October 30, 2007

10/30/2007 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Jewish Vegetarian Group in L.A. Schedules Meeting

2. Jonathan Safran Foer to Publish Vegetarian-related Book

3. JVNA Mentioned in a Jerusalem Post Article

4. Animal Rights Group to Unveil “A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion”/Please Consider Attending

5. You Can Help Vegetarian-Related Poem Win a Prize

6. Israeli Vegetarians Open a Vegetarian/Vegan Hotel and Resort in Costa Rica

7. A Chance to Get a Vegetarian Message to Al Gore

8. California Leads Efforts To Improve Conditions for Farm Animals

9. Important Vegetarian Talk Scheduled by JVNA Advisor

10. Israeli School Children Help Cleanup Campaign

11. Hazon Plans Food-Related Conference/Please Consider Attending

12. Humane Society of the US (HSUS) Starts an “Animals and Religion” Program

13. Excerpts From the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership Newsletter

14. Vegetarian Times Article Outlines 15 Reasons for Vegetarianism

15. Action Alert: Reducing Fur Sales

16. Web Site Provides Useful Information For Spiritual/Ethical/Environmental/Vegetarian Investing

17. My Old Article on “Mad People Disease” Posted by the European Vegetarian Union News Agency

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 the kashrut, Shabbat observances, or any other Jewish observances, 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. Also, JVNA does not necessarily agree with all positions of groups whose views are included or whose events are announced in this newsletter.

As always, your comments and suggestions are very welcome.



1. Jewish Vegetarian Group in L.A. Schedules Meeting

[It is great that there are Jewish vegetarian groups in various areas. If you would like to help publicize your group and events, please send us information. Thanks.]

The Jewish Vegetarian Society of Los Angeles invites you to join us for an enjoyable monthly meeting:

2:00 PM. November 4, 2007
Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue (meeting room)
15739 Ventura Blvd, Encino
Free and Everyone is invited. No age restrictions

Speaker: The reknown Mike Anderson, author of the DVD "EATING" and the RAVE eating plan
Event type: education, health
Areas: L.A., San Fernando Valley, Westside, Santa Monica
Posting: Singles, Community

Return to Top

2. Jonathan Safran Foer to Publish Vegetarian-related Book

Forwarded message:

Foer writing farm non-fiction

By JOHN EBY / Dowagiac Daily News
Friday, October 26, 2007 10:14 AM EDT

How do you follow two wildly acclaimed novels about researching his grandfather's life in Ukraine, which became a movie starring Elijah Wood, and a 9-year-old boy coming to terms with his father's death in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11?

Non-fiction farm writing, of course.

"Eating Animals," due out next fall, makes perfect sense once everything from vegetarianism to parenthood is illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, Dowagiac's 34th visiting author since Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Gwen Brooks at Central Middle School in January 1992.

Speaking Thursday night at Dowagiac Middle School Performing Arts Center, Foer made it clear that his next project isn't as much of a departure as it sounds, considering that another journey is involved and it will be culled from varying perspectives, just as his novels unfold from three different points of view.

As a "vegetarian off and on for most of my life," parenthood prodded him into action. "I decided I better think about this more seriously. Feeding someone else is not like feeding yourself - especially if your decisions are going to be different from decisions most other people make."

His odyssey took him from traditional family farms to factory farms and slaughterhouses.

"I don't know how well I've written it or if it will mean anything to anybody," he said, "but I'm absolutely sure this is something people should be talking about. The (United Nations) recently released a study that was a continuation of a study by the University of Chicago that said animal agriculture - meat - is the single most important cause of global warming and in the top two or three causes of every single environmental problem globally. Have you ever heard Al Gore mention this or seen it on the Sierra Club's list of the 10 things you can do to help fight global warming? It's not on the list because it's very hard to talk about. It pisses people off."

Foer offers the perspective of someone who is not an animal activist, philosopher or journalist. "I was trying to write something from the very personal perspective of what should I feed my child? I've seen for a year and a half the various ways people farm. There are wonderful traditional farms also like existed 50 years ago. Animals are, believe it or not, outside and they are not fed anti-biotics before they're sick. I've seen the full range for this book, which traces that personal journey."

