July 27, 2005

7/28/05 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. We Are Planning to Move Forward With the JVNA Video/Suggestions Welcome

2. Encyclopedia of Nature and Religion Published

3. Another Article on Vegetarianism from a Jewish Perspective/My Letter to the Editor

4. My letter Is Among Five in Newsweek Responding to George Will’s Column

5. Who Are We to Challenge the Jewish Establishment?

6. Florida Jewish Radio Station Actively Supporting Jewish Vegetarianism

7. The Animals and Society Institute Announces the Publication of the "Policy Papers"

8. How factory Farming Threatens Workers and Our Environment

9. Another Article in Yosef Hakohen’s Series on "Relating to Other Creatures"

10. Green Zionist Alliance (GZA) Announces Launch of Campaign for World Zionist Congress Elections.

11. More on the Threat of a Global Flu Pandemic

12. Vegetarian Kabalat Shabbat in NY

13. Action Alert: Opposing a Harmful Energy Bill

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, material re conferences, retreats, forums, trips, and other events does not necessarily imply endorsement by JVNA or endorsement of kashrut, Shabbat observances, or any other Jewish observance, 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. We Are Planning to Move Forward With the JVNA Video/Suggestions Welcome

I want to update you on the proposed JVNA video, previously mentioned in the July 14, 2005 JVNA newsletter.

I am very happy to announce that Lionel Friedberg, a Jewish vegan activist with a very wide background in producing documentaries and other videos, an Emmy award winner, is VERY eager to help us at a very low fee, basically to cover his costs. His very impressive resume is below after my message.

There are a number of additional positive factors that should be helpful:

1. The Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA) has produced a very effective video "Honoring God’s Creation." I have seen it and I believe that it has great potential as an outreach tool. The key people behind the production of the video have enthusiastically offered to help us in the production of our video, and I think their experience could be very valuable. I have sent Lionel a copy of the video and other background material re Judaism and vegetarianism that might help him in producing our video.

2. I believe that my "Judaism and Vegetarianism" CD provides a rough script, and that, along with fact sheets and other material at JewishVeg.com/schwartz, is the basis for my outline draft below. Later, I plan to write a script and to send it this group and Lionel for suggestions.

3. Here is an outline of topics, which parallels the topics in my book "Judaism and Vegetarianism." (Please keep in mind that this is just some preliminary thinking and nothing is definite at all yet.)

a. Torah Teachings re Vegetarianism
b. Health
c. Compassion toward Animals
d. Environmental Preservation
e. Conservation of Resources (bal tashchit)
f. Helping the Hungry
g. Pursuing Peace and Non-violence
h. Questions and Answers
i. Personal Statements (if time permits – I think the video tape should be no longer than 30 minutes (the CVA video is just over 26 minutes). This means about 3 minutes on average for each topic listed. I think this can be done if the video is relatively tightly scripted.)
j. Resources for further information (on screen before credits)

In sections b-g, I suggest a division into 2 parts: (1) discussion of Jewish teachings followed by (2) a discussion of how the realities of the production and consumption of meat violate those teachings. Background material for this is in the fact sheets on the various issues at JewishVeg.com/schwartz.

4. I also envision some of the leading Jewish vegetarians, including Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen and Rabbi David Rosen making statements re the topics mentioned above. As indicated in the outline below, there are a number of other Jewish vegetarian activists who can also give brief presentations related to the topics above. So, there would be no need to hire actors, etc.

5. As indicated above. I plan to write a script for the video that would be sent to this group and to Lionel for approval. Each speaker would be able to suggest modifications in their presentations for our review.

6. Here are some initial thoughts re the topics to be covered:

* Torah Teachings

One possibility is:
a. Rabbi David Rosen discussing God’s first dietary regimen (Genesis 1:29)
b. Rabbi Shear-Yashuv Cohen discussing Rav Kook’s view that the Messianic period will be vegetarian, based on Isaiah’s prophecy re the wolf dwelling with the lamb, etc.
c. Another rabbi speaking between the 2 rabbis above re other Torah teaching re vegetarianism: permission reluctantly given to eat meat, the incident with the quails and the "Graves of Lust. etc." If we could get Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the UK to take this part, we would be leading off with 3 chief rabbis – giving a strong indication that vegetarianism is certainly an option for Jews.

As in other segments, there should be appropriate background scenes, such as pictures of "the lion and the lamb," when discussing Isaiah’s vision of a “Peaceable Kingdom, etc.
Next, I would briefly indicate that Jews have a choice in their diets, but that choice should be made based on basic Jewish values, that Jewish vegetarians believe that animal-based diets and agriculture violate 6 basic Jewish teachings, and that we are next going to discuss these 6 teachings and how the production and consumption of animal products violate them.

* Health

Once again, the material in the facts section at JewishVeg.com/schwartz which gives Jewish quotes/teachings, followed by realities that contradict the Jewish teachings can be a basis for this section and the following 5 sections.

We could have Jewish vegetarian activist Jay Lavine, M.D., who has written widely on nutrition, speak on Jewish teachings on health, with health-related scenes shown.

Then, I think it would be valuable to have one of the leading vegetarian doctors (for example, Dr. Michael Klaper or Dr. Michael Gregor) speak on the negative health effects of animal-centered diets.

Rabbi David Rosen has a good quote re his view about the negative health effects making the meat halachically unacceptable. We could end this segment with that quote.

* Compassion toward Animals

We have Roberta Kalechofsky, founder and director of Jews for Animal Rights and Nina Natelson,, founder and director of "Concern for Helping Animals in Israel” (CHAI), two JVNA advisors who have been very active in applying Jewish teachings re the proper treatment of animals, who could speak -- one on Jewish teachings about animals and one about the abuses of animals on factory farms. Rabbi David Rosen also has a good quote re his view about the mistreatment of animals making the meat halachically unacceptable, which could end this segment.

* Environmental Preservation and Conservation
Jonathan Wolf, a long-time Jewish vegetarian and environmental activist and founder and first president of JVNA. could speak here re Jewish teachings on environmental stewardship.

Then, we could have a vegetarian environmental activist, such as Rabbi Barry Schwartz (no relation) or Warren Stone or Fred Dobb speak about the negative environmental effects of animal-based diets. Having some of these rabbis would help re outreach to non-Orthodox communities.

* Conservation of resources (bal tashchit)

Perhaps two of the rabbis mentioned in the previous section (or others) could speak on (1) the Jewish teachings and (2) the waste of grain, land, water, and other resources associated with animal-centered diets.

* Helping the Hungry
Some possibilities here are Noam Mohr, aaron Gross, Rabbi David Golinkin, and Rabbi Hillel Norry

if not here, some of these people could take part in the question and answer section or the personal statements section.

* Pursuing Peace and Non-violence
I could speak here and use my joke re "Give PEAS a chance, among other things (it always gets a laugh and it would be tied in with the Jewish sages view that a lack of grain and other resources makes war and violence more likely). Long time peace activist Rabbi Yonassan Gershom could also discuss connections between vegetarianism and the potential for a more peaceful world. Since he is a Breslov Chassid, this will help us in reaching out to chassidic Jews.

* Questions and Answers
My book "Judaism and Vegetarianism" has many questions and answers, We could have someone ask a few and have some of the Jewish vegetarian activists respond. We could indicate many more questions and answers are at the JVNA web site.

There might not be time for more than perhaps 3 questions and answers. One should be, I believe, don’t Jews have to eat meat to celebrate Shabbat and Yom Tov? Another could be, “Aren’t we trying to be more righteous than God, since God gave permission to eat meat”?

Another might ask about vegetarian connections re Israel and give us a chance to show scenes from the vegetarian moshav Amirim, the Jewish Vegetarian Society in Jerusalem, various vegetarian restaurants, a vegetarian home for Israeli children who have family problems, etc.

* Personal Statements

This depends on how we are doing re time. As indicated, the video should not be longer than 30 minutes.

We could ask some people to briefly state how they became a vegetarian, why it is important to them, why it is important to the world, and anything else personal that they wanted to state. This would provide much material for potential editing.

It would be nice, I think, to have a young person speak, an elderly person whose health greatly improved after shifting to a vegetarian diet speak , …
* Resources for further information

Just before the credits roll, we could give information re the JVNA web site, our free booklet, our CD, and some of our vegetarian books, etc.

Of course, this is just a first draft, but I wanted to present an outline to start some discussion. I hope this provides a good starting point.

Below are excerpts from two messages from Lionel Friedberg and his resume.

Dear Richard,

As an ardent animal rights supporter, long-time vegan and (pardon the ego) Emmy Award-winning TV & film producer, I would very much like to be part of the video project.

I'd love to work on the video project with you.

Many thanks.


Lionel’s second response:

Hi Richard,

I find this very, very exciting. Your thoughts on the structure of the
Video are great. I think this will be something that we as Jews have needed for a long, long time. Even if I'm not personally involved with the production of the project I will do whatever I can to help you promote it. This is something whose time has come. Mazel tov on initiating it.

I would certainly leap at the opportunity to work on this with you, believe
me. So please, please keep me in the loop.

I eagerly look forward to talking to you about this in greater detail as
soon as you're ready.

Many thanks, and all good wishes for bringing this to fruition.

Kindest regards,

Lionel Friedberg (Resume)
Supervising Producer • Producer • Director • Writer

With an initial background in cinematography – including 18 feature film credits as Director of Photography – I have worked all over the world on both dramatic and non-fiction productions. For the past 25 years I have concentrated on supervising, producing, writing and directing documentaries, reality, investigative report and educational programs. I have won a Primetime Emmy, the American Association for the Advancement of Science ‘Westinghouse’ Award for Science Programming, three Columbus and two Golden Eagles for Best Documentaries, and various awards as a dramatic and episodic TV director.

05/04: Growing Up. Series Producer. (11 one-hour shows) Animal Planet. Arden Entertainment.
World on a String – The Tiny Mighty Bead Zepra International Inc.
Across the Lake – Non-fiction book about African shamanism

2003: Growing Up. Series Producer. Animal Planet. Arden Entertainment.
World on a String – The Eternal Bead Zepra International Inc.
Developed Ice Age Mega Bear. Discovery Channel/Channel Four. Arden Entertainment.
Various documentary and writing projects on animal rights issues.
Wrote book on history of apartheid and colonialism in Africa.

