March 14, 2005

3/14/05 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. My Biographical Article Featured in The March/April, 2005 VegNews

2. Getting Jewish Vegetarian Articles Into More Publications

3. Interested in Helping Distribute JVNA Material?

4. Environmental Hazards Spreading in Israel’s Dan Region

5. Another Report on the COEJL (Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life) Conference

6. Benefits of Legumes/With a Recipe

7. The "Pious" Parakeet, A Story for Purim

8. Correction

9. Are Vegan Diets Unhealthy For Children?

10. Jewish Environmental Education Seminar Announced

11. Interesting Vegetarian/Animal Rights/Environmental Magazine

12. Sales of Soy Products Soaring

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. My Biographical Article Featured in The March/April, 2005 VegNews

How I Went Veg
By Richard Schwartz, PhD

[This is a shortened version of my article. VegNews is an increasingly popular vegetarian publication. I have met the editor at several conventions. Letters can be sent to the editor at]

Until 1978, I was a “meat and potatoes” person. My mother would be sure to prepare my favorite dish, pot roast, whenever I came to visit. It was a family tradition that I would be served a turkey drumstick every Thanksgiving. Yet, I not only became vegetarian, I now devote a major part of my time to writing, speaking, and teaching about the benefits of vegetarianism. What caused this drastic change?

In 1973 I began teaching a course, “Mathematics and the Environment” at the College of Staten Island. The course used basic mathematical concepts and problems to explore current critical issues. When I became aware of the tremendous waste of grain associated with the production of beef at a time when millions of the world’s people were malnourished, I gave up eating red meat, while continuing to eat chicken and fish.

I then began to read about the many health benefits of vegetarianism and about the horrible conditions for animals raised on factory farms. I was increasingly attracted to vegetarianism, and in 1978, I decided to join the International Jewish Vegetarian Society and since then have avoided eating any meat, fowl, or fish.

Since that decision, besides learning much about vegetarianism’s connections to health, nutrition, ecology, resource usage, hunger, and the treatment of animals, I have also investigated the connections between vegetarianism and Judaism. I learned that the first biblical dietary law (Genesis 1:29) is strictly vegetarian, and I became convinced that important Jewish mandates to preserve our health, be kind to animals, protect the environment, conserve resources, share with hungry people, and seek and pursue peace all point to vegetarianism as the best diet for Jews (and everyone else). To get this message to a wider audience I wrote a book, Judaism and Vegetarianism, in 1982. It was updated in 1998 and 2001, and I now also have over 100 articles at, in an attempt to reach wider audiences.

Increasingly, as I learned how the production and consumption of animal products threaten human health and the health of our imperiled planet, I have come to see vegetarianism as not only a personal choice, but as a societal imperative—an essential component in the solution of many societal problems.

I have always felt good about my decision to become vegetarian. Putting principles and values into practice is far more valuable and rewarding than hours of preaching. When people ask me why I gave up meat, I welcome the opportunity to explain the many benefits of vegetarianism.

While my family was initially skeptical about my change of diet, they have become increasingly understanding and supportive. In 1993 my younger daughter was married at a completely vegetarian wedding. My wife has also become vegetarian, and we have moved substantially toward veganism.

Recently, I have noted signs of increased interest in vegetarianism, and a growing number of people are concerned about dietary connections to health, nutrition, animal rights, and ecology. But, unfortunately, there is much that still needs to be done. My hope is to be able to keep learning, writing, and speaking about vegetarianism, to help bring closer that day when, in the words of the motto of the International Jewish Vegetarian Society, “no one shall hurt nor destroy in all of God’s holy mountain.” (Isaiah 11.9)

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2. Getting Jewish Vegetarian Articles Into More Publications

After my article above appeared, I received the email below:

Dear Richard,

May I have your permission to reprint your essay "How I Went Veg" that appeared in the current VegNews in THE PEACEABLE TABLE? I'd like to put it in the April or May "Pilgrimage" column. I would, of course, get the consent of VegNews as well.

I am grateful for your extensive labor on behalf of the cause.

Gracia Fay

This made me think about the many editors who are constantly looking for material, and the fact that there is much valuable material on Jewish connections to vegetarianism and related issues at the JVNA web site, including over 100 of my articles at Please check out these articles and consider forwarding them to publications that might be interested. Also, please consider using these articles and other background material at the JVNA web site to write your own articles and letters to editors. Many thanks.

