January 13, 2005

1/13/05 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

This regular update/Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) Online Newsletter has the following items:

ACTION ALERT: KFC Slaughterhouse Cruelty Urgent Update

1. Government Report Stresses Benefits of Eating Less Meat and More Plant Foods (Three Items)

2. JVNA Advisor Introduces Valuable Health Web Sites

3. JVNA Bumper Sticker Campaign Entries

4. Readers’ Responses To the Two Articles in the Canadian Jewish News That Were Discussed in a Recent Special JVNA Newsletter

5. Inspirational article by JVNA Advisor and Author Yosef Hakohen

6. Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)
a. Statement by the Natural Resources Defense Council
b. Statement by Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP America www.rep.org)
7. Water Conservation in Agriculture

8. New Health/Nutrition Book Lauded

Some material has been deferred to a later update/newsletter to keep this one from being even longer.

[Materials in brackets like this [ ] within an article or forwarded message are my editorial notes/comments.]

Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the JVNA, unless otherwise indicated, but may be presented to increase awareness and/or to encourage respectful dialogue. Also, information re conferences, retreats, forums, trips, and other events does not necessarily imply endorsements by JVNA, but may be presented for informational purposes. Please use e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites to get further information about any event that you are interested in.

As always, your comments and suggestions are very welcome.


ACTION ALERT: KFC Slaughterhouse Cruelty Urgent Update
Your Letters and Calls Needed

From PETA http://www.peta.org/feat/moorefield/

In July 2004, PETA revealed the results of an investigation into a KFC-supplying slaughterhouse in Moorefield, West Virginia, where workers were caught on video stomping on chickens, kicking them, and violently slamming them against floors and walls. Workers also ripped the animals' beaks off, twisted their heads off, spat tobacco into their eyes and mouths, spray-painted their faces, and squeezed their bodies so hard that the birds expelled feces—all while the chickens were still alive. Dan Rather echoed the views of all kind people when he said on the CBS Evening News, "[T]here's no mistaking what [the video] depicts: cruelty to animals, chickens horribly mistreated before they’re slaughtered for a fast-food chain."

On January 11, 2005, Ginny Conley, head of a state prosecutors organization, told the Associated Press that criminal charges would not be filed "due to the fact that these were chickens in a slaughterhouse." She also said that the abuse "needs to be handled more on a regulatory end than prosecuting someone criminally," even though there are absolutely no federal or state regulations dealing with humane poultry slaughter and despite the fact that these sadistic acts were clear violations of the state’s cruelty-to-animals statute.

Animal welfare experts are in agreement that the cruelty at this KFC supplier is reprehensible. Colorado State University professor of animal science, biomedical sciences, and philosophy, university distinguished professor, and university bioethicist Dr. Bernard Rollin writes, "I can unequivocally state that the behavior I saw exemplified in [this] videotape was totally unacceptable. ... The tape showed evidence of a work force that apparently failed to recognize that chickens are living sentient beings capable of feeling pain and distress." Dr. Temple Grandin, perhaps the industry’s leading farmed-animal welfare expert, writes, "The behavior of the plant employees was atrocious," and asserts that even though she has toured poultry facilities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, and the U.K., the video showed "the WORST employee behavior I have ever seen in a poultry plant." University of Guelph professor of applied ethology and university chair in animal welfare Dr. Ian Duncan writes, "This tape depicts scenes of the worst cruelty I have ever witnessed against chickens. … and it is extremely hard to accept that this is occurring in the United States of America." University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine graduate and avian veterinarian Dr. Laurie Siperstein-Cook writes, "In NO case can the behavior of the workers be considered a necessary or acceptable way of killing or stunning chickens."

If dogs or cats suffered this abuse, felony charges would have been filed long ago. Please remind officials that chickens are just as capable of experiencing pain and suffering and that these acts are not exempt from the state cruelty-to-animals statute.