2002: The Great Slave Revolt. Letters from the Roman Front. (Moments in Time series.) Contributing writer. Discovery Channel. Terra Nova Television.
Developed script and shot survivor interviews for Without Remorse: The Armenian Holocaust. Theatrical feature-length documentary. Morningstar Entertainment.
The Enforcers. Learning Channel. Morningstar Entertainment.
Developed series template for Strange Days on Planet Earth. PBS. National Geographic/Sea Studios Foundation.

2001: Greek Gods & Goddesses. History Channel. FilmRoos.
Future Guns. Discovery Channel. Alexander-Enright/Present Tense Prods.
Sangoma! A Shaman’s Journey. Video teaching series. Inward Bound Productions.

2000: The Shape of Life. Two one-hour episodes of eight-part series. PBS.
National Geographic/Sea Studios Foundation.

{Many more are listed from 1965 to 1999.]

2005: Silver Screen Award World on a String – The Eternal Bead
1997: Golden Eagle Award The Bible’s Greatest Mysteries.
(Supervising Producer)
1996: Nominee. Cable Ace Award Mysteries of the Bible
(Supervising Producer)
1996: Public Information Radio & Television Educational Society
Buccaneer Award Windows Through Time
1995: Nominee. Cable Ace Award Mysteries of the Bible
(Supervising Producer)
1994: Ohio Governor’s State Award Mysteries Underground
1993: National Primetime Emmy Award Mysteries Underground
1993: Columbus International Chris Award Mysteries Underground
1993: Eastman Kodak Award Mysteries Underground
1991: Columbus International Chris Award Sail On, Voyager!
1991: Golden Eagle Award Sail On, Voyager!
1991: Birmingham International Environmental Electra Award
Crisis in the Atmosphere
1990: Golden Eagle Award Crisis in the Atmosphere
1990: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Westinghouse Award The Great Dinosaur Hunt
1990: Columbus International Chris Award The Great Dinosaur Hunt
1985: Argus Star Tonight Award Hell on Earth
1985: Eastman Kodak Visible Spectrum Award A Delicate Balance
1984: Argus Star Tonight Award Then Came the English
1978: International Anthropological Festival Grand Prix du Festival
The Cultural Identity
1977: Argus Star Tonight Award The Tribal Identity


Writers Guild of America
American Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
South African Society of Cinematographers
PEN International

Location Production Experience:
United States, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Antarctica, Australia, Mauritius, Malagasy, Reunion, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Zaire, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Ivory Coast, Marion Island, Cape Verde Islands, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Greece, Spain, Holland, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, England, Ireland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan

Once again, your input re any phase of this proposed project that has so much potential is very welcome.

If you would like to contribute toward the production of this video and/or any other JVNA activities, please send a (tax-deductible) check made out to JVNA or Jewish Vegetarians of North America to

Israel Mossman
6938 Reliance Road
Federalsburg, MD 21632

With, if you wish, a brief note that it is for production of the JVNA video.

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2. Encyclopedia of Nature and Religion Published

A very comprehensive two-volume “Encyclopedia of Nature and Religion” (ENR) has just been published. It thoroughly covers many religions’ teachings on nature, environmental issues, animals, and related issues, with many sections on Jewish teachings. I Have three articles in the encyclopedia: “Judaism and the Population Crisis;” “Tikkun Olam – a Jewish Imperative;” and “Vegetarianism, Judaism, and God’s Intention.” Unlike most encyclopedias, ENR has some articles that are advocacy or opinion articles, so I took advantage of this. JVNA member and environmental teacher and activist Rabbi David Seidenberg has 5 articles in ENR, including: “Animal Rights in the Jewish tradition;” “Jewish Environmentalism in North America;” and “Kabbalah and Eco-Theology.”

This is a very valuable resource for people interested in Jewish and other religious teachings on vegetarianism, animal issues, nature, the environmental issues, etc. However, it is extremely expensive – well over $100. (My 3 articles enabled me to get the 2 volumes without paying a fortune.) I suggest that you recommend that your local college and public and other libraries order a copy. The more people that become educated on the issues in ENR, the better, I believe. The ISBN is 1 84371 138 9. Thanks.

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3. Another Article on Vegetarianism from a Jewish Perspective/My Letter to the Editor

JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 22 2005 26 The Weekly Review Judaism

No meat today
Simon Rocker on Jewish vegetarianism

JEWISH CHRONICLE JULY 22 200526The Weekly Review Judaism

In one of the novels of Isaac Bashevis Singer, a character thinks to himself, “In their behaviour towards creatures, all men were Nazis.” The late Nobel laureate was notthe only famous Jewish writer to become a vegetarian. So was another Nobel winner, Shmuel Yosef Agnon, the Yiddish writer IL Peretz and, the most influential of all, Franz Kafka. Leading rabbis also adopted the green mantle, including the first chief rabbi of pre-state Israel, Rav Avraham Kook; the author of the Torah commentary known as the Kli Yakar, Rabbi Shlomo Ephraim Lunshitz; and founder of a New York rabbinical seminary, Rav Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz, who believed that after the Second World War “there has been enough killing in the world.”

All these examples are cited in a new 30- page pamphlet, “A Case for Jewish Vegetarianism,” produced by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta). Peta’s tactics have sometimes brought it into conflict with the Jewish community: its “Holocaust on your plate” campaign drew protests here last year. But this publication comes with the endorsement of such figures as the veteran American Jewish veggie Professor Richard Schwartz, author of “Judaism and Vegetarianism.” [Note that PETA had no influence on the actual content of the bulletin – they are only very generously distributing free copies. For free copies to distribute, please contact us.]

The desirability of a vegetarian diet is stressed in the story of Creation, the pamphlet argues, when God informs Adam and Eve that fruit and herbs have been given for their food. The text then describes His handiwork for the first time as “tov meod,” or very good, rather than just “good” as He had before.

Modern factory farming also offends the principle of tsa’ar ba’alei chaim, prevention of cruelty to animals. According to the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, David Rosen, animals are now reared in such cruel conditions that this makes consumption of their meat “halachically unacceptable.”

Apart from traditional sources, the pamphlet also quotes practitioners of “eco-kashrut” and lists health and environmental reasons for giving up meat and fish.

“All of us, as we stand with the refrigerator open or stare at our menus with grumbling stomachs, are required to make a decision,” it concludes, alluding to Moses’s famous injunction to the Israelites, “Choose life.”

July 25, 2005

Editor, the Jewish Chronicle

Dear Editor:

As president of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), I was pleased to see Simon Rocker's thoughtful article, "No Meat Today" (July 22 issue), which discussed the new booklet "A Case for Jewish Vegetarianism." Readers can download a free copy at
www.goveg.com/feat/jewishveg/jewishvegbooklet72.pdf, or order a free copy by sending a request at http://GoVeg.com.

I hope that Mr. Rocker's article and the booklet will lead Jews to consider a switch toward vegetarianism, because animal-based diets and agriculture violate at least six basic Jewish teachings:

1. While Judaism stresses 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 grain, 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, while an estimated 20 million people worldwide die because of hunger and its effects each year.

Very truly yours,

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
[I also sent a shorter version of this letter.]

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4. My letter Is Among Five in Newsweek Responding to George Will’s Column

Dear Editor:

Kudos to George Will for discussing conservative Matthew Scully’s challenging writings on current massive abuses of animals on modern “factory farms” (“What We Owe What We Eat,” July 18 issue). What makes the situation far more scandalous is that this widespread mistreatment is to create a product that is contributing to an epidemic of disease, and its production contributes significantly to many current environmental threats. Hence a switch toward plant based diets is not only an individual choice today; it is also a societal imperative, necessary to help shift our imperiled planet to a more sustainable course, and a religious imperative, because the production and consumption of meat contradict basic religious mandates to preserve our health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources, and help hungry people.

Very truly yours,
Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.

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5. Who Are We to Challenge the Jewish Establishment?

[The following D’var Torah (Torah “Word” or teaching) from last week’s Jewish Chronicle (UK) helps answer this question. I am certainly not advocating that anyone perform a specific action in any way similar to that of Pinchas, but I hope that the broader lesson that every individual can make a difference in the d’var Torah is instructive.]

A s the grandson of Aaron and the great-nephew of Moses, one could naturally have assumed that Pinchas was a man of stature, a natural leader. Presumably he was also among the more learned of the children of Israel. The Midrash Tanchuma, however, recounts that Pinchas was in fact the youngest of his house, so not exactly a natural leader. The Talmud, in tractate Eruvin, dispels the idea that Pinchas was a great Torah scholar. Moshe received the Torah from God, taught it to Aaron and then to Aaron’s sons Eleazar and Itamar; next to learn the Torah were the 70 elders of the community and only at the end did the rest of the people, including Pinchas, learn its laws in detail.

So Pinchas was no greater than anybody else. In fact, there was a whole class of natural leaders ahead of him. And yet we see that he, and he alone, acted when he saw that action was necessary to restore God’s glory, by killing an Israelite sinning with a Midianite woman.

What an awesome responsibility for this regular Jew. Something terrible is happening and no one is reacting. Not only that, his grandfather and great-uncle, Aaron and Moses, respectively, the natural leaders of the people, seem to be stricken with some sort of debility.

To Pinchas the response was clear. He had been taught along with everybody else the “law of the zealot”: action was called for. How often do we excuse ourselves from acting, just because no one else is, including those above you?

The Midrash says that God orchestrated the situation to give Pinchas the chance at receiving the covenant of everlasting peace and priesthood. He did not fail. He had learnt the law and therefore knew the correct action to take.

Our responsibility is clear: we are obligated to educate ourselves, so that when the occasion arises, we do not hesitate.

[A similar lesson is in Megillat Esther. When Queen Esther hesitates to take action when the Jewish people are threatened with destruction, Mordechai informs her that perhaps she was put into her position as Queen to be able to act at such a critical time.]

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6. Florida Jewish Radio Station Actively Supporting Jewish Vegetarianism

The following messages are from Moshe ben Levi, the owner of a Florida Jewish radio station.

Subject: Jewish World Radio presents Judaism and Vegetarianism

Boker tov Richard,

Thanks for the material you sent me. The books are great. We just recorded the CD [our “Judaism and Vegetarianism” CD] and divided it in 3 major parts for an hour program in the mornings at 8:00 AM. We also prepared a radio spot advertising the program.

