Weekly Newsletter from Christian Vegetarian Association CVA - May 6, 2020
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)


  1. Executive Order to Open Slaughterhouses - Comment
  2. “Planet of the Humans” Documentary Directed by Jeff Giggs
  3. Justice, part 2: Theories about Heaven
  4. All-Creatures.Org Ministry

1. Executive Order to Open Slaughterhouses - Comment

After intense lobbying from the meat industry, on Tuesday President Trump signed an executive order declaring slaughterhouses “critical infrastructure” that must continue production. By having the federal government both mandate that the slaughterhouses stay open and set standards for employee safety, this action protects the meat industry from lawsuits when workers become ill and die of COVID-19 infection. An industry that has no concern for the well-being of the countless animals it kills cannot be expected to have much concern for the workers it employs, and indeed slaughterhouse work has long had among the highest rates of injury.

However, the industry is concerned about lawsuits, which explains the closing of several large slaughterhouse plants when many workers got sick and some died. I strongly suspect that these closures were part of a strategy to put pressure on the federal government to generate an executive order that would shield them from lawsuits. As slaughterhouses closed, meat producers stood to lose massive amounts of money, and they joined the “meat packing” industry in pressuring the government for action.


2. “Planet of the Humans” Documentary Directed by Jeff Giggs

Mike Hudak, author of Western Turf Wars and other pieces on the impact of animal agribusiness on the environment, alerted us to the new documentary Planet of the Humans. He writes:

For the next few weeks the documentary will be available on YouTube for free streaming or download. I encourage you to watch it if you have an interest in such things as “sustainable energy,” Green New Deal, and the role of large environmental organizations in these endeavors.

Much of what you may believe to be positive about some of the most respected environmental leaders of our time—people such as Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, Al Gore, and Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune—is exposed as false.

The film is by Jeff Gibbs, who co-produced Michael Moore’s films “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine.” Michael Moore, who served as Executive Producer for Gibbs’s film, said:

“Planet of the Humans” dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day—that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road—selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It's too little, too late.

Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars?

This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late.

Here's the link to the trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pXCftKF4uI

And the link to the documentary:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk11vI-7czE&feature=youtu.be

Comment: I think a lot of environmentalists are earnest in their concern for the environment and their efforts to mitigate global climate change, but this documentary makes a strong case that their attempts to enlist the support of corporations significantly undermines their efforts. The film argues that it is not realistic to hope that “alternative energy” sources can permit human populations to climb and standards of living to grow.

A CVA member has forwarded a critique of this film. It notes that the film focuses on problems with solar and wind energy that reflect the state of these technologies more than a decade ago. Newer technologies are more efficient and more “green.” The critique can be viewed at
https://ketanjoshi.co/2020/04/24/planet-of-the-humans-a-reheated-mess-of-lazy-old-myths/?fbclid=IwAR3A88cAFLhc5tfvhxsVvq64AOxWdoHWrtoqnpg5TKmxmGkv6t0Mf2AE_tQ


3. Justice, part 2: Theories about Heaven

Because we see so much obvious injustice in the world, many people believe that the scales of justice will be righted in the afterlife. A widely held belief among Christians is that those who deserved reward will enjoy everlasting bliss in heaven, while those who deserve punishment will get their comeuppance in hell. I see several difficulties with this theory.

In prior essays, I have discussed concerns about the lack of reliable evidence for heaven and hell. For the sake of argument, let us assume that these places exist. We know that the body decays after death, yet it is difficult to imagine any notion of bliss or suffering that does not involve the body. An extracorporeal “soul” separate from the body might enjoy the presence or grieve the absence of God, but this concept posits a state of mind that is very alien to typical human existence. Even a monk’s satisfying contemplation of God likely evokes memories of pleasurable feelings, for example a child’s sensations in the arms of the child’s parents.

If the experience of bliss in heaven and agony in hell were unlike any experiences we have on earth, the notions of heaven and hell would lose meaning. Even if someone returned from heaven or hell and could communicate their experiences, it is very doubtful that we would understand. Consequently, we would be unable to conceive of how heaven and hell might be places where the scales of justice are restored

Next week, I will start to consider whether it is possible for reward in heaven and suffering in hell can lead to justice that accords with a human understanding of justice.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.


4. All-Creatures.Org Ministry


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