2. Praise for Good News for All Creation
Emily writes: Good News for All Creation was the best book I have
ever read. I read it two years ago and have been a vegetarian ever
since. I passed the book on to my sister a few days ago and we just
got off the phone and she told me that she loves the book and has
also decided to go vegetarian. I love your books (I have asked for
the others for Christmas). I have looked for years to find one that
compares....I always come up short. Thank you!!!
[This book and others are available at
3. Essay: Thoughts about the Golden Rule
Last week I suggested that the Golden Rule is a nearly universal
ethic. Christianity’s expression can be found in Matthew “whatever
you wish that men would do to you, do so to them” (7:12). For
example, we see in Islam, “No one of you is a believer until he
desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.” Such
expressions of the Golden Rule are helpful, but they have the
drawback that our desires vary and what we might want might differ
from what our brother or sister might want.
I am fond of the formulation by the Jewish rabbinic scholar
Hillel, who said in the 1st Century BCE, “That which is hateful to
you, do not unto another: This is the whole Torah. The rest is
commentary.” We are very similar in what we don’t want – nearly
everyone wishes to avoid pain and other forms of suffering. If we
use this principle as a guide, we will seldom err.
Should we regard animals among the “others” for whom the Golden
Rule applies? I think so, because animals share with humans the core
desires to avoid pain and suffering. Those who would disregard
animals from consideration must produce a morally relevant reason to
do so. Otherwise, their position would be arbitrary and, most
likely, based on unsupportable prejudices.
We don’t regard intelligence, capacity for moral action, or other
mental skills as morally relevant when determining whether humans
should be considered “others” for whom the Golden Rule demands equal
regard, so these criteria should not apply to nonhumans either. Many
Christians defend harmful exploitation of animals on biblical
grounds, but the CVA has addressed these claims and found them
wanting. (See, for example, our booklet Would Jesus Eat Meat Today?
It seems inconceivable that the Prince of Peace would regard the
violence of contemporary animal agriculture, characterized by
extremes of abuse, and call it good. Indeed, we should question the
validity of any religion that endorses the abuse of innocent
individuals in order to satisfy nonessential desires of those with
power. Such a self-serving ethic appears to have its origins in
human desires, and not divine ones.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.
4. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and
Daniel, God’s Man in the Field (Part XV)