February 8, 2005

2/8/05 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Why a Shift toward Vegetarianism is Essential

2. Getting Involved in Meatout 2005

3. Animal Rights Group Seeks Support for AR Conference

4. Effects of Bush’s Proposed Budget Cuts on the Environment

5. Religious Leaders Getting More Involved in Environmental Issues

6. Good Article on Jewish Teachings on Environmental Protection

7. NY Times Article on the Future of the Environmental Movement

8. Earth Day 2005 Scheduled for April 22

9. Are There Vegetarian Connections to the Recent Asian Tsunami?

10. Spring Holistic Health Event Planned

11. Getting Vegetarian Messages on the Radio

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.


1. Why a Shift toward Vegetarianism is Essential

Apocalypse Now: How Mankind is Sleepwalking to the End of the Earth
Published on Sunday, February 6, 2005 by the lndependent/UK

Floods, storms and droughts. Melting Arctic ice, shrinking glaciers, oceans turning to acid. The world's top scientists warned last week that dangerous climate change is taking place today, not the day after tomorrow. You don't believe it? Then, says Geoffrey Lean, read this...

by Geoffrey Lean

Future historians, looking back from a much hotter and less hospitable world, are likely to play special attention to the first few weeks of 2005. As they puzzle over how a whole generation could have sleepwalked into disaster - destroying the climate that has allowed human civilization to flourish over the past 11,000 years - they may well identify the past weeks as the time when the last alarms sounded.

Last week, 200 of the world's leading climate scientists - meeting at Tony Blair's request at the Met Office's new headquarters at Exeter - issued the most urgent warning to date that dangerous climate change is taking place, and that time is running out.
Next week the Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty that tries to control global warming, comes into force after a seven-year delay. But it is clear that the protocol does not go nearly far enough.

The alarms have been going off since the beginning of one of the warmest Januaries on record. First, Dr Rajendra Pachauri - chairman of the official Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - told a UN conference in Mauritius that the pollution which causes global warming has reached "dangerous" levels.

Then the biggest-ever study of climate change, based at Oxford University, reported that it could prove to be twice as catastrophic as the IPCC's worst predictions. And an international task force - also reporting to Tony Blair, and co-chaired by his close ally, Stephen Byers - concluded that we could reach "the point of no return" in a decade.

Finally, the UK head of Shell, Lord Oxburgh, took time out - just before his company reported record profits mainly achieved by selling oil, one of the main causes of the problem - to warn that unless governments take urgent action there "will be a disaster".

But it was last week at the Met Office's futuristic glass headquarters, incongruously set in a dreary industrial estate on the outskirts of Exeter, that it all came together. The conference had been called by the Prime Minister to advise him on how to "avoid dangerous climate change". He needed help in persuading the world to prioritize the issue this year during Britain's presidencies of the EU and the G8 group of economic powers.

The conference opened with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Margaret Beckett, warning that "a significant impact" from global warming "is already inevitable". It continued with presentations from top scientists and economists from every continent. These showed that some dangerous climate change was already taking place and that catastrophic events once thought highly improbable were now seen as likely (see panel). Avoiding the worst was technically simple and economically cheap, they said, provided that governments could be persuaded to take immediate action.

There is much more of great interest, but we are ending here for space considerations. For the complete article, please use the URL indicated. Thanks.

© 2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.


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2. Getting Involved in Meatout 2005

Forwarded message from FARM (Farm Animal Reform Movement):

Meatout Is Only a Month Away!

There's still time to register your event and make sure your community is represented on this historic occasion. This March, Meatout the world's largest and longest-running annual grassroots diet education campaign celebrates twenty years of encouraging Americans to adopt eating habits that are healthy for their families, good for our planet, and kind to the animals. Don't miss out register your Meatout plans online or by calling 1-800-MEATOUT.

Participating Is Easy

Over a hundred events have already been signed up in 34 states and 8 countries. Check out our Events Directory to discover what kinds of ideas activists across the world are coming up with and see if you can apply them in your hometown. Then register your intent to host an event, even if your plans are incomplete you can update your listing any time. After you register, you can request an Event Pack with an official Meatout banner, color posters, handouts, stickers and more! Visit our Action Center for more event ideas.

