VEGETARIAN ACTION NEWSLETTER #19, June 10, 2015.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
(#4 Feb. 12, 2014; #5 March 12, 2014; #6 April 9, 2014; #7 May 14, 2014; #8, June 11, 2014; #9 July 9, 2014; #10, August 11, 2014; #11 September 10, 2014; #12 October 8, 2014; #13, November 12, 2014; #14, December 10, 2014; #15, January 14, 2015; #16, Feb. 11, 2015; #17, March 11, 2015; #18, April 8, 2015.). Thank you Marc.
Wed June 10 - 6:00 pm @ OMNI
Food-friendly faces with delicious dishes who want to meet you. You don't have to be a vegetarian to enjoy this potluck. Just willing to try something new. Hope to see you!
What’s at stake: We must REDUCE MEAT CONSUMPTION not only individually but collectively in order to change the politics of meat, to heal our earth as well as our own bodies physically and ethically, stopping the slaughter of animals and reducing climate change. Let’s try to understand the help to the world of vegetarianism and the harms to the world by eating meat, and try to do something as the result of your understanding.
See: Animal Cruelty, Animal Friendship, Animal Rights, Critical Thinking, Education, Empathy/Compassion, Ecology, Ethics, Gandhi, Global Warming/Causes, Health, St. Francis, Torture, Vegetarianism, Violence, Wars, for starters.
OMNI NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL DAYS PROJECT
October World Vegetarian MONTH. Oct. 16, UN World Food DAY.
Contents #18 at end
Contents Vegetarian Action #19
Remembering Donna and Kelly’s DON’T FENCE ME IN
Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox
The Trouble with Chicken, PBS, Frontline Film
Living Downstream Film
Rights and Protection of Animals
Three Books for Christians
Global Warming, Climate Change
Food Not Lawns, Food Not Lawns
A Glimpse at Vegetarian Potluck 2010 and Before, from Dan Dean, our coordinator at the time. Dan suffered a broken back, went to a Denver rehab hospital, and has recently returned to his home in Winslow.
We have watched "Forks Over Knives," "The Meatrix," "The Simpsons: Lisa Becomes Vegetarian," and "Eating" and have discussed Diet for a Small Planet, The Ethical Food Manifesto, Worship Your Food, The Ethics of What We Eat, and had presentations from Jacqueline Froelich, Summer of Solutions, Wellness Secrets, Fayetteville Time Bank, Wenqi Clark and Chinese cooking, and music from Chris Mikkelson, Candy Lee, and Donna Stjerna Mulhollan.
Remembering Donna and Kelly Mulhollan’s Earth Day 29015 Program in case you missed it:
OPPOSITION TO INDUSTRIAL MEAT PRODUCTION AND OMNI FUNDRAISER BY DONNA AND KELLY MULHOLLAN, APRIL 22, 2015
DON’T FENCE ME IN
HOG LAMENT SINGERS-Flash Mob
Ginny Masullo-Ozark River Stewards
GINNY MASULLO –Talk about CAFO
JOEL EMERSON- No Hogs on the Buffalo
BROAD DAYLIGHT- Green
DICK BENNETT: Becoming a Vegetarian
PROGRESSION of OBSESSION-Silas & CeeCee
Still on the Hill- EMILY the COW
RUNWAY FASHION SHOW
DENISE LANUTI-Don’t Fence Me In
CINDY SHEEHAN’S SOAPBOX
Go Vegan Radio - 31 May 2015
Guest PAUL RODNEY TURNER of Food For Life Global, the world’s largest food relief program that serves 2 million vegan meals daily + commentary with Professors GARY FRANCIONE and ANNA CHARLTON + salads that are worse than a Big Mac?
The Trouble with Chicken
FRONTLINE investigates the spread of dangerous pathogens in our meat—particularly poultry—and why the food-safety system isn’t stopping the threat.
(0:31) FRONTLINE investigates the spread of dangerous pathogens in our poultry.
