May 19, 2005

5/19/05 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Shavuot and Vegetarianism

2. "A Case for Jewish Vegetarianism" Booklet Now Free Online

3. "Lessons We Can Learn From Animals," By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom

4. "Learning Spirituality From a Hart," by Yosef Hakohen

5. Listening as a Political Act

6. Columbia Graduate/JVNA Advisor Returns His Ph.D. to Protest Animal Cruelty

7. Some Important News Items Re Global Warming

8. 2005 Vegan Speaking Tour

9. Know Any Supportive Rabbis?

10. American Vegan Society Annual Picnic

11. Undercover Video Reveals Shocking Scenes at Animal Lab

12. Job Opportunity for Nitritional Researcher at Animal Advocacy Foundation

13. ACTION ALERT: Your Call Needed TODAY to Save Horses

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. Shavuot and Vegetarianism

Now that we are “counting” the days until Shavuot, I am planning to send my article below to the Jewish media. Suggestions for improvements are very welcome. Please consider using the article and the sample letter below for letters, calls to radio programs, and talking points. Thanks.

Shavuot and Vegetarianism
By Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.

There are many connections between vegetarianism and the important Jewish festival of Shavuot:

1. Shavuot is described as "z'man matan Toratenu" (the season of the giving of our law (the Torah)). It is this Torah that has in its very first chapter God's original, strictly vegetarian, dietary regimen: "And God said: 'Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed - to you it shall be for food'" (Genesis 1:29).

2. To honor the Torah, many Jews stay up the entire first night of Shavuot to study Torah teachings. It is some of these teachings -to guard our health and our lives, to treat animals with compassion, to share with hungry people, to protect the environment, and to conserve natural resources - that are the basis for Jewish vegetarianism.

3. Shavuot is also known as "Chag Hakatzir" (the Harvest Festival), since it climaxes the year's first harvest. Hence, it can remind us that many more people can be sustained on vegetarian diets than on animal -centered diets. While the Torah stresses that farmers are to leave the corners of their fields and the gleanings of their harvests for the hungry, over 70% of the grain grown in the United States is fed to animals destined for slaughter, as 15 to 20 million people worldwide die annually because of hunger and its effects.

4. The Talmudic sages also referred to Shavuot as "Atzeret" (the closing festival of Passover). This name implies not only that Shavuot completes the harvest begun at Passover time, but also suggests that the Torah completes the physical liberation celebrated during Passover. Yet, while the Torah has many teachings on compassion toward animals and indicates, as part of the Ten Commandments, that animals are also to be able to rest on the Sabbath day, most farm animals are kept in cramped confined spaces where they are denied exercise, fresh air, sunlight, and the fulfillment of their instinctual needs.

5. There are several other Torah teachings that are seriously violated by animal-based diets: a) While the Torah mandates that people should be very careful about preserving their health and their lives (Deuteronomy: 4-9, 4-15), animal-centered diets have been linked to heart disease, stroke, several forms of cancer, and other illnesses. b) While many Torah teachings are concerned with protecting the environment, modern intensive animal agriculture results in soil erosion and depletion, extensive air and water pollution related to chemical fertilizer and pesticides, and the destruction of tropical rain forests and other habitats. c) While the Torah mandates bal tashchit, (Deuteronomy 20:19, 20) that we are not to waste or unnecessarily destroy anything of value, livestock agriculture requires the wasteful use of food, land, water, energy, and other resources.

6. Shavuot is a festival of thanksgiving to the Creator for His kindness. The full Hallel, psalms of praise and thanksgiving from Psalm 113 to 118, are chanted during morning synagogue services. Since one must be in good health and have a clear conscience in order to fully rejoice and be thankful, the many health benefits of vegetarian diets and the knowledge that such diets are not harmful to hungry people or animals are factors that can enhance thankfulness.

7. On Shavuot, Jews read the Book of Ruth in synagogues. One reason is that its barley-harvest setting echoes the harvest just ending as Shavuot arrives. One of Ruth's outstanding attributes was her acts of kindness. Vegetarianism is a way of showing kindness, because it best shares food with hungry people and it doesn't involve the mistreatment and death of animals.

