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Update Newsletters
11 May 2010 Issue

1. Helped Needed for the Ohioans for Humane Farms Ballot Initiative
A. We Need Ohio Volunteers
B. We Need Ohio Pastors
C. Wanted – Full-time Petition Gatherers
D. Why the Ohioans for Humane Farms Initiative Is Important

2. Prof. Deborah Jones to Speak in Cleveland

3. Religion and Animals Course at Harvard – Seeking Enrollment

4. Activist Feedback

5. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

6. The May Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online


1. Helped Needed for the Ohioans for Humane Farms Ballot Initiative

A. We Need Ohio Volunteers

Ohio, a large producer of pork and one of the nation’s largest producers of chicken eggs, abuses 38 million land animals in factory farms annually. Ohioans for Humane Farms aims to eliminate some of the worst abuses, including battery cages for hens, gestation stalls for pigs, cruel deaths for “downer” cows, and strangulation as a means of killing pigs and cows on farms.

We need volunteers in Ohio to gather petitions by June 30 in order to get this important measure on the ballot. This legislation would not make animal agriculture “humane,” but it would make the lives of animals on farms much less miserable. And the legislation has national implications. Other states have enacted similar reforms, and if enough states join them we will soon reach a “tipping point” where these state standards become national standards. To learn more (and to read Dr. Michael Greger’s outstanding essays explaining the benefits to animals, communities, and human health from this measure) go to www.ohiohumane.com.

B. We Need Ohio Pastors

We need pastors of all denominations who are willing to endorse a letter to fellow pastors of their denominations in support of this initiative. Please contact cva@christianveg.org  if you might be able to help.

C. Wanted – Full-time Petition Gatherers

The Justice for Animals Fund has kindly offered to sponsor 2-3 full-time petition-gatherers from now until the end of June. If interested, contact cva@christianveg.org .

D. Why the Ohioans for Humane Farms Initiative Is Important

Next week I’ll post the second part of my commentary about free speech. This week I want to discuss the Ohio ballot initiative, and why it’s important. Factory farming commits animals to unrelenting pain, stress, and misery; frustrates all or nearly all the animals’ natural behaviors; and typically involves great suffering to and in the slaughterhouse. Further, it promotes development of antibiotic-resistant diseases; facilitates the spread of potentially disastrous epidemics (such as SARS, swine flu, and others); sickens millions and kills thousands of people in the United States annually from what is often mislabeled as “stomach virus”; causes asthma and other diseases in people living near the huge waste lagoons; ruins groundwater; pollutes rivers; contributes heavily to greenhouse gasses; and depletes scarce land, water, and energy resources. In short, factory farming is a disaster for humans and animals. The Ohio ballot initiative won’t eliminate factory farming, but it will reduce many of the economic incentives that have promoted the most cruel and environmentally harmful megafarms. These megafarms are also destroying rural American lives by rendering the smaller, more sustainable, and far less abusive family farms obsolete. Unfortunately, animal agribusiness interests are strong, and nothing will happen unless we work hard. I call on our Ohio members to rise up to the challenge!

2. Prof. Deborah Jones to Speak in Cleveland

Elizabeth Farians is trying to get Catholic theologians to deal with the animal issue. She has invited Deborah Jones from England, author of the new book School of Compassion, a Roman Catholic Theology of Animals to speak at the annual convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America. Financial help is greatly needed. Tax free donations can be made to APE (Animals, People and the Earth) c/o Elizabeth Farians, 8540 Lynnehaven Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236.

The convention is in Cleveland this year and it would be helpful is anyone could provide housing for Deborah on Sunday evening, June 13 to Wednesday morning, June 16, when she leaves the area. She is vegan. She and would also need transportation to the airport. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Contact me at the email address or at 513 984 8062. Thank you, Elizabeth.

3. Religion and Animals Course at Harvard – Seeking Enrollment

Paul Waldau, Barker Lecturer in Animal Law at Harvard Law School and author of The Specter of Speciesism: Buddhist and Christian Views of Animals, is offering a summer term course at Harvard University entitled Religion and Animals. The deadline for registration is May 17.

Dr. Waldau describes his course at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSjd9nd3ADA. He notes that some really extraordinary people are already registered for the class, which should make for lively and insightful discussions.

The course syllabus is available at http://www.summer.harvard.edu – click on “Search” in the upper right corner, and enter “animals” or “religion”.

4. Activist Feedback

Terri, who leafleted at Ignite 2010 in Ashville, NC, writes:

Stewart and I leafleted all 3 days of Ignite 2010, a free Christian youth event, and gave away the six boxes of CVA brochures sent to us, plus a box we had on hand [2100 booklets!]. People were polite in general, with only a few negative remarks. Some people mentioned that they were already vegetarian and were glad that we were there. We saw a lot of people reading the brochures as they stood in line waiting for the doors to open. Although many people took the brochures thinking they were programs, they were exposed to the message once they looked at the literature.

5. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

To Kill or Not to Kill, That Is the Question
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s16apr89.html  

6. The May Issue of The Peaceable Table Is Now Online

Contents include:

* The Editorial, by Robert Ellwood, considers George Orwell's influential novel Animal Farm, written in the early 1940s but not published until 1945 because several publishers feared that its satire would offend England's Russian allies. Written from "the animals' point of view," the book among other things illustrates the kind of corruption of political language that Orwell later called "Newspeak," a corruption still very much evident in the terminology surrounding the eating of animals.

* In one of the Unset Gems, Orwell reminds us that in times of deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary.

* Creatures of the Same God, a collection of essays by theologian-activist Andrew Linzey, is considered in the Book Review. The essays, among other things, describe a vegetarian Christian movement in China in the early Middle Ages, and some conflicts between ecotheologians and animal theologians.

* A refreshing and nourishing Peas and Corn Salad for springtime dining is sketched in one of the May recipes.

* This month's Pioneer is Albert Einstein, who took a new path in eating as well as in physics.

To read this issue, see http://www.vegetarianfriends.net/issue65.html

Toward the Peaceable Kingdom,
Gracia Fay Ellwood, Editor.

Your question and comments are welcome

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