FRONTLINE investigates the spread of dangerous pathogens in our meat -- particularly poultry -- and why the food-safety system isn't stopping the threat. Focusing on an outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg at one of the nation's largest poultry processors, the documentary reveals how contaminants are evading regulators and causing more severe illnesses at a time when Americans are consuming more chicken than ever.
More than 20 years ago, four children were killed in an outbreak of E. coli O157 — a dangerous strain of bacteria that was linked back to undercooked hamburgers from Jack in the Box fast food restaurants.
Meat and poultry sold to consumers comes with a USDA seal that reads “inspected and passed,” but a new report says holes in the process are leaving millions at risk of a foodborne illness.
FILM ON PESTICIDES
“Living Downstream,” Chanda Chevannes, director, 2010. . www.livingdownstream.com Documentary about Sandra Steingraber’s campaign against certain pesticides. She questions why environmental causes of cancer are so often dismissed.
Rights and Protection of Animals
www . compassionatespirit . com
Home Articles About Keith Akers Books, etc. Links
Traditional Christianity and Vegetarianism — Three Book Reviews by Keith Akers
Good News for all Creation: Vegetarianism as Christian Stewardship, by Stephen Kaufman and Nathan Braun. Cleveland: Vegetarian Advocates Press, 2002 (revised 2004).
Is God a Vegetarian? Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights, by Richard Young. Chicago: Open Court, 1999.
God’s Covenant With Animals: A Biblical Basis for the Humane Treatment of All Creatures, by J. R. Hyland. New York: Lantern Books, 2000.
Isn’t traditional Christianity against vegetarianism? Didn’t Peter Singer say that as far as the animals are concerned, the Christian religion is a very great problem, because of concepts such as "dominion" of humans over animals, humans as "special" because they are created in the image of God, and the lack of souls for animals? Don’t traditional Christians think of Jesus as a meat-eater who killed a herd of swine by sending demons into them?
It certainly seems that traditional Christianity sees nothing ethically wrong with eating meat as such. In the books which I am reviewing, Richard Young, as well as Kaufman and Braun, make this explicit. Yet there are some traditional Christians who are also vegetarians, and even defend vegetarianism as a Christian virtue, even while rejecting the idea of ethical vegetarianism. It is a sign of the maturity of a movement that it produces intelligent books on the subject. We now have at least three books which can claim to represent the views of traditional Christians and which also promote vegetarianism.
All of these are fine books. It is a sign of the dedication and sincerity of these people that they were written at all. They are testimony to the values of original Christianity — regardless of what happened to the tradition along the way — that they seek to reconcile and make peace between both the vegetarian tradition and the traditional Christian viewpoint. All of these books seek to work in traditional vegetarian arguments for vegetarianism and put them in a Christian context. But how can we do this in a way that is effective in persuading traditional Christians?
The striking thing about Good News for All Creation is both what it says and what it does not say. It is quite short, almost like an extended pamphlet rather than a book. The main body of the text ends after page 59, although appendices more than double this to 123 pages. It presents the standard arguments for vegetarianism (health, the environment, world hunger, and ethics) with appropriate references to the Bible, "God’s handbook for our lives." It also presents some characteristically Christian themes, such as God’s concern for victims, the rejection of animal sacrifice and Jesus’ statement "I require mercy, not sacrifice."
For anyone concerned about the Bible, Richard Young’s book Is God a Vegetarian? is a much more thorough presentation. Young, like the authors of Good News, takes "Biblical Christianity" as his starting point. But Is God a Vegetarian? goes much deeper and further than the former book, exploring areas of scripture that Kaufman and Braun do not even mention. He agrees with Kaufman and Braun that Jesus was not himself a vegetarian. However, he also systematically examines such topics as the souls of animals, Noah’s Ark as a "food factory," eating lamb as part of the Passover, and so forth.
