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CVA Weekly Newsletter
November 13, 2013

  1. Replies to Last Week’s Essay on Fishing
  2. Essay/Review - Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
  4. The November-December Peaceable Table Is Now Online

1. Replies to Last Week’s Essay on Fishing (see November 6, 2013)
Thank you for this very sensitive and eye opening essay about fishing. I just wish more people would open up to the suffering of animals ... the world has become a huge killing field and those who are most vulnerable - the animals.
Much Peace,

What these guys truly find relaxing isn't the fishing - it's just being out in nature, on the water, in the fresh air. But admitting to being sensitive to, and appreciative of, such things isn't considered "manly" enough in this "culture" sadly - so some needless brutality is added. What I tell people who cling to this old paradigm is "While in the past, in the West, manhood was measured by how much harm a person could do*, today it is measured by how little."

Gordon Lee Stelter

*Think Alexander the "Great."

2. Essay/Review - Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures by Virginia Morell (Crown, New York, 2013, 291 pp., $26)
Animal Wise is a welcomed addition to a growing literature on the minds of nonhuman persons. Science writer Virginia Morell uses an engaging style to introduce readers to the vast literature that demonstrates thinking and feeling among nonhuman persons. This book compliments When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy and Minding Animals: Awareness, Emotions, and Heart by Marc Bekoff. This entire area of inquiry is indebted to Donald Griffin, who wrote Animal Minds. A distinctive feature of Morell’s book is that she discusses thinking among insects and fish.
All attempts to explore the minds of nonhuman persons are challenged by the difficulties humans have in communicating with nonhumans. Many scientists have chosen to study nonhuman behavior rather than thinking, because behavior can be directly observed and measured, unlike thinking. However sensible this might seem from a scientific standpoint, it is not reasonable to presume (as many scientists have done) that, because thinking and emotions among nonhuman persons are difficult to study scientifically, nonhuman persons don’t think or have feelings. In truth, thinking among nonhumans is the most reasonable conclusion to draw from complex behavior. In particular, mindless “instinct” explains poorly the many behaviors found among nonhumans that require learning or complex social interactions.
Perhaps one reason people often dismiss thinking and feeling among nonhuman persons is that acknowledging nonhumans’ mental states would make it more difficult to justify the brutal exploitation to which nonhuman persons are routinely subjected. Injustice and deceit go hand-in-hand.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D. 

3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Bringing God’s Heavenly Will to Earth

4. The November-December Peaceable Table Is Now Online
Contents Include:
* The Editor's Corner Guest Essay, by Friend Rachel MacNair, deals with the way violent language is often used to describe positive processes, such as the origin of stars.  What does this practice say about a society's assumptions regarding the core of reality? 
* This issue's Glimpse of the Peaceable Kingdom really shows us the spirit behind that Kingdom:  a small dog determined to draw a rescuer to a trapped kitten.
* Our Pioneer for this issue is 19th century Shaker leader Frederick Evans, who became a dedicated vegetarian not long after he joined the Shakers and remained one all his life. Evans was very articulate, encouraging his fellow Shakers and others to follow the same path. 
* Two recipes for the holidays (or every day), one somewhat complex and one simple:  a delicious Pumpkin Cheezecake with Gingersnap Crust, and savory Roasted Rosemary Parsnips.  Both come highly recommended from residents here in Ojai, California.
This issue of PT is No. 99.  We hope readers will help us celebrate the appearance of the hundredth issue, January 2014, with letters and submissions.  Next year we expect to be back on a monthly schedule.

To read this issue, visit http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue99.html
Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor

Your question and comments are welcome

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