- Activist Feedback
- Essay: On Being Outraged without Being
- This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
1. Activist Feedback
Deanne, who leafleted with two fellow
volunteers at Acquire the Fire in Denver, CO in late April, writes,
We had a great turnout. There were three volunteers, which was
perfect. We handed out 1200 leaflets from 5:30-7:30pm at the
Coliseum. People were receptive. A lot of people would ask
us questions about how Jesus used to eat meat, where they will get
their protein, etc. Only about three people seemed to be upset. Thank
you for the opportunity! We had a good time.
2. Essay: On
Being Outraged without Being Enraged
Many of us are – and should be
– outraged by animal agribusiness. The abuse of animals is extreme,
and the negative consequences for human health and well-being are
substantial. It is difficult not to be enraged by the massive cruelty
and the injustice. But there are several reasons to resist this
natural response to outrage by being enraged.
First, being enraged
makes us less fit to defend vulnerable individuals who need us.
Ongoing rage is emotionally draining, and I am convinced that this is
a leading cause of activist burnout. Second, people generally perceive
enraged people as illogical, sentimental, judgmental, and, sometimes,
While enraged people generally communicate their own
sentiments quite well, people see the anger and close their hearts and
minds to the message of compassion and justice.
Third, it seems to
me that being enraged presumes judgment. Jesus was not enraged at
those responsible for murdering him “because they know not what they
do.” We really don’t know what motivates people to participate in or
contribute to animal abuse. In all likelihood, decisions about what we
eat involve many factors. Some of those who directly or indirectly
sponsor animal abuse probably deserve condemnation, but not all. Since
its difficult, or perhaps even impossible, to identify those who
deserve condemnation, we are wise to give people the benefit of the
doubt and presume that their motivations, overall, are not vile.
Next week, I’ll reflect further on the challenge to make judgments
without being judgmental.
Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.
Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman
Receive God’s Blessings