Meetup: Readers Group Vegan Potluck on September 30th

From: Alison
Sent on: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 12:59 AM
I've scheduled a Meetup! For more details, visit here:

When: Thursday, September 30,[masked]:00 PM

Where: Layne's Home
Point Grey
Vancouver, BC V5K 0A1

Please join the Earthsave Readers Group at our September gathering, which will be a vegan potluck at a member's home in Point Grey (Vancouver) to discuss "Kinship and Killing: The Animal in World Religions" by Katherine Wills Perlo.

If you haven't read the book, you are still welcome to attend to join in on the food and discussion, but if you are reading the book and would like to present a chapter at the meeting, please write a note here to let us know which chapter you'd like to present.

Please bring a vegan dish (free of any animal products) to share, while we enjoy some good food, socializing and discussion about the book! Readers Group meetings are a fun way to meet like-minded people and to get into some specific discussion on topics related to Earthsave's mission of moving towards a plant-based diet on the basis of ethical, environmental and health reasons. Spontaneous discussion on a variety of other topics always occurs as well, in addition to enjoying yummy plant-based food.

About the book:
Through close readings of Jewish, Christian, Islamic, and Buddhist texts, Katherine Wills Perlo proves that our relationship with animals shapes religious doctrine, particularly through the tension between animal exploitation and the bonds of kinship. She pinpoints four different strategies for coping with this conflict. The first is aggression, in which a divinely conferred superiority or karma justifies animal usage. The second is evasion, which emphasizes benevolent aspects of the human-animal relationship within the exploitative structure, such as the image of Jesus as a "good shepherd." The third is defense, which acknowledges the problematic nature of killing, leading many religions to adopt a propitiation mechanism, such as apologizing for sacrifice. And the fourth is effective-defensive, which recognizes animal abuse as inherently unethical.

As humans feel more empathy toward animals, Perlo finds that adherents revise their interpretations of religious texts. Preexisting ontologies, such as Christianity's changing God or Buddhism's principle of impermanence, along with advances in farming practices and technology, also encourage changes in treatment. As cultures begin to appreciate the different types of perception and consciousness experienced by nonhumans, definitions of reality become complicated and humans lean more toward unitary accounts of shared existence. These evolving attitudes exert a crucial influence on religious thought, Perlo argues, moving humans ever closer to a non-speciesist world.

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