Weekly Newsletter - November 11, 2016
From Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

  1. Christian Veg. Is Becoming Mainstream
  2. Facing the Truth, part 4
  3. This Week’s Sermon from Rev. Frank and Mary Hoffman

1. Christian Veg. Is Becoming Mainstream

Prof. Matt Halteman is featured in the fall 2016 issue of Verge Magazine, Calvin College’s vehicle for promoting their school to prospective students and the wider academic world. The article focuses much attention on Halteman’s animal advocacy and includes the following remarkable section:

"I learned that eating animals supports a system that exploits workers, wreaks serious environmental damage, warms the planet, does unnecessary violence to billions of other creatures and exacerbates world hunger," he says, munching peanuts in his office between classes."Meanwhile, I discovered compelling evidence that eating a plant-based diet could be a transformative way, both symbolically and practically, to pursue justice on many of these fronts, even as I enjoyed the most delicious, nutritious and diverse diet I had ever consumed. It felt like a win-win!"

To read the whole article, go to Philosophy Prof Brings Big Questions to the Table.

Halteman’s excellent essay “Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation” is available from the CVA. For more information, contact [email protected].


2. Facing the Truth, part 4

Last week, I discussed how projection leads to misunderstandings. When we project our own feelings or behaviors onto others, we misapprehend both our own nature and the nature of the recipients of our projections. Does projection contribute to scapegoating? I see scapegoating as ascribing excess guilt to an individual or individuals. The victim(s) of scapegoating are not necessarily totally innocent, but they are less guilty than others believe. In fact, the victim(s) of scapegoating are often guilty to some degree, which makes the accusation of greater guilt more believable.

Projection frequently accompanies scapegoating. Often, members of a community, struggling with strong, unpleasant emotions such as fear or anger, identify one individual or group of individuals who seem to manifest the very thing that they fear or hate. The community members come to believe that the victim(s) of scapegoating are responsible for their unpleasant feelings and, by working together to ostracize or even kill the scapegoat(s), community members gain a sense of empowerment and camaraderie that alleviate the unpleasant feelings.

Among the many reasons that humans abuse nonhumans, I think that people often find that killing and eating animals is an empowering symbolic gesture. Many people have deep-seated, uncomfortable feelings of vulnerability; shame about their emotions and behavior; and frustrations related to failures in achieving personal, social, or career goals. These sentiments can all be somewhat alleviated by the sense that, no matter how weak they feel or however much they feel like a failure, they are superior to nonhumans. Killing an animal can make one feel superior to the animal, and actually consuming an animals’ flesh can even more dramatically signify domination.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.


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

Ungodly People against Godly People


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