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4 February 2007 Issue

1. Christian Vegetarian Advocacy: What Can You Do?

2. CVA Podcast

3. Contents of Current Issue of The Peaceable Table

4. Book Review: Please Don't Eat the Animals

5. Letter Regarding Heifer Project International

6. Letter to the Editor Published in the Duluth News Tribune

7. The Animals Voice Magazine

8. HSUS Job Opening

9. Christianity and Violence: Parable of the Weeds

1. Christian Vegetarian Advocacy: What Can You Do


Wear CVA t-shirts and sweatshirts everywhere. They help spread the message and initiate conversations.

Place CVA Honoring God's Creation booklets in vegetarian-friendly restaurants and health-food stores (with owners' permission, of course).

Put CVA bumper stickers on your car. A lot of people like our removable magnetic backing.

Show CVA's 26-minute video (DVD or VHS) in your church, for example as an Adult Education program.

Leaflet for the CVA at Christian concerts, revivals, and other events. This is our major form of outreach, and we distribute about 150,000 booklets per year.

Upcoming Leafleting opportunities

2/13 CA Sacramento CeCe Winans Christian Concert
2/15 OH Mansfield CeCe Winans Christian Concert
2/15 VA Roanoke Steven Curtis Chapman Winter Jam
2/15 MI Detroit Newsboys Christian Rock Concert
2/16 MI Detroit Living Proof Live with Beth Moore
2/16 HI Kailua Kona Sonic Flood Christian Rock Concert
2/16 SC Greenville Steven Curtis Chapman Winter Jam
2/16 SC Greenville Steven Curtis Chapman Winter Jam
2/17 NC Greensboro Steven Curtis Chapman Winter Jam
2/18 FL Tampa CeCe Winans Christian Concert
2/18 VA Norfolk Steven Curtis Chapman Winter Jam
2/18 MI Kalamazoo Newsboys Christian Rock Concert

To find out about all upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group.christian_vegetarian/. Read the home page, and then join. You will then be able to log in anytime to identify upcoming events in your region. Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com if you might be able to help.

2. CVA Podcast
A new podcast is up at http://www.all-creatures.org/

3. Contents of Current Issue of The Peaceable Table
* The Editorial, "Returning to Love," focuses on the joyful, restorative dimension of Return, in Hebrew T'shuvah, the term usually translated "Repentance."

* NewsNotes highlights the important United Nations report which fingers animal agriculture as a greater contributor to global warming than vehicle emissions.

* The Film Review is of Renee Zellweger's Miss Potter, which shows little-known dimensions of the creator of "Peter Rabbit."

* The Recipes section includes two ways to make seitan.

* Our Pilgrim for February is Swiss-born artist Madeleine Tuttle, for whom it all began with a little bird and a sensitive mother.

You can read this issue at http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue29.html

Peace to all beings, Gracia Fay Ellwood

4. Book Review
Please Don't Eat the Animals
by Jennifer Horsman and Jaime Flowers
128 pages, $12.95 ($17.95 Canada)

This short book articulates nicely the most compelling human health, environmental, and animal welfare arguments for vegetarianism. There is also a nice section summarizing how vegetarianism accords with a wide range of religious traditions. While it does not provide much advice on how to move towards a vegetarian diet, it does include a list of vegetarian cookbooks, an annotated web site direction, and a list of books for suggested reading.

5. Letter to a Unitarian-Universalist Church Regarding Heifer Project International
We are writing to respectfully request that the church reconsider its support for the Heifer Project International.

We understand that the motivation for supporting the Heifer Project arises from the highest ethical and social ideals of Unitarian-Universal highest et well-intended as they undoubtedly are, the programs of the Heifer Project are actually counterproductive and work to defeat the very goals that they are intended to advance.

1) Animal based agriculture, with its highly inefficient use of water, land, plant protein, and other resources will never be able to feed a human population of 6,000,000,000 that is growing exponentially.

The world's last best hope for alleviating hunger and narrowing the gap of injustice that exists between the industrialized world and the developing world is the
promotion of a plant-based diet and the expansion of plant agriculture for direct human consumption both at home and globally.

2) Animal agriculture is one of the world's leading sources of water pollution (at a time when the availability of pure water is becoming a worldwide crisis) and a prime generator of the greenhouse gases that are a principal cause of global warming. Recent studies indicate that animal agriculture releases more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than transportation. Environmental responsibility requires that we reduce rather than expand animal agriculture.

3) In response to the claim that these problems are created primarily by western industrial-style farming, not the family and village subsistence farming promoted by Heifer, we would point out that once the peoples of the
third world have moved from a diet based on plant products to a diet based on animal products, the local, subsistence farming promoted by Heifer will quickly and inevitably be supplanted by the industrial agriculture practiced in the industrialized world, both because the profits to be made will be attractive to international agribusiness and because subsistence farming will not be able to supply the needs of an expanding population newly
converted to the gospel of meat.