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3. Interested in Helping Distribute JVNA Material?

Are you interested in distributing JVNA booklets and other material at local synagogues and other Jewish institutions?

Are you interested in distributing JVNA booklets and other material at a major animal rights conference (discussed in the last JVNA newsletter) in Manhattan in all or part of the time from March 31 to April 3?

If interested in either of the above or other possible options, please let me know. Thanks.

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4. Environmental Hazards Spreading in Israel’s Dan Region

Survey shows environmental hazards spreading throughout the Dan region
By Zafrir Rinat
Wed., March 09, 2005 Adar1 28, 5765

The serious pollution of groundwater and soil discovered between Tel Aviv and Givatayim in an area that once housed the Israel Military Industries' Magen factory is just part of a much broader ecological problem. A preliminary survey recently conducted for the Water Commission has found that additional polluted sites in the Dan region are spreading and creating environmental hazards.

The survey also tested eucalyptus trees for pollution, and found high levels of pollutants in at least two sites used for industrial purposes. U.S. experts this week began a hazards study following these findings.

Pollution at the IMI compound was discovered five years ago, and since then, the Water Commission has been monitoring it with the help of scientists at the Volcani Institute of Agricultural Research in Beit Dagan and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Additionally, water drillings were analyzed throughout the Dan region aided by the Tel Aviv municipality. Pollution of varying degrees was found in most water drillings along the region's segment of the coastal aquifer, and 18 drill sites were closed.

Pollution in the area of the IMI compound is so high that toxic materials created a separate layer in the groundwater. Vaporous and toxic materials were also found to be spreading to basements as well as trees and bushes around the compound. But information about additional sites was sketchy, so the Water Commission's researchers conducted a historical survey of pollution sources in which they collected data about the activity of metal coating factories,
workshops, dry cleaning establishments and paper goods and electronics manufacturers. They also checked tree pollution at several locations.

The Dan region has housed hundreds of factories and facilities that use toxic metals and vaporous materials, according to the survey. These include dozens of dry cleaning laundries that make extensive use of the solvent tetrachloroethylene, but only a few of them cleared waste containing that material. Furthermore, many metal coating factories habitually directed toxic metals into the sewage system, and these trickled down into the soil and groundwater. In eucalyptus trees samples at two Ramat Gan locations, researchers found trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene at even higher levels than those found on plants near the IMI compound. One polluted site is in the vicinity of the Diamond Exchange, where soil pollution was discovered less than a year ago during routine road work.

Polluted flora signifies that vaporous materials in the soil and groundwater are spreading to the surroundings after trees absorb them through their roots. The materials involved are suspected carcinogens, and cause damage to the nervous system and liver.

The severity of the Water Commission's findings bolster other findings by the Environment Ministry, which instructed gas stations to prepare surveys of soil and water pollution in the Tel Aviv region. The ministry's deputy director for the Tel Aviv district, Amir Eshed, said high pollution levels were found in some of the 29 surveys conducted to date.

There are plans to build in the former IMI compound, but the Water Commission is demanding that the land should not be released to construction companies until the hazards study is completed. The American firm conducting the study, Louis Berger, is expected to complete it within 18 months. The firm will be asked to develop a model for forecasting pollution spread, and to suggest alternatives for reducing the groundwater pollution and preventing health hazards.

"We have great hopes for this job," Water Commissioner Shimon Tal said. "If we succeed in cleaning the aquifer in this region, we can continue cleaning and rehabilitating water resources on a grand scale."

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5. Another Report on the COEJL (Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life) Conference

Healing the Earth:
COEJL Institute: Greening Synagogues and Energy Independence
Charles Lenchner , 03/09/2005

Earlier this month, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) held its annual Institute. The last time I attended was four years ago, when I was still relatively new in the United States. A lot has changed since then.

At this years Institute, some participants learned of a new phase in the relationship between Jewish greenies and the organization officially representing Jewish environmental concerns. Instead of promoting the development of local affiliates, COEJL will now be working to build relationships between congregations and the national offices, headquartered in New York and San Francisco. One aspect of this is the Greening Synagogues program, designed to help synagogue buildings move from just buildings to buildings that are just.

