- Activist Feedback
- Should We Attend Meat-Eating Churches?
- This week’s sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
- Car for a Cause
1. Activist Feedback
Trisha, who leafleted at Winter Jam in Nashville on March 11,
I found a fellow Christian vegetarian in Nashville to leaflet with
me! We arrived at 4 pm, one hour before the doors opened. There was
already a huge crowd because a local Christian radio DJ was there
outside doing a pre-concert rally. Jenni and I covered the lines at
the 2 entrances with leaflets and then circulated through the huge
crowd in front of the DJ’s tent. Jenni being college student was
better able to respond to the younger people and I to the parents,
youth leaders and "older" people. I found the best way to get a
response was to ask the question on the front of the leaflet out loud
"Would Jesus eat Meat Today?"
In less than 2 hours we had distributed 1200 leaflets, then picked
up the ones that had been thrown on the ground and on top of the trash
cans and re-distributed them. It was a positive experience for both of
us, and I did notice that more people said they were
vegetarians/vegans than in past years!
2. Should We Attend Meat-Eating Churches?
For those of us who regard factory farming as fundamentally sinful
and the act of harming any innocent individual as wrong, it is a real
dilemma whether to contribute our time, energy, and money to church
communities that endorse consuming animal products. In general, our
choice of a church community reflects, among other things, our values
and our religious convictions. I will offer some reasons against and
for belonging to a church community that promotes consuming animal
Some of the arguments against are quite obvious. We have limited
time, energy, and financial resources. Why dedicate a significant
portion of resources to institutions that participate in and even
promote profoundly cruelty to living, feeling beings? We might be
disinclined to judge those who “know not what they do,” but facts
about the evils of factory farming are readily available to anyone
with access to the Internet. Further, the animal protection movement
is widespread and vocal, and it takes a determined effort for people
to remain ignorant.
Though many of us believe that the arguments for a plant-based diet
are overwhelming, it is possible for people of good faith to disagree.
However, I think it is difficult to countenance a church community
that refuses to discuss animal and/or dietary issues. An essential
component of following Christ is an honest and thorough exploration of
how our actions impact other individuals.
Are there good reasons to consider joining or remaining with an
animal-unfriendly church? I think so. For one thing, we all need
community, and a church community can be a source of emotional and
spiritual support, even if we disagree with most church members when
it comes to animal issues. The spiritual journey is often a difficult
one, particularly for people struggling with physical or emotional
issues, and faith communities can provide support when people feel
that God has abandoned them.
We can learn and grow in many ways from omnivorous Christians, and
we can also offer our own witness to encourage our faith communities
to move toward more animal-friendly living. Often, this must be done
carefully, and it should always be done respectfully, but with
persistence we can make a difference, as long as the church leadership
doesn’t stand in the way. Such discipleship might not make us very
popular. Our opinions might even become the subjects of ridicule, but
Jesus wasn’t out to win any popularity contests, either.
Next week, I will begin an exploration of the nature of faith,
starting with the faith of Paul.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.
3. This week’s sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
From Darkness and Death to Light and Life
4. Car for a Cause
As someone who understands the suffering of countless animals in
the world, you understand the importance of protecting the innocent. I
have put my blood, sweat and tears into making my car just right and
that is why I have decided to auction the car and give every penny to
the non-profit New Harvest. Over the next forty years, we will need to
produce the same amount of food we have produced over the last eight
thousand years and we won't be able to do it without some smart
solutions. This solution would do more for the environment than if the
entire world traded their cars for bicycles, could prevent rather than
cause heart attacks and would be able to feed a hungry world.
take a look and help spread the word. Anything you can do to help:
[Editor’s note: New Harvest sponsors research into the development
of in vitro meat.]