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CVA Weekly Newsletter
May 16, 2012

  1.  Activist Feedback
  2. Essay: What Might a Distinctly Christian Faith Look Like? Part 2: Rejection of Scapegoating
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
  4. Comments on the Term “Vegcon”

1. Activist Feedback
 
Robert and Gracia Fay Ellwood write:
 
We are happy to report that the San Diego Earth Day fair April 22 at which we tabled for CVA, as we have for a number of years past, went quite well in 2012. Although the day was unseasonably cold and overcast forSan Diego, and attendance was perhaps down a little, our table had a very good location and was rarely without visitors. We were ably assisted by a new volunteer, Nara, a lovely young women who was very outgoing and committed and had the added virtue of being bilingual and was able to speak in Spanish to the many Latino visitors. Virtually visitors all were friendly and receptive -- one, who started out arguing from a biblical fundamentalist point of view, came around toward the end of the conversation to our compassionate understanding of Christianity for today in regard to food and animals! Much of our literature went, and we will have to replenish it for next year.
 
 Every good wish.


2. Essay: What Might a Distinctly Christian Faith Look Like? Part 2: Rejection of Scapegoating
 
Scapegoating involves unfairly attributing blame to other individual(s), and then punishing the supposedly guilty party(ies). The scapegoating process has always brought people together in their common contempt for victim(s), their collective accusation and punishment of the victim(s), and the camaraderie that accompanies the collective alleviation of guilt. The Hebrew Scriptures tell a story of humanity advancing from scapegoating violence to a rejection of scapegoating. The accusations in the Garden of Eden and later the human and nonhuman sacrifices were grounded in scapegoating – attributing one’s own guilt to other individuals. However, the later prophets denounced sacrificial violence, and the Suffering Servant in Isaiah (Ch. 53) is a beautiful exposé of the scandal of scapegoating.
 
The New Testament provides many stories of Jesus siding with the victims of scapegoating, and ultimately he becomes a victim of scapegoating himself. His victimization betrays once and for all the injustice and immorality of scapegoating, and indeed those in the crowd who called for his execution acknowledge their guilt by punishing themselves, beating their own chests on the way home (Luke 23:48).
 
I don’t think Christianity is unique in identifying the scapegoating process and offering teachings that call for a rejection of scapegoating. While I do think Christianity is distinctive in this regard, Christianity’s distinctiveness is not a crucial issue. What I think is important is that Christianity offers a path toward creating the realm of God “on earth as in heaven” – a realm that does not include the injustice and harmfulness of scapegoating. However, if scapegoating functions as the glue that holds communities together, what can bind communities instead? We’ll consider this question next week.
 
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D. 


3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
 
Eating a Mother for Mother’s Day
http://www.all-creatures.org/sermons98/s20120513.html


4. Comments on the Term “Vegcon”
 
In response to “vegan versus vegcon,” the premise is untrue. Many people choose vegan diets and lifestyles for other than moral, ethical reasons. Some choose it simply to rebel! I suggest reworking the premise.
 
For example, my stomach did not well tolerate flesh food – I had a high acid stomach and could not drink coffee or orange juice. Now, as a vegan, I can.
 
Before, when I ate dairy, I had no regular female cycle. Once I eliminated dairy, voila, extremely regular 28-day cycles with the moon even.
 
Before, when I ate dairy, I was constipated constantly. Once I eliminated that, voila, easy elimination.
 
So, there can be very specific physiological reasons that have nothing to do with morals for one to choose veganism.   
 
Anonymous
 
==========

I, too, have tried to come up with an alternative to "vegan." Like David, I'm not wild about that word (no disrespect to Donald Watson!). 
 
Sorry to say, "vegcon" doesn't quite do it for me. It's too hard to figure out how to say it, and it sounds silly when I utter either Veeg-Con or Veedj-Con.
 
Imagine how puzzling the pronunciation would be for non-vegans, half of whom still say "vay-gun" instead of "vee-gun." 
 
David is right that veganism isn't about food alone. Maybe the word that describes us shouldn't have food in it at all. That just perpetuates the misconception that animals can legitimately be considered food by humans and that vegetables are merely an alternative food as opposed to the only real food there is!
 
In other words, maybe we should quit emphasizing carnism vs veganism.
 
Should the conversation be about speciesism, instead? Speciesism vs .... ? What's a word that defines us as nonspeciesist? If someone isn't a racist, is he called a nonracist? Is someone who's not a sexist a nonsexist? 
 
We have a consciousness of creatures, and a conscience about creatures. We fight conscientiously for creatures.
 
In which case, might we call ourselves "creature conscious"? CreCon or CreaCon for short? Ugh! 
 
If we all put our heads together, we should be able to come up with a catchy, pronounceable, accurate, understood-by-all word. 
 
Smiles,
Susan 


Your question and comments are welcome

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