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CVA Weekly Newsletter
January 23, 2013

1. CVA Video on the Internet 
2. Chicks Used for Packing Filler
3. Essay: Are Humans Superior?
4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. CVA Video on the Internet

The CVA’s 26 minute video, designed for use at Christian Education classes with the accompanying study guide, as now available online at:

2. Chicks Used for Packing Filler

In yet another example of the heartlessness of animal agribusiness, male chicks are being used as filler to keep the birds who are ordered warm. Obviously, many of the male chicks die en route, and once they arrive they have no use and are generally killed. If we are to make any claim to be people of God, who must vigorously oppose this and the many other routine abuses of many billions of animals each year.

Baby Chicks Used as Packing Filler:

3. Essay: Are Humans Superior?

Many people defend animal abuse on the grounds that humans are superior to nonhumans. What makes animal-abusing humans superior? It can’t be human capacity for moral behavior, because it makes no sense to claim that having moral capabilities justifies immoral behavior. It can’t be intelligence. While intelligence gives humans the potential to be superior creatures, if that intelligence is used to abuse innocent, vulnerable individuals, then human intelligence is a curse for the rest of the world, not a sign of human superiority. Also, some humans, including those with mental disabilities, have inferior intelligence compared to nonhumans, yet we don’t support experimenting on or eating these humans.

I don’t think humans having a soul justifies abusive tyranny over animals, since 1) I find no scientific evidence for a soul (and it would be inappropriate to justify mistreatment of innocent individuals without solid grounds for doing so, and non-empirical grounds such as faith can be used to justify any kind of abuse); 2) given the overwhelming scientific evidence that humans are animals, it makes little sense to assert that humans have souls while nonhumans do not; and 3) there is a strong Biblical foundation for claiming that nonhumans have souls (see Guided by the Faith of Christ p. 123).

Even if humans were superior to nonhumans, such superiority would not justify mistreatment of nonhumans. Similarly, not all humans have the same capabilities, and the superiority of some humans over others does not permit abusive treatment. As philosopher Tom Regan observed, if an alien race overwhelmed humanity, and if it were superior to humans in any feature that we regard as morally relevant, such as intelligence, would this alien race be equally justified in experimenting on and eating us as most humans think they are justified in doing these things to nonhumans? In my view, the possibility that there is no firm ground to assert human superiority makes the ethical grounds for treating nonhumans with justice and compassion that much stronger.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

Is Godly Love the True Spirit of Christmas? 

Your question and comments are welcome

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