Weekly Newsletter - April 21, 2016
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Comment on Evil
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman


1. Activist Feedback

Rick Hershey writes:

Chip and I handed out 2050 VO booklets to kids and their parents at BOK Center in Tulsa for Winter Jam.


2. Comment on Evil

The following in from an essay entitled “The Structure of Evil” by Mark Rowlands, which was published in the book The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence (edited by Andrew Linzey). Rowlands first discusses the extreme cruelty of experiments in researchers repeatedly electrically shocked dogs until the dogs ceased trying to escape from confinement in a shuttlebox. Researchers termed this “learned helplessness” and claimed (very dubiously) that this was a model of human depression.

Rowland noted that his companion wolf, who was fearless of cars even after being severely injured when hit be a car was terrified of a fence where he got a relatively minor electric shock. The many learned helplessness experiments themselves describe the great fear and pain experienced by the dogs. Rowland asserts that, by reflecting on the kind of creatures who devise such torture, we gain insight into the nature of evil.

He concludes:

Ultimately, there are more evil acts and more evil people that we would care to admit, because humans stand in a unique relationship to evil. Humans are not unique in that they treat the helpless badly. All animal do so – life is profoundly cruel. Humans are the animals that manufacture weakness. . . . [T]he researchers’ dogs were the product of 20,000 years of social and genetic engineering that led them, eventually but inexorably, to the shuttlebox. In this, we have taken the cruelty of life, refined, it, and intensified it. Humans don’t merely treat the weak badly. Humans make things weak precisely so that they may treat them badly.

In the next weeks, I will reflect on evil, and I welcome your thoughts.

- Stephen Kaufman


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

Seeing Heavenly Truths Not Worldly Lies


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