Young acknowledges that the Bible has contradictory traditions — some sanctioning, some questioning meat-eating. He adroitly summarizes the problem: "when there are conflicting voices in Scripture on what the church deems peripheral issues we tend to let our own social location rule our selection of texts, and either ignore, or explain away, or harmonize the contrary texts." That is not only the story of vegetarianism in Christianity, it is the story of Christianity itself — it has, for centuries, adapted itself conveniently to whatever social customs seem to prevail at the time, for example sanctioning slavery, the oppression of women, and so forth. The corrective for this, for Young, is to listen to what the Bible actually says.
Regina Hyland’s book, God’s Covenant With Animals, takes Young’s approach one step further. Like Good News, her style is brief and to the point — at 107 pages, it is actually the shortest book of the three. Like Is God a Vegetarian?, she turns toward the scriptures and identifies different traditions in the Bible. But she sees these conflicting voices as coming from a different place together. She synthesizes these voices in the idea of "progressive revelation": that God reveals to us whatever we are capable of learning.
Yes, there are animal sacrifices in the Bible; yes, there is meat consumption; yes, there is exploitation and "dominion" — but this is not God’s real message. God, through the prophets such as Isaiah and through Jesus Christ himself, condemns animal sacrifice and the whole sacrificial religion which sanctions meat-eating and exploitation of animals. In short, like Young, she identifies differing traditions in the Christian message, but she identifies true Christianity with the compassionate tradition and rejects the "domination" tradition of animal sacrifice.
These three books offer us three very different pictures of traditional Christianity and of vegetarianism’s role in Christianity. Which of these is the best book for traditional Christians? If you want to say the fewest number of things which might offend a traditional Christian, then Good News is probably your choice. This puts the basic vegetarian arguments (health, ecology, and ethics) front and center in the book, with appropriate Bible quotations in support. The strength of the book, however, is also its weakness; it avoids controversy simply by not taking any positions which might push the wrong buttons with traditional Christians. Most especially, it is concerned not to contradict the idea that Jesus ate meat: "Jesus’ diet 2000 years ago in a Mediterranean fishing community does not mandate what Christians should eat today."
If, on the other hand, you want a thoughtful and thorough analysis of the different Biblical traditions surrounding animals, which fully acknowledges the divergence of the Biblical traditions, then Young’s book Is God a Vegetarian? is the book to offer. Young’s book is the longest and most informative of the three, and curiously, it is the only book with recipes — not a bad idea, considering its audience. Most traditional Christians, I am sorry to say, are not that familiar with the Bible, and are going to be surprised that Young knows the Bible so thoroughly. For traditional Christians who actually want to study the Bible, Is God a Vegetarian? is the book which will give them the best information consonant with their values.
Finally, we have Regina Hyland’s book God’s Covenant with Animals. At first glance, this seems to combine the defects of both the previous books with none of the advantages. It is the shortest book, yet it also is clearly the most combative of the three, the one book which unambiguously comes down on the side of compassion for animals.
"The eating of flesh is a perversion of God’s law . . . And to thank God for providing food is the modern equivalent of sacrificial religion; it represents a continuing determination to claim God’s blessing on the slaughter, and consumption, of his creatures." These are strong words, and stirring words — who can answer this challenge to Christianity? The fact is that Jesus’ message was controversial in its day — remember how he got crucified? He was crucified after an incident in the temple, in which he disrupted the animal sacrifice business there. Jesus, that is, came squarely down against animal sacrifice and on the side of compassion, even giving his own life for this principle.
Hyland is really pressing against the very edges of Christianity — she talks as if ethical vegetarianism is part of Christianity. Does this mean that ethical vegetarianism could possibly be part of "traditional Christianity" after all? Or does it mean that Hyland is now outside of "traditional Christianity"?
Ellen White and Charles and Myrtle Fillmore did the same thing in the early 20th century, by declaring the eating of flesh as food to be morally wrong. But the movements which they pushed forward (the Seventh-day Adventists and Unity School of Christianity) chose to disregard their founders’ advice. Hyland endorses the idea of "progressive revelation," and is evidently ready to jettison most of the features which vegetarians find problematic about Christianity: the "dominion" concept, the lack of souls for animals, and so forth. But whether Jesus was an ethical vegetarian, or condemned killing animals for food, she does not clarify.
