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Update Newsletters
21 July 2011

1. Essay: Can We Trust Producers of “Humane Meat”?

2. Comment Regarding Last Week’s Essay

3. Book in Progress – CVA Member Contributions Encouraged

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

5. Upcoming Activist Opportunities

6. CVA Members Seeking Like-Minded People in Their Regions

1. Essay: Can We Trust Producers of “Humane Meat”?

As Erik Marcus discusses in The Ultimate Vegan Guide, animal products are commodities. Milk from one farm, for example, is essentially the same as milk from any other farm. The same goes for eggs and the various kinds of flesh. Therefore, buyers tend to focus on price, which often results in small profit margins and strong incentives to do whatever competitors might be doing to reduce costs. Individual farmers need not be cruel or even callous; market forces drive many agricultural practices. Those who try to implement less abusive but more costly husbandry standards will tend to lose in the competitive marketplace.

Some producers, trying to appeal to consumers who object to cruel animal husbandry practices, claim that their facilities are “humane.” There are several different certifying bodies, some more legitimate than others, whose “humane” label can result in premium prices and significant profits for producers. However, there are reasons to distrust those who claim to use “humane” methods.

Often, “humane” labels are given to producers who self-report that they employ less abusive systems, and there is little or no oversight. “Humane” standards themselves tend to be modest improvements over the status quo that do not significantly reduce the degree of animal abuse. For example, “free range” chicken sheds typically include a small opening at one end of a large shed, which leads to a small, enclosed, outside space. Relatively few chickens find, let alone use, the open space that distinguishes “free range” from standard enclosures.

Also, we should not expect respectful or compassionate attitudes towards farmed animals among those producers who regard animals as property whose purpose is to generate income. Just as slave owners were typically callous and cruel, those who see farmed animals as means to financial ends are disinclined to care much for the welfare of individual animals. There are many pig farmers who claim to “love” their pigs, but if asked why they don’t use a local anesthetic before performing excruciating castrations, they will typically respond that it is too costly. The actual cost is nominal, a cost which anyone who cared about the pigs’ welfare in the least would gladly bear.

It is practically impossible to obtain animal products which have not involved exploitation and some degree of abuse. Even if egg-laying hens were treated well, there is no use for the male chicks, who are nearly universally killed. The only way to get a cow to lactate is to impregnate her, and there is similarly no use for the male offspring. It is very costly to raise animals for flesh but refrain from eating them until they have lived a full life and die (or are euthanized) in their old age. Wild-caught fish aren’t brutalized during their lifetimes, but surely they suffer when suffocating out of water.

For those who insist on consuming animal products, the only way to be sure that the animals are treated as advertised is to visit the farms and inspect the facilities first-hand. However, this approach doesn’t work when eating out. Next week, I’ll discuss the social challenges of trying to be a “happy meat” consumer.

For an excellent commentary that addresses these issues, I recommend “How ‘Conscientious Carnivores’ Ignore Meat’s True Origins”


Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

2. Comment Regarding Last Week’s Essay

Another consideration about whether humane slaughter is possible is psychological: animals become attached to one another--very similar behavior in humans we would call love. Mothers want to keep their young beside them, and vice versa; animals of some species mate for life; friends and littermates like to hang around together; some, like pigs, love to snuggle into adulthood. We only need ask ourselves if we would think it possible to humanely kill our spouse, son, daughter, parent, or best friend.

Gracia Fay Ellwood

3. Book in Progress – CVA Member Contributions Encouraged

My name is Shebani, I’m a rising senior at Yale University and founder of the Yale Animal Welfare Alliance. I found out about the Christian Vegetarian Association from a friend at Yale, and I think the work that you do is really fantastic. I was wondering if your group would be interested in helping me with a project that I am starting. Here’s a brief description:

I love advocating for animals and writing, and this summer I decided to start writing a book that aims to encourage people to eat fewer animal products. The book is going to be a collection of stories and quotes, interspersed with my own writing and analysis, from vegans, vegetarians, meat-eaters, and everyone in between about the food choices they make and their views on plant-based eating. I’m aiming for an accessible, non-judgmental tone that will appeal to people who might usually shy away from books on the subject. I plan to include stories from people with a variety of backgrounds and viewpoints with the hope that their contributions will help dispel some of the common misconceptions and stereotypes about vegetarians and vegans and also make the concept of a plant-based diet seem less alien and more doable.