Rabbi Fred Dobb of Adat Shalom led Institute participants in a tour of his synagogue discussing the environmental aspects of its construction. While some like to call it a green building, Rabbi Dobb reminded us that compromises still had to be made. With each new synagogue (or church) built with environmental concerns in mind, the market for earth friendly products expands, contractors and architects are educated, and congregants get to own their building as an expression of values, not just as a piece of real estate. In this way, each synagogue greening represents an opportunity for consciousness raising and real community participation.

The emphasis on working directly with congregations and rabbis was further discussed at a lunch meeting with the rabbinical seminary students.

A number of speakers addressed the problem of climate change. Deb Calahan of the League of Conservation Voters said that while spending $3 million on television advertising in Florida during the presidential campaign, she learned that fear of climate change was not enough to move voters. Not even voters recovering from a series of devastating hurricanes made worse because of changes that have already occurred.

Instead, she pointed to the link between environmental and energy issues. Talk of energy independence and the relationship between our consumption of oil from the Middle East and our national security was far more persuasive on the average voter. In particular, she noted that environmentalists are often seen as protecting the environment as a special interest not quite identified with the general welfare.

Calahan spoke before Rep. Henry Waxman, who received an award from COEJL for his support of environmental legislation in Congress. In response to a question from the audience, he affirmed the link between the war in Iraq and our overuse of oil. It was good to hear a Jewish politician speaking to a Jewish audience about the folly of invading Iraq in the first place.

My own presentation was about peak oil, global scorching and the relationship between the US and the Muslim world. While most of the audience knew about energy independence and the problem of US consumers becoming even more dependent on oil in Muslim countries, few had heard of peak oil. In the minds of many, the environmental discussion on climate change should take place in one room, while the problem of oil depletion and Middle East wars should take place somewhere else. This is changing, and there was a lot of receptivity to addressing these related issues together.

On the last day of the Institute, Senator John McCain spoke to a combined session of COEJL and the JCPA (Jewish Council on Public Affairs). While his stump speech focused primarily on foreign policy issues (re: Israel and the Middle East), most of the question were about his role in advancing the Climate Stewardship Act which will begin to address global scorching. Judging by the applause he got after some of the questions, Republicans are likely to win more support from Jewish voters based on environmental leadership, rather than competition over support for Israel.

The final session of the Institute was a talk by Rabbi David Saperstein of the Religious Action Center. He shared some behind the scenes stories about how the RAC was able to advance its agenda even with partners presumed to be on the other side of the fence such as evangelical Christians. This community has become much more willing to support human rights as a political issue than in the past; and they are in the midst of a radical change on environmental questions. Rabbi Saperstein said that the tipping point on addressing climate change may be taking place right now. His enthusiasm was infectious, and all of us hope his words prove to be prophetic.

Final Notes on COEJL

Many of the participants were from organizations such as Teva, the center for Jewish environmental learning, and from Hazon, a Jewish environmental organization that uses bike rides to raise consciousness and promote Jewish values. It was interesting to note however, that only a small number saw themselves as COEJL activists or were active with a COEJL affiliate. This was a major change from the Institute I attended four years ago, where I met a number of activists from around the country proudly wearing a COEJL identity. One board member recognized this shift, suggesting that the Institute was the last remnant of COEJL’s grassroots focus.

In conversations before and during the conference about the relationship between COEJL affiliates and the national staff, I was told many times about the disappearance of funding for local affiliates. It felt odd, as I have been part of many local groups that did not receive funding yet were part of a national organization or network. The Institute did not feature any sessions devoted to local COEJL affiliate activities. Many of the mealtimes featured a workshop or speaker, which further reduced the connecting time available to us.

As a member of a local COEJL affiliate, I was left with many unanswered questions but not the kind a titled staff member could answer. Some questions are there for exploring with a group of peers, to see what we come up with. I appreciate having a national organization able to exert significant pull within the Jewish community, and on the Hill, in support of environmental legislation. I also enjoy being active as a Jewish environmentalist with my friends in Philadelphia.

It would be great if next years Institute featured an open conversation about the relationship between those two poles, to see what emerges. Clearly, a change has taken place; but the reasons for that change arent documented publicly or discussed as part of the conference. I look forward to being part of the continued evolution of the Jewish environmental movement.

