Jesus encouraged his followers, "Go therefore and make disciples
of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of
the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that
I have commanded you" (Matthew 28:19-20). With baptism, we become
new creations in Christ, dedicated to following Jesus' path of love,
compassion, and peace, and encouraging others to do likewise. For
many Christian vegetarians, this commitment to help bring about
the realm of God "on earth as it is in heaven" (Matthew 6:10) is
central to their Christian witness.
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
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,
has 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
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.
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 groups will provide you with brochures at a discount or for
free, and you can download their literature at no cost at www.ChristianVeg.com
and at www.PETALiterature.com.
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
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.