Please contact the prosecutor who decided not to file charges in this case and ask that she reconsider and file felony cruelty-to-animals charges against all those responsible for the torture of chickens at Pilgrim’s Pride in Moorefield, West Virginia. Please write respectful letters to:

Ginny Conley, Acting Executive Director
West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute
90 MacCorkle Ave. S.W., Ste. 202
South Charleston, WV 25303
304-558-3360 (fax)
Please also contact the governor and governor-elect of West Virginia to politely ask that they use their full authority to ensure that a special prosecutor is appointed, as requested by the judge in the case:

Governor Bob Wise
Governor-Elect Joe Manchin
Office of the Governor
State Capitol Complex
1900 Kanawha Blvd. E.
Charleston, WV 25305
304-558-2000 (outside West Virginia)
1-888-438-2731 (within West Virginia)
304-558-2722 (fax)
This facility was a KFC "Supplier of the Year." Click here (http://www.kentuckyfriedcruelty.com) to learn more about PETA’s campaign to reform KFC.

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1. Government Report Stresses Benefits of Eating Less Meat and More Plant Foods (Three Items)

a. JAMA Study on Meat and Cancer Demands Action, Says PCRM
It's Time to Turn Research Into Policy;
PCRM Nutritionists Available for Comment

WASHINGTON—A major new study, to be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association tomorrow, shows that the less red and processed meat people eat, the lower their risk of colon cancer. Although previous studies have shown the same association, the large study population and the long duration of the study (two decades) make this one of the strongest cases against meat seen in many years. Nutritionists with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine are calling on public health officials and Congress to take immediate action based on the study’s findings. Specifically:

1. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services should remove meat products from the list of recommended foods in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and the Food Guide Pyramid and should specifically warn against the consumption of these products.

2. The U.S. Department of Agriculture should remove meat products from the list of subsidized foods in the National School Lunch Program and other federal nutrition assistance programs and replace them with more healthful protein sources, including beans, lentils, soy products, and meat analogues.

3. Congress should audit the other means by which the federal government subsidizes meat products as the first step in discontinuing such support.

4. The meat industry should be held financially responsible for a measure of the colon cancer incidence in the meat-eating population, as the tobacco industry has been for its contribution to lung cancer.

As PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., says, “Often, new research studies simply beget more research. But given what we now know about the impact of meat consumption on colon cancer risk, it’s critical for our government to take action now. We have the power to save the next generation from a great deal of misery, but only if we take these findings seriously.”

To arrange an interview with PCRM president and nutrition researcher Neal Barnard, M.D., or PCRM nutrition director Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., please contact Ms. Simon Chaitowitz at 202-686-2210, ext. 309, or simonc@pcrm.org.

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, especially good nutrition. PCRM also conducts clinical research studies, opposes unethical human experimentation, and promotes alternatives to animal research.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
5100 Wisconsin Ave., N.W., Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20016

b. Forwarded message:

Today, Wednesday, January 12, an article on the front page of The Baltimore Sun touts (indirectly) the benefits of a plant based diet. The article is headed, "Red meat newly linked to colorectal cancer; Study: Latest findings contain the strongest evidence to date of an increased disease risk."

It opens:

"As millions of Americans fill their plates with protein-rich steak and burgers rather than carb-heavy pasta or potatoes, researchers are reporting the strongest evidence yet that eating a lot of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer.

"Those who ate the equivalent of a hamburger a day were about 30 percent to 40 percent more likely to develop cancer of the colon or rectum than those who ate less than half that amount.

"Long-term consumption of high amounts of processed meat such as hot dogs increased the risk of colon cancer by 50 percent.

"The findings, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, join a growing body of evidence linking diet and certain types of cancer. By some estimates, as many as 3 million to 4 million cancer cases could be prevented worldwide each year simply through healthy eating and lifestyle changes."

Unfortunately it then continues:"But meat lovers need not despair over thoughts of stocking their refrigerators with tofu burgers and vegetarian bacon." It suggests that people can limit rather than eliminate consumption of red or processed meat.