8. The Book of Ruth begins with Naomi, Ruth's future mother-in-law, and her family leaving Israel because of a severe famine. Today, major shortages of food in the near future are being predicted by the Worldwatch Institute, a Washington DC think tank, and others, and one major reason is that people in China, Japan, India, and other countries where affluence has been increasing, are joining the US and other western countries by moving to animal-centered diets that require vast amounts of grain.

9. The Book of Ruth indicates that Naomi's family suffered the death of her husband and her two sons because the family fled in the time of famine rather than using their leadership to help others in need. In contrast to this selfish act, vegetarianism considers not only personal well being, but also encompasses broader concerns, including the global environment, the world's hungry people, animals, and the efficient use of the world's resources.

10. According to the Talmud, Shavuot is the day of judgment for fruit trees and there is an obligation to pray for them. Yet, to create pasture land for cattle, tropical forests are being rapidly destroyed. The production of just one quarter-pound fast food hamburger can require the destruction of almost 55 square feet of tropical rain forest along with much animal and plant life.

11. Shavuot involves the highest spiritual teachings (the revelation of the Torah on Mount Sinai) and down-to-earth considerations - the wheat harvest and the offering of the first fruits in the Temple. This reminds us that ideally we should relate heaven to earth and translate the Divine laws to our daily lives. Vegetarianism is an attempt to do this because it applies Torah teaching to our sustenance needs.

In view of these and other connections, I hope that Jews will enhance their celebrations of the beautiful and spiritually meaningful holiday of Shavuot by making it a time to begin striving even harder to live up to Judaism’s highest moral values and teachings by moving toward a vegetarian diet.

Sample letter material re Shavuot and vegetarianism:

Dear editor,

Since Shavuot commemorates God giving the Torah to the Jewish people, and there is increased Torah study on this important holiday, with many religious Jews staying up all night engaged in Torah study, it makes me wonder why the many ways that animal-based diets and agriculture violate Torah values seem to be generally ignored in the Jewish community:

1. While Judaism mandates that people should be very careful about preserving their health and their lives, numerous scientific studies have linked animal-based diets directly to heart disease, stroke, many forms of cancer, and other chronic degenerative diseases.

2. While Judaism forbids tsa'ar ba'alei chayim, inflicting unnecessary pain on animals, most farm animals -- including those raised for kosher consumers -- are raised on "factory farms" where they live in cramped, confined spaces, and are often drugged, mutilated, and denied fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and any enjoyment of life, before they are slaughtered and eaten.

3. While Judaism teaches that "the earth is the Lord’s" (Psalm 24:1) and that we are to be God's partners and co-workers in preserving the world, modern intensive livestock agriculture contributes substantially to soil erosion and depletion, air and water pollution, overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, the destruction of tropical rain forests and other habitats, global warming, and other environmental damage.

4 While Judaism mandates bal tashchit, that we are not to waste or unnecessarily destroy anything of value, and that we are not to use more than is needed to accomplish a purpose, animal agriculture requires the wasteful use of food, land, water, energy, and other resources.

5. While Judaism stresses that we are to assist the poor and share our bread with hungry people, over 70% of the grain grown in the United States is fed to animals destined for slaughter (it takes about 9 pounds of grain to produce one pound of edible beef), while an estimated 20 million people worldwide die because of hunger and its effects each year.

In view of these important Jewish mandates to preserve human health, attend to the welfare of animals, protect the environment, conserve resources, help feed hungry people, and pursue peace, contrasted with the harm that animal-centered diets do in each of these areas, shouldn’t committed Jews (and others) sharply reduce or eliminate their consumption of animal products?

One could say "dayenu" (it would be enough) after any of the arguments above, because each one constitutes by itself a serious conflict between Jewish values and current practice that should impel Jews to seriously consider a plant-based diet. Combined, they make an urgently compelling case for the Jewish community to address these issues.

