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Update Newsletters
2 February 2011 Issue

1. Activist Feedback – Leafleting at Winter Jam

2. Essay: Are Animals Victims of Scapegoating?

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

1. Activist Feedback – Leafleting at Winter Jam

A. Leafleting in Cleveland on Jan. 30, Jen, Leigh, and I (Steve) found the Winter Jam crowd very receptive and respectful, and we handed out 1200 booklets. I found it was helpful to arrive 1 ½ hours before the start, when people were waiting in line to get in. (It might have been even better had we come even earlier.) I approach many people, particularly the many younger people there, asking, “Do you like animals?” Most said yes, and then I’d show the booklet picture and title saying, “Would you like this booklet about Christianity and animals?” I find that people are much more receptive waiting in line than when walking to the venue.

B. Regarding leafleting at Winter Jam 2011 at theNIU Convocation Center in DeKalb, IL on Jan. 22, Darina writes:

Jon rallied the local Justice For Animals crew (Darina, Jon, Ed, Sam, and Cory) to help with this great leafleting event. Winter Jam is a major Christian rock concert tour attracting thousands to each show. The five of us hit the venue before the show. The venue is on the NIU campus (public) however we got harassed by the venue security until Jon pulled out the “Notice to University Officials and Law Enforcement” (available on the Vegan Outreach website, and very useful). Promptly, the venue just asked us to fill out a registration form, and nobody interfered with our leafleting from there on. Since we had enough people, we were able to cover multiple entrances to the venue, and also hand out SunFlour vegan cookies with the booklets which made almost every person in the crowd hungry for the information.

Jon and I also came back at the end of the show. It was extremely cold but the crowd was very receptive, and we handed out 450 more booklets for a total of more than 1000 “Would Jesus Eat Meat Today?” booklets. We were happy to see that many people still held on to the booklets received before the show. Also, almost nobody tossed the booklets on the ground; a few people gave them back to us if they didn’t want them. CVA events/concerts are excellent and very rewarding leafleting opportunities: receptive and well-mannered crowd, and easy to hand out a lot in a short amount of time. I look forward to a few CVA events coming up in IL in February.

A big lesson learned was that the venue security may be scary and compelling but they often are just guessing the rules. In our case, we were told different things by different security workers (some citing the “state regulations”, some telling us this was a semi-private venue) but after the chief person saw the legal “Notice,” those issues ceased to exist. Just by being persistent, we were able to reach over a 1,000 new minds with the message of compassion.

Upcoming Outreach Opportunities

2/10 GA Augusta Winter Jam 2011 Tour Spectacular

2/10 OH Dayton Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

2/11 IL Hoffman Estates Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

2/11 SC Greenville Winter Jam 2011 Tour Spectacular

2/11-12 MO Kansas City Acquire the Fire Youth Conference

2/12 AL Birmingham Winter Jam 2011 Tour Spectacular

2/12 MI East Lansing Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

2/13 IL Bloomington Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

2/14 KY Louisville Winter Jam 2011 Tour Spectacular

2/17 MI Grand Forks Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

2/18-19 CO Denver Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

3/20 Anywhere! TABLE or leaflet "Meat Out" with the CVA!

2/25-26 AZ Phoenix Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

2/27 CO Colorado Springs Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

3/3 ID Boise Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

3/4 MT Missoula Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

3/4-5 OR Portland Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

3/5 WA Seattle Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

3/6 OR Portland Thousand Foot Krutch Rock and Worship Roadshow

3/11-12 MD Baltimore Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

3/18-19 FL Lakeland Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

3/25-26 OH Columbus Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

4/1-2 CT Hartford Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

4/8-9 PA Reading Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

4/11 FL Tampa TABLE Talking Animals Festival

4/15-16 CA Ontario Revolve Tour Dream On Christian Youth Conference

6/19 VA Richmond TABLE Richmond Vegetarian Festival

7/5-8 OH Cincinnati TABLE Church Turning the World Upside

Contact Paris at christian_vegetarian@yahoo.com  if you can help. To find out about all upcoming leafleting and tabling opportunities in your area, join the CVA Calendar Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/christian_vegetarian/.

2. Essay: Are Animals Victims of Scapegoating?

Recalling that I have defined scapegoating as the transfer of guilt, does this happen to nonhuman animals (hereafter “animals”)? To be sure, selfish desires for sensory pleasures, such as the taste of flesh and the feel of fur, inspire much animal abuse. However, if those who participate in harming animals are to reconcile animal abuse with a self-image of kindness and decency, they must justify themselves. A common form of rationalization involves attributing to victims those attributes the victimizers would otherwise need to acknowledge about themselves. How could a person have a bad attribute if that person identifies and feels contempt for that attribute in others?

Many of us feel guilty about our socially unacceptable desires. For many of us, a sense that God condemns anyone who has such illicit desires augments these guilty feelings. It seems that many people resolve this concern by projecting their own forbidden sexual, violent, or other desires onto animals.

Regarding sexuality, human sexuality has myriad cultural and biological influences that frequently conflict with each other, and these often lead to inner turmoil and interpersonal difficulties. It can be tempting for humans to deny their own “immoral” sexual desires, and nearly everyone has desires that would violate one or more of our culture’s many taboos related to sexuality. Though animals are generally very selective about their sexual partners, on the surface animals often seem uninhibited about sex, perhaps because many animals, unlike most people, have sexual intercourse in the presence of other members of their species. Consequently, people can deny their unacceptable sexual desires by feeling contempt for animals, who seem to engage in unrestrained sexual behavior.

Regarding violence, people have similarly tried to justify their own violence by distinguishing their violence – which they typically regard as righteousness or justice – from that of animals. This is ironic, because it appears that humans are far more inclined than animals to seek vengeance, and animals rarely kill or seriously injure each other when fighting over food, territory, or sexual mates. Indeed, people often call sexual predators or violent criminals “animals” or “beasts,” which implies that these desires cannot be found within the human soul.

Because we desperately want to deny our own guilt and shame, and because we want to believe that we are good and worthy of God’s favor, there are strong motivations to project our own unwanted desires onto scapegoats. Animals, who cannot protest unfair characterizations, can readily fill this role. If we then feel contempt for animals for supposedly having immoral desires, we might convince ourselves that we do not harbor those desires.

Scapegoating animals has made it much easier to abuse them, and indeed animals are abused to a degree unprecedented in human history. This has been possible because animal abuse is grounded on the fundamental lie that the animals somehow “deserve” what happens to them. If Christians are to take seriously Jesus’ declaration that “the truth will set you free,” they must not base their relationship with the nonhuman world on a lie.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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

Growing both Vertically and Horizontally
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons97/s28jan90.html .

Your question and comments are welcome

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