Help Raise Funds for Meatout

For this year's special anniversary observance, we have set a goal to raise $20,000 for our campaigns through a new Meatout event: the Meatout Walk!

We need 10 more Walk Coordinators to sign up to reach our goal of $20,000. Visit our Meatout Walk page or call Frank at 1-800-MEATOUT for details.

Hosting a Walk comes with great rewards! Every registered walker gets a Meatout t-shirt with registration, and each Walk that raises $1,000 will be awarded a billboard for our World Farm Animals Day campaign in October. Call 1-800-MEATOUT to sign up!

Thank you for caring,
Frank J. Gómez and the Meatout 2005 Team

PS: Be sure to visit our online store to get all your Meatout gear and accessories.

About Meatout:Launched in 1985, The Great American Meatout has become the world's largest diet education campaign promoting a wholesome compassionate plant-based diet.

On or around March 20--the first day of spring--thousands of caring people in all 50 US states and a host of other countries hold informative and educational Meatout events. Events will include colorful 'lifestivals,' street theater, lectures, public dinners, cooking demos, food samplings, leafleting, information tables called 'steakouts,' and a Congressional Reception in Washington, DC.

Please join us for our 20th Anniversary observance of Meatout and represent your city!

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3. Animal Rights Group Seeks Support for AR Conference

[I have known Adam Weissman for many years, and can vouch for his passion regarding animal rights issues, and integrity and honor regarding today's appeal.

Forwarded message from Adam:

The Grassroots Animal Rights Conference Needs Your Help!!

The Grassroots Animal Rights Conference (GARC), scheduled for March 31-April 3 in New York City, will be a gathering of local animal rights advocates from communities through North America.

Grassroots, community-based animal rights groups lack the resources to provide their volunteers and leaders with the basic and advanced skills needed to run effective, strategic, and sustainable efforts. GARC intends to train community activists in effective fundraising, project development, building alliances with other social change movements, media relations, legislative advocacy, constituency outreach, humane education to children, and a range of other essential skills. The conference also intends to initiate critical dialogues on strategy and direction for the movement to build a larger, more diverse, and more successful movement throughout North America. You can learn more about our conference at http://grassrootsar.org

Unfortunately, GARC ran into a MAJOR snag when the scheduled conference site, New York University, cancelled the conference reservation six months after students from the university's animal rights club, which is working with GARC, reserved the space. Suspiciously, the cancellation, ostensibly enacted for obscure bureaucratic reasons, came two weeks after the university announced they were opening a new "life science" facility-- a common euphemism for experimental torture of animals. Many believe the cancellation was an attempt by the university to offset a potential protest at their new facility.

Since the cancellation, GARC"s volunteer organizers have searched for an alternative New York City site. Whereas the NYU location would have been free, and the students would have gotten a funding allocation for the event from the university, GARC now has to rent a site at high cost and without the benefit of these funds.

In order to ensure that the conference can still happen, GARC organizers must now call on caring people to support this effort. We have raised $5,000 in the last few weeks, and need to raise at least $5,000 more to allow this event to proceed as planned. It is vital that compassionate people not allow NYU to succeed in squelching this important gathering.

Contributions of all sizes are greatly appreciated, and can be mailed to
Grassroots Animal Rights Conference, PO Box 344, New York, NY 10108. For tax deductible contributions, write checks out to Earthsave and write "GARC" in the note. If you do not need a tax deduction, write checks out to "Grassroots Animal Rights Conference."

Volunteers are also needed to help identify new potential venues, confirm speakers, raise funds, find food and housing donations, and promote the event. If you'd like to help, contact Adam Weissman at (201) 968-0595 or email adam@grassrootsar.org.

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4. Effects of Bush’s Proposed Budget Cuts on the Environment

Forwarded message from Grist magazine:

Proposed Bush budget cuts environment spending and ag subsidies

Turns out tax cuts for the wealthy aren't cheap. President Bush's
fiscal 2006 budget, sent to Congress today, would cut the U.S. EPA
budget by about 6 percent and the National Park Service budget by
nearly 3 percent, part of a broad range of cuts that will also affect
Medicaid, home-heating aid for the poor, American Indian schools, and
a number of other social programs. Though critics deplored the cuts,
saying they would hit society's most vulnerable the hardest, many had
guarded praise for another proposal in the budget: cutting federal
agricultural subsidies, the country's oldest and largest corporate
welfare program, by $5.74 billion over the next decade. The proposal
would cap subsidies to individual farmers at $250,000, down from the
current cap of $360,000, and tighten eligibility requirements to
close loopholes that let some big farm businesses collect millions a
year. "This proposal is a very big deal. I am stunned and
impressed," said Kenneth Cook, president of the Environmental Working

straight to the source: The New York Times, Robert Pear, 06 Feb 2005

straight to the source: ABC News, Associated Press, Alan Fram, 06 Feb 2005

A related article:
NY Times 2/8/05

Clean Water Fund Facing Major Cuts


The discretionary budget of the Environmental Protection Agency would be cut by 5.6 percent, to $7.57 billion, under President Bush's budget.

The greatest single cuts would be in federal payments to a joint
state-federal fund that underwrites projects to improve water quality.

The fund is now worth $52 billion.

The $369 million cut in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund would leave the fund with annual federal payments of $730 million, down from $1.98 billion four years ago, said Linda Eichmiller, a spokeswoman for the Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators.

"The infrastructure needs that relate to clean water are well over $200 billion," Ms. Eichmiller said. "We have a fund that is not adequate to meet those needs. If we don't build up the fund to take care of those needs, there are going to be problems."

The budget proposes increasing the sum to clean up urban industrial sites, or brown fields, by $46.9 million, to $210 million.

Congress allocated $163 million to it for the current fiscal year.

The amount allocated to the Superfund, the fund established to clean up major toxic waste sites, was slightly increased, to $1.28 billion from $1.25 billion.

At the Interior Department, $90 million in cuts in the National Park Service budget for land acquisition and state grants were among the major items leading to a proposed overall 1 percent reduction.

The proposed total cut of $119 million would reduce the department's budget, to $10.65 billion from the $10.77 billion that Congress approved for the 2005 fiscal year.

In a budget briefing on Monday, Interior Secretary Gale A. Norton emphasized the administration's support to open the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve for oil and gas drilling.

Ms. Norton said the department anticipated that bids for the rights to exploit the first tracts open in the reserve would total $2.4 billion in the 2007 fiscal year.

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5. Religious Leaders Getting More Involved in Environmental Issues

Forwarded message from Grist magazine:

Religious leaders make the environment a "values issue"

More than 1,000 Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish religious leaders from some 35 states have signed and begun circulating a statement opposing President Bush's environmental policies. And evangelicals aren't far behind, having drawn up an "Evangelical Call to Civic Responsibility" that emphasizes Christians' duty to care for the environment, potentially putting signatories -- including heavy-hitters like James Dobson of Focus on the Family -- at odds with the candidate many of them supported. "The environment is a values issue," said Rev. Ted Haggard, president of the 30 million member National Association of Evangelicals. Some evangelicals are lobbying against Bush's Clear Skies Act, arguing that it doesn't do enough to rein in mercury pollution, which harms fetuses. Many religious activists prefer to speak of "creation care" rather than "environmentalism," as the latter term, according to political scientist John C. Green of the University of Akron, brings to the evangelist mind "druids who worship trees." Welcome to the club, folks.

straight to the source: The Washington Post, Blaine Harden, 06 Feb 2005

straight to the source: The Washington Post, Blaine Harden, 06 Feb 2005

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6. Good Article on Jewish Teachings on Environmental Protection

Judaism and Ecology: A Theology of Creation
Daniel B. Fink
Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel

Keep two truths in your pocket and take them out according to the
need of the moment. Let one be For my sake the world was created. And the other: I am dust and ashes.


The endeavor to formulate a systematic environmental ethic is quite new to Judaism. For most of Jewish history, our sacred texts from Hebrew Scriptures to Talmud to medieval philosophical, legal and mystical literature have dealt with ecological issues incidentally, as they arose. Ecology was not a discrete area of inquiry; it was, instead, an integral part of the weave of relationships between God, humanity in general (and Israel in particular), and the rest of the natural world. Furthermore, Jewish positions on environmental issues have never been monolithic. In this, they reflect the multivocal nature of our traditions texts and worldview. Still, contemporary scholars seeking a normative Jewish perspective on questions central to earth ethics can find much of interest in what is known as the account of creation (maaseh breishit) set forth in the first two chapters of Genesis and subsequent generations of commentaries on these texts. For the most part, Jewish teachers have resisted the tendency to read the Torah in a static, literalist manner. The Genesis narrative describes an ongoing process, for as the Jewish liturgy affirms, God renews the work of creation daily. Humans occupy a unique niche in this dynamic picture of God’s world. We are both a part of nature and apart from it.