We just sent a couple of press releases, English and Spanish [they are a multi-lingual station], to the Jewish media, presenting our radio station and our programs, including yours.

It will be released July 23, per PRWeb Press Release Newswire. Right now your photo is in the first page of our website.

Included is our banner, so youu can place it at your convenience at your website.

Thanks in advance for your educational material and look forward to work together for the progress of Judaism.

Moshe ben Levi

Message 2:

Shalom Richard,

We are very blessed by the books you sent us. I feel that my life have been close to your comments in the Global book. Thanks to HaShem to guide me in the right track.

WE will talk more abd will do a short program about "Judaismo y el Vegetarianismo" in Spanish based on your book comments. This is a great material.

Moshe ben levi

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7. The Animals and Society Institute Announces the Publication of the "Policy Papers"

Forwarded message:

The purpose of the ASI Policy Papers series is to shape the U.S. political landscape by providing elected representatives, government officials, scholars, media and both animal protection and corporate stake-holders with the research analysis and data they need to inform the public policy debate on animal protection.

Through the Policy Papers series, the Institute provides a unique venue where investigators can develop positions on current policy issues related to human-animal relationships. Authors use existing scientific and theoretical literature to present the pros and cons of particular practices involving our treatment of nonhuman animals, framing their scientifically and theoretically grounded analysis and commentary in terms of changes in practice through regulation and legislation.

The ASI invites proposals for the ASI Policy Papers. Authors whose proposals are accepted are offered a $500 stipend to produce a manuscript of not more than 20,000 words. Each accepted policy paper will be published as a separately bound monograph. [Please consider applying.]

The scope of the papers is any topic in the fields of Human-Animal Studies and Animal Science that has policy implications for our treatment of nonhuman animals. Examples include:

* Virtual hunting
* Cloning animals
* Animals as property under the law
* Foie gras production methods
* Spay and neutering companion animals
* Legal standing for nonhuman animals
* Forced molting

Proposals consist of a letter of inquiry of not more than five double-spaced pages containing the following information:

1. Author's name and contact information
2. Biographical notes and areas of expertise
3. Summary of proposed policy paper

Submit proposals by electronic attachment to Ken Shapiro and Kim W. Stallwood, coeditors:

If accepted by the coeditors, author(s) are provided with a style-guide and invited to submit a manuscript. Each manuscript will be reviewed blind by two individuals with expertise in relevant subject areas.

Kim W. Stallwood
Co-executive Director
Animals and Society Institute
Email: kim.stallwood@animalsandsociety.org
(410) 675-4566

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8. How factory Farming Threatens Workers and Our Environment

Forwarded message from JVNA advisor and JVNA founder and initial president Jonathan Wolf:
I received this email a while ago from the United Farm Workers. It reminds us that factory farming of animals, environmental destruction, and dangers to the health of workers and of people who live nearby are all closely related and, especially in the Bush era at EPA and USDA, hardly regulated.

We should pursue alliances and education campaigns about this--
Help farm workers fight toxic waste!
Date: Tuesday, June 28, 2005
From: United Farm Workers (UFW) ufwofamer@aol.com

Help farm workers fight toxic waste!
Tell the Department of Environmental Quality to make Threemile Canyon Farms clean up its act

What would major cities be like without waste water treatment plants? While the law requires cities to treat human waste, industrial factory farms routinely deal with animal waste by digging a hole and filling it with raw feces and urine.

Threemile Canyon Farms, in Boardman, Ore., is the nation's largest dairy with more than 55,000 dairy cattle just five miles from the Columbia River. Those 55,000 cattle produce about the same waste as a city with 1.2 million people. Instead of treatment plants, the dairy stores this toxic waste in two giant uncovered pits totaling 32 acres.

Threemile Canyon Farms recently reported that on a yearly basis, it is the source of a staggering 5.6 million pounds of ammonia gas--more than double that of all Oregon's remaining industries combined and the third greatest reported source of ammonia in the nation.

Workers and neighbors can become sick when exposed to these toxics. Ammonia and 159 other known toxins are in raw animal waste. Exposure to high levels of these toxins can irritate the skin, eyes, throat and lungs, cause coughing and swelling of the respiratory tract as well as nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of consciousness and death.

Currently the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality does not regulate the air at Threemile Canyon Farms because the operation is classified as agriculture. As a result workers and neighbors have no idea what types of hazardous gases they are being exposed to or what the levels of exposure are.

Take action today. Join United Farm Workers, Sierra Club and neighbors of Threemile Canyon Farms in calling on the state to protect workers and neighbors by monitoring hazardous gases at Threemile Canyon Farms and making it comply with the same laws other Oregon industries must follow.

Go to: www.unionvoice.org/campaign/toxicwaste/wgnduwzl76jk5n?

Tell-A-Friend: Tell your friends about this campaign. Go to:

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9. Another Article in Yosef Hakohen’s Series on "Relating to Other Creatures"

[Due to space limitations. The JVNA newletter has published only a select number of letters from Yosef Hakohen's excellent ongoing series on relating to other creatures. To view the other letters in this series, you can visit the archive (bottom section) at: Hazon - Our Universal Vision: www.shemayisrael.co.il/publicat/hazon/]

The Journey to Unity - 125
The Call to the Winds: The Song of the Garden of Eden

"Awake from the north and come from the south! Blow upon My garden, let its spices flow. Let my beloved come to his garden and eat its precious fruit." (Song of Songs 4:16)

According to Jewish tradition, the "north wind" represents the human desire for physical pleasure and gratification, while the "south wind" represents the soul's longing for spiritual fulfillment. The human being's mission is to unite the two winds – the physical and the spiritual - by using the physical to serve the highest spiritual calling. Adam and Eve were given the Garden of Eden, the perfect setting for this task. They failed and were banished from the Garden. But the Garden remains in the Divine plan, and we will yet combine the two winds and enjoy the ultimate aroma and fruits of holiness. (Based on the ArtScroll Commentary)

Dear Friends,
It is fascinating that the ancient work "Perek Shirah" lists the Song of the Garden of Eden, long after we were expelled from the Garden. This seems to indicate that the Garden of Eden is still present, even though it is hidden from us. In fact, Maimonides writes in his introduction to Perek Chelek (Sanhedrin):

"The Garden of Eden is a fertile and rich place, the finest part of the earth. It has many rivers and fruit trees. God will reveal it to humankind in the future and will also show them the way to reach it, so they will enjoy it."

The book "Nature's Song" by Rabbi Nosson Slifkin cites another interpretation of the Garden's song: According to the commentary of Kenaf Renanim, the Song of the Garden of Eden is sung by lush gardens on earth with beautiful and aromatic flowers; moreover, these gardens are visited by beautiful songbirds and bees. They are not the Garden of Eden itself, yet they represent a small but significant taste of that spiritual paradise.

It is possible that the Song of the Garden may also be referring to the hidden potential within the world to become the Garden of Eden. It is this potential which is singing the song. For as the above ArtScroll commentary states, "The Garden remains in the Divine plan." And as we shall explore in future letters, the Torah indicates that we can recreate the Garden of Eden. This song is therefore to remind us of the potential of the world to return to the ideal state of the Garden of Eden, where all creatures dwelled in peace and harmony, and where the physical and the spiritual were united.


Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen (See below)

Related Comments:
1. An English translation of the introduction of Maimonides to Perek Helek (Tractate Sanhedrin) is found in the book, "Maimonides' Commentary on Pirkei Avoth", by Paul Forchheimer (Feldheim: www.feldheim.com). The commentary of Maimonides on Perek Helek contains his explanation of basic Jewish beliefs, including beliefs regarding the messianic age and the resurrection of the dead.

2. ArtScroll published, "Perek Shirah" – The Song of the Universe, Translation and Insights by Rabbi Nosson Scherman. For information on this work, visit: http://artscroll.com/linker/hazon/ASIN/PSHH

3. Another book on Perek Shirah is "Nature's Song" by Rabbi Nosson Slifkin (Targum/Feldheim). For further information on this work, visit: www.feldheim.com

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

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10. Green Zionist Alliance (GZA) Announces Launch of Campaign for World Zionist Congress Elections.

Forwarded message:



NEW YORK, July 25, 2005 - The Green Zionist Alliance (GZA)
(www.greenzionism.org) announces the launch of its campaign for the 2006 World Zionist Congress elections.

To gear up for the election, the GZA has hired a new Executive Director, Hal Klopper. Mr. Klopper has been involved in international education for many years, both with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and, most recently, as Director of the New York Office for Tel Aviv University.

The GZA, the first environmental Zionist party to run for a Zionist Congress, was founded in 2001 with the goal of securing an activist environmental presence within the Zionist movement and won its first seat to the 2002 World Zionist Congress, represented by Rabbi Michael M. Cohen, Executive Director of the North American office of the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies and co-founder of the GZA.

Through an agreement between the GZA and Mercaz Olami, the Zionist arm of the Conservative Movement, two "Green" representatives were appointed to board of Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, the JNF in Israel: Dr. Eilon Schwartz, Director of the Heschel Center for Environmental Leadership, and Dr. Alon Tal, founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense and the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies. The two were subsequently appointed to head a new sub-committee for Sustainable Development.

The GZA's goal for the upcoming elections is to bring environmental concerns to the forefront of Zionist consciousness through a series of what it believes to be initiatives that are vital to Israel, the Middle East, Judaism, and Zionism. Highlights include:

1) Create a position of Environmental Officer in the Jewish Agency with extensive authority to review the ecological implications of Zionist-funded activities and require full environmental impact statements for new projects.

2) Bolster policies to encourage and support the Jewish National Fund to preserve open spaces, protect threatened species, confront Israel's water crisis, promote river restoration, reduce pesticide use, and adopt a transparent, open and democratic decision-making process regarding all environmental initiatives and policies that include all of Israel's citizens.

3) Encourage regional environmental policies, reflecting the reality that our environment is shared, not limited by political boundaries.

4) Encourage all Zionist educational institutions and programs to integrate ecological education topics into their curricula and programs.

5) Establish coalitions with other Zionist parties that support religious pluralism, civil and human rights, the peace process, and policies to forge harmonious relationships among all sectors of Israel's diverse society.