The Shalom Center / web: / email:
mail: 6711 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19119, USA / tel: (215) 844-8494

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6. Benefits of Legumes/With a Recipe

[Thanks to JVNA Coordinator and Web Organizer Noam Mohr for submitting the material below.]

A modern look at ages-old legume
By Phyllis Glazer
Associated Press
March 10, 2005 San Bernardino, CA,1413,216~24295~2751486,00.html

TEL AVIV, Israel - Lentils might not be high on your shopping list these days, but if you read on you might just reconsider.

Quick, delicious and nourishing, inexpensive and easy-to-prepare, lentils are an ancient food still perfect for the modern world. And they are versatile, too.

Probably the most famous legume in the Bible, the little lentil once made a stew so tempting that Esau sold his birthright for it. Throughout history lentils have served as a metaphor for a host of mystical, symbolic, spiritual and practical meanings as well.

Cultivated since antiquity in Egypt, Europe, Asia and the Near East, lentils may not have been glamorous, but they were always held in high esteem.

The ancient Egyptians believed they enlightened the mind, and in Jewish tradition, lentils were traditionally served to mourners, since they represented the life cycle, with no beginning and no end.

In Catholic countries, lentils were standard Lenten fare for those who could not afford fish, and in India, lentils still play an integral part in marriage rituals.

From a nutritional standpoint, lentils (whose name comes from the Latin "Lens culinaris”), have the highest protein content in all the vegetable kingdom after soybeans. They are rich in minerals like zinc and manganese, with a range of B vitamins, especially pantothenic acid (B5), niacin (B3) and folic acid (B9).

Easier to digest than chickpeas or kidney beans, lentils don’t even require soaking to make them more digestible. But if you’re still wary of side effects, add a little cumin or coriander to your recipe, and you’ll find it makes a significant difference.

There are dozens of kinds of lentils, varying in size and color. They include brown lentils, common in the United States; small green Verte du Puy lentils, a delicacy in France; green, brown or red (husked) lentils popular in the Middle East; and pink lentils, mainly eaten by Muslims in northern India and Pakistan.

The type of lentil you’ll want to choose depends on the type of dish you want to make, but it’s a good idea to keep a variety on hand.

Green and brown lentils will retain their shape after cooking, and can be served as soups (stir frequently and mash some with the back of a spoon to thicken), salads or side dishes, made into burgers or added to meat, poultry and vegetarian stews.

Red lentils (actually quite orange in color) have a somewhat sweeter taste and purée easily; they are useful for soups and mashing into purées like hummus.

All lentils cook up quickly, with no presoaking necessary. Pair them up with a grain like rice, bulgur or quinoa, and you’ve got a complementary protein that makes a satisfying, tummy-warming and delicious lunch or dinner.

Note: Whole (unhusked) lentils are easily sprouted and may be tossed into a salad, or added to a soup toward the end of cooking time. [Many more recipes can be found at the JVNA web site (].

Green Lentils and Barley With Tomatoes and Rosemary
1/2 cup French green (or regular green) lentils
1/3 cup pearled barley
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2 1/2 cups canned whole tomatoes, cut into pieces
1 3/4 cups water
2 tbsps. honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch dried rosemary, optional
1/2 cup shredded carrots

Place the lentils and barley in a pot and cover with water. Swish them around, drain and cover with fresh water. Repeat until the water runs clear.

In a medium-sized pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the onion until tender. Add celery and cook 5 minutes longer. Add remaining ingredients except the carrots, and bring to a boil; cover and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cover, add carrots and cook 5 minutes longer or until barley and lentils are tender. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings.

- Recipe from "The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking” by Phyllis Glazer with Miriyam Glazer, 2004, HarperCollins.

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7. The "Pious" Parakeet, A Story for Purim

Thanks to author, scholar, and JVNA advisor Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen for submitting his following interesting article:

The new month - Adar 2 – began this past Thursday evening. In the spirit of this month and the approaching holiday of Purim, I am sharing with you the following true story which can remind us of the lighter and sweeter side of life:

The "Pious" Parakeet:

Dear Friends,

I live in Bayit Vegan, Jerusalem, and I have four parakeets that are temporarily living in my apartment. One of them has become especially "pious", however, before I tell you his particular story, I need to tell you how these parakeets came to me. My friend, Hershel Zvi Chernofsky, was living in another neighborhood of Jerusalem, and this past summer he went to visit family and friends in Canada. He was unable to find someone who would take care of his parakeets when he was away, so I volunteered. Hershel was supposed to return before Rosh Hashana, but due to illness in his family, he had to extend his stay. In the meanwhile, the parakeets are with me, and I am doing my best to nurture them.

The oldest parakeet is "Georgie" – the name that Hershel gave him when the parakeet was still a baby. When Georgie was very young, Hershel, who is a teacher of English and skilled with languages, was able to teach him to say a few English phrases. For example, Georgie learned how to say, "You're so cute!" And he can say these phrases real loud!

A week before Georgie and friends were to move into my apartment, I began to imagine Georgie yelling in his high-pitched voice, "You're so cute!" Is this the message that is to be proclaimed in my holy dwelling? I decided to have a "heart-to heart" talk with Hershel. I reminded Hershel that my neighborhood of Bayit Vegan is a very spiritual neighborhood; moreover, almost all its residents are pious people. I therefore requested that Hershel teach Georgie to say some words that would be more appropriate for the neighborhood. Hershel asked, "What do you suggest?" I replied, "Teach him to say, "Good Shabbos!" Hershel promised me that he would try, and he succeeded. Hershel calls me by the nickname, Yossi, and on the day the parakeets moved in, Georgie called out, "Good Shabbos, Yossi!"

Since I have a Master's Degree in Education, I felt that I should continue to teach Georgie to say other spiritual phrases. For example, during the Festival of Succos, I taught him to say, "Chag Samayach" - A Joyous Festival. Other Hebrew and Yiddish phrases that he learned are the following:"simcha" – joy, "l'chayim" - to life, "gevaldig" – great, and "zei gezunt" - be well!

We have a tradition that a pious person blesses others, and I was therefore pleased that our pious parakeet was following in this tradition by greeting me and others with the blessing, Zei Gezunt! He also learned how to say, "Baruch Hashem" – Blessed is God. I am especially proud of his newest phrase, "Learn Torah!" Georgie usually says these phrases to his mate, and I notice that she is very impressed by his mastery of human language.

Georgie cries out "Good Shabbos" almost every day! Living with a bird that constantly reminds me to bring the Shabbos spirit into the week has strengthened my own piety, and I decided that I should take care of Georgie and the other parakeets with a spiritual consciousness. For our tradition teaches that we should do all our mitzvos - sacred deeds - with the awareness that we are serving the loving and just purpose of our Creator. For example, when I feed the birds before I eat, I remind myself that I am fulfilling the mitzvah to feed one's animals and birds before one sits down to eat. (This mitzvah is discussed in Tractate Brochos 40a, and in the Kitzur Shuchan Aruch, 42:1.)

In addition, before I start to feed the birds, I have the intention that I will be fulfilling at least two other mitzvos of the Torah. My friend Hershel Zvi is happy and relieved that someone is taking care of his birds; thus, when I feed and take care of the birds, I am fulfilling the mitzvah to "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18). There is also a mitzvah to "go in His ways" (Deuteronomy 28:9), and this means that we are to emulate the compassionate and nurturing ways of the Creator. When I nurture the birds, I am fulfilling this mitzvah, as it is written, "The Compassionate One is good to all, and His compassion is on all His works" (Psalm 145:9).

There is a special pleasure in having creatures in my home who love to sing. I am a person who has a deep connection to "nigunim" - Jewish spiritual melodies, and whenever I play my tapes of nigunim, the birds begin to sing. I also have a daily choir practice with them. For example, I go over to the birds and start to chant, "Shiru L'Hashem!" - Sing to Hashem! The other male, who is younger than Georgie, then bursts out with beautiful chirping and whistles. I call him the "cantor" of the group. And when the other birds decide to join in, it's truly beautiful. With a little more practice, I could take them on a performing tour.