Shavuot commemorates God giving the Torah to the Jewish people. There is increased Torah study on this important holiday, and many religious Jews stay up all night engaged in Torah study. Hence, this may provide a good occasion to respectfully raise some questions, such as:

* Since the Torah mandates the avoidance of tsa’ar ba’alei chaim (causing unnecessary pain to animals), why isn’t there far greater concern about the horrible treatment of animals (10 billion annually in the US alone) on factory farms?
* Since the Torah mandates that we should very diligently guard our health, why don’t Jewish leaders speak out about the many negative health effects of animal-based diets?
* Since the Torah mandates that we are to be shomrei adamah (guardians of the earth – Genesis 2:15), why are the many current severe environmental threats (all of which are significantly worsened by animal-based agriculture) not being adequately addressed by the Jewish community?
* Since the Torah mandates that we are not to waste resources (bal tashchit – Deuteronomy 20: 19, 20), why isn’t the Jewish community addressing the fact that animal-based agriculture requires far more land, water, energy, and other agricultural resources than plant-based agriculture?
* Since the Torah mandates that we are to share with hungry people, why isn’t the Jewish community (and others) addressing the fact that 70% of the grain produced in the United States is being fed to animals destined for slaughter while an estimated 20 million people worldwide die from malnutrition and its effects annually?

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2. “A Case for Jewish Vegetarianism” Booklet Now Free Online

Several months ago, a JVNA newsletter announced the publication of a wonderful new tool to help us reach out to the Jewish community, a very comprehensive, clear booklet on Judaism and Vegetarianism: “A Case for Jewish Vegetarianism: For Animals, For Yourself, and For the Environment.” It was written primarily by scholar and long-time Jewish vegetarian activist Aaron Gross with some input from myself, Roberta Kalechofsky, and others.

You can now download this booklet or order one or more free copies at


The booklet is written in a way to reach out to Jews with various religious beliefs. While emphasizing Biblical and Rabbinic teachings that support vegetarianism, the book also discusses the vibrant vegetarian advocacy found among many Jewish literary giants from S.Y. Agnon to Franz Kafka. It also features a first-of-its-kind article by nutrition author Dr. Jay Levine detailing the devastating health problems caused disproportionately in the Jewish community by eating meat.

The strength of this booklet is that it combines the full range of Jewish text-based arguments for vegetarianism with carefully culled, detailed examples of conditions on factory farms, health information from medical journals, and data from studies on the environmental problems caused by meat-eating.

The booklet has supporting blurbs from Rabbis David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Rabbi Fred Scherlinder Dobb, member of the Board of Trustees of the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL), Rabbi Rami Shapiro, author and founder and director of “Simply Jewish” and the “One River Foundation,” Rabbi Jonathan K. Crane, Harvard Hillel Director, and Rabbi Barry Schwartz, member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis Task Force on Kashrut.

Though the booklet was written independently, it is being distributed for free through the generous help of PETA (who did not influence the content). You can also get free individual copies or multiple copies to distribute by calling PETA's toll free hotline, 1-888-VEG FOOD. Press the number for the booklet, and you will also receive a vegetarian starter kit (with recipes). If you want extra copies, simply indicate that when you call and PETA will send you as many as you can use.

I urge you to obtain copies of the booklet and get them to rabbis, Jewish educators, other Jewish leaders, family members and friends, and others who might be interested. Also, please consider distributing copies at synagogues, Jewish day schools, and Jewish-related conferences.

I suggest that you consider using the booklet in conjunction with the following points, as discussed many times in previous issues of this newsletter;

* The world is greatly threatened today by global warming and its effects, destruction of tropical rain forests and other valuable habitats, desertification, widening water shortages and many other threats;
* The application of Jewish values to our diets and other aspects of life is essential in responding to current threats;
* A shift toward vegetarianism is both a societal imperative and a Jewish imperative;

Your comments and suggestions about the booklet and how to use it effectively are very welcome.

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3. “Lessons We Can Learn From Animals,” By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom

Article by scholar, author, and JVNA advisor Rabbi Yonassan Gershom:


My wife and I are vegetarians, but we do eat eggs --from our own happy hens, who are treated as co-citizens that share the land on our Minnesota hobby farm. Because we have gotten to know chickens as individuals, we could never eat them, nor could we condone the way they are treated on factory farms.