If you were once a meat eater who now stocks the refrigerator with tofu burgers but finds no reason for despair, I hope you will write a brief letter to the editor.

There is registered dietitian quoted in the article, expounding on the merits of beef eating. She is the executive director of nutrition for the National Cattleman's Beef Association.

Neal Barnard, from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (http://www.PCRM.org) is also quoted: "Suddenly the beans and tofu are looking pretty good." And he had pointed out to the reporter that there has been research showing that eating white meat also increases colon cancer risk.

You can read the whole article on line at:
OR http://tinyurl.com/4xllr

The Baltimore Sun takes letters at:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/about/balfeedback,0,6119824.htmlstoy or it instructs, "If you wish to use regular e-mail, send your letter to:letters@baltsun.com. For Letters to the Editor be sure to include contact information, including your full name and both day and evening phone numbers."

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn

c. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New eating guidelines issued by the U.S.government on Wednesday stress that most Americans are overweight and need to eat more vegetables, fruits and whole grains.

The guidelines, updated every five years, recommend eating up to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables a day and specify that at least three of the daily servings of grains be whole grains such as whole wheat, oats or brown rice.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which lobbied to change the guidelines, praised them.
"The guidelines should specifically recommend Americans avoid meat, dairy, and fish," said Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which advocates a strict vegetarian diet. "The USDA must take the Big Meat, Big Sugar, and Big Dairy industries' money and influence out of the guidelines process."

Veneman denied the food industry had much influence on the guidelines.

full story:

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2. JVNA Advisor Introduces Valuable Health Web Sites

Forwarded message from JVNA advisor Dan Brook:

As some of you know, I've been working on constructing a few web sites that seek to educate others on improving the health of people, animals, and the environment, with each page being an online resource. The site designs are not great, but I think the material is powerful. In addition to Eco-Eating (www.brook.com/veg) and The Vegetarian Mitzvah (www.brook.com/jveg), both recently updated, I now introduce No Smoking? (www.brook.com/smoke). Please feel free to peruse them, share them, forward them, link to them, use and take material from them, suggest improvements, etc. L'chaim!---Dan

[From my quick review, the web sites look very good to me. I think that Dan deserves much credit for his important efforts.]

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3. JVNA Bumper Sticker Campaign Entries

Some of the responses to the campaign to pick a JVNA bumper sticker slogan are below.

Please let me know what you think. There is still time for new entries, perhaps built on the ones below. Thanks.

I think, in response to Paris Harvey's question, we could have a bumper
sticker that said either "Vegetarian - the New Kosher" (or "Vegan - the
New Kosher" or even "Vegan - the Real Kosher"
Keep Kosher the Healthy Way, Without Tzaar Baalei Chaim: Go Vegetarian!
Keep Kosher the Nazir of Jerusalem's Way: Without Meat!
Follow Reb Shraga Feivel's Diet: Vegetarianism!
Follow the Nazir of Jerusalem's Diet: Vegetarianism!
No Treifos or Neveilos: Go Kosher Vegetarian!
Forget About Rubashkin's: Eat Tofu!
Throw Rubashkin's Into the Rubbish Can: Go Vegetarian!

RE: BUmper sticker --- I have a pin which is the vegetarian 'V" with a blossom on right side of V, inside of a Mogen Dovid. No copy right notation; it is everywhere. The slogan is, "JUDAISM & VEGETARIANIS GO TOGETHER NATURALLY. Again, no copy right notification, it must be in the public domain. Cannot do better than this. Israel

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4. Responses To the Two Articles in the Canadian Jewish News That Were Discussed in a Recent Special JVNA Newsletter

a. Response from JVNA advisor Syd Baumel:

When you combine the needless harm caused by animal farming (especially today's prevalent factory-style system) and the ease nowadays of following a healthful, kosher plant-based diet with the compelling Jewish teachings discussed by Rabbi Michael Skobac (“Food for thought on Judaism and vegetarianism”), surely the question must not be “why vegetarian or vegan?” but “why not?” To those who fear this would be biting off more than they can chew, a “flexitarian” diet, which allows for some cheating to appease the inner lox or chicken soup addict, is a great way to do a world of good for other creatures and the environment while discovering that a diet with few or no animal products can be completely satisfying for the body and elevating for the spirit.