Between Dust and Divinity
Consider the order of the creation in the first chapter of Genesis. Humanity is not formed until the sixth day, after light and darkness, water and dry land, plants and animal life. We are clearly the final act of the Creator. But what does this suggest about our place in the cosmos?

The Babylonian Talmud recounts a debate over why God created humanity last of all the living beings. One Rabbi suggested that people were the pinnacle of creation. He compared God to a king who prepared a fantastic feast and, after all was readied, invited the guest of honor. Thus, God made the entire natural world for the sustenance and enjoyment of humanity. Then, a second sage offered a very different response: Adam was created at the end of the sixth day so that if human beings should grow too arrogant, they may be reminded that even the gnats preceded them in the order of creation. According to this perspective, humanity is more or less a divine afterthought.

This is the same tension expressed in Simcha Bunam’s aphorism about keeping two truths in ones pockets. A Jewish earth ethic recognizes humanity’s unique power to use natures bounty to our benefit. At the same time, it reminds us that each part of God’s creation has its own intrinsic value. As the great medieval Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides states in his Guide to the Perplexed, the Torah affirms after each day’s creation, God saw that it was good. Such praise is not reserved for humanity. Indeed, the biblical narrator declares that upon finishing, God all of the works of creation and behold, they were very good. The text goes out of its way to emphasize the value of each plant and animal. Therefore, Maimonides concludes, All the other beings have been created for their own sakes, and not for the sake of something else [e.g., humanity].

The Question of Dominion

If human prerogatives are counterbalanced by the assertion of natures intrinsic value, what can one make of the somewhat infamous verse where God tells the first humans to master the earth and take dominion over all the living things? Contrary to the critique of Lynn White and many others, mainstream Judaism did not interpret this as a divine carte blanche to exploit nature without remorse. Nine hundred years ago, Rashi, the most distinguished commentator on the Torah, noted that the Hebrew word for take dominion (vyirdu) comes from the same root as to descend (yarad). Thus, he declares: When humanity is worthy, we have dominion over the animal kingdom; when we are not, we descend below the level of animals and the animals rule over us. We are preeminent only when we act in keeping with the highest standards of responsibility. Abusing the rest of the creation is a sign of debasement rather than dominion. To cite a modern example, if we destroy human life on earth through nuclear accident or war, the cockroaches will, in all likelihood, succeed us as the masters of the planet.

Furthermore, the true significance of the mandate given to humanity in Genesis 1 is not defined until the second half of the creation account, which is found in Gen 2:4-15. Many biblical critics of the past century have emphasized the discrepancies between these two stories, attributing them to different authorial traditions. However, Jewish tradition and an increasing number of literary-minded contemporary scholars view the accounts as complementary. Each speaks to an important aspect of our relationship with the rest of God’s creation, and the full picture emerges only in the rich dialectic between them.

While the first account is primarily concerned with the linear unfolding of God’s cosmic plan to impose order upon chaos, the second accentuates, humanity’s links with the earth. It introduces the concept of stewardship. [Genesis 2:15] Humans (adam) are formed from humus (adamah). God set us in the garden and told us to work it and watch over it. This is what our dominion actually entails. As the twentieth century German-Jewish scholar Benno Jacob points out, God’s commandment to watch over the garden characterizes the land as God’s property, not ours. Genesis 2 defines the mandate set forth in the previous chapter. We are guardians of a divine trust. As the psalmist later reminds us, The earth is the Lord’s.

