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1 June 2008 Issue

1. Today’s Sermon
2. How a Chicken Saved a Life
3. Elizabeth Farians Continues Her Groundbreaking Work
4. New York Times Editorial, May 31, 2008
5. Regarding Animal Welfare Initiatives
6. Correction Regarding Short-Bowel Syndrome


1. Today’s Sermon

By Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

The believers’ Deliverance and Victory

2. How a Chicken Saved a Life

Erika writes: I found this article about how a chicken saved someone's life and this person then became a vegetarian: http://www.uticaod.com/archive/x194403215/Why-I-am-vegetarian

3. Elizabeth Farians Continues Her Groundbreaking Work

June 6 in Miami, Florida will be the first ever session on animals at the annual convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America. I will be hosting the session, which I have been working on for several years. I will need all the help I can get.

Although I am celebrating my 50 years as a pioneer woman theologian, this is the first time there has been such an opportunity and it is only a three year window because of the new rules of the Society (because of so many requests for various sessions). So there is a great deal of work to be done to try to get established how basic the animal issue is to the health of all life, animal and human, spiritually, physically and environmentally.

Besides the session on the schedule on June 6 at 2:30 pm, in order to have as much impact as possible, I have rented a table for all day Friday and Saturday, June 6 & 7. I will need help staffing the table and paying for it. Of course the table will display CVA pamphlets as well as other relevant literature. The Convention will be at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown Miami.

I will also need help paying for my expenses, airfare and hotel. I do not have the finances for these expenses. Any monetary donation will be appreciated and can be made to APE (Animals, People and the Earth), a nonprofit organization for tax purposes. The address is:

Elizabeth Farians
8540 Lynnehaven Drive
Cincinnati, Ohio 45236.
Phone: (513) 984 8062.
Email: ejf.ape@juno.com .

The CTSA is a very prestigious society for Catholic theologians. The hope is to get them to pay attention to the plight of the animals which for the most part they have ignored. Just think what it would be like if theologians began to write, teach, and preach about animal issues so that religious bodies would begin to teach compassion and condemn cruelty to animals; if they would consider animal welfare and rights as well as human rights; and if they would begin to understand the basic connection.

Thanks and Peace to all Beings,

[The CVA has sent APE $500 to assist this important effort.]

4. New York Times Editorial, May 31, 2008 The Worst Way of Farming

In the past month, two new reports have examined how farm animals are raised in this country. The report funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts calls the prevailing system "industrial farm animal production." The report from the Union of Concerned Scientists prefers the term "confined animal feeding operations."

No matter what you call it, it adds up to the same thing. Millions of animals are crowded together in inhumane conditions, causing significant environmental threats and unacceptable health risks for workers, their neighbors and all the rest of us.

The astonishing increase in the number and size of confined animal operations has been spawned largely by the very structure of American farm supports, which always has been skewed in a way that concentrates farming in fewer and fewer hands. As both of these reports make clear, the so-called efficiency of industrial animal production is an illusion, made possible by cheap grain, cheap water and prison-like confinement systems.

In short, animal husbandry has been turned into animal abuse. Manure -- traditionally a source of fertilizer -- has been turned into toxic waste that fouls the air and adjacent water bodies. Crowding creates health problems, resulting in the chronic overuse of antibiotics.

And, because the modest profits in confinement operations require the lowest possible labor costs, including automated feeding, watering and manure-handling systems, these operations have helped empty and impoverish rural America.

The Pew report recommends new laws regulating pollution from industrial farms as rigorously as pollution from other industries, a phasing-out of confinement systems that restricts "natural movement and normal behavior," a ban on antibiotics used only to promote animal growth and the application of antitrust laws to encourage more competition and less concentration.

These are all useful guideposts for the next Congress and a new administration.

5. Regarding Animal Welfare Initiatives

(edited for length)

In response to last week’s comment by John, Carolyn writes:

I agree that we should concern ourselves with all issues that causing suffering to both human and nonhuman animals. It is quite difficult in activism, if not impossible at times, to put your efforts toward all ills of the world with equal fervor. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day. Human health issues are very important and when doing vegan outreach, teaching people a new, healthy way to eat is almost always discussed.

If someone chooses to eat unhealthy non-animal foods, overeat, smoke, or drink, these choices are only directly affecting them. However, I would never equate bad health choices with choices that are directly perpetuating the taking of innocent life. My husband smokes, and he is quite aware of what smoking does to the human body; however, he continues to choose to smoke. I have extreme allergies, and while he can choose to smoke and kill himself, he cannot choose to smoke where this will affect me.

While I agree that reducing suffering is a step in the right direction, it cannot be labeled “humane.” For if this is what the public comes to see as humane, we have reached a ceiling. Where can you go beyond humane?

6. Correction Regarding Short-Bowel Syndrome

A few weeks ago I identified short-bowel syndrome as an example of a medical condition that might require people consuming animal products. I thank Bill Samuel for setting me straight. Evidently, the dietary approach focuses on complex carbohydrates.
See http://www.ccjm.org/PDFFILES/Parekh9_05.pdf.       

Your question and comments are welcome

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