Return to Top

3. JVNA Mentioned in a Jerusalem Post Article

Oct 25, 2007 11:06
A vegetarian feast

Until recently, it was weird to be vegetarian, at least in Europe and the New World.
October is World Vegetarian Month, according to the newsletter of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America.
[Unfortunately, the article is just a general discussion of vegetarian food, and not much about Jewish teachings re vegetarianism.]

Return to Top

4. Animal Rights Group to Unveil “A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion”/Please Consider Attending


[I was part of the group that drafted the proclamation. It is a very good document, but not as strong re promoting vegetarianism as I would like. Please consider attending the unveiling and helping to promote this important initiative. Thanks.]

A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion

An Invitation from “Best Friends”!

On November 7, leaders representing the world's major religions will proclaim to the nation, and the world, that principles of kindness to animals should be an integral part of religious teachings.

On that day, in an event hosted by Best Friends Animal Society, pastors and priests, rabbis and imams, and leaders of other religious traditions will join together to sign "A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion," an historic document that calls on all people of faith to speak with one voice on behalf of animals.

The event will be held this November 7th at 9:30 a.m. in the Cannon Caucus Room, in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

"This is an important event in the timeline of the animal protection movement," says Paul Berry, Best Friends' executive director. "People of faith are often the gatekeepers of critical social reforms in our country, and this event signals a major shift in their thinking on animal protection.

"The religious leaders who developed this proclamation are showcasing great courage and moral leadership on behalf of the animals, so we're asking our members and friends to make the trip, attend the ceremony, and demonstrate their enthusiastic support for the brave efforts of these religious leaders. They deserve a big show of our support at the event."

The event is free and open to the public, and advocates for the cause of animal protection are encouraged to attend and show their support for this important effort.

Berry added, "If any big groups want to attend, some kind folks have offered financial aid for travel. So, anyone needing help to make the trip-or anyone offering financial aid for groups wanting to attend-should contact Kris Haley krish@bestfriends.org

The Proclamation that will be unveiled in D.C. on Nov. 7th is the result of weeks and months of spirited discussion and debate. And, it all began in a two-day retreat hosted by Best Friends at our sanctuary in Angel Canyon. <http://network.bestfriends.org/religion/news/17477.html>
During that retreat, Best Friends facilitated a frank and earnest discussion among religious leaders from across the country about issues on animal protection such as blood sport and factory farming-and the "confounding silence" among people of faith on such issues. During and after the retreat, many other faith leaders joined the discussion over the Internet, and a consensus of principles emerged in the form of an
inspired, formal proclamation intended to break the silence-and call on people of faith, and leaders of faith, to put compassion into action for all of God's creatures.

The concept of caring for all of nature is becoming more and more a concern for people all over the country, regardless of their faith or philosophy. In 2006, a nationwide poll commissioned by Best Friends found that 89 percent of Americans agree that "we have a moral obligation to protect the animals in our care." Download our Animals & Religion - A Kindness Revival
<http://network.bestfriends.org/Library/Download.aspx?d=2900> (PDF) to learn more.

In spite of that astounding consensus, we also learned in that poll that religious leaders in their churches, temples, mosques, and synagogues have largely ignored kindness and compassion toward animals in their messages to their congregations.

The consequences of violence in our society-to animals and each other-are inextricably linked. So, the need for more persistent and pervasive attention to animal protection issues across all sectors of our society-including the religious sectors-is fundamental and essential to social progress. From dog fighting and the culture of criminality that surrounds this brutal practice, to the violence toward animals among young people that predicts violence and sociopathic behavior as adults, cruelty to animals is both a moral issue and a community issue. Leaders of faith, as many did during the Michael Vick dog fighting scandal, can use the pulpit to proclaim compassion and kindness toward animals as a foundation of their religious faith, but that message can't end when cases of violence to animals isn't front page news.

"A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion," developed by the religious leaders in the weeks since the retreat at Best Friends, offers the united belief that "animals have intrinsic value as part of God's creation and are entitled to live lives free of cruelty and exploitation. We therefore invite and encourage people of all faiths to speak with one voice on behalf of those who cannot speak."