This in turn will have the long-term effect of exacerbating, rather than reducing the gap between rich and poor in the
third world and thereby increase the dependency of the poor on a global market economy in which they cannot compete successfully, leaving the third world's poor at the mercy of western agribusiness conglomerates. The most
lasting achievement of the Heifer Project will be to addict the third world to a western animal-based diet, which translates to short term hope followed by long term despair.

4) By moving to a diet heavy in animal products, the peoples of the third world will be exposing themselves to the diseases that accompany the regular consumption of animal based food-including heart disease and several types of cancer-that their health care systems and their economies are even less equipped to deal with than ours are.

5) Human beings do not need animal products to lead long, healthy lives. In fact, an animal based diet is an impediment to good health and a long life.

Animals are sentient beings. They experience joy and pain, they love life and fear death, just as we do.

Imprisoning and killing these gentle beings for food that we do not need-food that is actually harmful to us-is
gratuitous cruelty for the sake of appetite and custom. It violates the principal of universal compassion that is common to the great spiritual traditions upon which Unitarian-Universal traditions upon which Unitarian-
our treatment of animals, Anglican priest Humphrey Primatt, writing in 1776, said, "Let this be your invariable rule, everywhere, and at all times, to do unto others as, in their condition, you would be done unto." (Emphasis in

As a compassionate, spiritual community, we ought to be working to reduce the sum of cruelty and killing in the world, not to expand it.

The unfortunate fact is that the Heifer Project International is far more effective at making its first world contributors feel good about themselves than it is at solving the problems of the third world poor. There are any number of organizations that pursue the laudable social goals to which UUCH is committed without the terrible downsides of the Heifer Project. We will not mention any of them here because it is not our intent to promote any particular charity, just to encourage you to discontinue support of the
Heifer Project and in its place provide assistance to a cause that supports human development without promoting animal cruelty, environmental degradation, and-in the long term-an increase, rather than a decrease, in
human suffering.

We would encourage you to meditate upon these questions and conduct further research into them: that is, to search both within and without. If there are questions that you would like to ask us or responses that you would like to make, we will be more than happy to hear from you.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
In loving fellowship,

Patti Rogers and Norm Phelps

6. Published Letter to the Editor:
Duluth News Tribune 2/26/07
[modified by the editors]

The writer of the Jan. 19 letter "Pampering pooches goes against order of creation" seemed to object to over-indulgence of household animal companions.

However, this same criticism could be leveled at any kind
over-indulgence, such as expensive cars, clothes, and vacations, in a world in which people suffer poverty and deprivation. What can easily be lost in the discussion is that we have an obligation to take good care of any animal
whom we adopt into our households.

Further, we have an obligation to treat all God's animals with kindness and respect. The letter writer rejected the secular notion of animal rights, but many Christians note that we have duties to be merciful and responsible stewards of animals. That's because animals belong to God, not humans.

In practice, humankind mistreats animals on a huge scale, such as the 10 billion animals raised on factory farms in the U.S. every year. These animals experience unrelenting misery from stressful crowding and deprivation of their natural behaviors, and exquisite pain from mutilations
without anesthesia, such as castration, branding, tail docking, and beak clipping.

Very few of us need to eat animals in order to thrive, and actually a vegetarian diet tends to be healthier.

One might, like the writer of the letter, regard humans as superior to animals yet decide to adopt a vegetarian diet on the grounds of compassion, mercy, and love of God.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D., chair, Christian Vegetarian Association

7. The Animals Voice Magazine
The CVA has long had a good relationship with the dedicated activists at The Animals Voice Magazine. This magazine is a hard-hitting and effective publication published quarterly in full color.

To subscribe or advertise,
contact 1-800-82VOICE or www.animalsvoice.com/pages/magazine.html.

8. HSUS Job Opening
Food, Farming & Faith Program Director, Center for the Respect of Life & Environment


9. Christianity and Violence: Parable of the Weeds

[This series reflects my views and not "official" CVA positions. It is being archived at http://www.christianveg.org/violence_view.htm.]

In the parable of the weeds (Matthew 13:24-30), a servant informs his master that an enemy has sown weeds among his wheat. The master elects not to pull up the weeds immediately, saying, "lest in gathering the weeds you
root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest" (Matthew 13:29-30).

This parable reveals much about the scapegoating process.4 People have always sought to identify evil and destroy it, and this is how Satan works.

Satan convinces us that there is evil in our midst and, in our intense desire to eradicate evil, we accuse and kill many good individuals along the way. The parable of the weeds instructs us to tolerate evil patiently, which will allow the good and evil to more clearly manifest themselves.
Otherwise, the evil we do to ourselves far outweighs the evil wrought by our perceived enemies.

This describes accurately what happens when people try to eradicate "pest" animals. The balance seen in nature does not accord with humankind's limitless acquisitive desires. Our material desires can blind us to the harm we cause to God's people, God's animals, and God's earth. In the ongoing quest to meet insatiable human appetites, farmers often try to kill those creatures who reduce farmland productivity or who threaten "livestock." Greatly reducing the population of certain "pest" species often has unpredictable consequences, many of which have proven harmful to humans as well as to the rest of God's Creation.

Stephen R. Kaufman,

Your question and comments are welcome

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