Shabbat: Last in Creation, First in Intention

It is not easy to maintain the proper tension between human dominion and nature’s integrity. From the start, God seems to recognize that people will frequently choose to misinterpret their stewardship as license to plunder the natural world. Therefore, immediately after forming humanity, God establishes an essential constraint on our destructive tendencies, the Sabbath. This is the crown of creation, a day on which all forms of work are forbidden. The Rabbis of the Talmud maintained that although the Sabbath was the last thing God created, it was meant to be from the start, first in intention. These same sages defined the work prohibited on the Sabbath as any of thirty-nine types of activity that change the natural order. Once a week then, we are called upon to refrain from all labor that employs the things of nature for the achievement of human ends. The Sabbath is a tangible reminder that the creation is worth more than any monetary considerations. No wonder Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel considered this day the last, best hope of modern women and men who seek a vision of peace with all things in our profane age of clattering commerce. Later in the Torah, the principle of the Sabbath day is applied to agricultural policy in the ordinance of the sabbatical year. Every seven years, the farmer is required to let his or her land lie fallow, relying instead upon Gods bounty. We moderns tend to see this as an early and sound policy of soil conservation. However, it is also one more expression of the proposition which underlies all Jewish environmental ethics: we are only tenants on this earth. The land belongs to God. We are given permission to enjoy the Creator’s abundant gifts, but we must not waste or wantonly destroy anything. The Jewish injunction known as bal tashchit teaches us to live lightly, conserving earth’s abundance. Indeed, the rabbis declare that anyone who eats a fruit without saying the proper blessing of thanksgiving to God is like a thief, stealing from the Creator.

Conclusion: A Gift to Our Descendants

The creation narrative which opens the Torah has been the source of a steady stream of commentary, as each generation has sought to reinterpret it. We continue to revisit the Garden and explore the relationship with the rest of Gods creation. Our final selection is rooted in this tradition. It comes from Koheleth Rabbah, a collection of homilies based on the book of Ecclesiastes. It leaves us with a crucial charge: Preserve this beautiful world for your descendants, for if you fail to do so, there will be no more chances to restore it. When the Blessed Holy One created the first human beings, God took them and led them around all the trees of the garden of Eden and said to them: Behold My works! See how lovely and commendable they are! Pay heed that you do not corrupt and destroy My universe, for if you do corrupt it, there will be no one to repair it after you.

About this Author

Daniel B. Fink is Rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Beth Israel, in Boise, Idaho. He received his Bachelors degree in History and Philosophy from the University of Virginia, and a Masters of Arts in Hebrew Letters from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. He is an ardent environmentalist who enjoys hiking, canoeing, biking, and kayaking. He is co-author, with Ellen Bernstein, of Let the Earth Teach You Torah (New York: Shomrei Adamah, 1992) and, with Aubrey Rose, Judaism and Ecology (London: Cassell, 1992), as well as numerous articles on Judaism and environmental policy.

This article was originally published in Earth Ethics 10, no.1 (Fall 1998).
Copyright © 1998 Center for Respect of Life and Environment.

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7. NY Times Article on the Future of the Environmental Movement

February 6, 2005
Paper Sets Off a Debate on Environmentalism's Future


MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - The leaders of the environmental movement were livid last fall when Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus, two little-known, earnest environmentalists in their 30's, presented a 12,000-word thesis arguing that environmentalism was dead.

It did not help that the pair first distributed their paper, "The Death of Environmentalism," at the annual meeting of deep-pocketed foundation executives who underwrite the environmental establishment. But few outside the movement's inner councils paid much attention at first.

Then came the November election, into which groups like the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters poured at least $15 million, much of it to defeat President Bush, whose support for oil drilling and logging, and opposition to regulating greenhouse gases have made him anathema to environmental groups. Instead, Mr. Bush and Congressional champions of his agenda cemented their control in Washington at a time when battles loom over clean air and oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Now a debate about the future of environmentalism is ricocheting around the Internet about the authors' notion of, in Mr. Shellenberger's words, "abolishing the category" of environmentalism and embracing a wider spectrum of liberal issues to "release the power of progressivism." Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, began things in the fall with a bristling 6,000-word denunciation of Mr. Shellenberger's and Mr. Nordhaus's paper. An online magazine, Grist.org, has started a forum to debate their ideas and their assertions that environmentalism has become "just another special interest."

One writer called the paper "ridiculous and self-serving." Another wrote simply, "I'm not dead."

Others have embraced the paper. "The article articulates exactly my feelings about the environmental movement," one enthusiast wrote.

Mr. Nordhaus, 38, is a pollster, and Mr. Shellenberger, 33, is a strategist and the executive director of the Breakthrough Institute, a new organization that advocates putting progressive values to work to solve problems. They are receiving an increasing number of speaking invitations like the one that brought them here to Middlebury College in central Vermont recently, where they spoke at a conference on rethinking the politics of climate.