Registration to vote for the American delegation to the 2006 Congress will run through the fall. The election will be held from mid-December 2005 through mid-February 2006. The GZA is aiming to be the third largest delegation from the United States for the 2006 World Zionist Congress.

For additional information, contact:
Rabbi Michael Cohen
Green Zionist Alliance
T: (802) 384-4488
E: hdk@greenzionism.org
W: www.greenzionism.org

From: azm@azm.org (American Zionist Movement)


Have a Voice in decisions that Affect You, Your Family and Your Heritage

The World Zionist Organization's 35th Congress

Every four years, delegates from over 40 countries meet to decide on issues you care deeply about: the education and safety of Jews everywhere; the values, the well-being, and the future of the State of Israel.

These delegates are selected by voters like you. They range from college students to seasoned vets, religious to secular, liberal to conservative.

You don't have to join or attend anything. If you're American, Jewish, reside in the US and agree with the Jerusalem Program, you can register. You can do it online, or download a form. The American Zionist Movement expedites the U.S. registration and voting.

When you ballot arrives, you simply choose the delegate slate that most closely represents your views.

This is an important time for the Jewish People. Please register, vote and have your say.

It's Like No Other Vote in the World.

Download a mail-in form here.

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11. More on the Threat of a Global Flu Pandemic

Forwarded by Pamela Rice:

[EXCERPT: THE RISK of a global flu pandemic should have been, but wasn't, at the top of the Group of Eight's agenda in Scotland last week. ... The outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, in 2003, which killed fewer than 1,000 people but cost Asia $40 billion in economic losses, should have served as a warning of the devastating effect an infectious disease can have even when loss of life is relatively small.]

A flu nightmare
July 13, 2005

THE RISK of a global flu pandemic should have been, but wasn't, at the top of the Group of Eight's agenda in Scotland last week. The world is ill prepared for the millions of deaths and economic dislocation that could occur if a lethal strain of avian flu virus in southeastern Asia mutates into a strain that is easily transmitted from person to person.

Each winter, flu kills on average 36,000 Americans, most of them frail and elderly. The nightmare is that a new and much more dangerous flu strain could emerge, like the one that killed at least 50 million people worldwide in 1918-19. The victims in that pandemic were mostly young adults who had not been exposed to earlier outbreaks of similar flu strains and thus had no natural immunity. The avian flu type that scientists are now concerned about, H5N1, gives signs of being even deadlier than the 1918 virus.

To reduce the toll of a new pandemic, governments and international health organizations must improve surveillance methods so that, if a lethal flu virus emerges, it can be quickly identified and isolated, though the latter is difficult with a disease as contagious as flu. In 2003, the US government adopted several measures to strengthen the nation's capacity for dealing with a pandemic, including the awarding of contracts to vaccine makers to develop an investigational vaccine for a strain of the H5N1 virus.

But immunization is a far-from-perfect solution to pandemic flu because development of a vaccine can begin only when researchers have identified the exact strain of flu virus. Using traditional production methods, the preparation of flu vaccine doses can require as much as six months, an unacceptably long time when billions around the world are being exposed to a deadly virus.

Also, flu vaccine makers worldwide have the capacity to provide vaccine doses for fewer than 500 million people, according to Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. That capacity must be increased at the same time that governments subsidize efforts to develop faster methods of flu vaccine production.

Antiviral medications like Tamiflu can strengthen people's resistance to the virus before vaccines become available. The US government is creating a stockpile of Tamiflu, but Osterholm writes in Foreign Affairs magazine that orders that have been placed globally suffice for just 40 million people.

The outbreak of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, in 2003, which killed fewer than 1,000 people but cost Asia $40 billion in economic losses, should have served as a warning of the devastating effect an infectious disease can have even when loss of life is relatively small. The response of world leaders has been inadequate to the challenge.

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12. Vegetarian Kabalat Shabbat in NY

Forwarded message from the Alok Holistic Health Community (info@alokhealth.com)


We at the Alok Holistic Health Community are organizing
vegetarian Shabbat events in NY. You can see example for the next Kabalat Shabbat we are holding at http://www.alokhealth.com/shabbat.html

We will be happy if you can help us spread the word about the vegetarian Shabbat events (or give us ideas on how to reach even more people so the Jewish vegetarian movement will keep growing).

[As indicated in the introductory material in each JVNA newsletter, material re conferences, retreats, forums, trips, and other events does not necessarily imply endorsement by JVNA or endorsement of kashrut, Shabbat observances, or any other Jewish observance, 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.]

URL: http://www.alokhealth.com

With warm regards
Zemach Zohar

Alok Holistic Health Community

[Here is some material from their web site re the vegetarian kabbalat Shabbat:

An Oasis in Time - Shabbat Ceremony and Feast
Friday, July 29, 2005

Shabbat is considered the holiest day of the week, and we are enjoined to celebrate and sanctify it with gourmet foods, rich wine, our most beautiful clothes, romantic intimacy, and relaxation. It is the time for experiencing pleasure and getting into spirituality by making these acts Divine; in fact, Shabbat is a taste of Heaven.

Meet beautiful new friends and share in this special community celebration. Join us as we welcome the Shabbat Queen with song, ceremony, delicious vegetarian foods and stimulating discussions.

Everybody is welcome to come with an open mind, questions, reflections, and your favorite vegan, vegetarian, raw-food dish and/or wine to a unique and memorable Friday evening with Zemach Zohar, Dages, Isaac Tapiero, and other friends from the Alok Holistic Health Community and Earthmatters.

Please arrive at 7:30 PM before the Shabbat enters.

Cost for covering expenses:
$5 (plus a vegan/vegetarian dish to share)

If you don't have time to prepare a vegetarian/vegan dish, you can buy one at Earthmatters which offers big selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes. If you'd like to purchase food from Earthmatters, please arrive before 7:30 PM so we are ready to begin before the Shabbat arrives.

Earthmatters (on the third level roofed balcony and garden)
177 Ludlow St.
Between Houston St. & Stanton St.
(F/V train to "Second Avenue" Station)
East Village, Manhattan

Please confirm your participation by sending email to info@alokhealth.com and put "Shabbat" in the subject line.

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13. Action Alert: Opposing a Harmful Energy Bill

Forwarded message from: info@saveourenvironment.org

Dear Richard,

Congress has finally finished its work on the Energy Bill, and they're expected to vote on it as early as tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday.

We need your help to stop this dirty, short-sighted bill! Use this link now to send a message to your members of Congress asking them to vote NO on the Energy Bill before it's too late.

This bill would do nothing to lower gas prices or to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Instead of putting proven clean energy solutions to work, big oil and gas companies like ExxonMobil pressured Congressional leaders to include dangerous loopholes that threaten our waters and lands with irresponsible energy production.

Among other things, the bill could speed oil drilling off of the California, Florida, North Carolina, and other coasts. It would also allow oil companies to pollute rivers and drinking water
with toxic wastes.

At the same time, the Energy Bill ignores high gas prices, dependence on foreign oil, renewable energy, and global warming. In fact, it would actually weaken existing fuel economy

We must stop this Energy Bill from becoming law. Please join us in contacting your members of Congress right now to urge them to vote against this bill.
Click here now to send your free message.

In addition, the Energy Bill would give billions of dollars in subsidies and tax credits to big oil, nuclear and other energy companies for their pet projects while providing relatively little to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

In short, this bill is a disaster that will make our nation dirtier while ignoring practical solutions to looming energy crises.

That's why it's so important that your Senators and Representative hear from you today! Please take a minute to urge that they oppose the Energy Bill.

Click here to send a free message to your Senators and your Representative now.

Once you've taken action, please forward this email to your friends, family and coworkers to urge that they join in the effort to stop this anti-environmental Energy Bill.

Thank you so much for your help!

Katelyn Sabochik
Online Campaign Manager

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** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

July 24, 2005

7/24/05 Special JVNA Newsletter - DR-CAFTA

Shalom everyone,

This special Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) Online Newsletter is devoted to efforts to oppose the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), based on a vote of the JVNA Advisory Committee to support a letter (below) being sent by many animal rights and vegetarian groups (list below) to Congress members. Congress may vote on CAFTA as early as Tuesday, so quick action is essential.

This newsletter contains the following items:

1. What You Can Do

2. Script for a Call to Your Congressperson

3. Sample letter

4. In Their Own Words: What Animal Exploiters Are Saying About DR-CAFTA

5. Talking Points for DR-CAFTA Lobbying

6. Script For Calling Members and Supporters

7. Sign on Letter for Animal Rights, Animal Welfare, and Vegetarian Organizations Opposed to DR-CAFTA

8. List of Groups That Signed the Letter:

9. Congresspeople to Contact


[Part of a Chapter from "Judaism and Global Survival" by Richard H. Schwartz]

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.

As always, your comments and suggestions are very welcome.


1. What You Can Do

[At a time when animal-based diets and agriculture are already contributing to an epidemic of chronic, degenerative diseases, massive abuses of animals, global warming, deforestation, rapid species losses, and many more environmental threats, water shortages, and widespread hunger, CAFTA would increase the production and consumption of animal products.]

OF “FREE TRADE”!! [And there are many additional negative factors, as indicated below.]

DR-CAFTA, the Dominican Republic-Central America free trade agreement is a major threat to wildlife, marine animals, and farmed animals. The US Senate PASSED DR-CAFTA by a vote of 54-45. The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill by the end of July. The House will be a much tougher battle for DR-CAFTA supporters, so we may still be able to kill this thing!

1)Call your Congressperson in the US House of Representatives and tell him or her to vote NO on DR-CAFTA! To contact your rep's Capitol office call the Capitol switchboard at 866-340-9281 (toll free, thanks to the United Steelworkers).Also call your rep's district office (you can find your Rep's contact info at community.hsus.org/humane/leg-lookup/search.html)

While the DC offices are prepared to take calls on legislative issues, the district offices often don't expect these calls, so they can draw more attention. Please call BOTH offices to maximize your impact. When you call, ask to speak to the trade staffer, chief of staff or legislative director. Give your name and address and tell her you are a constituent and want your Rep to vote against DR-CAFTA. (you can base your call on the script below)

2) Send a fax. Again, fax both the district and DC offices. A sample letter to fax can be found below. You can get your Representative's fax number at community.hsus.org/humane/leg-lookup/search.html In addition to letters, articles on DR-CAFTA from newspapers, magazines and the internet are great to fax. Keep sending stuff so the legislators' fax machine is always abuzz with anti-DR-CAFTA information. You can also fax your rep from the internet using www.unionvoice.org/campaign/No_CAFTA. While this form is designed to focus on the labor impacts of DR-CAFTA, it is customizable, so you can change the focus to address animal issues (a sample letter to fax is at the end of this message) . Letters from both individuals and organizations (on letterhead) are critical.

