Lesson 8: Class of Nonviolence

“I will not eat anything that walks, runs, skips, hops or crawls. God knows that I’ve crawled on occasion, and I’m glad that no one ate me.”   Alex Poulos

Readings

8.1  Animals, My Brethren by Edgar Kupfer-Koberwitz  8.2 Interview on Respect for Animals, with Isaac Bashevis Singer  8.3 A Vegetarian Sourcebook by Keith Akers  8.4 Diet for a New America by John Robbins  8.5 Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé  8.6 ‘Terrorists’ for Animal Rights by Colman McCarthy
[download all the Lesson Eight readings as a PDF file]

Questions

  1. Read about a contemporary environmental activist. Write about that person. In what ways was he or she effective in confronting environmental violence?
  2. Do vegetarians carry things too far? After all, the life of plants is taken to feed them; what is different from that and taking an animal’s life to sustain us?
  3. Do animals have rights? Explain.
  4. How do you envision your relationship with the rest of nature? Do other elements of Nature exist primarily for our use? Read the essays of Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild.
  5. Carson McCullers wrote that, “before you can love a person you have to start with simpler things and gradually build your skills – start with a rock, a cloud, a tree.” Is this too simplistic a notion?

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