That unified call for action among people of faith for a new emphasis on kindness and compassion to animals will be officially unveiled in the official signing ceremony November 7, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the Caucus Room of the Cannon House Office Building in the nation's capital.

The event is free and open to the public, and advocates for the cause of animal protection are encouraged to attend and show their support for this important effort.

The proclamation highlights five problem areas regarding animal welfare, followed by five corresponding calls to action such as:

* Adopting rather than purchasing companion animals

* Reducing meat consumption and only buying from farms that implement humane practices

* Rejecting forms of entertainment that harm or exploit animals

* Becoming aware of current harmful medical and commercial testing on animals and advocating for more humane alternatives

* Speaking out against over-aggressive land development that encroaches upon wildlife populations and habitat

"We in the animal protection movement owe a huge debt of gratitude to the religious leaders who joined together to create this historic document," added Berry. "We're encouraging everyone who can make the trip, to attend the event and show these folks that we appreciate their courage and commitment to our cause."

For more information on event details, email Kris Haley at krish@bestfriends.org.

The Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion was authored by leaders of the following 21 faith traditions: Assembly of God, Baptist, Buddhist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church of the Brethren, Community of Christ, Episcopalian, Interfaith/New Thought, Islamic, Jain, Jewish, Lutheran, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Quaker, Religious Science, Roman Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist.

After the event in D.C., Best Friends will continue to facilitate this important effort by giving people around the world an opportunity to lend their support by signing an online version of the document, which will be posted on November 7. People and leaders of faith interested in joining this effort can visit Best Friends' Animals and Religion Network Community. <http://www.network.bestfriends.org/religion>

"It's abundantly clear that people of faith are looking to religious leaders to speak out on compassion for animals," said Berry. "In facilitating this remarkable collaboration of religious leaders from such diverse traditions, we've seen that kindness to animals is a universal moral and ethical principal. Best Friends will continue to help build this initiative into a true grass-roots movement.

"Beginning with the event in Washington, and continuing with the online campaign for one million Proclamation signatures, 'A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion' offers our friends and colleagues in the animal welfare community an unprecedented opportunity to reach one of the most influential demographics in the nation - communities of faith."

What you can do:

Best Friends supporters in the national capital area are invited - and encouraged - to attend the November 7 signing ceremony. RSVP to the Animals and Religion Community manager, Kris Haley <mailto:krish@bestfriends.org>

* Tell your minister, rabbi, priest, imam, pastor or other clergy about the November 7 signing of "A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion," and encourage them to visit Best Friends Animals and Religion Network Web site http://network.bestfriends.org/religion/news to learn more about the effort.

* Tell other congregants about your commitment to kindness to animals as a part of your religious values. Download a flyer about the Proclamation.

* After November 7, the Proclamation will be available online so you can add your name and lend support to Best Friend's effort of gathering one million signatures in support of kindness and compassion for animals in religions teachings.


Religious leaders from an unprecedented diversity of faith traditions will carry a single message to Washington D.C. on Nov. 7: Be Kind to Animals.

An alliance of religious leaders representing faith traditions worldwide, people of faith, and Best Friends members and supporters.

The official unveiling and signing ceremony for "A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion"

Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2007 at 9:30 a.m.

Cannon Caucus Room
Third Floor
Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C.

Best Friends Animal Society

Return to Top

5. You Can Help Vegetarian-Related Poem Win a Prize

Forwarded message from David Sparenberg:

Forward This Email To All Of Your Family And Friends!

Dear Family and Friends,

I am in the middle of a great online poetry competition. I have the chance to win some great prizes, including an iPod. I really want to win, and all I need are votes from my family and friends. You simply need to click on a link, read my poem, and rate it. If I get enough votes, I win, it’s that easy! Please use the link below to vote for my poem, “Lead Us Not into Extinction/Prayer of the Animals.” Please forward this to anyone else you know that could help me out. You can also use the link below on your Facebook or MySpace page to help me receive even more votes. This is a great way to help me share my poetry with the world!

Thanks very much for your vote. I will keep you posted if I win. Wish me luck!

Best regards,
David Sparenberg

Use This Link To Vote For Me:

Here is David’s poem:

Lead Us Not into Extinction/Prayer of the Animals
by: David Edwin Sparenberg

Our kin, who now possess the land
where once we roamed
plentiful and free,
lead us not into extinction,
but deliver us from the devouring
disease of human greed.