3) Link up with local groups in your area to put pressure on House members—time still remains to stop DR-CAFTA in the House of Representatives! You can find local anti-CAFTA groups at http://stopcafta.org/groups.php, and you can learn more about DR-CAFTA in general at http://stopcafta.org.

4) Join the animal rights working group on DR-CAFTA, which is researching the effects of DR-CAFTA on animal issues and mobilizing animal activists against the agreement. To become involved, email Adam Weissman at adam@wetlands-preserve.org or call (201) 968-0595.

5) Hold a rally, press conference, picket or other action (office sit-ins are expected in some cities) at a swing legislators' district office on Tuesday, the day before the scheduled vote on DR-CAFTA.

6) Set up a lobby meeting with a swing legislator (see attached Talking Points for CAFTA.doc) in his or her DC office.

7) Collaborate with environmental and human rights activists on anti-CAFTA actions. You can find potential collaborators at http://stopcafta.org/groups.php

If you have any questions, call Adam at (201) 968-0595 or email adam@wetlands-preserve.org

Thanks for taking action against DR-CAFTA!!

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2. Script for a Call to Your Congressperson

"Hello, my name is _______ and I am a constituent living in _______. I'm calling to ask Representative _______ to vote against the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA); I am deeply concerned about DR-CAFTA and believe that the agreement will have terrible consequences for animal welfare [the environment and human health] in Central America, the Dominican Republic and our own country.

Does Rep.___________________have a position on DR-CAFTA?" (If you already know you don't need to ask.

If the Representative is opposed to the agreement and will vote against it, thank him/her. Ask him/her to make that opposition public, and for a letter stating his/her position. If the Representative is undecided, say that you oppose CAFTA and tell her why (see below) and urge him or her to vote "no". If the Representative is for DR-CAFTA urge her to reconsider. Inform the office that you intend to spread the word that the Rep is voting against the public interest. If you represent an organization, let your Representative know that your group opposes DR-CAFTA and let them know how many members and supporters you have in their district.

You can tell your Rep. the following to convince him or her to vote against DR-CAFTA: "If passed, DR-CAFTA will lead to the expansion of cruel, environmentally destructive, labor exploitative "factory farm" agriculture methods as US industrial agribusiness producers attempt to increase market share and overall meat consumption in Central America and the DR-CAFTA will also open areas previously off-limits areas to industrial commercial fishing, endangering fish and sea turtles, and will endanger critical wildlife habitat in Central America. CAFTA's strong protections for corporate investors and weak environmental protections will allow corporations to use the threat of multi-billion dollar lawsuits at international tribunals to strong-arm countries into ignoring their own environmental laws protecting sensitive wildlife habitat areas.CAFTA will pave the way for more trade agreements such as the Andean Free Trade Agreement and the Free Trade Area of the Americas which would extend this flawed model to the whole Western Hemisphere."

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3. Sample letter

Dear Representative _____________:

As a constituent concerned about the welfare and rights of animals, I am writing to express my strong opposition the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement.

If passed, DR-CAFTA will lead to the expansion of cruel, environmentally destructive, labor exploitative "factory farm" agriculture methods as US industrial agribusiness producers attempt to increase market share and overall meat consumption in Central America, replacing small farmers using more traditional methods.

DR-CAFTA will also open areas previously off-limits coastal areas to industrial commercial fishing, endangering fish and sea turtles, areas previously only open to small, local fishermen who catch more selectively.

Oxfam International believes that DR-CAFTA will threaten the livelihood of thousands of small rice producing farmers, most of who already live in poverty. The rice sector provides for approximately 1.5 million jobs in the Central American countries, yet the small farmers of Central America might find themselves in a similar situation as small Mexican farmers found themselves 10 years ago under NAFTA. Peasant farmers who were driven off their lands were forced to clear trees for farming and for fuel. Since the implementation of NAFTA, the annual rate of deforestation in Mexico rose to 1.1 million hectares. The previous rate of 600 thousand hectares per year was practically doubled, and Mexico has one of the highest deforestation rates in the Western Hemisphere

CAFTA's strong protections for corporate investors and weak environmental protections will allow corporations to use the threat of multi-billion dollar lawsuits at international tribunals to strong-arm countries into ignoring their own environmental laws protecting sensitive wildlife habitat areas. DR-CAFTA will also pave the way for more trade agreements such as the Andean Free Trade Agreement and the Free Trade Area of the Americas which would extend this flawed model to the whole Western Hemisphere.

DR-CAFTA is a bad deal for animals and I urge you to vote against it. Please respond to this fax with a letter clarifying your position on this issue. If you do intend to vote against DR-CAFTA, please speak out and encourage other members of Congress to do the same.

(Your Name)
(Your Organization, if applicable)

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4. In Their Own Words:
What Animal Exploiters Are Saying About DR-CAFTA

"The Free Trade Agreement negotiated between the United States and Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, if implemented, will create important new opportunities for U.S. pork producers" –
Source: National Pork Producers' Council, http://www.nppc.org/hot_topics/drcafta.html

"Pork producers nationwide have been writing letters, calling, and visiting their Members of Congress for months now to emphasize the fact that the CAFTA-DR is a big win for U.S. pork producers and ask for their support,"
Source: National Pork Producer's Council President Don Buhl, as quoted in Thepigsite.com Newsletter, Tuesday 31st May 2005

"The National Chicken Council, the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council, and the National Turkey Federation have expressed support publicly for the CAFTA-DR FTA."
Source: United States-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, State Fact Sheets, February 2005

" The National Milk Producers Federation, the U.S. Dairy Export Council, the Grocery Manufacturers of America, and the National Food Processors Association have expressed support publicly for the CAFTA-DR FTA. "
Source: United States-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement, State Fact Sheets, February 2005

"For cattle producers, losing CAFTA-DR would mean losing money-making opportunities, says Jim McAdams, an Adkins, Texas, cattleman and [National Cattleman's Beef Association]president. This agreement would open new export markets for our high-quality U.S. beef. We simply have nothing to lose. The only way I can figure cattlemen could oppose CAFTA would be if they didn’t read the agreement.
Source: National Cattleman's Beef Association Press Release: Calling All Cattlemen: Rally for CAFTA Over Memorial Day Recess, NCBA joins U.S. business and agriculture groups in nationwide fight for trade, May 25, 2005

"DR-CAFTA will increase U.S. textile, apparel and leather exports by 15% or $803 million. "

"Other industry-supported farm groups like the National Cattlemen's Beef Assoc. and the National Pork Producers Council hailed the trade pact as "commercially-viable" whatever that means because it opens the central American markets to US meat exports."

"If DR-CAFTA is passed, trade with those countries at the Port of Tampa is calculated to double over the next 10 years, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce study. Exports are dominated by fertilizers. Companies in the Tampa Bay area also conduct trade through other ports in a wide variety of goods, from automobiles to frozen poultry and fishing nets."

"More than half of U.S. agricultural products will become eligible for duty-free treatment in these countries immediately upon implementation of the agreements, with most remaining duties on U.S. products phased out over 15 years. Examples of U.S. exports to the Central American region that can be expected to gain significantly from CAFTA include ... poultry ($47 million), dairy products ($25 million), pork ($18 million), and beef ($7 million). Some key export commodities to the Dominican Republic include ...dairy products ($9 million)...and poultry ($5 million)."
Source: 38 Agricultural Groups Urge U.S. Congress to Support DR-CAFTA Friday, September 03, 2004, Business Coalition for US-Central America Trade

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5. Talking Points for DR-CAFTA Lobbying

Urge Congressmember in the US House of Representatives to vote AGAINST DR-CAFTA, the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement. (H.R.3045).
DR-CAFTA: a bad deal for animals, human health, and the environment!

Here’s why:

* Expanded cruelty to farmed animals: - DR-CAFTA will over time eliminate import tariffs that keep prices high on US meat, dairy, and egg products in Central America and the Dominican Republic. This will allow industrial style, factory farmed animal products, which can produced more cheaply, to flood the market in these countries, driving local producers using traditional agriculture methods our of business—or forcing them to switch to factory farming in order to stay competitive. Factory farms, which intensively confine animals in filth and squalor, are widely viewed as inhumane.

* Public health in Latin America at risk US agribusiness interests view DR-CAFTA as an opportunity to dramatically increase consumption of animal products in Latin America by making cheap meat products more available. While this may be profitable, it will be a public health disaster for Latin America. Increased consumption of meat and dairy products in the Caribbean and Latin America have led to dramatic increases in diabetes and heart disease rates, with experts predicting that 62% of global diabetes will be in these regions by 2025. DR-CAFTA will hasten this trend.

* More factory farms mean degraded water quality in US and DR-CAFTA countries. Environmentalists consider hog and poultry factory farms to be one of the most significant sources of water contamination. As the US seeks to supply more of the market for animal products in DR-CAFTA countries, factory farming will expand domestically, putting more communities at risk of being sites for polluting factory farms. As producers in DR-CAFTA countries shift towards factory farming to stay competitive, the impact will be more dire, as many regions in these countries lack adequate facilities for water filtration.

* Expanded damage to rangelands Increased beef production will lead to the further degradation of rangelands, including taxpayer subsidized public lands.

* Marine life threatened by expanded fishing As commercial zones are increased and regulatory controls are undermined under DR-CAFTA, allowing for larger enterprises to move into areas previously zoned solely for small fisherman and their use of larger nets,. This destructive practice not only catches more of the fish, it also sweeps up other species that have been left alone by small fisherman, like sea turtles.