I am grateful for all the pleasure that the birds give me, and I therefore have my feathered friends in mind when I sing the following words at the Shabbos table:

"Praises shall I prepare morning and evening, to You, O Holy God, Who created all life: holy angels and the children of humankind, beasts of the field, and birds of the sky." (Kah Ribon Olam)

When the Compassionate One created all life, all creatures dwelled in "shalom" - peace and harmony - in the Garden of Eden. This realization helps me to feel a special kinship with Georgie and his friends, for I remember that my ancestor and their ancestor were neighbors in the Garden. And I also remember the prophecies which state that human beings and all creatures will once again experience the shalom of the Garden after the arrival of the messianic age. The following prophecy of Isaiah can serve as an example:

"The wolf will live with the sheep, and the leopard will lie down with the kid; and a calf, a lion whelp and a fatling together, and a young child will lead them. A cow and bear will graze and their young will lie down together; and a lion, like cattle, will eat hay. A suckling will play by a viper's hole; and a newly weaned child will stretch his hand towards an adder's lair. They will neither injure nor destroy in all of My sacred mountain; for the earth will be filled with knowledge of the Compassionate One as water covering the sea bed." (Isaiah 11:6-9)

Before the arrival of the messianic age, Georgie and his friends - who were raised in bird cages – would find it difficult to survive if they were returned to the wild, as studies have shown that birds raised in captivity lose some of the instincts and skills that they need in order to be protected from birds of prey and other dangers in the wild. This situation will change, however, with the arrival of the messianic age of shalom, for when the earth will be filled with knowledge of the Compassionate One, creatures will no longer prey on one another, "and a lion, like cattle, will eat hay." The new spiritual consciousness, explains the Malbim, a noted biblical commentator, will affect even the animals. Georgie and his friends will therefore be able to leave their cages and enter into a renewed and elevated world, where no creature will ever harm them.

And just as they will be liberated from the confines of their cages, so too, will we human beings be liberated from the "cages" that confine us, whether they be physical, intellectual, or emotional. For in this new age, our souls will soar high like the birds of the sky, for "the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Compassionate One, as water covering the sea bed."

Have a Good Month, and a Good Shabbos

Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

Hazon - Our Universal Vision:

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The last newsletter had the following:

13. Jewish Vegetarian Group Dinner Scheduled in Oakland, California

"Forwarded message from Michelle B
"Director of Veggie Jews ("

Please note that Michelle is not a Director of Veggie Jews but the moderator of the JVeg Yahoo group, which is not associated with Veggie Jews. She forwards notices of Veggie Jews events to me as a courtesy.

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9. Are Vegan Diets Unhealthy For Children?

Because there has been recent discussion of this issue, I thank author activist and JVNA advisor Charles Patterson for forwarding the message below from the newsletter of Michael Gregor, M.D,
V. MAILBAG: "I read there was a study that showed raising kids vegan was dangerous."

It was like a bad Saturday Night Live skit. The National Cattlemen's Beef Association pays USDA researchers to feed meat to starving kids in Africa and, surprise, surprise, they perk up (and no, I'm not making this up). The children adding meat to their starvation diet developed better than those children adding, well, nothing. (Don't let the tobacco companies know, they might try to asphyxiate some kids and prove that breathing cigarette smoke is significantly better for you than, say, suffocation).

Surely those weren't the only two groups, though: the meat-added group and the nothing-added group? In fact, there were indeed two other control groups in which they instead added a vegetarian food to these malnourished children's diets, but the children were nonetheless shown conclusively to grow best on the meat.

This of course raises the obvious question: what vegetarian foods did they choose to add to their diets to compare with the meat? Presumably realizing that almost all (90%) Africans are lactose intolerant,[36] the meat-industry-funded USDA researchers compared adding meat to these children's diets with adding... a glass of milk.[37]

So one group of starving children got meat, one group got nothing, one got milk, and the fourth and final group--to prove meat's superiority once and for all?--got... oil. Yes, just plain vegetable oil, providing essentially zero nutrition except empty calories. Sadly, the children were so malnourished that just adding those extra calories in the form of an extra spoonful of oil increased their muscle mass 40% over those that got nothing.[38]