Give us this day
(even unto the seventh generation)
a belonging--place to be
what we are, and in harmony
with all our relations.

For yours is the power
to restore or further destroy
the sacred hoop of creation.

Make a warrior's choice
by honoring unity in diversity
of the great mystery.
Let spirit guide you
back to Creator's vision-dream:
We are all one family.

Copyright ©2007 David Edwin Sparenberg

Return to Top

6. Israeli Vegetarians Open a Vegetarian/Vegan Hotel and Resort in Costa Rica

Forwarded message from the marketing manager. If interested, please visit the group’s web site and contact them, if you wish, for further information.]

Hi Richard!

I got your e-mail address from Stewart Rose from "Vegetarians of Washington" organization. My name is Assaf and I'm the marketing manager of Lands in love a 100% vegetarian & vegan cloud forest hotel & resort in Costa Rica. The staff and the owners are Israelis and vegetarians for many years.

Our two restaurants have many vegetarian dishes, including American, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Indian, Tai, Chinese, Israeli and more. We prepare vegan food on demand, fulfilling our guests special wishes. Our lasagna, burgers, sausages and tacos, which are soy made, can satisfy even carnivorous guests.

We already host at Lands in love many Jewish and vegetarian clients (we can offer to your organizations - JVNA and SERV special prices - 15% discount from our regular rates). We also operate as travel agency and offer veggie tours in many locations in Costa Rica – active volcanoes, beautiful beaches and wildlife reserves and have many activities at the hotel - canoeing, rappelling, horseback riding, guided forest trails and rafting.

I can send you a short description about the hotel and adventure center if you'd like.

This is a link of our web-site:



Ace Shlosberg
Tel: +506-447-9331
Fax: +506-447-9334
Tel US: +1-408-351-2636
Costa Rica

Return to Top

7. A Chance to Get a Vegetarian Message to Al Gore

Forwarded message from Al Gore:

Dear Richard,

Current, the media company I co-founded six years ago with my partner Joel Hyatt, just last week launched a new web site that integrates television and the Web in an unprecedented way. It provides, as never before, a platform for citizens to make the media their own.

One of the features I'm most excited about on Current.com is called Viewpoints. Viewpoints is a virtual town hall where you can share your opinions, in video, about the issues that matter in the 2008 election: from global warming to government eavesdropping, and many more.

This digital town hall is already bustling, and you can find viewpoints from me and from a lot of people, including the candidates running for President. Come and listen to their positions and, more importantly, tell them and the rest of the world what you think!


Since Viewpoints is the only place on the Web where you can easily share your view in video, my hope is that you'll take this opportunity to go toe-to-toe with the pundits on TV and help contribute to a new platform for public discourse. All it takes is a webcam and 60 seconds.

And, since we'll be taking the most popular and most compelling viewpoints and airing them on Current TV -- now available in 52 million homes around the world -- you may very well get your voice heard on our global TV network.

I look forward to seeing and hearing you on Current.com, as we deepen the discussion on these important topics:


Thank you,

Al Gore

Return to Top

8. California Leads Efforts To Improve Conditions for Farm Animals

From: Farm Sanctuary
Sent: Oct 19, 2007 4:59 PM

Thanks to author and JVNA advisor Lewis Regenstein for forwarding the following article:

Groundbreaking Effort for Farm Animals Underway in California

Farm Sanctuary, in conjunction with The Humane Society of the United States, has launched a ground-breaking ballot initiative effort to outlaw some of the most inhumane farm animal confinement systems in the state: veal crates for baby calves, gestation crates for mother pigs and battery cages for laying hens.

On October 1, 2007 citizens throughout the state began a massive effort to gather the 650,000 signatures needed to qualify the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act for placement on the September 2008 California ballot. Volunteers have only about five months to complete their signature-gathering efforts to achieve this goal—and help save millions of farm animals a year from tremendous suffering. Your help is needed!

If you are a California resident, please contact Californians for Humane Farms and find out how you can participate in this historic effort for farm animals.

***If you are not a California resident, please forward this email to all your friends and family members who live in California.

