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Update Newsletters
8 July 2007 Issue

1. Discussion: Are Farmed Animal Reforms Helpful?

2. Report from the United Church of Christ General Synod

3. Good News on the Farm Bill

4. Taking Action for Animals Conference Announcement


1. Discussion: Are Farmed Animal Reforms Helpful?
Last week we announced that Oregon had passed legislation banning intense confinement of pigs.  Some people have hailed this as a positive step for animal welfare, while others have argued that such measures impede animal protectionism.  What do you think?  Select responses will be published next week in the CVA e-newsletter (with authors identified by first name and home state, unless they prefer to be otherwise identified).


2. Report from the United Church of Christ General Synod
Rev. Lisa Hadler and I (Steve Kaufman) represented Ministry for God’s Animals at the UCC General Synod in Hartford, where we had an information table.  Our CVA and other materials generated a lot of interest and good discussions.  We also had “Voice without Vote” status on the floor, which allowed us to speak to resolutions but not to vote.


I gave the following comment regarding a resolution dealing with global warming:


The Ministry for God’s Animals has been disappointed that Al Gore and other activists who have raised the alarm about global warming have largely ignored animal agriculture’s contribution.  This is a gross oversight, since a major 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that animal agriculture contributes more to global warming  - 18% - than all forms of transportation (cars, buses, airplanes) combined, 14%.  Given that most people have relatively little choice about how much they drive and the temperature of their homes, it seems that moving toward a plant-based diet is among the easiest, most effective ways people can reduce their own ecological footprint on the earth. 


We respectfully request that this body consider adding, at the end of the third Resolved, wording such as “and calls on individual Christians to reduce their own contribution to global warming by modifying their lifestyles, such as driving less and moving toward a plant-based diet.”


Referring to a resolution regarding the poor working conditions at the Smithfield’s slaughterhouse, Lisa said the following at a “Speak-Out” session:


I represent Ministry for God’s Animals, which encourages our brothers and sisters in Christ to be mindful of God’s animals who are often victims of human hardness of heart.  For example, on modern factory farms, where the vast majority of animals are raised in the U.S., animals experience highly stressful crowding, painful mutilations without pain-relief, and frustration of nearly every natural behavior.  Hardness of heart with respect to animals easily leads to a similar attitude with respect to people – injustice toward one group of weak and vulnerable individuals is a threat to justice for all others.  We see this clearly at Smithfields, where high-speed slaughter operations brutalize both humans and animals. 


In a world of diminishing land, water, and energy resources, humanity’s salvation lies in making compassionate choices. 


If we ignore God’s animals, we fail in our obligation to be good stewards of God’s Creation, and we put humanity at great risk.


3. Good News on the Farm Bill

Some good news on the Farm Bill: Section 123 of Title 1 (which would have nullified many state and local animal protection laws) has been removed. As well, the proposed $12 million veal industry subsidy has been removed. Read more at:


4. Taking Action for Animals Conference Announcement


Your question and comments are welcome

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