* Weak environmental protections endanger wildlife DR-CAFTA countries are critical habitat for 1000 bird species, over 600 species of reptiles and several hundred types of mammals. Three out of four migratory bird routes in the Western Hemisphere pass through the CAFTA countries. Of the 836 migratory bird species that are listed in the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act, some 350 neo-tropical migratory species (mainly songbirds) migrate through or are winter residents of the CAFTA countries. Loss of habitat means starvation and death for their resident animals, making environmental preservation an animal rights issue as well as a conservation issue.

* Corporate investors protected over environment DR-CAFTA’s weak environmental protections, contrasted with its strong protections for corporate investors, provisions for corporations to sue countries over natural resource agreements, and ability for corporations to sue nations for unlimited sums in international tribunals severely imperils protection of critical wildlife habitat areas. The Costa Rican courts recently threw out a suit from Harken Energy where the company sued the country for $58 billion (Costa Rica’s entire annual GDP is only $38 billion). If they had threatened to bring this suit to an international tribunal under CAFTA, the threat alone would have forced Costa Rica to concede and settle, regardless of whether Harken would have been able to substantiate their case in the end. If the project had proceeded as intended, sea turtle nesting beaches, rare manatees, and over 100 species of fish would have suffered.

* Deforestation danger Forest ecosystems in Central America represent critical and irreplaceable wildlife habitat. Already experiencing an unprecedented rate of destruction, DR-CAFTA will hasten the logging of these forests. Oxfam International has warned that DR-CAFTA may replicate the increased deforestation that came as a result of US corn dumping on Mexico. 1.5 million small farmers were driven off their land. This led to an upsurge in tree clearing for farming and fuel. Subsequent to NAFTA’ implementation, the annual rate of deforestation in Mexico rose to 1.1 million hectares, practically doubling the pre-NAFTA rate of 600 thousand hectares per year was practically doubled. Under DR-CAFTA this phenomenon is likely to be repeated with Central America’s rice farmers. This will also hasten a trend already seen in El Salvador—as farmers are forced out of business by cheap agriculture imports, they move to the cities for work. Forested rural areas are cleared to open to roads and logged for development. Even the U.S. trade negotiators admit that DR-CAFTA could contribute to the ‘loss of migratory bird habitat’ through investments in the agricultural sector.”

* Mangrove habitat threatened DR-CAFTA will allow large-scale dumping of imported shrimp on the US, resulting in increased logging of Central American mangrove forests to create shrimp farms, destroying refuge and nursery grounds for juvenile fish, crabs, shrimps, and mollusks, and shelter for birds.

Additional Info:
The Activism Center at Wetlands Preserve, PO Box 344, NY, NY 10108
(201) 968-0595 Email: activism@wetlands-preserve.org
Web: http://wetlands-preserve.org

New York City People's Referedum on Free Trade, 130 West 29th Street #9F, New York, NY 10001 Phone: (646) 245-9931 Email: newyorkcispes@mindspring.com
Web: http://ftaareferendum.org

Websites on DR-CAFTA:

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6. Script For Calling Members and Supporters

Here is a script for calling members and supporters to ask them to call their legislators against DR-CAFTA

Outreach Call Script

Hi, my name is ______________ and I’m calling from _____________________ to ask you to call and fax Rep. __________ in opposition to the Dominican Republic-Central America free trade agreement, DR-CAFTA. DR-CAFTA will mean increased factory farming, more meat consumption in Central America and the Dominican Republic and destruction of habitat for wildlife. You can call Rep. ____________ at _____________ and fax (him/her) at ____________. Urge her to vote NO! on DR-CAFTA, an inhumane trade deal. Be sure to give your name and address when you call. Do you have any questions? Thanks for speaking out for animals!

(Note: When finding out which people in your database are in a swing voters’ district, you will find some zip codes split over 2 or more districts. To find out which district one of the people in these zip codes resides in, you can run their address here.)

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7. Sign on Letter for Animal Rights, Animal Welfare, and Vegetarian Organizations Opposed to DR-CAFTA
[JVNA is now on the list of signers.]

Dear Member of Congress:

We, the undersigned animal rights, animal welfare, and vegetarian
organizations, are writing to express our opposition to the Dominican Republic-Central America Free Trade Agreement.

This agreement poses a serious threat to the welfare of billions of nonhuman animals, including farmed animals, marine animals, and terrestrial wildlife, as well as to human health and the environment.

Expansion of Factory Farming

Under DR-CAFTA, animal agribusiness interests view the elimination of import tariffs as an opportunity to dramatically increase exports of beef, pork, dairy, and poultry products and to undercut small farmers in Latin America using traditional agriculture methods. US agribusiness will flood Latin American markets with cheaply produced meat and dairy products created with cruel, industrial scale methods, including “factory farm” agriculture.

Latin American producers using traditional methods fear that these cheap imports will force them to shift to a US-style intensive confinement factory farm systems to remain competitive. The high volumes of water used to clean these factory farms will be a serious concern for the environment and public health in areas lacking adequate water treatment facilities.Beyond absorbing market share from Dominican and Central American producers, agribusiness interests also view DR-CAFTA as an opportunity to dramatically increase consumption of animal products in Latin America by making cheap meat products more available. While this may be profitable, it will be a public health disaster for Latin America.

Already, increased consumption of meat and dairy products in the Caribbean and Latin America have led to dramatic increases in diabetes and heart disease rates, with experts predicting that 62% of global diabetes will be in these regions by 2025.

This increase in consumption will also mean increased production. This will guarantee more animal suffering and environmental degradation. Factory farm poultry and pork production are two of the most severe causes of water pollution in the US. Increased beef production will
lead to the further degradation of rangelands, including taxpayer subsidized public lands.

Marine Life Threatened by Expanded Fishing

As commercial zones are increasing and regulatory controls are undermined, larger enterprises will move into areas previously zoned solely for small fisherman and their use of larger nets. This destructive practice not only catches more of the fish, it also sweeps up other species that have been left alone by small fisherman, like sea turtles. This is just one example of the ways in which plant and marine biodiversity is gravely threatened by CAFTA-DR.


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8. List of Groups That Signed the Letter:

National Organizations:
Animal Protection Institute
Committee to Abolish Sport Hunting
EarthSave International
Friends of Animals
Humane Farming Association
In Defense of Animals
League of Humane Voters USA
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
United Poultry Concerns
Vegan Research Institute
Voice for A Viable Future
Wildlife Watch

No Compromise
Veg News Magazine

Local Organizations
Activism Center at Wetlands Preserve
AESOP-Project [Allied Effort to Save Other Primates]
Alliance for Animals
Animal Acres
Animal Defense League-Los Angeles
Animal Protection and Rescue League
Animal Protection of New Mexico
Animal Rights and Rescue Coalition
Cape Cod Coalition for Animal Rights
Delaware Action for Animals
Division of Animal Welfare
Eastern Shore Sanctuary and Education Center
Feral Cat Caretakers Coalition
League for Earth and Animal Protection
League of Humane Voters of Ohio
Mercy for Animals
Michigan Animal Rights Society
Orlando Animal Rights Alliance
Rattle the Cage Productions www.RattletheCage.org
Showing Animal Respect And Kindness
Sonoma People for Animal Rights
Southern California Vegetarians
The Coalition for New York City Animals, Inc.
The Empathy Project
Uconn Animal Rights Club
Unitarian Universalists for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - Los Angeles
Voices for Animals

Woodstock Animal Rights Movement

Animal-Friendly Businesses
Oh Sweet Mamas

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9. Members of Congress to Contact

* Bonner (AL1)
* Everett (AL2)
* Aderholt (AL4)
* Cramer (AL5)

* Pombo (CA11)
* Eshoo (CA14)
* Lofgren (CA16)
* Gallegly (CA24)
* Davis (CA53)

* Brown-Waite (FL5)
* Stearns (FL6)
* Davis (FL11)
* Meek (FL17)
* Foley (FL16)
* Wasserman-Schultz (FL20)

* Bishop (GA2)
* Deal (GA10)
* Gingrey (GA11)
* Scott (GA13)

* Souder (IN3)
* Hostettler (IN8)
* Sodrel (IN9)

* Clay (MO1)
* Skelton (MO4)
* Emerson (MO8)

New York
* McCarthy (NY4)
* Meeks (NY6)
* Towns (NY10)
* McHugh (NY23)
* Boehlert (NY24)
* Walsh (NY25)
* Kuhl (NY29)

North Carolina
* Etheridge (NC2)
* Price (NC4)
* Coble (NC6)
* Fox[x] (NC5)
* McHenry (NC10)
* Hayes (NC8)
* Miller (NC13)
* Watt (NC12)

* Turner (OH3)
* Regula (OH16)
* Ney (OH18)
* LaTourette (OH14)

* Weldon (PA7)
* Gerlach (PA6)
* Fitzpatrick (PA8)
* Murphy (PA18)
* Platt[s] (PA19)

* Jenkins (TN1)
* Duncan (TN2)
* Cooper (TN5)
* Blackburn (TN7)
* Ford (TN9)

* Hinojosa (TX15)
* Reyes (TX16)
* Edwards (TX17)
* Gonzalez (TX20)
* Ortiz (TX27)
* Johnson (TX30)

Other Republicans
* Bishop (UT1)
* Capito (WV2)
* Davis (VA1)
* Ehlers (MI3)
* Gibbons (Ct) ?not listed
* Gutknecht (MN1)
* Hefley (CO5)
* Moran (KS1)
* Petri (WI5)
* Walden (OR2)

Other Democrats
* Bean (Il8)
* Boren (Ok2)
* Matheson (UT2)
* Moore (KS3)
* Snyder (AR2)
* Ross (AR4)

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[Part of a Chapter from “Judaism and Global Survival” by Richard H. Schwartz]

I saw all the oppressions that are practiced under the sun. Behold, the tears of the oppressed, they had no one to comfort them! On the side of the oppressors there was power.
Ecclesiastes 4:1

To survey conditions for most of the world's people today is to see the extent to which Jewish teachings about justice, compassion and sharing have been neglected. The tremendous injustice and inequality that prevail in the world today are well described by Lester Brown, former Director of the WorldWatch Institute:

In effect, our world today is in reality two worlds, one rich, one poor; one literate, one largely illiterate; one industrial and urban, and one agrarian and rural, one overfed and overweight, one hungry and malnourished; one affluent and consumption-oriented, one poverty stricken and survival-oriented. North of this line [separating the wealthy from the poor], life expectancy closely approaches the Biblical ‘threescore and ten;’ south of it, many do not survive infancy. In the North, economic opportunities are plentiful and social mobility is high. In the South, economic opportunities are scarce and societies are rigidly stratified.