Why California?

Polling has consistently shown that most Americans oppose the cruelty of veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages, yet it is extremely difficult to convince the legislature to pass laws banning these confinement systems, thanks to the influence that huge factory farming corporations exert over many legislative offices.

The ballot initiative system was implemented to solve this problem, by allowing citizens to place an issue on the ballot for a vote directly by the people. This presents a great opportunity for animals, as it allows animal protection advocates the opportunity to circumvent the pressure that big agribusiness companies exert over the legislature and bring humane issues directly to the people for a vote.

California is one of just a handful of states that allows the ballot initiative system, and it is also the largest agricultural state in the U.S.—providing us with an excellent opportunity to save millions of animals a year from extreme, gratuitous suffering on factory farms.

The Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act is supported by a broad coalition of animal protection groups, veterinarians, environmentalists, and food safety advocates, all of whom oppose the growth of huge factory farms in the state and their terrible impacts on animals, the environment and food safety.

Veal crates are narrow wooden enclosures, typically 2 feet wide, which prevent calves from turning around or lying down comfortably for the duration of their short, miserable lives.

Gestation crates are 2-by-7 feet enclosures that confine 400-pound breeding sows on factory farms for most of their lives. The sows are freed only briefly to be moved to similarly restrictive farrowing crates to give birth.

Battery cages are used to confine 95 percent of all laying hens in the U.S. and allow giant egg farms to pack hundreds of thousands of hens into a single shed. The cages are so small that each hen has a living space smaller than a sheet of typing paper.

All these confinement systems are so cruel that they are already banned throughout much of Europe. In the U.S., a growing number of restaurants, supermarkets and even producers have pledged to stop using them, based on their inherent cruelty.

In the past few years alone, we have succeeded in banning gestation crates by ballot initiative in Florida, and a similar ballot initiative in Arizona banned gestation and veal crates. This year Oregon became the first state in the nation to ban gestation crates by a legislative vote.

Please be part of history and help us reduce the suffering of millions of animals in California!

***If you don't live in California, please pass this alert on to anyone you know who lives there, as only registered voters can sign petitions. Find out what you can do in your state or contact us by e-mail: campaigns@farmsanctuary.org to find out what can be done in your state!

Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, we have worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the “food animal” industry through research and investigations, legal and legislative actions, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Our shelters in Watkins Glen, NY and Orland, CA provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. For more information about Farm Sanctuary or our programs, please visit farmsanctuary.org or call 607-583-2225. To become a Farm Sanctuary member or to make a donation today using our secure online form, please click here. For updates on previous action alerts, please click here.

Please forward and distribute widely! Thank you.

Farm Sanctuary, P.O. Box 150 Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

Return to Top

9. Important Vegetarian Talk Scheduled by JVNA Advisor

Forwarded message from JVNA advisor and animal rights activist David Cantor, Executive Director of Responsible Policies for Animals:

[Cross-Post Freely]

Mark your calendar!

Responsible Policies for Animals presentation November 8th!

-- in Glenside, Pennsylvania! --


Inhumane treatment of animals is a root cause of global warming, pollution, and other ecological destruction; racism, sexism, and other discrimination; influenza pandemics, AIDS, and other biomedical disasters; pervasive chronic disease and soaring medical & insurance costs; poverty and hunger; and wars linked to rapidly diminishing fresh water, oil and other resources.

I’ll explain connections at a free presentation on November 8th -- in Glenside, Pennsylvania! I’ll also explain crucial differences between cruelty to animals and inhumane treatment of animals. Read on for details …

Nonhuman animals experience pain, pleasure, fear, hunger, a wide range of emotions, and have much else in common with the animals who decide how the rest will live and die: human beings.

Almost everyone agrees animals should be treated humanely, but humane treatment throughout society is not possible under current laws and practices. Domination and destruction of nonhuman animals and their natural homes are woven into the human economy. Changing that has never made it onto the public agenda, and mass media never explain it.

So it is crucial that all people learn their best long-term interests depend on an end to animal use and destruction. There are reasons even popular efforts to solve the big human problems in recent decades haven’t worked. And there are reasons fighting cruelty to animals makes little progress toward ending inhumane treatment of animals.