Lest one thinks the meat industry wasted their money funding such a
ludicrous study, these are some of the headlines they got:
"Meat is Important for Children's Development."[39]
"Vegetarian Diet 'Harms Children's Growth.'"[40]
"Vegetarian Diet 'Bad for Children.'"[41]
"Vegetarian Diet is Okay, But Meat is Required."[42]
"Young 'Harmed' By Meat-Free Diets."[43]
And my personal favorite:
"Forcing Your Child to Follow a Vegetarian Diet is Unethical, Top
Nutrition Expert Says."[44]
Dietitian and author Brenda Davis responded to the study by citing the fact that the largest organization of nutrition professionals in the world (the American Dietetic Association) officially declared that "Appropriate planned vegan and lacto-ovo vegetarian diets satisfy the nutrient needs of infants, children, and adolescents and promote normal growth," as well as providing "health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases." In recognition of that fact, Dr. Benjamin Spock, perhaps the most esteemed pediatrician of all time, in the final edition of his book, "Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care" (second only to the bible the best-selling book in American history) recommended that children be raised vegan.

In her response, Brenda explains why the researchers presumably chose not to include a nutrient-rich plant food as a control group: "doing so would have demonstrated that it is not vegan diets that are inadequate, but rather energy, fat, and protein deficient diets that are inadequate. That would have defeated the purpose of the organization which funded the research, namely the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (US)."

[36] Frye RE, Rivera-Hernandez DM and S Borowitz.
"Lactose Intolerance." 27n December 2002.>.
[37] Neumann CG, Bwibo NO, Murphy SP, et al.
"Animal Source Foods Improve Dietary Quality,
Micronutrient Status, Growth and Cognitive
Function in Kenyan School." Journal of Nutrition
[38] Hopkin M. "Meat Diet Boosts Kids' Growth." Nature 22 February 2005.
[39] Gross M. Scoop Media Auckland 7 March 2005.
[40] Connor S. Independent (UK) 22 February 2005.
[41] McBeth J. Scotsman 22 February 2005.
[42] Express Newsline (India) 22 February 2005.
[43] BBC News 20 February 2005.
[44] Henderson M. Times (London) 22 February 2005.

Book by Michael Gregor:
HEART FAILURE: Diary of a Third Year Medical Student
(full text now available free):

Michael’s new book:
CARBOPHOBIA: The Scary Truth Behind America's Low Carb Craze

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10. Jewish Environmental Education Seminar Announced

Forwarded message from the Teva center:
[I have worked with many Teva educators and spoken at one of their programs. I highly recommend them.]

Subject: Jewish Environmental Education Seminar for Jewish Educators, Camp Staff and Naturalists

Register now, early bird special in effect thru March 25th.

The Teva Learning Center and Surprise Lake Camp proudly present:

The 11th Annual Jewish Environmental Education Seminar For Jewish Educators, Camp Staff and Naturalists

June 6th - 9th, 2005 at Surprise Lake Camp, Cold Spring, NY

Join us for a 4-day program designed to give participants the tools to create exciting Jewish nature programs at their camps, synagogues and institutions.

The seminar will feature workshops led by nationally renowned experts demonstrating:

a. The intrinsic connection between nature and environmental
conservation, Jewish ethics, spirituality, law and ritual
b. The integration of Jewish concepts into environmental and nature programming taught through hands-on activities
c. Jewish themes of community responsibility taught through group building initiatives and rope course activities
d.. Wilderness, gardening, prayer and educational skills, plus much more

Classes will be organized in five educational tracks. Participants are welcome to attend any session regardless of track. Organizations are encouraged to send multiple participants to attend
different sessions or tracks.

Synagogue Programming Track:

a.. Family, senior, and early childhood holiday programming
b.. Greening your synagogue, how to lead by example

Camp and Naturalist Track:

a.. Nature activities and games for the trail or nature center
b.. Nature arts & crafts, music and drama much more
Backpacking and Camping Track:

a.. How to scout, plan, and prepare trips
b.. Cooking, camping, outdoor living skills, and wilderness first aid
c.. Learn how to utilize the wilderness to teach Torah

Organic Gardening Track:

a.. Learn practical gardening skills and garden based Jewish activities
b.. Permaculture and natural building

Jewish Ethics Track:

a.. Study Torah with a diverse array of Rabbis
b.. Topics include Genesis, Kabbalah, Chasidic masters and much more.

To Register or For More Information or contact Moshe Kornfeld at (212) 807-6376,

Teva Learning Center is a program of Surprise Lake Camp and a beneficiary of UJA-Federation New York

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11. Interesting Vegetarian/Animal Rights/Environmental Magazine

Forwarded message from Satya:
[From time to time, we plan to provide information about vegetarian publications. Of course, this is not necessarily an endorsement of all the material in the magazines.]

