffering involved in raising farmed animals actually cause more suffering. For instance, so-called "free-range" chickens are still confined so that they still cannot spread their wings and many die in their own manure. So-called organic beef and dairy causes more suffering at times for these animals because when they become ill they are refused medications. To give these sick animals the medications needed would render them nonorganic and thus less profitable. Of course, the best way to avoid contributing to animal abuse is to avoid consuming animal products altogether, and this should be an important part of our message.

Carolyn Yane

3. Question to Ponder

When Europeans came to the Americas, they rapidly conquered the native peoples. Their most effective weapon was the inadvertent spread of infectious diseases. Throughout the Americas, when native peoples came in contact with the Europeans, 90-95% of the native peoples died within 10-20 years from infectious diseases, such as smallpox, measles, and influenza. Europeans had build up resistance to these diseases, but the previously unexposed native peoples had no such resistance and died in massive numbers. The question: Why did Europeans not similarly get diseases from the native peoples? In other words, why were there not diseases toward which the native peoples had developed resistance but toward which the Europeans were not resistant? A prize will be given for what I regard as the best answer.

4. Conferences in the Next Three Months

Their Lives, Our Voices, 6/6-8, Minneapolis, MN, sponsored by Compassionate Action for Animals, www.tlov.org.

Vegetarian Summerfest, 6/18-22, Johnston, PA, sponsored by North American Vegetarians Society www.vegetariansummerfest.org.

Taking Action for Animals 7/19-21, Arlington, VA, sponsored by Humane Society of the United States, www.takingactionforanimals.org.

5. Looking for CVA Members?

In a couple of weeks, we’ll be listing first names, cities, and e-mail addresses of people who are looking for fellow CVA members in their areas. If you wish to be added to the list, please contact [email protected].      

Your question and comments are welcome

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