War without end is not necessary. We needn't keep driving species extinct. Our bodies needn't be dumping grounds for inhumane and unhealthful foods or for pharmaceutical products.

People are naturally altruistic, just, compassionate, and generous, but they’re asked to do, give, and think little. I believe people can be inspired by humane treatment of animals as the fundamental change that is needed – even though it will be a long time coming.

Especially if you live or work within a reasonable distance, join me at 7:00 P.M. on November 8th when I’ll give a presentation titled Food and Peace at the Won Institute of Graduate Studies, 137 S. Easton Road, Glenside, PA 19038.


Best wishes,

David Cantor
Executive Director
Responsible Policies for Animals, Inc.
P.O. Box 891
Glenside, PA 19038

Return to Top

10. Israeli School Children Help Cleanup Campaign

In Ilut, school children help cleanup campaign

By Eli Ashkenazi


Haaretz 10/23/07

Never has the garbage littering Israel's open spaces - like the entrance to the Nazareth suburb of Ilut - been worse, according to Dr. Omri Boneh, director of the northern district of the Jewish National Fund (JNF).

But as Boneh toured the north yesterday, he tried to exhibit some optimism at the sight of thousands of school children and local council workers who had volunteered to take part in a national cleanup day.

At the entrance to Ilut, a bulldozer - jointly paid for by the local council and the JNF - was hard at work loading dump trucks with huge piles of garbage, which had piled up on the path leading to a grove near the main road to Ilut.

"A large part of my job involves dealing with garbage in the groves," JNF Nazareth Mountains ranger Sheli Ben-Yishai said, adding that vandalism and arson are also problems. "The piles of garbage we remove today will grow here again. It's frustrating. But if we didn't conduct campaigns like today's, the garbage would take over the forest, and the damage would be irreversible," he said.

But Ben-Yishai also said that the campaign is "a day of opening a door to cooperation with the people in the towns in the region where I work."

The campaign was part of a nation-wide cleanup day held in dozens of communities throughout the country.

Symbolic significance

Susan Basol, who works in JNF's department of community and forest coordinating activities in schools in Arab communities, says the significance of the cleanup day is mainly symbolic.

"It expresses the relationship between the JNF, the schools and the community," she said.

Yesterday's campaign took place a month after the global Clean Up the World campaign was held, following a request by Muslim participants that it not take place during the Muslim month of Ramadan.

According to Lubana Daraushe, a teacher at an Ilut elementary school and coordinator of the school's cultural activities, "the goal of today's activity is to plant in the students the love of cleanliness and the environment."

Ben-Yishai says the state has a part to play in the phenomenon of the illegal dumps.

"There is no dump site close by, and so people create one in the open spaces," he said.

Basol agreed, saying that although litter in Israel's open spaces is usually blamed on hikers and picnickers, most of the garbage at the entrance to Ilut was dumped not by residents, but rather by "contractors saving travel time by leaving their building refuse there."

Basol added that yesterday's campaign can only be a drop in the bucket, at a time when municipalities are fighting to provide the most basic services, and Ilut's sanitation department is a small part-time position. "Under such circumstances, environmental quality is a luxury," Basol said.

Return to Top

11. Hazon Plans Food-Related Conference/Please Consider Attending

[This should be an important conference, and, fortunately JVNA advisor and vegetarian activist Roberta Schiff will be attending and representing Roberta. Please consider attending and helping Roberta spread the Jewish vegetarian message to about 200 people interested in food issues.]

The Hazon Food Conference
December 6th - December 9th
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center | Falls Village, CT

The Hazon Food Conference is at the forefront of an emerging national movement that explores the intersection of Jewish life and contemporary food issues. It brings together educators, rabbis, farmers, nutritionists, chefs, food writers, and families who share a passion for learning about and celebrating food. Join us for inspiring lectures and discussions, hands-on cooking sessions, family-family activities, an inclusive Shabbat and Chanukah celebration, and delicious, consciously prepared food. For more info or to register:

Hazon has moved! Please note our new address:
45 West 36th Street | 8th Floor | New York, NY 10018 | info@hazon.org | 212 644 2332

Return to Top

12. Humane Society of the US (HSUS) Starts an “Animals and Religion” Program

Posted by: "AnimalConcerns.org" animalconcerns@gmail.com
Sat Oct 27, 2007 10:31 am (PST)
[Cherry Hill Courier Post - opinion]

What do the animal rights movement and religion have in common?