We eat eggs because my wife, Caryl Rachel, has severe allergies and difficulties in digesting vegetable protein. So we cannot be vegans. But we also believe that we must take personal responsibility for knowing where our eggs come from and how the birds are treated. Our chickens are free-run in the summertime, and live in an old-fashioned henhouse in the winter. They have a dirt floor to dust bathe, lots of straw to scratch in, natural roosts made from tree-branches to sit on, and plenty of room to run around and socialize.

Maimonides said that the love of a mother animal for her young is the same as that of a human for her child. He was speaking primarily about mammals, but I believe this applies to birds, too. In the past two weeks, two of my hens have hatched out chicks. I prefer to use hens rather than an incubator because the hens take such loving good care of the babies, and a little bird deserves to know its mother.

Chicks raised by their mothers seem to be healthier and more secure than incubator chicks, too. She teaches them to eat and drink, how to scratch for food, etc. -- all this I have watched. When they are cold, they cuddle under her wings and she clucks softly to them.

When my hens have chicks, they are not entirely free-run, because we have predators around here and the hawks would get the babies. But they do have nice roomy cages with straw to scratch in, etc. When they get older they will be able to run free and follow their mothers around the yard. If danger appears, she lets out a distinctive squawk and the brood scatters in all directions to hide. When all is safe again, she calls them back together.

When a hen is to old to lay eggs anymore, she gets to live out her life in retirement. One of my best broody hens doesn't lay much anymore, but she still enjoys hatching out a batch of chicks. I think of her as an old grandmother with plenty of child-rearing experience!

The Talmud tells us that if God had not given us the Torah, we would have learned courtesy from the rooster -- and I can tell you why. When a rooster finds something especially good to eat -- a worm or whatever -- he calls his flock to come eat first!

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4. “Learning Spirituality From a Hart,” by Yosef Hakohen

The following healing message was written and submitted by author, scholar, and JVNA advisor Yosef Hakohen.

The Loving Empathy of the Hart:

In speaking about the One Creator of all life, Job proclaimed: "He teaches us from the animals of the land, and from the birds of the heavens He makes us wise" (Job 35:11 - Translation of the Talmud: Eruvin 100b).

Dear Friends,

According to Jewish tradition, each creature within creation has something to teach us. In this spirit, we will begin to discuss a deeper meaning of the following verse which mentions a characteristic of the "hart" - a male deer:

"As the hart cries longingly for the springs of water, so does my soul cry out for you, O God." (Psalm 42:2)

The classical commentator, Rashi, cites the Midrash, which understands the crying of the hart in the following manner:

The rabbis, of blessed memory, say that the hart is the most loving of the wild animals. When the wild animals are thirsty for water, they gather to the hart so that he should raise his eyes to heaven. And what does he do? He digs a pit and thrusts his antlers into it. He then screams in anguish. The Holy One, blessed be He, has compassion on him, and sends water from the depths.

The above Midrash reveals a reason why King David compared his crying out to God to the crying out of the hart. This reason is discussed in a book of commentaries on the Book of Psalms by various Rebbes of the Radomsker Chassidim. According to this Chassidic interpretation, King David, the leader of the Community of Israel, was indicating that just as the hart feels loving empathy for all the animals of the forest and prays on their behalf, so too, he feels loving empathy for the Community of Israel and prays on their behalf. We too should emulate the loving empathy of the hart; thus, when we pray, we should not just pray for ourselves alone, but for the entire community. In fact, most of our traditional prayers are written in the plural form, as we are asking the Compassionate One to enlighten, forgive, renew, heal, sustain, and redeem the Community of Israel, so that we can fulfill the spiritual and universal mission that was assigned to us. We want to live and serve not for the sake of national pride, but for the sake of the loving and life-giving Divine truth which we are to represent to the world through the power of our own example. And when we are confronted with powerful enemies that seek to destroy our people and the Divine Truth which we are to represent, we pray for salvation with the following words of David:

"Not for our sake, O Compassionate One, not for our sake, but for Your Name's sake give honor - for Your lovingkindness, for Your Truth!" (Psalm 115:1)

When one reads the Book of Psalms, one can find moving prayers by David which express a yearning for the redemption of the Community of Israel, as well as for the World Community. The following psalm which we chant on Shabbos, the Festivals, and the New Moon before thanking the Compassionate One for our food, can serve as an example of his yearning for the redemption of his people:

"A Song of Ascents: When the Compassionate One will return the captivity of Zion, we will be like dreamers. Then our mouth will be filled with laughter and our tongue with joyous song. Then they will say among the nations, ' The Compassionate One has done great things for them.' The Compassionate One has indeed done great things for us; we will rejoice. O Compassionate One, return our captivity like springs in the desert. Those who sow in tears will reap with joyous song. Though the one who carries the bag of seeds walks along weeping, he will return with joyous song carrying his sheaves." (Psalm 126)

The following psalm which we chant when we welcome the arrival of Shabbos can serve as an example of David's yearning for world redemption:

"Tell it among the nations: When the Compassionate One reigns, the world will not falter; He will judge the peoples with fairness. The heavens will be glad and the earth will rejoice; the sea and its fullness will roar. The field and everything in it will exult; then all the trees of the forest will sing with joy - before the Compassionate One, for He will have arrived, He will have arrived to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness and peoples with His truth." (Psalm 96:10-13).

Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

Hazon- Our Universal Vision:

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5. Listening as a Political Act

The article below is by author, scholar and JVNA advisor Dan Brook may be helpful as we continue wrestling over how best to proceed:

Open Our Ears: Listening for a Change
By Dan Brook
Jewish Magazine
Issue Number 90
May 2005

[I believe that the following article has implications re promoting vegetarianism and other causes.]

The writer Louise Erdrich once wondered how the world would be different if we thought of listening as a political act. I also wonder how the world would be different if we thought of political acts as spiritual acts. The central statement of Judaism is the Sh'ma, the Listen: Sh'ma Yisrael, YHVH Elokaynu, YHVH Echad, reminding us to recognize the Oneness that pervades our Being and Reality (despite its often fractured appearance).

Further, Jewish mysticism, or Kabala, teaches us that not only are we shomrei adamah for tikkun olam, partners in the creation, healing, and transforming of the world, but that we continually re-create the world and can continually receive its wonders, wildness, and wisdom each moment. We can read and study the Written Law (Torah) and the Oral Law (Talmud), but we have to receive and listen to the Silent Law (kabalah). If we are receptive to it, the Silent Torah teaches that a way of wisdom is listening to ourselves as well as others and that wisdom is a way to peace. The opposite of listening, Rabbi Arthur Waskow teaches, is arrogance.

All good organizers as well as good counselors, therapists, rabbis and other clergy, attorneys, students, teachers, writers, spiritual seekers, politicians, parents, friends, lovers, and others know well that listening, indeed active listening, and what Jewish author and counselor Kim Chernin calls "generous listening", is key to success.

Through active listening, which is comprised of both verbal and physical cues that indicate attentive listening and accurate understanding of another person's points and perspective, we can accomplish many goals. Some of these include learning about others and ourselves, validating another person as a person (even without necessarily validating their ideas), creating an arena for valuable feedback, building a social relationship (even an ephemeral one), and ultimately being able to potentially change that person's mind on a particular issue or, more importantly, change that person's world view. One of the best ways to persuade others is with your ears, former Secretary of State Dean Rusk advises, that is, "by listening to them".

Good organizers and others also know that we have to go where people are, both literally and metaphorically, and speak the language, again both literally and metaphorically, going to those with whom we wish to
communicate and persuade. That doesn't mean that we should violate our principles or compromise our values; we shouldn't. Neither does that mean we should be manipulative, condescending, or patronizing; we shouldn't. None of this would be good ethically or ultimately effective politically.

If we have the interest and take the time to find out, for example, that a person's hobby is growing tomatoes in their yard, we should want to and be able to talk about tomatoes, while employing our sociological imaginations, dialectically linking personal issues with social problems, individual constraints with societal structures, tomatoes with political economy.