I think that the members and leaders of the Christian Vegetarian Association would have some really interesting and wonderful stories to share for my book. I am looking for short contributions, around 650 words, from anyone who has anything to say about eating less meat – vegetarians, flexitarians, pescatarians, vegans, meatless Monday followers, and meat-eaters are all welcome. Here is a general idea of what I am looking for to get people started:

If the writer has taken any sort of steps towards adopting a plant-based diet, I would like to know: a) what compelled them to make that change b) a little bit about them c) how they feel after making that change and d) what difficulties they have encountered. If the writer hasn’t taken any steps towards a plant-based diet, I would like to know if they have ever considered making a change, and what they think about vegetarianism/veganism/programs like Meatless Mondays.

If you are interested in contributing to the book or helping me find stories, please let me know! I'd ideally like the stories by August 15th, but if anyone needs more time that's completely fine, just ask them to get in touch with me at [email protected] Thank you!

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

Building a Church on the Proper Foundation

5. Upcoming Activist Opportunities

7/23-25 GA Atlanta Women 'N Power Conference

7/24-28 OH Cedarville Camp Electric Christian Music Learning Camp!

7/26 MD Columbia Relient K Christian Rock Concert

7/27 VA Virginia Beach Relient K Christian Rock Concert

7/27-30 TN Nashville Immerse 2011

7/28 NC Charlotte Relient K Christian Rock Concert

7/29-31 IL Zion Ignite Festival Christian Music Fest

7/30 CO Loveland HeavenFest Christian Music Fest

7/28-31 WI Milwaukee GermanFest

8/3-6 NH Gilford SoulFest Christian Music Festival

8/4-6 TX Midland Rock the Desert Christian Music Fest

8/4-6 PA Hershey Joyce Meyers Minitries Conference

8/4-14 WI West Allis Wisconsin State Fair

8/6 IL Chicago Joel Olsteen: A Night of Hope Conference

8/6 OH Wapakoneta The Hoppers Gospel Tour

8/6 MO St Louis Casting Crowns Christian Family Day

8/7 NC Asheville TABLE VegFest

8/10 IN Indianapolis Third Day @ Indiana State Fair

8/10 IN South Bend World Pulse Festival Christian Music Fest

8/11-13 MI Muskegon UNITY FESTIVAL

8/12-13 NE Omaha Women Of Faith Conference

8/12-13 GA Atlanta Women Of Faith Conference

8/12-14 CA Anaheim Harvest Crusade

8/12 AL Huntsville The Hoppers Gospel Tour

8/12 AR ALMA Casting Crowns Christian Concert

8/13 TN Chattanooga The Hoppers Gospel Tour

8/13 KS Kansas City Farm Aid 2011

8/14 MI Clarkston Third Day Christian Rock Concert

8/19-20 IN Indianapolis Women Of Faith Conference

8/20 NE Kearney Casting Crowns Christian Concert

8/20 OR Gresham FishFest Christian Music Fest

8/21 CO Denver Casting Crowns Christian Concert

8/25-9/5 MO Branson Southern Gospel Picnic

8/26-27 TX Dallas Women Of Faith Conference

8/26-27 DC Washington Women Of Faith Conference

9/1-2 PA Pittsburgh Benny Hinn Miracle Services

9/2-4 SD Sioux Falls Lifelight Christian Music Festival

9/9-10 CA Anaheim Women Of Faith Conference

9/9-10 PA Philadelphia Women of Faith Conference

9/10 PA Philadelphia GreenFest Philly

9/10 CA Los Angeles Harvest Crusade

9/15-17 MO St. Louis Love Life Women's Conference- Joyce Meyers-

9/16-17 WA Spokane Women Of Faith Conference

9/16-19 MO Kirkwood Greentree Festival

9/17 OH Mt Vernon SonFest 2011 Christina Rock Festival

9/17-18 MO Kirkwood TABLE 2011 Kirkwood Greentree Festival

9/23-24 VA Middleburg Awakening Festival Christian Music Festival

9/23-24 AZ Phoenix Women Of Faith Conference

9/25-26 IL Belleville Our Lady of the Snows Youth Day Celebration

9/29-10/1 TX Dallas Benny Hinn Miracle Conference

9/29-10/1 GA Atlanta Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference

9/30-10/2 CA San Diego National Youth Workers Convention

10/1-2 CA San Francisco TABLE World Vegetarian Festival

10/7-8 VA Lynchburg Extraordinary Women's Conference

10/7-8 CO Colorado Springs Hearts @ Home- Mom Revolution Women's Conference

10/7-8 MA Amherst Acquire the Fire Christian Youth Conference

10/13-15 CA Long Beach Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference

10/14-15 IN Fort Wayne Extraordinary Women Conference

10/21-22 MS Tupelo Extraordinary Women Conference

10/29-30 MA Boston Boston Vegetarian Food Festival TABLE

11/3-5 OH Cleveland Joyce Meyers Ministries Conference

11/4-5 IL Rockford Extraordinary Women Conference

11/4-5 MN Rochester Hearts @ Home Mom Revolution Conference

11/18-20 GA Atlanta National Youth Workers Convention

6. CVA Members Seeking Like-Minded People in Their Regions

AL    Decatur           Ginger            [email protected]

AZ    Flagstaff         Debbie            [email protected]

AZ    Mesa              Shaynie           [email protected]

AZ    Phoenix           Jeff              [email protected]

CA    Agoura Hills      Jill              [email protected]

CA    Bishop            Sylvia            [email protected]

CA    Chico/Oroville    Claire            [email protected]

CA    Downey            Irene             [email protected]

CA    Foothill Ranch    Cindy             [email protected]

CA    Huntington Beach  Pamela            [email protected]

CA    Lake Forest       Valerie           [email protected]

CA    Los Angeles       Armaiti           [email protected]

CA    Los Angeles       Russell           [email protected]

CA    Los Angeles       Chris             [email protected]

CA    Nevada City       Ellen             [email protected]

CA    Pasedena          Jeannie and John  [email protected]

CA    Perris            Debi              [email protected]

CA    Pleasanton        Laura             [email protected]

CA    Point Richard     Norma Jean        [email protected]

CA    Port Richmond     Norma             [email protected]

CA    San Jose          Colleen           [email protected]

CA    San Mateo         Pamela            [email protected]

CA    Sonoma            Eric & Deepty     [email protected]

CA    Orange County     Marina            [email protected]

CA    Vallejo           Judy              [email protected]

CO    Longmont area     Sara              [email protected]

CT    Clinton           Elizabeth         [email protected]

DC    Washington        Jennifer          [email protected]

DE    Newark            Maureen           [email protected]

FL    Cocoa             Charlie           [email protected]

FL    Cooper City       Gail              [email protected]

FL    Ft. Myers         Betty             [email protected] (winter)

FL    Ocala             Erika             [email protected]

FL    Ocala             Samantha          [email protected]

FL    Oviedo            Antonio           [email protected]

FL    Pace              Herman            [email protected]

FL    Sarasota          Julie             [email protected]

GA    Lawrenceville     Lorena            [email protected]

GA    Stone Mountain    Carl              [email protected]

HI    Honolulu          Mahalo            [email protected]

IA    Des Moines        Andrew            [email protected]

IL    Belleville        Catherine         [email protected]

IL    Bloomington       Betty             [email protected]

IL    Chicago           Deborah           [email protected]

IL    Chicago           Corrie            [email protected]

IL    Chicago           Robert            [email protected]

IL    Chicago           Sandra            [email protected]

IL    Chicago Hts.      Chuck             [email protected]

IL    Chicago NW suburbs - charlie boy    [email protected]

IL    Chicago, S. suburbs - John          [email protected]

IL    Galesburg         Lori              [email protected]

IL    Ottawa            Lisa              [email protected]

IL    Schaumburg        Dee               [email protected]

IL    Schiller Park     Cezary            [email protected]

IL    Staunton          Brett             [email protected]

IN    Westfield         Angie             [email protected]

KS    Lawrence          Ashley            [email protected]

KS    Lawrence          Lisa              [email protected]

KS    Lecompton         Judy              [email protected] 

KY    Bowling Green     Maryanne          [email protected]

LA    New Orleans       Carolyn           [email protected]

MA    Cape Cod (Hyannis) Linda            [email protected]

MA    Somerville        Joyce             [email protected]

MD    Columbia          Jerry             [email protected]