Some people feel that this isn’t what Jesus is about at all — that Jesus wasn’t interested in vegetarianism, ethical or otherwise; that Jesus was somewhat concerned about animals but that this was not his primary concern. Someone has to speak to, and for, such traditional Christians, putting the "gospel of vegetarianism" into their own language. This is where books such as Kaufman and Braun’s, and especially Young’s with its detailed Biblical exploration, are very useful.
But somehow I cannot forget that incident in the temple in which Jesus disrupts the animal sacrifice business. How can we ignore this side of Jesus, or casually put it aside, as if it didn’t matter? And why should we, as vegetarians, shortchange the message of Jesus about compassion so as not to offend some "traditional Christians" who might be offended by the message? Surely, diplomacy and scholarship have a role to play in advancing vegetarianism within Christianity; but someone has to actually preach the message of Jesus, and that is what Regina Hyland’s discussion of God’s Covenant with Animals does the best.
-- Keith Akers
May 10, 2005
Three more views of Young’s book from Google Search
http://www.waterstones.com/waterstonesweb/products/richard+young/carol+j-+adams/is+ ... Christianity, Vegetarianism, and Animal Rights Richard Alan Young.
Immediately after the Flood, God allegedly permitted the eating of meat, but forbade ..... ISBN 0-945146-01-9; Richard A. Young (1998) Is God a Vegetarian?
"A God who is understood only as 'the god of humankind' is no longer the God of the Bible." --Reverend Claus Westermann "Dr. Richard Alan Young refuses to ...
Global Warming, Climate Change
FOOD NOT LAWNS
Some of you have heard me describe the development of the idea of OMNI’s Garden Tour for Peace, Justice, and Ecology. It began on the model of the Garden Clubs with flowers and beauty. But immediately peace-justice-ecology began to pull at it when a family wanted to show their vegetable garden, and since then the variety kept on expanding, now considering warming and climate change. Recently I ran across mention of Food Not Lawns in Rivera Sun's book The Dandelion Insurrection. (She presented several workshops for OMNI last month.) --Dick
dates, details and photos from the 2015 Food Not Lawns Edible Nation tour with author/founder Heather Jo Flores.
www.amazon.com › ... › By Technique › Urban
Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden and Your Neighborhood into a Community [H. C. Flores] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying ...
www.chelseagreen.com › ... › Food Not Lawns
Chelsea Green Publishing
"Food Not Lawns is a wonderful book expanding on the idea that we can do more than just protest but that we have the power to create the world we want. Food ...
· Now climate change is pulling us in additional directions.
· The Arbor Society is a way to trees.
· Interesting developments ahead for our Peace Gardens Tour thanks to you all!
CONNECTING WITH LOCAL BUSINESS
In their “Health Hotline” Natural Grocers across from the Mall discusses nutrition health and beauty. But in one number very briefly they discussed desertification. Warming and climate change however were not mentioned.
On April 22, 2015, the Natural Grocers store sponsored an Earth Day & 60th Anniversary Celebration: “To celebrate our commitment to the planet and our founding principles, the first 50 customers at each store will receive a plant-at-home Earth Day Seed Packet, the first 60 customers who spend $60 will receive a free copy of COWS SAVE THE PLANET, and EVERY customer will receive a free reusable Natural Grocers bag. Thanks for celebrating Earth Day and 60 Years of Empowering Health with us!.”
These two examples are not much, but maybe OMNI can work with them in more and larger ways. Dick 5-20-15
Contents of Vegetarian Action Newsletter #18, April 8, 2015
PBS, Frontline, “The Trouble with Chicken”
VegNews, the Vegan Magazine
Fighting for the Future of Food
Animal Rights and Protection
Stein and LaVeck. Film Peaceable Kingdom.
Namit Arora. Ethical Arguments Against Eating Animals
Mercy for Animals Film
END OMNI VEGETARIAN ACTION #19, June 10, 2015