We might discuss, for instance, the variety of uses for tomatoes, the potential health benefits of tomatoes, the choice between growing versus buying, the implications of subsistence versus surplus farming, the risks of chemical agriculture and the possibilities and benefits of organic agriculture, the threats from genetic engineering, the realities of globalization and corporate concentration in the seed, distribution, and retail industries, the decline of tomato and other species, how Reagan characterized ketchup as a vegetable for school kids, how the first Bush publicly declared his immature dislike of another vegetable (broccoli), while the second Bush administration defined frozen French fries as "fresh vegetables", in addition to issues of water, soil, land, energy, farms, costs, health, ecology, and the control over and conservation of vital resources. And this is not an exhaustive list. Needless to say, we should be able to do this with most any subject and with most any person.

Personalizing and customizing abstract and complex issues is most often what motivates people much more than ideological sloganeering, not to mention much more so than insults, rants, statistics, and other techniques that tend to make and leave people defensive, confused, or numb and frequently angry and antagonistic too.

By going to people where they are, by meeting them where they're at, by actively and eloquently listening, by speaking their language, and by being able to resonate with what's resonant in them, we create the social bonds necessary to most effectively teach and learn, to constructively critique and provide alternatives, to energize and awaken, as well as to build the individual and collective capacity and the social and political infrastructure necessary for potential future action.

Further, having discussions with people about politics is also a good way to practice listening and speaking skills, to clarify one's points and arguments, to get more familiar with both typical and unusual responses, to hone one's debating dexterity, and of course to make known and spread one's (progressive) perspective.

Of course, how we say things, and how we present our information and perspective, is vital. In the US, we might want to use the metaphors and frames of independence, freedom, equal protection and equal opportunity, justice, basic fairness, fair play, leveling the playing field, common good, progress, rights, democracy, security, innovation, improvement, health, happiness, strength in numbers, thinking outside the box, community, Main Street, and others in this vein, using them in genuine ways and in expansive ways, not in the more typically cynical and Orwellian ways. Just as the Zapatistas effectively draw upon a powerful figure from Mexican revolutionary history, we need to do likewise. For better or worse, we don't have an American Zapata, but there are plenty of other melodic tunes in our cultural juke boxes and mp3 players. We just need to listen.

We also need to realize that learning is always a cumulative process, and so while whatever we may say to any given person, at any given time, may not have any immediate discernable effect, it may in fact sometimes have very positive consequences which will manifest at a later time, even if we may be unaware of it. Teachers already know that; everyday political activists need to recognize this truism as well.

Paradigms shift slowly, but they do shift. Up until a tipping point, it may appear as if the dominant beliefs in society are not budging at all, yet when a tipping point is finally reached, paradigms seem to change in the wink of an eye. Some will later refer to this as spontaneous change, but they would be missing all the political activity: all the agitating, all the educating, all the organizing, all the talking and all the listening, as well as everything else, that had been going on with diligence, determination, and dedication for years.

We may or may not be able to change any given person's mind on a particular issue, including our own, but we can change the world if we persevere. As Hillel continually challenges us, if not now, when? Ultimately, the prophet Isaiah beseeches us to listen that you may live and be more alive to the changes all around. Shhh. Sh'ma.

Let's listen for a change!
Dan Brook, Ph.D., is a teacher and also a trained community mediator. He can be contacted via

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6. Columbia Graduate/JVNA Advisor Returns His Ph.D. to Protest Animal Cruelty

On Tuesday, May 17--the day before Columbia University’s 251st Commencement--Dr. Charles Patterson returned his doctorate to the Office of the President to protest Columbia's ongoing mistreatment of animals in its labs.

(PRWEB) May 18, 2005 -- On the day before Columbia University’s 251st Commencement on Wed., May 18, Charles Patterson (Ph.D.‘70) returned his doctorate to the Office of President Lee Bollinger in Low Library, Rm. 202, to protest his alma mater's abuse of animals.

Patterson, the author of Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust, is upset by the cruelty practiced at Columbia by Doctors Mehmet Oz, E. Sander Connolly, Michel Ferin, Raymond Stark, and other Columbia vivisectors. He says, "Dr. Josef Mengele, who conducted experiments on Jews and Gypsies at Auschwitz (he had two doctorates, by the way), would have fit in quite nicely at Columbia."