Syd Baumel
Founder, Eatkind.net

b. Response from JVNA advisor Dan Brook:

Thank you for publishing articles in CJN that give serious thought to the relationships between Judaism and vegetarianism. I was particularly impressed with Rabbi Michael Skobac's article.

Vegetarianism is literally about life and death - for each of us individually and for all of us together. Eating animals simultaneously contributes to: their suffering and death; the ill-health and early death of people; the unsustainable overuse of oil, water, land, topsoil, grain, labor, and other vital resources; environmental destruction, including deforestation, species extinction, and global warming; the legitimacy of force and violence; the mis-allocation of capital, skills, land, and resources; vast inefficiencies in the economy; tremendous waste; massive inequalities in the world; the transmission and spread of dangerous diseases; and moral failure in so-called civilized societies.

Vegetarianism is an antidote to all of these unnecessary tragedies.

Though eating meat is not halachically forbidden, doing so appears to violate mnay of the highest ideals and teachings of Judaism, including preserving one's health, having compassion for animals and others, protecting and repairing the world, conserving resources, having deep spiritual intention, helping the hungry, the vulnerable, and the weak, and pursuing peace and justice.

Even Rabbi David Bauman, who wrote in celebration of eating meat, concedes that returning to a vegetarian diet is a Jewish ideal. May we realize this in our times.

For more information, please visit The Vegetarian Mitzvah www.brook.com/jveg.

Daniel Brook, Ph.D.

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5. Inspirational article by JVNA Advisor and Author Yosef Hakohen

The Healing of the Dove
by Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

One Sunday morning, a group of young children discovered a dove sitting on the ground in their backyard. The dove seemed to be ill, and though it kept lifting its wings, it was unable to fly. The children became very excited and they wanted to help; however, in their youthful excitement, they lifted the dove in an abrupt and rough manner; moreover, they were screaming at the dove, Get up, get up!" Their rough manner and screaming caused the bird to go into shock and to have convulsions.

The children's mother heard the commotion, and when she looked out of her window and saw what was happening, she ran out with a big box in her hands. She told the children to be quiet, and in a slow and gentle manner, she lovingly lifted the dove and placed it in the box. And she began to softly sing a sweet melody to the frightened creature. Within a few minutes, the convulsions stopped, and the dove became calm and relaxed.

The mother taught her children how to properly take care of the dove, and each day, they would softly sing a sweet melody while they nurtured the little creature. Six more days passed, and on the morning of the Sabbath - the Sacred Seventh Day - the dove flew from the box and landed on a nest in a nearby tree.

According to tradition, our people are compared to the dove. In fact, the Compassionate One calls us, My dove" (Song of Songs 2:14). One source for this tradition can be found in the following teaching from the ancient midrashic work, Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer (chap. 28):

The People of Israel are compared to the dove, as it is said: "O My dove, who is in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the cliff; let me see your countenance, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your countenance is lovely" (Song of Songs 2:14).

I began this letter with a story of a dove which was too weak to fly. The children who roughly lifted the dove and who screamed at her caused her to become weaker. It was the gentle and loving lifting of the mother and her sweet singing which helped to reawaken the spirit of the dove. So too, there are those who try to lift our people in a rough manner and who scream at our people in a harsh tone. They forget that we are a wounded people and that we still have not yet fully recovered from the trauma of the Holocaust in Europe which destroyed one third of our people, while most nations stood by in silence and even refused to open their doors to those of our people trying to flee from the Holocaust. They also forget that in recent years we suffer from the trauma of witnessing the bodies of our brothers and sisters blown up by terrorists; moreover, as the United Nations finally acknowledged in its recent conference on anti-Semitism, there are a growing number of people all over the world who are seeking our destruction.