The election results may not have been the only reason they have struck a nerve. Other nagging concerns abound, like worries about the effect of repeated defeats on morale and concerns about image; a recent survey conducted for the Nature Conservancy suggested that the group use the term "conservationist" rather than "environmentalist."

"To a large extent, most of us in the environmental movement think most people agree with us," said Bill McKibben, a scholar in residence at Middlebury College and the author of "The End of Nature," a 1989 book on global warming.

But Mr. McKibben, who called Mr. Shellenberger and Mr. Nordhaus "the bad boys of American environmentalism," said their data showed that the kind of political support the movement had in the late 1970's had come and gone. "The political ecosystem is as real as the physical ecosystem so we might as well deal with it," he said.

Their paper asserts that the movement's senior leadership was blinded by its early successes and has become short-sighted and "just another special interest." Its gloomy warnings and geeky, technocentric policy prescriptions are profoundly out of step with the electorate, Mr. Shellenberger and Mr. Nordhaus say.

"We have become convinced that modern environmentalism, with all of its unexamined assumptions, outdated concepts and exhausted strategies, must die so that something new can live," they wrote. As proof, they cite the debate on global warming and the largely unsuccessful push for federal regulation of industrial and automobile emissions.


Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company Home Privacy Policy Search Corrections RSS Help Back to Top

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8. Earth Day 2005 Scheduled for April 22

Forwarded message:

EDN US Network Update

Dear Friends,

First of all, thank you to those organizations who have already registered their Earth Day 2005 events. If you have not registered your event, please take a moment and log on to www.earthday.net. Click on Earth Day 2005 Events and follow the links to join our network and register your event.

This year, as we celebrate Earth Day’s 35th Anniversary, millions of
Americans will join together to focus national attention on this year’s
theme, Protecting Our Children’s Health and Our Future. Together, through thousands of events in communities just like yours, we will bring national attention to the impact the environment has on children’s health.

Millions of children in this country suffer from illnesses caused by poor
environmental conditions in their homes, schools, playgrounds and
communities. In the United States, more than 40 percent of children under the age of five suffer from diseases, such as asthma, which can be attributed to environmental risk factors.

In preparation for Earth Day 2005, April 22nd, people and organizations
around the country are developing events in their communities that will
build awareness and draw attention to environmental health issues. They are planning rallies, festivals, community dialogues, church services, canvassing and many other activities. We, here at Earth Day Network, encourage you to join this movement.

For more information on organizing an Earth Day event, please review our Earth Day Organizer’s Guide at
Or, if you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at 202-518-0044 or earthday@earthday.net.

Thank you for being part of Earth Day 2005. We look forward to working with you to make a difference in the lives of children everywhere.

We encourage you take full advantage of our various Web site features, from the What’s in Your Water guide to our event data base where you can register your Earth Day events for the entire network of over 12,000 organizations to see. Please feel free to email us at earthday@earthday.net if you have questions, comments or suggestions.

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9. Are There Vegetarian Connections to the Recent Asian Tsunami?

From ANIMAL PEOPLE magazine, January/February 2005:

Tsunami & vegetarians

KHAO LAK--Exposure to death revived the Thai tradition of Buddhist vegetarianism, at least among tsunami relief workers, the newspaper Matichon reported on January 12. "After we turned to vegetarian food and lighting jos sticks to the spirits asking for help, the job became much easier," Khao Lak body recovery team leader Chatchawan Suthiarun said. "Indicating that a vegetarian soup kitchen was among the most popular with Khao Lak refugees, Matichon quoted tsunami survivor as saying that the smell of death had put her off meat. Most Thais today eat some meat, chiefly fish and poultry, but Thailand was for centuries --like India and Sri Lanka--a vegetarian enclave.

While the World Conservation Union and other environmental organizations pointed out that logging coastal mangrove swamps to start shrimp farms had left coastal Thailand unprotected against tsunamis, the International Vegetarian Union noted that the shrimp farms exist to produce meat.

Would this not be the right time," the International Vegetarian Union online newsletter asked, "for bodies such as the United Nations Food & Agricultural Organization, World Health Organization, and European Union to draw up blueprints for a future in which vegetarianism plays a much larger role?"

