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THINKIN' FOLKS BOOKS
Dedicated to the teaching of Non-Violence
by challenging all supremacist beliefs
We distribute books and tapes addressing....
Humane Education Holistic Healing Deep Ecology Compassion Environment Warfare Vegetarian Diets Vegan Lifestyles Ecofeminism Pollution Peace & Justice GMOs Spirituality Non-Violence The Protein/Calcium Myth Factory Farming World Hunger Animal Welfare Anti-Milk Fishing Sexism Animal Rights Speciesism Racism/Slavery The Case Against Dairy Products
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We have recently added "Eternal Treblinka" by Charles Patterson to our Book and Tape Catalog. This remarkable book examines the historic connection between human cruelty to humans and human cruelty to the other animals. Patterson makes the strong case that holocausts such as that perpetrated by the Nazis against non-Aryans, the Europeans against the natives of the Americas, and the story of human slavery, are a predictable result of human insensitivity toward life in general. Beginning with the move from subsistence hunting to animal agriculture, humans learned to abuse others for personal gain. Exploitation of farm animals evolved into factory farming and assembly line processing, which were the models for such atrocities as Nazi concentration camps and gas chambers. This is a must read for those who care about animals, and those who believe that the only important moral issues are those that address human welfare.
In 1987, John Robbins, heir to the Baskin-Robbins empire, walked away from corporate riches to seek a simpler, more meaningful life. Motivated to write, he first gave us the Pulitzer Prize nominated "Diet For A New America." He followed this classic up with "May All Be Fed" and "Reclaiming Our Health." Now, Conari Press has released his latest effort, "THE FOOD REVOLUTION." In "TFR," Robbins updates all the stats from his first book, reveals new studies on cancer, heart disease and cholesterol, and has added much more, including a chapter challenging fad diets such as Atkins, Zone and 'Eat Right for Your Blood Type.' Also two rather shocking chapters on the potential dangers of GMOs (genetically manipulated organisms), and of course, data on the increase of cruel factory farming practices involving beef, veal calves, chickens, pigs, etc.
About this book, Dr. Neal Barnard (president of PCRM) says, "Carefully researched, eminently readable, and starkly accurate, The Food Revolution will change your life. If every patient in every doctor's office read this book, it would revolutionize the health of America."
"Beautifully written, The Food Revolution is a remarkable book by a remarkable man. It opened both my eyes and my heart. This is indeed a book that can save our lives." -Riane Eisler, author of The Chalice and the Blade and Tomorrow's Children
We have also added this incredible new book to our catalog! Click below for more info!
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We update this site regularly with new books and our feature "TIMELY THOUGHTS" - for example, we looked at "Osteoporosis and the Protein/Calcium Myth." Previous issues of "Timely Thoughts" can be seen by clicking on the "Archives" link below on this page.
Am I a Christian?
I was told some years ago by a member of the Christian clergy that I was as good a Christian as they had ever known. They were speaking specifically of my belief in non-violence, my opposition to war, and my efforts to promote empathy and compassion in the world. They applauded my insight when I said that "All the wisdom in scripture may be summed up in ‘Do unto others as you would have done to you.’"
Yet, in the years since, I have been verbally and even physically accosted any number of times by people calling themselves Christians, for committing such heinous acts as protesting against cruelty to animals, questioning the meaning of biblical passages, and even reading books about religion other than the King James version of the Bible. I’d like to believe that Christianity was founded on principles of love, tolerance, forgiveness, and dedication to serve the poor and downtrodden. Yet, everyday I see examples of hate, intolerance, revenge and exploitation of others being practiced by those who call themselves Christians, - even church leaders and those who call themselves Christian activists. Few religions can claim a history without countless examples of injustice and suffering, caused or condoned by church leaders, and yet most put great effort into justifying their acts of intolerance, cruelty and even genocide. How interesting that those religions that do not have such a bloody history, do the least boasting.
This causes me to ask questions such as, how can those who call themselves righteous condemn others who have a different slant on truth? How can fundamentalists of any religion claim to have a corner on this "truth," when virtually all religions share so much in their beliefs and values? Is any one religion the only way to achieve spirituality, or have most religions evolved into nothing more than political self-interest groups, interpreting the "word of God" to fit their own desires? Why do some religions demand conversion of others, under threat of violence and damnation, while others choose to teach by humble example?
The Golden Rule, claimed by many fundamentalists as uniquely Christian, is found in all religions, as are the concepts of forgiveness, compassion, tolerance and service to others. Yet very few religions promote these practices without serious limitations and restrictions. How can some see their god (or gods or goddesses) as loving and forgiving, while others see god as vengeful and punishing? Shall we live an honorable life out of respect for others, or only out of fear of God?
When Gandhi was asked, "What are you, a Hindu or a Muslim?" he replied, "I am a Hindu and a Muslim, I am a Christian and a Jew. I am part of all that has come before me." I see great wisdom in his response. He was expressing his membership in a universal family, tolerance for all views, and perhaps most of all his humility. He chose not to proselytize, or label himself or others.
People ask me if I am a Christian, and tell me that if I can't simply answer "Yes," that I am damned to an eternity in hell. Well, in the light of the damage done historically in the name of Christianity, I choose not to label myself Christian. Nor would I choose to be called a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Hindu, or anything else. But I suspect that Jesus, the Buddha, and Mahavira would all welcome me at their dinner table. My "religion" is the religion of all religions and no religion. I have a strong suspicion that true spirituality is shown more by what we do than what we claim we are.
Whether you are a "religious" person or not, the Golden Rule is a simple and effective way to address all conflicts and disagreements. It was probably conceived and practiced long before the written word and the appearance of organized religion. Many theologians and cultural anthropologists agree that it was originally meant to be inclusive rather than exclusive. In other words, it was meant to be used in ALL relationships, not just those between humans. But notions about human supremacism caused it to be applied only for the benefit of our species and then only in specific circumstances. It's umbrella of protection was first denied to non human animals, then to women, children, and people of "other" skin colors, ethnic backgrounds or religious affiliations. In its proper application, it supercedes and simplifies all other "rules" of conduct, and addresses all the inconsistencies and contradictions found in scripture. In today's world of religious fanaticism, economic exploitation and environmental destruction, we need desperately to respect and apply the Golden Rule. Especially in our relationship with the innocent creatures that we imprison, torture and kill for entertainment, in "research" and on factory farms.
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Copyright Don Lutz, 1997 - 2003
Updated November 21, 2003