The leaders, teachers, and activists who succeed in lifting our wounded people and reviving our spirit are those who gently and lovingly lift us. Instead of screaming harsh words, they sing to us a sweet and healing song. And through their loving and gentle nurturing, we will regain the strength to fly and return to our "nest" - the Sacred Sanctuary in the Land of Zion. In this spirit, the Prophet states that during the period of our return, people will exclaim in wonderment: "Who are these that fly like a cloud and like doves to their cotes?" (Isaiah 60:8).

In this era, the other "birds" - the nations of the world - will be inspired to join us at the Sacred Sanctuary in Zion, as the Prophet proclaimed:

"It will happen in the end of days: The mountain of the Compassionate One's Temple will be firmly established as the head of the mountains, and it will be exalted above the hills, and all the nations will stream to it. Many peoples will go and say, 'Come, let us go up to the Mountain of the Compassionate One, to the Temple of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths.' For from Zion will go forth Torah, and the word of the Compassionate One from Jerusalem." (Isaiah 2:2,3)

May we experience the day when the dove of Israel will be joined by all the other birds. All the birds will then sing together the sacred song of unity, as it is written: "Sing to the Compassionate One a new song; sing to the Compassionate One all the earth" (Psalm 96:1)

Hazon - Our Universal Vision: www.shemayisrael.co.il/publicat/hazon/

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6. Protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)

c. Statement by the Natural Resources Defense Council

[Producing vegan foods requires far less energy than producing animal products.]
Forwarded message:

We need to do something about this NOW, this is a moral and ethical issue that even children in Sunday school can write letters and draw pictures about. Saran
Subject: A message from Robert Redford about the Arctic Refuge

Dear NRDC Action Fund Supporter,

No one voted on Election Day to destroy the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But President Bush is now claiming a mandate to do exactly that.

Congressional leaders are pushing for a quick vote that would turn America's greatest sanctuary for Arctic wildlife into a vast, polluted oil field.

Even worse, they are planning to avoid public debate on this Devastating measure by hiding it in a must-pass budget bill.

Please go to http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/arctic0501c.asp right now and send a message telling your U.S. senators and representative to reject this sneak attack on the Arctic Refuge.

And please forward my message to your friends, family and colleagues. We must mobilize millions of Americans in opposition as quickly as possible.

Don't believe for a second that the president is targeting the Arctic Refuge for the sake of America's energy security or to lower gas prices at the pump.

President Bush knows full well that oil drilled in the Arctic Refuge would take ten years to get to market and would never equal more than a paltry one or two percent of our nation's daily consumption. Simply put, sacrificing the crown jewel of our wildlife heritage would do nothing to reduce gas prices or break our addiction to Persian Gulf oil.

But if the raid on the Arctic Refuge isn't really about gas prices or energy security, then what is it about?

It's the symbolism.

The Arctic Refuge represents everything spectacular and everything endangered about America's natural heritage. It embodies a million years of ecological serenity . . . a vast stretch of pristine wilderness . . . an irreplaceable birthing ground for polar bears, caribou and white wolves.

It is the greatest living reminder that conserving nature in its wild state is a core American value. It stands for every remnant of wilderness that we, as a people, have wisely chosen to protect from the relentless march of bulldozers, chain saws and oil rigs.

And that's why the Bush administration is dead set on destroying it.

By unlocking the Arctic Refuge, they hope to open the door for oil, gas and coal giants to invade our last and best wild places: our western canyon lands, our ancient forests, our coastal waters, even our national monuments.

This is the real agenda behind the raid on the Arctic Refuge and the entire Bush-Cheney energy plan: to transfer our public estate into corporate hands so it can be liquidated for a quick buck.

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) admitted as much when he said this battle over the Arctic Refuge is really a fight over whether energy exploration will be allowed in similarly sensitive areas in the future. "It's about precedent," Rep. DeLay said.

I take him at his word. If we let the president and Congress plunder the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for the sake of oil company profits, then no piece of our natural heritage will be safe from wholesale destruction.