Meanwhile, announced the vegetarian service group Food For Life on January 1, "We are serving more than 10,000 freshly cooked vegetarian meals to tsunami victims per day, consisting of rice, dhal, and vegetables." Vegetarian food was also served to tsunami victims by 11 Indian charities supported by the Sabina Fund, a subsidiary of the Farm Animal Reform Movement, begun by founder Alex Hershaft in memory of his mother.

Kim Bartlett, Publisher of ANIMAL PEOPLE Newspaper
Postal mailing address: P.O. Box 960, Clinton WA 98236 U.S.A.
Website: http://www.animalpeoplenews.org/ with French and Spanish
language subsections.

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10. Spring Holistic Health Event Planned

Forwarded message from the Michael Bedar, Marketing Manager
Tree of Life Foundation - An Oasis for Awakening:


Sunday, 3rd April 9:30am - 9:30pm

To truly get to the root cause of why we feel so conflicted, so anxiety
ridden, so full of apathy, depression and lethargy, we must return to nature and see how far we have deviated from our essential state of being.

To assist you in this, Serenity Spaces has assembled some of the leading exponents of a lifestyle based on the basic laws of nature, and will present the first eco-award to the individual or company we feel had made the greatest contribution to keeping our food, air and water supply pure and as close to their natural state as possible, despite considerable obstacles.

Please join us on Sunday, 3rd April for the entire day's events or whatever part you wish

(subject to change without prior notice)

10:00am - 11:00am
Dr. Gabriel Cousens M.D., Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center, Arizona, will be speaking on "Spiritual Nutrition"

11:00am - 1:00pm

WORKSHOP WITH Dr. Cousen's followed by book signing of Dr. Cousen's newest book "Spiritual Nutrition":


For additional information please contact:

c/o Serenity Spaces

email: specialevents@serenityspaces.org
Dear Richard,

For the Los Angelenos of Jewish Veg and the Interfaith group, this event, in which Gabriel Cousens is the keynote speaker and releasing his new book, Spiritual Nutrition, will be of interest:

Michael Bader

686 Harshaw Road/HC2 Box 302
Patagonia, AZ 85624
WEB: http://www.TreeOfLife.nu
E-MAIL: marketing@TreeOfLife.nu
PHONE: 520-394-2520 Ext. 209
FAX: 415-598-2409

Founded and Directed by Gabriel Cousens, M.D., M.D.(H), Dip. Ayurveda,
Founding Co-Sponsor of the Peace Every Day Initiative -

"The Tree of Life experience is a 'learning journey' amidst seekers that opens the eye to what is clearly on the cutting edge of the new paradigm of physical and spiritual well-being."

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11. Getting Vegetarian Messages on the Radio

Forwarded message:

Dear Friends,

I'm writing from Oakland, where a small group of AR activists are working to get AR/veg*n programming on KPFA, Berkeley's Pacifica radio station. While KPFA's programming is truly wonderful in the (large!) area of human social justice, it lags with respect to other-than-human social justice. KPFA is not just any old radio station. It's the original free speech radio station in this country, and now--more than ever--a critical nexus of progressive broadcast journalism.

On two consecutive days last week, a regular weekday program called "The Morning Show" (anchored by Philip Maldari and Andrea Lewis) featured commentary by the religious left. On Tuesday, February 1, the 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. segment included Toni Vincent, a Unitarian-Universalist minister and Bay Area social activist; David Muhammad, executive director of the Mentoring Center; Kim Klein, founder of the Grassroots Fundraising Journal; and Scoop Nisker, author and Buddhist meditation teacher.

I'm writing because portions of that discussion implied special relevance to the ethical/spiritual/progressive message of animal activism. That is, several things were said that extrapolate well to human-non-human relationships, to earthly connection, to ways people tend to feel, think and perceive, etc. If you can possibly find the time, please listen to the web-archived hour and then write to encourage KPFA to make space for AR programming. We would very much appreciate copies of any letters to KPFA.

The Feb. 1 program can be heard at

KPFA's feedback form is at http://www.kpfa.org/feedback/. Or write:

1929 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way
Berkeley, CA 94704

Thanks for your time and attention. We look forward in the not-too-distant future to hearing your own voices over the KPFA airwaves!

Namasté, Peace, Shalom for all,

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