Plenty, according to Christine Gutleben, director of The Humane Society of the United States' new "animals and religion" program.

The nonprofit group wants to encourage people to remember animals when exercising their religious ideals of compassion and mercy.

The program was launched in early October to coincide with the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, who Catholics revere as the patron saint of animals. It's about the same time many churches hold animal-blessing ceremonies to pray over beloved pets.

The Humane Society wants to tap the faithful's political resources, too.
Since food is such a big part of the religious life of congregations,
Gutleben suggests adopting more humane food policies. Farm animals are
the most abused animals in the United States, she said, and the way they are treated is largely invisible.

Most farm animals are raised in cages or crates that confine their movements.

Learn about the industrial animal agricultural practices used to produce food, she said, and find better alternatives, like eggs produced by cage-free hens.

"Cage-free eggs is a great starting point," said Gutleben. "It creates an awareness in the community that can grow and continue to develop in policy."

The Humane Society is already working with communities that want to
develop "eco-kosher" or "eco-halal" policies. Once people start thinking about how meat gets to their plates, "things will begin to change," Gutleben said.
Many vegans follow the concept of "ahimsa," a Sanskrit word meaning
"without hurting," according to Freya Dinshah, president of the American Vegan Society, based in Malaga.

"Ahimsa" is common to a number of religions, especially in India, Dinshah said. Jainists, for example, are vegetarian for religious reasons.

"Those are the people who are going to stick with it the longest," said Dinshah. "When they've really got a conviction that we shouldn't be killing or hurting animals, it's like a vow. That's how you base your life."

Keeping the Faith looks at religion and spirituality in South Jersey.
The column appears Saturdays. Reach Kim Mulford at (856) 251-3342 or

full story:

[I have sent my “Judaism and Vegetarianism” book and related material to Christine.]

Return to Top

13. Excerpts From the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership Newsletter

News and Thoughts

Rosh Hashana 5758

from the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership

Hike the Israel National Trail - Join us in March 2007!

Just launched - Details of an unforgettable 4-day hike from northern Israel to the Sea of Galilee, hosted by the Heschel Center for Environmental Learning and Leadership and Hazon. You are invited to join us to hike a section of the Israel National Trail, 23-27 March 2007.

Highlights will include:
• Through the spring flowers of the Upper Galilee
• Up to the peak of the highest mountain in the Galilee
• Into the running streams of Nahal Amud
• Up to the ancient city of Tzfat
• Down through the canyon of Nahul Amud
• And winding up at the shores of the Kinneret
Full details of the hike are on the web at www.hikeisrael.org

American Friends of Heschel - Israel study tour 2007

In March 2007 a group from American Friends of Heschel took part in a five-day study tour called "Building a sustainable society: Israel through the eyes of the Heschel Center." The densely-packed study tour included visits to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, many towns and villages in the north of Israel and stimulating seminars with Heschel staff, Environmental Fellows, Members of Knesset, and other activists and educators who are playing a major role in finding solutions to Israel's environmental and sustainability challenges. A short film about the Heschel Center's impact can be viewed here.

Some highlights included visits with:

Hussein Tarabiah Environmental Fellow and founder-director of the Regional Center for Environmental Education and R&D (TAEQ) in the Beit Natofa Basin near Sakhnin. The Sakhnin Center is home now to an international model project that will bring advanced wastewater treatment to rural areas across the Middle East. Now with funding from the EU, the systems developed at the Center can be replicated in other arid areas cost effectively, bringing safe irrigation water to rural towns and villages.

There is much valuable material in the newsletter and at the web site of this valuable Israeli environmental group. For more information, please go to http://heschel.org.il/eng/.

Return to Top

14. Vegetarian Times Article Outlines 15 Reasons for Vegetarianism

15 Reasons To Stop Hiding from Vegetarianism

Vegetarian Times. Posted October 25, 2007.

Live longer, lower your weight, slash pollution and twelve other good reasons to start cutting meat out of your diet.