MD    Rising Sun        Connie            [email protected]

MD    Rockville         Daniel            [email protected]

MD    Salisbury         Kimberly          [email protected]

MI    Haslett           Krista            [email protected]

MI    Lansing           Tricia            [email protected]

MI    Rockford          Ginny             [email protected] 

MI    Royal Oak         Willard           [email protected]

MN    Duluth            Karen             [email protected]

MN    Moorhead          Kathleen          [email protected]

MN    Sauk Rapids       Michael           [email protected]

MO    Hazelwood         Wendy             [email protected]

MO    Kansas City       Diana             [email protected]

NC    Boone             Becky             [email protected]

NC    Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill - Rondy  [email protected]

NC    Winston-Salem     Mark              [email protected]

ND    Fargo             Alice             [email protected]

NH    Bartlett          Laura             [email protected] 

NH    East Derry       Rev. Alexander    [email protected]

NH    Fremont           Jodie             [email protected]

NJ                      Jan               [email protected]

NJ    Neptune City      James             [email protected]

NJ    Nutley            Sheila & Meghan   [email protected]

NJ    Piscataway        Jaimie            [email protected]

NY    Hilton            Carolyn           [email protected]

NY    Roslyn            Christine         [email protected]

NY    Brooklyn          Casey             [email protected]

NY    Brooklyn/Manhattan - Tracy          [email protected]

NY    Kirkwood          Gloria            [email protected]

NY    NY City           May               [email protected]

NY    Patchogue         Mikki             [email protected]

NY    Rochester         Tom and Gail      [email protected]

OH    Cincinnati        Elizabeth         [email protected]

OH    Cleveland         Betsy & Ken       [email protected]

OH    Cleveland         Steve             [email protected]

OH    Fremont           Debbie            [email protected]

OH    Toledo            Bob               [email protected]

OH    Willoughby        Beth              [email protected]

OR    Springfield       Pastor CN Turrell [email protected]

PA    Bethlehem         Hannah            [email protected]

PA    Erie              Alka              [email protected]

PA    Pottstown-Reading area - Georgia    [email protected]

PA    Philadelphia      Leila             [email protected]

PA    Scranton          Nick              [email protected]

PA    State College     Karen             [email protected]

PA    Wyomissing        Lois              [email protected]

RI    Providence        Ed                [email protected]

SC    Spartanburg       Lucas             [email protected]

SC    West Columbia     Patricia          [email protected]

TN    Knoxville         Tristan           [email protected]

TN    Nashville         Ric               [email protected]

TX    Austin            Diane             [email protected]

TX    Dallas            Ricky             [email protected]

TX    Dallas/Ft Worth  Margaret           [email protected]

TX    El Paso           Sukie             [email protected]

TX    Houston           Joy               [email protected]

TX    Houston           Phyllis           [email protected]

TX    Irving            Kitty             [email protected]

TX    Kerrville         Mark              [email protected]

TX    Lakeway           Trisha            [email protected]

TX    Mesquite          Tanya             [email protected]

TX    Houston           Ivan              [email protected]

TX    Uvalde            Tonia             [email protected]

TX    Waco              Robin             [email protected] 

VA    Northern VA       Christine         [email protected]

VA    Richmond          Camille           [email protected]

VA    Springfield       Danny             [email protected]

VT    Rutland           Maureen           [email protected]

WA    Seattle           Carol             [email protected]

WA    Seattle           Joy               [email protected]

WA    Seattle           Kelly             [email protected]

WA    Seattle           Valerie           [email protected]

WA    Spokane           Julie             [email protected]

WA    Tacoma            Alissa            [email protected]

WI    Appleton          Dana              [email protected]

WI    Kenosha           Ben               [email protected]

WV    Huntington        Ann               [email protected]



New England             Tracie            [email protected]

Alberta  Edmonton       Leanna            [email protected]

Ontario  Hamilton       Kris & Erin       [email protected]

Ontario  Ottawa         Anne              [email protected]

Ontario  Scarborough    Sheila            [email protected]

Ontario  Toronto        Vicki             [email protected]


Sutherland, NSW, Australia   Brenda       [email protected]

Leicester, England            Kathryn     [email protected]

Glasgow, Scotland             Alistair    [email protected]

Leiden, The Netherlands       Simon       [email protected]

Your question and comments are welcome

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