The vast social and economic gaps between countries can be demonstrated through many significant statistics comparing the developed countries (U.S., Canada, Japan, England, France, etc.) and the "developing" countries (Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Pakistan, etc.). The per capita GNP of the United States is over 70 times that of Sierra Leone, even with an adjustment for “purchasing power parity.” A child born in Sweden can expect to live an average of forty-three years longer than a child born in Zambia. Almost 20 percent of the babies born in Angola don't live until their first birthday, compared to less than one percent for France, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark and many other European countries. Only three percent of the population in all sixteen countries of Western Africa can expect to live to 65, compared to eighteen percent of the population in Italy. A person’s place of birth certainly makes a difference!

It is difficult for people in wealthy countries to realize the extent of the
abject, chronic poverty experienced by so many of our brothers and sisters
in the world.

* Poverty means malnutrition. A third to a half of the world's people are undernourished (not enough calories) or malnourished (not enough of certain nutrients). Over 450 million people are severely and chronically malnourished.

* Poverty means illiteracy and lack of proper education. Over 46 percent of women in Africa were literate in 1995. In the less developed countries, only about half the children of secondary school age are in secondary schools, compared to almost 100 percent enrollment in such schools in the more developed countries.

* Poverty means sickness and inadequate health care. One-third to one-half of the world's people have no access to health care. Few people infected with AIDS in poorer countries can afford the life-extending drugs used in wealthier countries.

* Poverty means high infant and child mortality. Almost nine percent of the children born in Africa in 2000 died before their first birthday. Hunger and related preventable diseases kill about 34,000 children under the age of five daily -- over 12 million per year.

* Poverty means doing without basic necessities. Economist Robert Heilbroner has outlined what the life-style of a typical family living in an underdeveloped country is like: a minimum of furniture, a minimum of clothes, very crowded conditions, a paucity of food, no running water, no electricity, no newspapers, magazines, or books, perhaps a radio, very few government services, no postal service or firefighters, perhaps a school three miles away consisting of two classrooms, perhaps a clinic ten miles away, tended by a midwife, and barely any money.

* Poverty means stunted brain development in children. Because of hunger and malnutrition, infant in developing countries will never be able to properly concentrate, learn, or achieve the intellectual levels of which they are inherently capable. Thus the legacy of impoverishment and unemployment continues through the generations.

* Poverty means the anguish of impossible choices, the grief of watching the people you love die, the humiliation of not being able to provide for your family, the painful challenge of surviving day by day, and the powerlessness to change one’s fortunes.


Poverty and other global issues cannot be fully discussed without considering economic globalization, a process that is causing a fundamental redesign of the planet's economic, social, and political systems. It is producing a gigantic power shift, moving real economic and political power away from local, state, and national, governments and communities toward global banks, corporations, and the global bureaucracies these have created.

Some of the aspects of globalization are:

* The expansion of trade with much easier movement of goods and services across the world; between 1950 and 1998, export of goods between countries surged seventeen-fold – from $311 billion to $5.4 trillion – while the world economy only expanded six-fold.

* the opening up of capital markets, which increases the movement of money across the world; capital flows to developing countries soared from $21 billion in 1970 to $227 billion in 1998, an eleven-fold increase.

* increased foreign investment, with companies investing more overseas by building plants, buying stock in foreign countries, and contracting subsidiaries; global foreign direct investment increased from $44 billion to $644 billion from 1970 to 1998.

* improved access to communication, including the development of new technology like the Internet and greater availability of wireless and other telephones; the internet grew by about fifty percent per year from 1995 to 1998, after more than doubling in size annually, on average, during the previous fifteen years ; the number of lines linking non-cellular phones to the global network jumped eight-fold between 1960 and 1998, from 89 million to 839 million.

* a very rapid growth in transnational corporations; The number of TNCs worldwide soared from 7,000 in 1970 to 53,600 in 1998.

To achieve such rapid growth, globalization requires unrestricted free trade, privatization of enterprise, and deregulation of corporate activity, which together remove the impediments that might stand in the way of expanded corporate activity. These impediments include environmental, public health, and food safety laws, laws that guarantee workers’ rights and opportunities, laws that permit nations to control investment in their countries, and laws that seek to retain national controls over local culture. These laws are viewed as obstacles to corporate free trade and are quickly being eliminated or scaled back by major new trade agreements. And while corporations are being deregulated and freed from constraints, nation-states and states and local governments are being harshly regulated and constrained, thus making it increasingly difficult to protect local tradition, identity, and jobs, as well as the environment and national sovereignty.

Economic globalization could be providing many more benefits than have so far been shown. However, it has resulted in many negative effects because of its values and objectives. These include:

* giving primacy to economic—primarily corporate—values above all others. Through such institutions as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the North American Free Trade Association (NAFTA), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), and treaties such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), corporations have gained extraordinary new powers. Corporate interests and profits are furthered by these unaccountable, undemocratic global bureaucracies, often at the expense of human needs and the web of life on earth. They are the true governing bodies in the global economy, usurping the powers that nations formerly had.

* unifying and integrating all economic activity within a centralized “supersystem.” Countries with very different cultures and economic traditions must all merge their economic activities within a single conceptual framework. The net result is what some economists call "global monoculture" — the global homogenization of culture, lifestyle, economic practice, and ideology with the corresponding sacrifice of local traditions, arts, values, and traditional small-scale economic practices. The result is that every place is starting to look very much like every other place, with the same malls and superstores, restaurant franchises, and chain hotels, the same clothes, the same cars, the same high-rise buildings, and increasingly the same music, art, and television programs.

* undermining all considerations except economic ones. Economic globalization glorifies the free market and its principle actors — global corporations — as the engines and benefactors of the process. It places supreme importance on achieving increasingly rapid economic growth and thus constantly seeks new markets, new resources, and new and cheaper labor sources.

The power of the largest corporations and of the wealthiest people is increasing. The collective worth of the world's 475 billionaires equals the combined incomes of the bottom fifty percent of humanity. Fifty of the largest one hundred economies in the world are corporations. Mitsubishi is the twenty-second largest economy in the world, General Motors the twenty-sixth, and Ford the thirty-first. Each is larger than those of many countries, including Norway, Chile, Turkey, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and New Zealand.

It is questionable whether globalization can work even on its own terms. Can the limits of a finite planet be ignored? Are there sufficient resources — water, minerals, wood, fuel — to continue the desired rapid economic growth? Where will the effluents from this ambitious undertaking—the solids, the toxic wastes—be dumped? Can the ever-increasing consumption of commodities be ecologically sustained?

There is certainly great potential value to a closer, better-connected world. Today we can know much more quickly and fully about problems in every part of the globe, and therefore potentially respond faster and more effectively. Trade and communication can bring information and jobs to previously isolated groups of poor people. Activists and movements across the earth can more easily connect and work together. Oppressive governments and terrorist organizations can be more closely scrutinized and exposed. Universal values such as human rights, the equality of women, vigilant protection of the environment; freedom of speech and religion, the rights of children, fighting disease and hunger, reducing or eliminating land mines, nuclear missiles, and chemical and biological weapons, and stopping torture and oppression can be widely advocated, publicized, and organized around. Everyone gains the opportunity to learn about, and can come to appreciate, cultures and sites and natural phenomena which are worlds away. When limited by stringent guarantees of fair conditions, hours, and compensation for workers and care for ecosystems, international trade can reach and empower impoverished and suppressed individuals and groups.

But many negative effects of globalization are already apparent:

* Working people in developed countries are losing jobs to corporate flight and to high-tech machines and have been placed in a downward wage competition with workers in poorer countries. Many people believe that big employ more of the world’s labor force than do smaller businesses. However, according to the Washington-based Institute for Policy Studies, while the two hundred largest corporations in the world account for approximately thirty per cent of global economic activity, they employ less than 1/2 of one per cent of the global work force. The reason is economies of scale: as companies get larger, it becomes more efficient for them to replace thousands of workers with robots and other machines. And as large companies begin to dominate their industries, they drive out smaller competitors and reduce the workforce. Such economies of scale are intrinsic to globalization. Hence, consolidations and mergers result in fewer jobs, not more in developed countries.

* In spite of the tremendous growth and spread of technology, with increasing numbers of people using computers, cellular phones, and other instruments of modern technology, poverty is still very widespread and is growing. In 2000, 1.3 billion of the world’s six billion people lived on less than one dollar per day, and three billion people lived on less than two dollars a day. From 1960 to 2000, the world’s richest twenty percent increased their fraction of the world’s wealth from seventy percent to 86 percent, while the poorest twenty percent of the world’s population experienced a decrease from 2.3 percent to about one percent. While some corporate profits were at record levels, with many top executives’ annual salaries in the millions of dollars, the real wages of most ordinary workers in developed countries were decreasing in real terms and good jobs were being replaced by temporary or part-time jobs.

* Diverse local farm production and local trades in poorer nations that encourage self-reliance are being replaced by huge corporate farms – monocultures -- that no longer grow food for local people, but instead grow flowers, beef, or coffee for export to the global economy. The result of this process is that millions of the world's formerly self-sufficient small farmers are becoming homeless, landless refugees.

* In India, Africa, and Latin America, millions of indigenous people and small farmers are displaced to make way for gigantic dams and other development projects. The result is that more people join the landless, jobless urban masses. Cities are now attempting to absorb millions of the newly landless refugees roaming the globe searching for a home and the rare, poorly paid job.

* The gap between the wealthy and the poor within countries and among countries is rapidly increasing, and globalization accelerates the problem by separating people from their traditional livelihoods and by creating a terrible downward pressure on wages everywhere—including Third World countries, where low wages represemt the only so-called comparative advantage, meaning that if wages are not kept down, there might be no jobs at all.

A report from the Institute for Policy Studies in 1999 showed that American CEOs were paid, on average, 419 times more than assembly-line workers, the highest ratio in the world. The report showed worker’s median hourly wages (adjusted for inflation) down by 10 per cent in the past twenty-five years. The U.S. Federal Reserve reports that the top 20 per cent of the U.S. population owns 84.6 per cent of the country’s wealth. That makes local self-reliance very difficult to achieve.

