2013 Newsletters

Christian Vegetarian Association
Update Newsletters
ake Heart!

Take Heart Contents
| Animal Issues | Articles | Bible | Children | Devotionals | Environment | Food | Health | Opinion | Quotations | Recipes |

CVA Weekly Newsletter
August 14, 2013

  1. Message to Christianveg@YahooGroups.com listserve
  2. Essay: Animal Souls and the Bible
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman 

1. Message to Christianveg@YahooGroups.com listserv
[Phil Whitehead replied to a message about how it is upsetting to view images of human violence toward nonhumans. He subsequently edited his comments:]
Does a person who is committed to ending violence against animals have an obligation to view graphic images and videos? Does a person abandon the animals to suffering alone by refusing to view these graphic images? Does a person risk personal harm by viewing these images?
Melanie Joy comments helpfully on questions of this kind from her perspective as a PhD in social psychology. In Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows, she offers two contending approaches.
First, she encourages people to look upon the violence by stating, “virtually every atrocity in the history of humankind was enabled by a populace that turned away from a reality that seemed too painful to face, while virtually every revolution for peace and justice has been made possible by a group of people who choose to bear witness and demanded that others bear witness as well.” (p. 139)
Next, she adds a caveat: “Staying informed does not mean continually exposing yourself to graphic imagery. Once you’re aware of the suffering of farmed animals, you don’t need to expose yourself to potentially traumatizing information.” (p. 147)
The fact that an expert in this field, who thoroughly researched the issue, stops short of offering definitive guidance suggests that the above questions are impervious to generally applicable answers and that a unique approach for each person is necessary.
For a Christian, who is attempting to discern their correct course on this issue, the ancient words of Proverbs 3:5-6 find a modern application:
“Trust in the Lord will all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all of your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Christianveg@YahooGroups.com is an open discussion list that is moderate to make sure that all messages are respectful and topical. 

2. Essay: Animal Souls and the Bible
Darwinian evolutionary theory, for which I think there is very compelling evidence, leads to the conclusion that our species (which our scientists have given the self-aggrandizing name Homo sapiens) is one among millions of species of animals. The Bible similarly describes continuity between humans and nonhumans when it refers to nephesh chayah to describe both humans (Genesis 2:7) and nonhumans (Genesis 2:19). However, many people who read the Bible in translation don’t know this, because translators have imposed their own ideology on the text. For example, nephesh chayah is “living soul” in the King James Version and “living being” in the Revised Standard Version when describing humans in 2:7, and “living creature” in both versions in 2:19.
The author of Ecclesiastes, recognizing the similar essence of humans and nonhumans, expressed the common fate of all living beings: “All go to one place; all are from dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knows whether the spirit of many goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?” (3:20-21)
Indeed, who knows? The great mystery of how our own, unique consciousness came into being opens up possibilities that are both exciting and frightening. Could our sense of self have had prior lives, and are future lives possible? Next week, I will explore evidence for and against these hypotheses and relate my thoughts to animal issues.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D. 

3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Do Not Worry

Your question and comments are welcome

Copyright 2008 © Christian Vegetarian Association. All rights reserved.

| Home Page | Bibliography | Blog | Books, T-shirts, Etc. | Community | Contact Us | CVA Board | CVA Videos | Essays and Coloring Book | Honoring God's Creation | How to Help | Links | Membership | Mission | Podcast | Take Heart | Vegetarianism's Benefits |

This site is hosted and maintained by
The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation.