Vegetarian advocacy is a form of Christian stewardship and discipleship, because vegetarianism honors God by showing respect for God’s environment, animals, and humans. When our lives honor God, we feel closer to God and spiritually more fulfilled. So, encouraging people to try vegetarianism is offering a gift, for them as well as for the rest of Creation.Leafleting and Tabling
The CVA eagerly seeks volunteers to leaflet and table at Christian and green concerts and events, at Christian colleges, and outside churches. Activists have almost always found leafleting and tabling effective, efficient, and rewarding. We recommend featuring the CVA’s booklet Are We Good Stewards of God's Creation?, which people have found concise and compelling. For Catholic audiences, Fr. John Dear’s essay Christianity and Vegetarianism (available as a booklet and on CD and cassette from PETA have been well received.
You should be well groomed and wear clothing that identifies you as a vegetarian advocate. If approached in a pleasant manner, many people will politely accept your booklets. Often, you need to be assertive, while remaining friendly of course, or people will ignore you. Suggested greetings include, “Would you like some literature on [choose one] God-centered/healthful/vegetarian/compassionate eating, with recipes?” To those who take the literature, you may say, “Thank you” or, “Have a great day!”
At churches, we recommend that you stay off private property. Otherwise, it may appear that the church endorses your literature, and this may be resented. Unfortunately, this may restrict you to larger urban churches, because churchgoers elsewhere often park on church property. Do not leave CVA literature under windshield wipers.
Our ministry needs volunteers! If you are interested in helping the CVA, please fill out our form.
The Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA) has 26 minute video and a slide show available in 35mm slides and in Microsoft PowerPoint, with accompanying lecture notes, which have been well received. We recommend that people talk in terms of compassion, love, mercy, and humility. If people resist your message you might challenge them: “We know that Christ was full of love and compassion. I think we need to ask, is eating meat the most loving, compassionate food choice we can make?”
Encourage people to think about viewing all of Creation from God's perspective, rather than a human perspective; this will help them see nature and animals as objects of compassion and concern. Often, the human view is that animals raised on farms are meant to be eaten. In contrast, it is hard to imagine that God, who looked upon all Creation and called it "very good" (Genesis 1:31), approves of humankind's cruelty and destructiveness. Indeed, you may point out that factory farming deprives animals of all the natural behaviors God designed them to have.
It is often helpful to recall that God gave Adam a vegetarian diet and that Isaiah prophesied that at the end of time all creatures, once again, will be vegetarian. Our booklet Honoring God’s Creation addresses common objections to Christian-based vegetarianism.
Many community libraries have temporary displays covering a wide range of topics. Contact the CVA for a copy of its posters and for literature that may be offered adjacent to the display.Other Ideas
Often, a discussion can be rewarding for both you and other participants. It is sometimes helpful to reflect on two or three biblical passages as springboards for conversations. Good candidates include Genesis 1:28-31, which invites discussion of dominion and demonstrates that the Bible's ideal diet is vegetarian; Isaiah 11:6-9, which envisions a vegetarian Messianic Age; and Matthew 6:10 because it reminds people that we are to seek the kingdom of God on earth. Alternatively, you can explore why we favor members of certain species and then consider which animals matter to God.
Give your doctor a pamphlet about vegetarianism. Talk to your pastor about vegetarianism, and discuss ways to develop church educational programs that explore the impact of diet on animals, human health, world hunger, and the environment. You may speak or arrange a speaker, or show a videotape. If your church will put them in its library, both the Christian Vegetarian Association and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offer free books about Christianity and vegetarianism. If you can place literature in a “take-one” area, both Christian Veg and PETA will provide you with brochures at a discount or for free, and you can download their literature at no cost. Register with your community, library, and school speakers' bureaus. Display your pro-vegetarian message with bumper stickers, pins, and clothing. Ask managers of health food stores, vegetarian restaurants, and other sympathetic outlets to offer CVA pamphlets in their literature sections.
Be on the lookout for editorials or news items about which you may comment with letters to the editors of your local newspapers. (See suggestions for letters-to-editor.) Also, contact your local newspapers' food editors and ask that more vegetarian recipes be included. If possible, provide recipes yourself, remembering that simple and tasty dishes are often most helpful.