Please go to http://www.nrdcactionfund.org/arctic0501c.asp and tell your senators and representative they have no mandate to destroy the Arctic Refuge. Then please be sure to forward this message to as many people as you can.

b. Statement by Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP America (www.rep.org))

Copyright © REP America

3200 Carlisle Blvd., #228
Albuquerque, NM 87110

Energy and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge


Sent to all Republican Senators and Representatives
on March 17, 2001

Dear Senator/Representative:

The concurrence of the debates about a national energy policy and protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a great opportunity for our Republican Party. The time and circumstances are right for Republicans to secure America's energy future and demonstrate that we are still the party of Theodore Roosevelt.

The American people deserve and need a real national energy policy. We deserve and need natural treasures like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We can have both.

The answer lies in a national energy policy whose cornerstones are efficiency, conservation and the energy technologies of bountiful alternative fuels; and not a short-sighted, pointless and politically damaging fight over risking harm to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We should provide permanent wilderness protection for the Refuge, secure the blessings of America's great natural heritage for generations to come and boldly move this nation forward towards true energy security for the coming century.

Conservatives should be objective and think long-term. Any reasoned and responsible national energy policy cannot avoid one unalterable fact: We will never achieve independence from foreign oil powers as long as we remain so dependent on oil. We could put drilling rigs in every wildlife refuge, national park and wilderness area, and all our other other public lands, and we would never obtain enough oil to claim energy independence. The United States has perhaps 4% of the world's reserves, yet we continue to consume at least 25% of its oil production. Oil prices are and will always be set by the world markets, which will never be controlled, and hardly influenced, by limited supplies of American oil.

We will impose tremendous costs and risks on our economy, taxpayers and military as long as our national welfare is tied to oil. Patriotism demands that we do all we can individually and as a nation to strive for real energy independence.

We are living in a time of great advances in energy technology. The Microsoft of tomorrow is most likely an energy technology company. Other nations are moving far faster than we in embracing these new technologies. Iceland, for example, has set an ambitious timetable for being completely free from its dependence on fossil fuels of all types. Iceland knows that the energy source of tomorrow is hydrogen fuel cells, not fossil fuels. German and Japanese engineers are also moving rapidly towards independence from oil, making tremendous strides in increased automotive fuel efficiency. Volkswagen reportedly will be producing in several years a vehicle that gets 234 miles per gallon (no typographical error). We can do the same. By employing the same dedication, commitment and national resolve that helped win World War II and rebuild Europe, America can become a leader in the energy technologies of the future, secure independence from foreign oil powers, and meet our moral obligation to pass on to the next generation a world in better shape than we inherited it.

Energy conservation, particularly automobile fuel efficiency, is the most immediate route to energy independence. Automobiles use most of our imported oil. If we are truly facing an energy crisis, there is no excuse for Congress to continue blocking increased fuel efficiency measures. Fuel efficiency is our most readily available and best weapon system against foreign control of our economy. We should not risk the lives of young American military men and woman to secure foreign oil supplies just so that we can drive inefficient, gas- guzzling vehicles to the grocery store or mall.

Rapid employment of renewable energies is in our nation’s long term interest. No foreign power could hope to affect our energy markets if we were using more wind, solar and geothermal power…all of which are readily available on American soil and cost-effective today. To cure our most pressing energy needs, we should embrace the quickest source of new energy production: wind power. A wind-power farm generating enough energy for 70,000 homes can be put on line in one year from the start of construction. No other energy source at present can match this. Congress also needs to see hydrogen fuel cells as a wise investment for the nation’s future. Rather than continue to subsidize fossil fuels and absorb their related costs (pollution, climate change, health problems and military expenditures to defend foreign supplies), we should shift our investments to new fuels and technologies that make more long-term sense.

With a real, long-term national energy policy in place, we could protect and preserve those national treasures that help make America a great nation. Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is neither a short-term nor a long-term solution to our energy needs, and it is fraught with risks and turmoil.

