Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - August 1, 2019
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)


  1. Review: Engines of Liberty by David Cole
  2. All-Creatures.Org Ministry
  3. Christian Vegan Retreat

1. Review: Engines of Liberty by David Cole

Many people have a sense that powerful individuals and institutions dictate public policy, and that ordinary citizens have virtually no power. In truth, national legal director of the ACLU David Cole notes, collectively people can influence policy. Looking at same-sex marriage, gun rights, and treatment of prisoners in the “war on terror”, Cole documents remarkably rapid public policy changes spurred by grassroots actions.

Dedicated activists prompted like-minded people to put pressure on lawmakers. Often, the first step was to change local or state laws, which paved the way for national legislation or legal reforms. Interestingly, there was initial backlash after state supreme courts endorsed same-sex marriage, with many states adopting constitutional amendments prohibiting the practice. However, a successful grass-roots campaign turned the tide, and a Supreme Court ruling that had seemed unthinkable 20 years previously became the law of the land.

How does this apply to animal issues? For one thing, we should not place much hope on the courts to lead the campaign toward animal liberation. The courts rarely lead the charge for broadening rights, and the public and elected representatives will find ways to circumvent broadly unpopular court rulings.

Cole offers at least two observations that animal advocates might find helpful. Many animal advocates often find working with organizations difficult. Many passionate grassroots activists find organizations too cautious and moderate, and these activists often despise fraternizing with “the enemy”. However, organizations have been invaluable in making gains in step-wise fashion by putting pressure on legislators and directing educational campaigns. Sometimes, these small gains eventually translate into major policy changes.

Another important take-home point is that the message matters. For example, same-sex marriage advocacy on the grounds of equal rights did not convince many people. However, the theme of love resonated much better. A typical television advertisement featured parents expressing their happiness that their son or daughter had been in a stable, loving relationship with a same-sex partner for many years. They wished that their son or daughter could celebrate that love through marriage.

Many activists think hard about how to achieve our goals. Engines of Liberty provides much helpful insight.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.


2. All-Creatures.Org Ministry


3. Christian Vegan Retreat

There will be a Christian vegan retreat in Hawaii November 18-25. For more info, see RawChristianLiving.com.

Peace and blessings,
Jonnah


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