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CVA Weekly Newsletter
August 1, 2012

  1. Activist Feedback
  2. Upcoming Activist Opportunities
  3. Comment on Last Week's Essay
  4. This Week's Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Activist Feedback

David and Judy, who leafleted at Women of Faith in Little Rock, AR on June 16, write:
Paris, today – 16 June 2012 – we distributed close to 200 ‘Would Jesus Eat Meat Today?’ booklets. We arrived before they opened the doors to a big crowd milling around. A little while after the doors opened and the crowd filed in, the security folks came out and asked us to leave the steps and go down to the sidewalk. That was OK since then we could talk to the later arrivals before they climbed the steps.
We have also handed out copies to several small church groups where we have presented talks (numbering from 10 to 60 attendees). Also, as septuagenarians we go to many medical appointments, so we leave a copy in each doctor’s office.  Please keep us informed of other opportunities in the Little Rock Arkansas area and thanks again for your wonderful ministry. 

2. Upcoming Outreach Opportunities
8/10-11                 OK Oklahoma City            Women of Faith Celebrate What Matters
8/11                       MS Jackson                         Girls of Grace Teen Conference
8/16-18                                 MI Detroit                           Joyce Meyers Conference
8/17-18                                 DC Washington                 Women of Faith Celebrate What Matters
8/17-18                                 WA Spokane                                      Women of Faith Celebrate What Matters
8/17-18                                 OH Cleveland                     Promise Keepers Men's Conference
8/18                       OR Gresham                                      Jeremy Camp Christian Concert
8/20                       DE Harrington                    Casting Crowns @ Delaware State Fair
8/25                       IN Santa Claus                   Rock the World Christian Rock Fest
8/27                       CA San Diego                                     Jeremy Camp Christian Concert
8/30-9/2                               CA Plymouth                      Joshua Fest
8/31-9/2                               SD Worthing                       FREE LifeLight Music Festival
9/1                         GA Marietta                       Jeremy Camp Christian Concert
9/7-8                     CA San Diego                                     Promise Keepers Men's Conference
9/9                         PA Philadelphia                 TABLE Green Fest Philly
9/21-23                                 NC Hickory                          "Momentum" The Conference Newsboys
8/24-25                                 IA Des Moines                   Women of Faith Celebrate What Matters
8/24-25                                 IN Indianapolis                  Women of Faith Celebrate What Matters Conf
8/24-9/3                               MO Branson                       Silver Dollar City - Southern Gospel Picnic
9/14-15                                 CA Anaheim                       Women of Faith Conference
9/14-15                                 NY Rochester                     Women of Faith Conference
9/20-22                                 MO St. Louis                       Joyce Meyers Conference
9/21-22                                 TX Dallas                              Women of Faith Conference
10/7-8                                   PA Philadelphia                 Women of Faith Conference
10/27-28                              MA Boston                         TABLE Vegetarian Food Festival
10/12-13                              CO Colorado Springs       Hearts at Home Western Women's Conference
10/13                     FL Tampa                             TABLE VegFest
11/17                     NY Albany                           TABLE NY's Capital Region Vegetarian Expo
UK Event
8/24-8/28                            UK Lincolnshire                 One Event Christian Conference
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/

3. Comment on Last Week’s Essay
Regarding incentives for animal rights, I think you’re right that either conservative or liberal paradigms can show concern for nonhuman well-being, albeit for different reasons; there are both conservatives and liberals who empathize with nonhumans and seek to prevent their abuse. But among the conservative Christians with whom I associate, many are either skeptical or cynical about “animal rights” because, as you suggest, they think it threatens human dignity or human rights. Hence, “human exceptionalism” has become the reactionary movement.
Compassion is indeed admirable, but I am wary of those cynics who argue that concern for animal welfare is reducible to pure sentimentality. This reductionist view is often reflected in the comment, “[John Doe] has a heart for animals”, suggesting that concern for animal welfare were merely personal or idiosyncratic, lacking good reasons that transcend personal sentiment. If that were the case, then those who “have no heart for animals” (who are perhaps self-indulgent or callous) are justified in ignoring, if not condoning, animal cruelty, because they lack such sentiments. An ethic based solely on sentiment is not robust enough to satisfy animal rights activists such as Tom Regan.
Paul Hansen
I agree that ethics cannot be based on solely sentiment. If it did, then it would be largely if not entirely reducible to self-interest, with some people preferring kindness as an esthetic preference and most people choosing self-indulgence over compassion. This would make a mockery of the notions of morality and ethics. Ethics require principles, and I think a fundamental principle should be that, if one class of individuals is to be treated differently from another, there must be a morally relevant reason to do so. When it comes to physical pain and suffering, humans and many nonhumans are, as best we can tell, indistinguishable. It is harder to gauge psychological suffering, but careful studies have shown that many nonhumans experience fear, loss, loneliness, and other forms of psychological distress similar to humans. It seems, then, that using species membership to defend mistreatment of nonhumans is an unsound ethic. We should always be on our guard for ethical positions that happen to serve our self-interest, because the human mind can readily become a slave to human passions.
That being said, as advocates we must recognize that passions generally guide behavior, not abstract ethics. Most people have sympathy and compassion for nonhumans, and they are deeply disturbed by images of animal abuse. We must find ways to bring these images into consciousness, because doing so will encourage people of conscience to behave differently. A challenge is that people are quite egocentric, and their deepest passions generally relate to personal needs and desires. We need to show how a plant-based diet and other animal-friendly choices can enrich people’s lives. I welcome comments on how this can be done.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D. 

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

 They Will Hammer Their Swords into Plowshares 

Your question and comments are welcome

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