For our GOP, especially, it is filled with political danger. Far too many Americans oppose ruining the Refuge to make it a cornerstone of a national energy policy. Republican Senators and Representatives who have publicly stated their opposition to drilling in the Refuge do so with good reasons. They know their constituents oppose ruining our wildlife refuges and other public lands and will exact a price at the polls from elected officials who do not defend those areas. The price that Republicans may pay for forcing this issue is loss of our slim majorities in the House and Senate, which depend on returning Republicans from the Northeast, the very area where public opposition to drilling the Refuge is strongest.

Republicans should seize the opportunity at hand. We can give America a real long-term plan for energy independence while reclaiming the mantle of Theodore Roosevelt by protecting our national treasures, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. We at REP America are tired of seeing Democrats receive all the credit for preserving America’s natural heritage. It’s time for our party to step up and take back leadership on this issue.

Unfortunately, the new GOP energy bill falls far short. In addition to relying on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as its centerpiece (like the center on a bullseye!), it does not set America on the path toward any kind of energy independence. It is merely a fossil-fuel industry bill that perpetuates our unhealthy dependence on oil. Republicans need to do better for America and go to back to the drawing boards. Otherwise, it will be the Democrats who claim in 2002 and 2004 that they are the party with the better ideas on energy.

The second step—which is within reach today—is for Republicans to take the lead in reassuring Americans that they will protect America’s natural treasures, and begin doing so by supporting permanent wilderness protection for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Representative Nancy Johnson, with HR 770, and Senators Jim Jeffords and Lincoln Chafee, with S 411, have wisely taken up this challenge. They are joined in this effort by GOP Representatives Charles Bass, Jim Greenwood, Jim Leach, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Connie Morella, Jim Saxton, Chris Shays and Chris Smith. Their championship of wilderness designation for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is in keeping with the proud tradition of Republican leadership in providing wilderness protection for America’s special wild lands. It was Republican Congressman John Saylor, after all, who co-authored the Wilderness Act of 1964.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower first protected the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge forty years ago because it is a spectacular and unparalleled national treasure. That has not changed. Nor has the desire of Americans to preserve and protect their natural heritage waned over time. Indeed, Americans are more concerned than ever about the loss of our special places.

So, with this letter, we are urging you today to do two things…

First, join Representative Johnson and Senators Jeffords and Chafee in supporting wilderness designation for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as proposed by HR 770 and S 411.

And second, please insist that our party fashion for America a true long-range energy policy that will free us from our dependence on oil and move America forward in embracing the secure, clean and profitable energy technologies of the future. By doing so, our party will reap both praise and political rewards from present and future generations of Americans.

Such a combined achievement would be a legacy worthy of the party of Theodore Roosevelt.

Martha A. Marks, Ph.D.
President (REP America)

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7. Water Conservation in Agriculture

Study Urges Water Conservation on Farms
Jan 10, 9:11 PM EST
Associated Press Writer

[Animal-based diets require as much as 14 times as much water as vegan diets.]

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A growing population coupled with diminishing fresh water supplies should force major changes in the way the world's farmers water their crops in the coming decades, a recent study recommends.

Since agriculture uses about 70 percent of the world's fresh water every year, farming should be the focus of intense conservation efforts, said David Pimentel, a professor at Cornell University and primary author of the study published in the October issue of the journal BioScience.

"We in the U.S. waste a lot of water in contrast to other people," Pimentel said. "Agriculture is going to have to give up water as the population grows. States like California, Colorado, Texas and Nebraska are going to have to make some major changes."

The study said farmers should use water-conserving irrigation methods combined with water and soil conservation practices to minimize run-off. The study also suggests governments eliminate water subsidies to farmers to encourage more efficient water use, work to reduce water pollution and protect forests and wetlands.

In parts of Arizona, water from major aquifers is now being withdrawn more than 10 times faster than it can be recharged by rainfall. In California, agriculture accounts for about 3 percent of the state's economic production but consumes 85 percent of the fresh water.