About Satya

Satya is a monthly publication focusing on animal advocacy, environmentalism, social justice, and vegetarianism. Celebrating its tenth year, Satya is distributed free-of-charge to businesses and places of learning in the New York metropolitan area. You can get Satya delivered to your door by subscribing for only $20 per year. Subscribe online, or send a check made payable to Stealth Technologies to the address below.

The March Issue of Satya is now available!
See highlights at:

Who's Your Dinner?
'Compassionate' Meat, Stinky Feedlots and Slaughterhouse Slavery

Satya's Who's Your Dinner? dares us to take a hard look at America's meat industry. Ponder the animal welfare vs. animal rights debate; learn of the environmental devastation associated with mass animal confinement; and be moved by artist Gale Hart with samples from her controversial show Why Not Eat Your Pet?

'Compassionate' Meat, Stinky Feedlots and Slaughterhouse SlaveryStart off with a potent Editorial, A Big Stink, where Sangamithra Iyer examines the latest deal between the EPA and the meat industry and how it compromises the environment and social justice. In A Whole New Alternative? 'Compassionate' Meat at Whole Foods, VIVA's Lauren Ornelas and PETA's Bruce Friedrich discuss Whole Foods Market's efforts to create better animal welfare standards. Then get ready for Joan Dunayer's no compromise critique Animal Rights "Welfarists": An Oxymoron. Heating things up is Kevin Jonas' radical vision Apocalypse Now. And Satya's Vegetarian Advocate reflects on modern day slavery and how slaughterhouses exploit both animals and humans.

Get jiggy with vegan singer Nellie McKay who shares her views in the Satya Interview. And be prepared for a sermon from Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping in Thou Shalt Not Shop, our interview with Bill Talen and Savitri Durkee.

Adele Welty describes her experience as a peace delegate in Get Outta Here! Notes on Atrocity Overload from the Middle East. While Pattrice Jones reflects on four more years of Bush in Election Daze. Lawrence Carter-Long throws a punch with his take on Million Dollar Baby in Better Dead Than Disabled? And Michael Greger warns us of Carbophobia! The Scary Truth About America's Low-Carb Craze.

Kymberlie Adams Matthews reveals the complex relationship between activism and human breeding in Tick-Tock. And don't miss Mark Hawthorne's March Madness: There's No Sunny Side to Easter Eggs and Bunnies. Grab the tissues for the story of a wayward dog in Jack.

Eric Weiss prepares us for Spring Fever in the city in You're Not in Kansas Anymore: A Lifer's Guide to NYC. And get cookin' with Candle's Secrets Revealed by Livia Alexander and Joshua Ploeg's Meal of the Year.

Reader Discounts!
Be sure to check out Satya's pages for special discounts at the Sweet Onion Inn, Clovis Press Bookstore, Atlas Cafe, Imhotep's Vegan Restaurant, and the Brooklyn Dog House.

A Call for Writers
Satya is looking to expand its roster of writers. If you are interested in writing for Satya, submit a one-paragraph abstract of your article idea to Please also submit a previous writing sample for review. Environmentalists, social justice advocates, and humanitarian activists are particularly welcome. Please note that all submissions are by contribution.

Internships Available
Want to get first-hand experience at a magazine dedicated to activism? Satya needs interns to assist with editing, researching, distribution, production and office management. Contact Satya to learn more.

Tell us what you think!
Add your voice to the mix! Send us your feedback and visit Satya online to vote in our monthly poll. We want to know what you think! New Yorkers, pick up your copy of Satya at your favorite distribution point, and subscribers, look for yours in the mail. To place an ad or for more information, contact Satya at the number or address below.

Satya Magazine, 539 1st Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215; Tel: (718) 832-9557; email:; Web:

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12. Sales of Soy Products Soaring

The Yated Ne'eman, an Orthodox newspaper, reported the following in its recent edition of 30 Adar 1, 5765 (March 11, 2005):

"More kosher consumers are using soy-based products than ever before, mainly for health reasons, kosher distributors say."

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You must be the change you want to see in the world – Gandhi

“The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future---deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities, and the spread of disease.”
Editors, World Watch, July/August 2004

Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world, indeed it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

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