The title of Patterson's book Eternal Treblinka--now in seven languages--comes from the Yiddish writer and Nobel Laureate, Isaac Bashevis Singer, to whom the book is dedicated. "In relation to them, all people are Nazis," he wrote, "for animals it is an eternal Treblinka." (Treblinka was a Nazi death camp north of Warsaw.)

Columbia has a long history of animal abuse and grotesque experiments (visit, but it took Dr. Catherine Dell'Orto, a post-doctoral veterinarian fellow, to blow the whistle on the university's latest transgressions: "What I saw at Columbia still gives me nightmares. I saw baboons whose left eyes had been cut out--so that major blood vessels could be clamped off through the empty eye sockets to induce strokes--who had collapsed in their cages, unable even to lift their heads, eat, or drink. They were left to die without painkillers."

Columbia students, staff, faculty, and alumni who are concerned about this problem and want to do something about it are constantly rebuffed by the administration. President Bollinger refuses to meet with them to discuss the issue.

One of the most important lessons of the Holocaust, Patterson believes, is that we must never again remain silent in the face of evil. In the words of Auschwitz survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, "Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

"While I worked long and hard for my doctorate (it included writing a 320-page dissertation)," says Patterson, "the lives of the innocent and helpless are more important than a piece of paper."

He also has a Master of Arts degree in English literature from Columbia. When asked if he was planning on returning that degree as well, he said, "No, I'm going to hold onto it for awhile. However, if Columbia doesn't curb its cruelty soon, maybe I'll return that one too. I only wish I could do more."

Charles Patterson, author of
Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust
Lantern Books, New York, 2002 (2nd printing)
ISBN 1-930051-99-9
Translations: German, Italian, Polish, Czech, Croatian, Hebrew (forthcoming)

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7. Some Important News Items Re Global Warming

Forwarded message from iNSnet!

a. U.S. put wealth before global warming

The United States said it is not convinced of the need to move
quickly to combat climate change, deepening environmentalists'
fears that a summit on the issue in July will make no concrete progress.
b. Global Economic Growth Strains Earth's Vital Signs

The world is producing - and consuming - more food, material goods and natural resources than ever before, according to the Worldwatch Institute's "Vital Signs 2005" report on trends shaping the world's future.
c. Rebuffing Bush, 132 Mayors Embrace Kyoto Rules

Unsettled by a series of dry winters in this normally wet city, Mayor Greg Nickels has begun a nationwide effort to do something the Bush administration will not: carry out the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
d. Study: Climate change to swell, dry up rivers

Like oil in the 20th century, water could be the resource that
triggers armed conflicts at the end of this century, according to
experts forecasting changes in the world's major rivers caused by
global warming.
iNSnet promotes a sustainable society by offering access to news,
opinions and information sources related to sustainable development.

Internetwork for Sustainability © 2005

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8. 2005 Vegan Speaking Tour

Forwarded message:

Reserve a Spot on the 2005 Veg Speaking Tour

George Eisman, R.D., one of the nation's foremost educators on
vegetarian nutrition, is traveling the country to spread the word
about the health benefits of a vegan diet. Having served as a faculty
member in Dietetics and Nutrition at several universities, George
uses his knowledge and expertise to educate the public about the
links between diet and disease and the important reasons for
switching to a plant-based diet. Contact us now to reserve your spot
on the Veg Tour!

9. Know Any Supportive Rabbis?

We are planning to create a list of rabbis who are supportive of vegetarianism. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.


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10. American Vegan Society Annual Picnic

Forwarded message from Pamela Rice, director of the VivaVegie Society:

[This is a wonderful annual event. The food is great; the talks always inspiring; and the grounds where AVS has its headquarters are absolutely liberating. Make a point to enjoy yourself by taking time for this event. AND NOTE: Two people (one being Caryn herself, the other, an old friend of mine) need a ride from Manhattan. If you're going to the event by car and have a seat or two extra, please contact Freya ( - Pamela Rice]

American Vegan Society
56 Dinshah Lane
PO Box 369
Malaga NJ 08328-0908

(856) 694-2887, Fax: -2288
For immediate release

Sunday May 29: American Vegan Society annual picnic and talk.

A noon picnic lunch will be followed at 2 pm with presentations by Dr. Milton Mills, and Caryn Hartglass.