The United Nations estimates world population will rise to 9.4 billion by 2050 from about 6.3 billion now. The increasing demand for water is already causing problems.

Pimentel cites the massive Ogallala aquifer, under parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas, that supplies water to a fifth of all irrigated land in the country. The underground water source has dropped 33 percent since 1950 - half the volume of Lake Erie, said Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project in Amherst, Mass.

Similar problems are happening worldwide, from the Chenaran plain in northeastern Iran to Guanajuato, Mexico. Of particular concern is Asia, home to 60 percent of the world's population, but only 30 percent of its fresh water. Postel says water efficiency will have to double to meet future needs.

"The pace of the problem is proceeding faster than the pace of the solution," Postel said. "It takes a while to overhaul things and I don't see policy makers taking these issues seriously enough that they get corrected."

"We are using tomorrow's water today to meet our food needs," she said.

By 2050 "water will to be the most critical resource issue we face in the entire world," said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation and a Texas-based rice farmer. "Frankly, I think wars will be fought over water. There are already border disputes in some parts of the world between countries over water."

Stallman said farmers have made efforts to conserve water in the past two decades.


Pimentel suggests consumers can help reduce water usage by buying locally produced crops instead of those grown far away and by switching the types of foods they eat.

For the Northeast, that means eating cabbage instead of lettuce grown in California or choosing chicken and pork over beef. It takes 3,500 liters of water to produce one kilogram of chicken, but 43,000 liters for the same amount of beef, he said. Rice needs about 1,600 liters of water per kilogram, but corn requires just 650 liters.

"There are lots of things individuals can do to change food habits," he said.

On the Net:
U.S. Department of Agriculture: http://www.usda.gov
American Farm Bureau Federation: http://www.fb.org
BioScience journal: http://www.aibs.org/bioscience/current-issue.html
© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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8. New Health/Nutrition Book Lauded

From: The VegSource Newsletter

Greetings VegSource Friends!

A hot hot new book gets our highest recommendation -- "The China Study," by Cornell professor and nutritional biochemist, T. Colin Campbell, PhD.

[I have met Dr. Campbell at various conferences and heard him speak several times. I believe that he presents a very effective case for plant-based diets, based on the extensive research involved in the “China Study,” a study that the New York Times called the “grand prix” of epidemiology.]

This is the book you not only want for yourself, but for every friend and family member you care about. It is truly awesome and contains information about health and diet you will find nowhere else.

We will be running a full review shortly, but meanwhile you might be interested in reading the Foreword for the book, written by John Robbins, of "Diet for a New America" and "Food Revolution" fame.

Here is an excerpt from the Foreword:

Dr. Campbell’s new book — "The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health" — is a great ray of light in the darkness of our times, illuminating the landscape and the realities of diet and health so clearly, so fully, that you need never again fall prey to those who profit from keeping you misinformed, confused, and obediently eating the foods they sell.

One of the many things I appreciate about this book is that Dr. Campbell doesn’t just give you his conclusions. He doesn’t preach from on high, telling what you should and shouldn’t eat, as if you were a child. Instead, like a good and trusted friend who happens to have learned, discovered and done more in his life than most of us could ever imagine, he gently, clearly and skillfully gives you the information and data you need to fully understand what’s involved in diet and health today. He empowers you to make informed choices. Sure, he makes recommendations and suggestions, and terrific ones at that. But he always shows you how he has arrived at his conclusions. The data and the truth are what’s important. His only agenda is to help you live as informed and healthy a life as possible.

Read the full Foreword here

And then order this book today! You will be amazed to read how the science -- confirming that a largely plant-based diet is the only route to assure your good health -- is more powerful and convincing than you ever thought. And since it was your tax dollars which paid for Dr. Campbell's fascinating research (through grants from the National Institutes of Health), you deserve to have this invaluable information!

Peas and love,
Jeff & Sabrina

PS: Don't forget to regularly check the VegSource Blog at

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