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CVA Weekly Newsletter
January 16, 2013

  1. Upcoming Activist Opportunities
  2. Essay: Do analogies to the Holocaust demean Holocaust victims?
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
  4. Note about The Hobbit

1. Upcoming Activist Opportunities
1/25                 TXAmarillo                                            Third Day Christian Rock Concert
1/25                 MO Kansas City                     Winter Jam Christian Concert
1/26                 IA Des Moines            Winter Jam Christian Concert
1/27                 IL Peoria                     Winter Jam Christian Concert
1/30                 IN Evansville                                        Winter Jam Christian Concert
2/1                   WI  Milwaukee                       Winter Jam
2/2                   KY Louisville                                        Winter Jam
2/7                   NC Fayetteville                       Winter Jam
2/21                 VA Fairfax                                                Third Day Christian Rock Concert
5/19                 CA Lake Balboa                                  TABLE WorldFest 2013 Earth Day Festival
Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com if you can help. 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/ 

2. Essay: Do analogies to the Holocaust demean Holocaust victims?
I think the answer is yes only if we regard animals as unworthy of moral consideration. However, all humans and “higher” animals can experience pleasure and pain, and all have a similar desire to live and thrive. Reflecting the commonality between human and nonhuman beings, the Bible offers ample support for regarding animals as moral subjects. Genesis 1 describes God blessing all animals and declaring them “good.” Repeatedly, God expresses concern for nonhumans. Among the many examples, after the Flood, God makes a covenant with Noah “and every living creature” not to flood the earth again, and one reason God saves Nineveh is to spare the many cattle there (Jonah 4:11).
Are the lives of humans and nonhumans equally valuable? Naturally, we will tend value the lives of individuals who are more like us and with whom we have closer bonds. Indeed, most of us value the lives of family members far above the lives of other humans. This bias, while understandable and perhaps even desirable in many ways, does not excuse callous disregard for those individuals with whom we lack emotional attachments. It is ironic that animal advocates are often criticized for being sentimental, yet they are the ones who generally transcend sentimentalism and abide by principles of justice.
There are different ways to assess the value of life, and I don’t think there are any objective standards to ascertain which way(s) are most legitimate. The lives of nonhumans matter to them, and for the more social creatures such as dogs and cats, the lives of companions matter to each other. I see no legitimate grounds for disregarding the lives of nonhumans, and it seems that the principle reason most people disregard nonhuman lives is that doing so is convenient and self-serving. Here is perhaps the greatest irony. Many people had little regard for the lives of Nazis because the Nazis justified callous, violent, and immoral behavior on the groundless claim that their victims were inferior. These same people generally believe that other-than-Nazi human lives are extremely valuable. Yet, these other-than-Nazi humans justify their own callous, violent, and immoral treatment of nonhumans on the dubious grounds that the supposed inferiority of nonhumans permits abusive treatment.
What, if anything, makes humans superior? I will explore this question next week.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D 

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

Is The True Spirit Of Christmas Still With You?

4. Note about The Hobbit
Last week’s e-newsletter mentioned The Peaceable Table, the contents of which included a review of The Hobbit, with a favorable comment about the human/nonhuman relationships depicted in the movie. However, one CVA member noted a recent report than many animals died while the movie was being made on account of poor facilities.

For more information, read 27 Animals Killed During “The Hobbit” and see:  

Your question and comments are welcome

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