Milton Mills, MD will speak on Human Physiology and Healthful Eating. He is a preventive medicine specialist, and coauthored the report Racial & Ethnic Bias in the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Caryn Hartglass, executive director of EarthSave International, will
review How Lifestyles Affect the Environment, and sing for us. Caryn
is a chemical engineer by profession.

Freshly-picked locally-grown and wild foods will be featured on the menu: Asparagus with Carrot-Herb Dressing, Nettle-Spinach Purée, Potato Salad, Veggie Burgers, Carob Sponge Cake with Strawberries and Vanilla-Pear Nut Cream, Herb Teas.

The event is open to all, and will be held at the American Vegan Society headquarters, 72 Dinshah Lane, Malaga New Jersey 08328. For lunch, please make reservations. Phone: (856) 694-2887 for more information. The society website is

Freya Dinshah, (856) 694-2887,
American Vegan Society

Caryn Hartglass (718) 459-7668
EarthSave International:

Dr. Milton Mills (703) 642-0855 (H), (202) 352-4352 (Cell)
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (202) 686-2210 xt309,

A nonprofit organization, founded 1960
Ahimsa lights the way!

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11. Undercover Video Reveals Shocking Scenes at Animal Lab

Forwarded message from Author, editor, and JVNA advisor Syd Baumel:

PETA Breaking News

Today, at a news conference in Washington, D.C., PETA revealed the findings of its 11-month undercover investigation into Covance, the international drug-testing giant (formerly known as Hazelton).

PETA's investigator worked as a technician inside the Vienna, Virginia, Covance laboratory, where she documented workers who were striking, choking, taunting, and deliberately tormenting terrified monkeys. She documented monkeys with broken arms left without proper veterinary treatment and animals in desperate need of euthanasia, who were kept alive and in agony just to please drug companies. Other primates, used in lethal irradiation experiments, developed open wounds on their stomachs.

When PETA called the U.S. Department of Agriculture for help during our investigation, the agency took five days to respond. Please help these suffering primates, who live in constant fear of the next horrible thing that will happen to them. Read about our investigation and watch our video at now!

------------------------------ featured a front-page article about PETA's investigation into Covance-a billion-dollar Princeton, N.J.-based company that owns one of the world's largest contract animal-testing laboratories. At a laboratory in Vienna, Va., PETA videotaped repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act by Covance workers. Please write a letter thanking CNN for this story and asking them to feature similar articles in the future. For facts, go to and

Send e-mails at

"PETA accuses lab of animal cruelty"

By Kathy Benz & Michael McManus

CNN News May 17, 2005

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12. Job Opportunity for Nutritional Researcher at Animal Advocacy Foundation

From: "Bruce Prince"


I don't know if you are right resource for this, but I am trying to locate a nutritional researcher to work in DC for an animal advocacy foundation. The candidate needs to have experience in conducting clinical trials, have a PhD and doesn't even have to be Jewish!
Any ideas?


Bruce Prince


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13. ACTION ALERT: Your Call Needed TODAY to Save Horses

Stop Federal Funding of the Slaughter of Wild Horses
Support the Rahall-Whitfield Interior Appropriations Amendment

TODAY, Thursday, May 19, Representatives Rahall (D-WV) and Whitfield (R-KY) will introduce the Rahall-Whitfield Amendment to Interior Appropriations, to ensure that no tax dollars are used for sales of wild horses that could lead to their slaughter. We must reach every single member of the U.S. House of Representatives and secure their vote! This is the most critical time for saving our horses.

· Call YOUR US Representative before Thursday May 19th! Your phone call could make all the difference. Call the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121 to find your US Representative or go to or ask us at

· Pass this alert far and wide - it is critical that the phones resonate on the Hill!

Not sure what to say? Here's a sample phone script for when you call:
"My name is [your name] and I'm calling from [your city and state]. I'm calling to urge Representative [your Representative's name] to vote YES on Thursday's vote on the Rahall-Whitfield Interior Appropriations amendment to protect wild horses from sale and slaughter. I care very much about our wild horses and am horrified that 41 were recently sent to slaughter. Thank you."

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