Sunday, September 17, 2006
Children and Morality
Welcome to the weekly CVA blog! In it you will find famous quotes,
news and commentaries.
- Children and morality: article by Karen Hussar, Harvard Graduate
School of Education doctoral Student, whose research study has shown
evidence of morality in young children
- Famous quote - Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO, The Humane Society of
the United States
- Opinion: article by Peter Singer and Bruce Friedrich emphasizing the
accomplishments by the animal rights movement in behalf of the animals
exploited by humans on a daily basis.
- Europe-wide ban on battery cages under threat
- Opinion: article on Foie Gras by Jeffrey Steingarten, published in
Men's Vogue Magazine
- U.S. district court ruling on poultry slaughter
- Opinion: article by Patty Mark, president of the Australian animal
advocacy organization Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV) on how to be an
honest animal advocate
1. Children and morality: What do vegetarian children seem to
have in common that non-vegetarian children don't seem to have? Moral
reasons around what they eat. In a research study involving 45 children
ages six to ten (a mix of vegetarians from vegetarian homes, vegetarians
from meat-eating homes, and non-vegetarians) Harvard Graduate School of
Education doctoral student Karen Hussar has found that for most of the
children who became vegetarian, the decision had more to do with morals
(e.g., empathy) than with personal choice (e.g., food preference or
Another very interesting finding is that vegetarian children do
not seem to judge as bad those children who chose to eat meat; however,
they judge harshly those children who once refrained from eating animals
and later broke their commitment. Click here to read the full article.
2. Quote: "I believe that all animals have that spark of life that
infuses all of us. They can't write a sonnet or a book, but in
fundamental aspects they are the same: they want to live as much as we
do, and they fear as much as we do. Animals are a test of our character,
because we have absolute power over them. We can choose the path of
exploitation or the path of mercy and kindness. That last path is the
only right one."
~ Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO, The Humane
Society of the United States
3. Opinion: Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation and
professor of bioethics at Princeton University; and Bruce Friedrich,
vice president for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA),
write about the accomplishments by the animal rights movement in behalf
of the animals exploited by humans on a daily basis. They challenge
people to realize that although small, the steps taken by some major
fast food industries regarding their animal welfare regulations have
actually alleviated, to various degrees, the suffering of billions of
animals. Singer and Friedrich have also recognized the desire of animal
rights advocates for empty cages, not just bigger cages. Click here to
read the full article.
As Christian vegetarians we also strive and hope for the day in which
all animals are liberated from human oppression. Although the path to it
seems full of obstacles and hardened hearts we should not get
discouraged and should try to be the best witnesses we can of the love
of God for His creation by showing respect, compassion and love. The
time will come when all creatures, including humans, live in peace and
4. Europe-wide ban on battery cages under threat: Animal
welfare activists and a member of the European Parliament are making the
best effort to oppose the campaign looking to delay a Europe-wide ban on
battery-caged hens that is due to take effect in 2012. Not surprisingly,
it is the British Egg Industry Council that wants to push the ban back
another five years, claiming they want to support the ban but need a
little more time to implement the changes. The National Farmers' Union
Scotland (NFUS) also supports the campaign to delay the ban; however, an
EU Commission spokesman said: "There is a report on the implementation
of the directive due this year when the implementation will be studied
but there are no plans for any relaxing of the rules." Click here to read the full article.
5. Foie Gras and more: A recent article titled "Stuffed
Animals" published in Men's Vogue magazine by Jeffrey Steingarten,
American lawyer and food critic, discusses the pros and cons of eating
foie gras from an ethical point of view. Moreover, he resorts to the
Bible and to history in order to give the reader some idea of how this
"delicacy" evolved and the current debate around its production. Mr.
Steingarten makes emphasis on his choices which include not eating
animals raised in factory farms or eggs produced by battery caged hens,
or what he calls "anemic" veal. Although he fails to see the inherent
cruelty in force-feeding geese as he states, "The most sensible policy
is to eat just a little of this sublime and ancient delicacy (foie
gras)", Mr. Steingarten exposes the truth of why most people eat meat
nowadays. He rightly says, "Most of us are not vegans or vegetarians.
When we buy the flesh of a mammal, bird, or fish in a restaurant or food
shop, we are an agent in the slaughter of another living thing. We are
taking life. This is a serious act, not a casual one. But our purpose is
not survival or even sustenance; most of us can live comfortably without
eating meat. No, our goal is pleasure, pure sensory pleasure."
6. Poultry slaughter: Good news for people who care about
animals, in this case poultry. A U.S. district court ruled last week
that members of the U.S. chapter of the Humane Society can sue the
federal government over the way chickens and turkeys are slaughtered.
Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president with the Humane Society of the United
States, stated that "The fundamental issue in the case is the fact that
such a large amount of the animals we consume for food are not provided
federal protection during the slaughter process." Plaintiffs argued that
the method to slaughter poultry is not only cruel (paralyzes birds but
doesn't rendered them unconscious) but unsafe for consumption due to the
risk of birds inhaling contaminated water with feces, dirt and dust.
Click here to read the full article.
Animals raised for food are not only unprotected by the law during
the slaughter process, but from the moment they are born since the
"laws" that are supposed to protect them are either non-existent or
rarely enforced. This shameful fact should prompt people to boycott
these industries who indiscriminately exploit animals for the sole gain
of taste; given that, for the majority of people in the US, animal
products are not needed for survival. In fact, Christian vegetarians are
a great example of how we can thrive on a plant-based diet.
7. Opinion: Patty Mark, president of the Australian animal
advocacy organization Animal Liberation Victoria (ALV), and founding
editor of Action Magazine and director of the ALV Rescue Team emphasizes
the importance of being honest as an animal rights advocate. Ms. Mark
points that well-intended animal rights activist try to alleviate the
suffering of billion of animas raised for food by encouraging people to
consume "free-range" or "grass-fed" animal products. She points out that
concept of ‘let's make it better for the animals before they are killed'
is a "dead end street" given that all animals are ultimately sacrificed.
Ms. Mark suggests encouraging veganism with "patience, determination,
persistence and honesty—done with goodwill."
Click here to read this interview.
Christian vegetarians should also promote a plant-based diet focused
on showing compassion, respect and love; and by setting the example that
no animals need to be sacrificed, just like in the Garden of Eden (God's
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