Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - April 8, 2020
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)


  1. Activist Feedback
  2. The Roots of Speciesism
  3. All-Creatures.org Ministry

1. Activist Feedback

There are no current Christian events to leaflet, but there are more events to report from earlier this year. Rick Hershey, who leafleted with Chip at Winter Jam at BOK Center in Tulsa, writes:

Chip and I handed out 1050 CVA booklets. Security kept us off the grounds, and attendees had relatively a low take rate. We heard from one vegan.


2. The Roots of Speciesism

Just as selfish economic motivations contribute significantly to racism, selfish desires encourage speciesism. It is much easier to justify eating, experimenting on, wearing, and otherwise harmfully abusing nonhumans if they are considered unsympathetic. However, just as racism in America has helped whites deny ownership of attributes they consider undesirable, speciesism promotes the misconception that being human imbues an individual with distinctive, admirable qualities.

Humans find that they benefit from this view in several ways. Perhaps most importantly, it helps promote the view that human souls will survive the death of the body. Nonhumans seem to live, struggle, and die, and many people find it difficult to believe that nonhumans will enjoy some kind of afterlife. To the degree that we see ourselves as “merely animals,” fears that death is the absolute end of our existence are more inclined to haunt us.

Second, we like to think of ourselves as the captain of our ship, making decisions of our own free will unencumbered by instinct or unconscious desires. Acknowledging our common ancestry with nonhumans raises doubts about our free will. (It should be noted that there is good reason to think that, if humans have free will, many nonhumans might also have this attribute.) The fear that we lack free will is particularly terrifying, because we often find that our emotions or desires prompt us to do things that we later regret. Rather than acknowledge that our minds have much in common with many nonhumans, many people tenaciously hold onto the conviction that our minds and those of nonhumans are fundamentally different.

Third, seeing nonhumans as fundamentally different creations from humans simplifies that often complicated and messy goal of trying to live a consistent, ethical life. Regarding human lives and well-being as infinitely more important than those of nonhumans eliminates the need for any kind of moral calculations when evaluating situations in which human and nonhuman interests conflict.

Speciesism seems to benefit humans in many ways, but there are grave dangers and hidden costs. I will discuss this next week.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.


3. All-Creatures.org Ministry



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