* For most Third World countries, free trade has had negative effects. For example, in 1986, Haiti grew most of its rice, the main staple food of the country, and imported only 7,000 tons of rice. In the late 1980s, as Haiti lifted tariffs on rice imports in compliance with free trade policies insisted upon by international lending agencies, cheaper rice flowed in from the U.S., where the rice industry receives government subsidies. Haiti’s peasant farmers could not compete, By 1996 Haiti’s rice production became negligible and the country was importing 196,000 tons of foreign rice at a cost of $100 million per year. After the dependence on foreign rice was complete, and the Haitian people were dependent on grain imports, prices increased substantially, and a hungry nation became even hungrier.

Because of such conditions, poor countries are on a treadmill and have to work harder and harder just to maintain their (inadequate) standard of living. These unfavorable trade relations produce what is known as the "spiral of debt." It happens because the developing countries are locked in by the economic, political, and military power of wealthy countries. They must export cheap items and import more expensive ones.

* The imperatives of global economic expansion, accelerated by free trade, the overuse of resources, and the consumer lifestyle being promoted worldwide by advertising, are a major factor behind environmental problems such as global climate change, habitat destruction, ozone depletion, ocean pollution, and shortages of water and other resources. As environmental leader Paul Hawken says:

Given current corporate practices, not one wildlife reserve, wilderness, or indigenous culture will survive the global economy. We know that every natural system on the planet is disintegrating. The land, water, air, and sea have been functionally transformed from life-supporting systems into repositories for waste. There is no polite way to say that business is destroying the world.

* Using the technologies of global computer networks, currency speculators can move vast amounts of money, invisibly and instantaneously, from one part of the world to another, destabilizing currencies and countries, and forcing nations to seek the harsh solutions of an International Monetary Fund bailout. This has already destabilized many countries’ economies and was a significant factor in the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis.

* The central control of much of the world food supply and seed supply by giant corporations which effectively determine where food will be grown, by whom, and what price consumers will ultimately pay, contributes to widespread hunger. Food formerly eaten by the people who grew it is now exported—transported thousands of miles at major environmental cost—to be eaten by affluent people who are already well-fed, or fed in large amounts to farmed animals who are destined for slaughter. As indicated in Chapter six, global agribusiness and international monetary organizations are trying to double the number of farmed animals by 2020, through encouraging the consumption of animal products in developing countries, despite the many negative effects of animal-based diets and agriculture.

* There have been recent outbreaks of deadly new diseases such as Ebola, mad cow disease, e-coli, and the West Nile virus. While generally not reported in the press, there is a connection between those outbreaks and the new mobility provided to disease vectors global transport. Microbes and species that were once contained within geographic boundaries are now let loose by travel and trade. The industrialization of agriculture for mass export production to serve global economies plays a role in the outbreaks of e-coli, mad cow, and foot and mouth diseases.

* There have been assaults on the last indigenous tribes in the Amazon, Borneo, and the Philippines because of the need of the globalization process for more water, forests, or genetic resources in areas where the Indians have lived for millennia, and because of the desire to convert self-sufficient people into consumers. This is rapidly leading to the monoculturalization of peoples and lands, and the homogenization of cultural frameworks.

* The growing emphasis on export and import as part of the new global system requires vast new road-building and road-widening schemes and an expanded transport infrastructure with more high-speed traffic. As a result, the quality of rural life is rapidly worsening.

* Ed Ayres, editor of WorldWatch, summarizes the effects of globalization on local communities “where growing numbers of people find their sense of security being eroded by a phalanx of larger forces”:

There is the “Wal-Mart” phenomenon, for example, in which a large chain store uses its marketing muscle to drive local stores out of business, while taking what used to be the local owners’ revenues and sending them off to distant corporate coffers. There is the related “empty storefront” phenomenon, in which the increasing concentration of an industry into larger, more “efficient” outlets means fewer outlets remain in small communities (the numbers of independent car dealers, food stores. drug stores, book stores, and farms in the wealthy countries have all declined sharply in the past several decades). In the developing countries, there is the “structural adjustment” phenomenon, wherein international lending agencies have pushed governments to adopt policies favoring production for export at the expense of local self-sufficiency. And wherever urban areas are expanding around the world, whether into exploding suburbs or imploding shantytowns, there is the “don’t know my neighbors” problem. Even as we humans become more numerous, we become more socially isolated and uneasy.

In summary, many problems — overcrowded cities, unusual new weather patterns, the growth of global poverty, the spread of new diseases, the lowering of wages, the elimination of social services, the reduction of national soverignty and local democracy, the destruction of the environment, decaying communities, and the loss of indigenous culture — are all strongly linked to the same global processes. They are tied to the world's new economic arrangement, in the cause of an economic ideology that cannot serve social or ecological sustainability.

In the end it comes down to this: Who should make the rules we live by? Should it be democratic governments, influenced by local communities concerned about what is good for people and the environment? Or should it be the global community of transnational bankers, corporations, and speculators? The new rules of globalization are actively undermining people’s ability to control their own fate.

Because of the many negative effects of economic globalization, there have been many recent protests against it. In November, 1999, tens of thousands of people from all over the world took to the streets of Seattle in a massive protest against the policies of the WTO. The angry protesters comprised a very varied group, including farmers, immigration-rights activists, labor unions, environmentalists, small-business people, animal rights activists, religious practitioners, and even some conservatives.

The “battle of Seattle” marked a critical turning point. While only six or seven years ago the term “globalization” was virtually unknown, there is suddenly an outburst of pain and anger against many aspects of it. Since Seattle, there have been major protests at meetings of international trade and monetary groups in Washington, D.C, in April 2000, in Chiang Mai, Thailand in May 2000, in Melbourne, Australia in early September 2000 , in Prague in late September 2000 and in Genoa, Italy in July, 2001. Resistance is growing, and the media are beginning to pay attention.
Many of these demonstrations have been marred by senseless violence, much of it initiated by relatively small groups of nihilistic conflict-seekers and faux 'anarchists'. The vast majority of protesters have been sincere and peaceful, and in fact the movement critical of the way globalization has developed in actual practice has created closeness and communication between such diverse groups as ecological campaigners, sweatshop opponents, trade unionists, advocates for the Third World, and critics of the bioengineering of foods.
A striking governmental confirmation of the extremely harmful impacts of international monetary organizations came from a 1998 report of the International Financial Institution Advisory Committee. This committee was created by the U.S. Congress and its report is commonly known as the Meltzer Report, after its chairman Alan Meltzer, a conservative academic. Among its devastating conclusions are:

* rather than promoting economic growth, the IMF institutionalizes economic stagnation.

* The World Bank is irrelevant, not central, to the goal of eliminating global poverty.

* Both the World Bank and the IMF are driven primarily by the political and economic interests of the wealthy nations, rather than the needs of the poor.

* The IMF’s mandate of ensuring a stable global financial order was often undermined by its encouragement of irresponsible investments, and by its prescribing of tight fiscal policies that worsened the situation rather than improving it in countries facing crises.

In September 2001, about 300 religious leaders signed a Statement & Call, "Global Arrogance or Planetary Community? -- A Call to Communities of Faith" that was developed and distributed by the Shalom Center and several other organizations involved with global issues, including the Religious Working Group on the World Bank and IMF. The introductory section of the Statement and Call indicated that the signers were covenanting together to oppose “unaccountable corporate globalization’” and “to seek instead a planetary community of the earth and its peoples, workers and congregants, families and neighborhoods.”

The Statement called on signers to bring the Statement and Call and the teachings of their religious traditions about "globalization" to their home congregations and communities through a fast of contrition and commitment, of some duration in late September or early October, 2001, and a gathering in Washington, D.C. on the night of Saturday, September 29, 2001 for a religious service and a candle-light vigil.

The Statement and Call asserted:

The global corporations have invented unaccountable, undemocratic institutions [including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund] to shield them from the will of the people….[These institutions advance corporate interests by] insisting that loans and grants be conditioned on [cutbacks in desperately needed] social programs, public schools, public health, and water supplies… [by imposing] privatization of the basic needs of life,…[by encouraging] sweatshops and the smashing of labor unions…,by destroying the lives and hopes of children [and supporting child labor]…, by doing all this first to the poor in the poorest societies… and then, through the threat of capital export and cut-throat competition, putting workers, consumers, and the earth itself in danger in even the more prosperous societies.” The call and statement ended by demanding that “The World Bank and IMF cancel the crushing debt of the nations that [those same international organizations] themselves have impoverished and forced into debt,…[condition all grants and loans on] workers’ freedom to organize unions and everyone’s freedom to [advocate protection of the environment] and…that they open their own meetings and deliberation to public scrutiny and democratic control.

As a follow up to the Statement and Call, the Shalom Center is preparing study guides for synagogues and churches that will facilitate local congregational work on five major aspects of globalization -- top-down control; damage to the earth; the oppression of workers; the pressure for overwhelming overwork that distorts families, neighborhoods, and spiritual life; and the destruction of public health and other public services -- and to bring sacred texts and teachings to bear on those problems.

Fortunately, there is an alternative to current economic globalization practices, an approach far better for the world’s people as well as for global sustainability. This is the way of genuinely applying Jewish values: bal tashchit (reducing waste), so that we are not dependent on repressive regimes for resources; treating every person as created in God's image, so that we will work to end violations of human rights wherever they occur; the pursuit of justice, to end the conditions whereby a minority of the world's people prosper while the majority lack food and other basic human needs; and the pursuit of peace, so that arms races that drain the world's labor, ingenuity, and resources can be reduced. Only these alternatives can result in global harmony and humane conditions for the world's people.


Judaism encompasses universal as well as particular concerns. Particularistic aspects include observances of the Sabbath and holy days, rules of kashrut (kosher eating), and prayer obligations. Jews are taught to be especially concerned about their co-religionists: "All Israel is responsible, one for each other." However, the message of Judaism is also universal, expressing concern for each person and every nation. We have already discussed many Jewish teachings related to humanity: Every person is created in God's image; every life is sacred and is to be treated with dignity and respect; we should be kind to the stranger, for we were strangers in the land of Egypt; we should show compassion even to enemies.

Additional Jewish universal teachings include:

SNIP (due to lack of space in this message)

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