People are drawn to vegetarianism by all sorts of motives. Some of us want to live longer, healthier lives or do our part to reduce pollution. Others have made the switch because we want to preserve Earth's natural resources or because we've always loved animals and are ethically opposed to eating them.

Thanks to an abundance of scientific research that demonstrates the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, even the federal government recommends that we consume most of our calories from grain products, vegetables and fruits. And no wonder: An estimated 70 percent of all diseases, including one-third of all cancers, are related to diet. A vegetarian diet reduces the risk for chronic degenerative diseases such as obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, stomach, lung and esophageal cancer.

Why go veg? Chew on these reasons:

1. You'll ward off disease. Vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States. But the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. A vegetarian diet is inherently healthful because vegetarians consume no animal fat and less cholesterol and instead consume more fiber and more antioxidant-rich produce -- another great reason to listen to Mom and eat your veggies!

2. You'll keep your weight down. The standard American diet -- high in saturated fats and processed foods and low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates -- is making us fat and killing us slowly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A study conducted from 1986 to 1992 by Dean Ornish, MD, president and director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, found that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later. They lost the weight without counting calories or carbs and without measuring portions or feeling hungry.

3. You'll live longer. If you switch from the standard American diet to a vegetarian diet, you can add about 13 healthy years to your life, says Michael F. Roizen, MD, author of The RealAge Diet: Make Yourself Younger with What You Eat. "People who consume saturated, four-legged fat have a shorter life span and more disability at the end of their lives. Animal products clog your arteries, zap your energy and slow down your immune system. Meat eaters also experience accelerated cognitive and sexual dysfunction at a younger age."

Want more proof of longevity? Residents of Okinawa, Japan, have the longest life expectancy of any Japanese and likely the longest life expectancy of anyone in the world, according to a 30-year study of more than 600 Okinawan centenarians. Their secret: a low-calorie diet of unrefined complex carbohydrates, fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, and soy.

4. You'll build strong bones. When there isn't enough calcium in the bloodstream, our bodies will leach it from existing bone. The metabolic result is that our skeletons will become porous and lose strength over time. Most health care practitioners recommend that we increase our intake of calcium the way nature intended -- through foods. Foods also supply other nutrients such as phosphorus, magnesium and vitamin D that are necessary for the body to absorb and use calcium.

People who are mildly lactose-intolerant can often enjoy small amounts of dairy products such as yogurt, cheese and lactose-free milk. But if you avoid dairy altogether, you can still get a healthful dose of calcium from dry beans, tofu, soymilk and dark green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, collards and turnip greens.

5. You'll reduce your risk of food-borne illnesses. The CDC reports that food-borne illnesses of all kinds account for 76 million illnesses a year, resulting in 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,000 deaths in the United States. According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), foods rich in protein such as meat, poultry, fish and seafood are frequently involved in food-borne illness outbreaks.

6. You'll ease the symptoms of menopause. Many foods contain nutrients beneficial to perimenopausal and menopausal women. Certain foods are rich in phytoestrogens, the plant-based chemical compounds that mimic the behavior of estrogen. Since phytoestrogens can increase and decrease estrogen and progesterone levels, maintaining a balance of them in your diet helps ensure a more comfortable passage through menopause. Soy is by far the most abundant natural source of phytoestrogens, but these compounds also can be found in hundreds of other foods such as apples, beets, cherries, dates, garlic, olives, plums, raspberries, squash and yams. Because menopause is also associated with weight gain and a slowed metabolism, a low-fat, high-fiber vegetarian diet can help ward off extra pounds.

7. You'll have more energy. Good nutrition generates more usable energy -- energy to keep pace with the kids, tackle that home improvement project or have better sex more often, Michael F. Roizen, MD, says in The RealAge Diet. Too much fat in your bloodstream means that arteries won't open properly and that your muscles won't get enough oxygen. The result? You feel zapped. Balanced vegetarian diets are naturally free of cholesterol-laden, artery-clogging animal products that physically slow us down and keep us hitting the snooze button morning after morning. And because whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables are so high in complex carbohydrates, they supply the body with plenty of energizing fuel.

8. You'll be more "regular." Eating a lot of vegetables necessarily means consuming more fiber, which pushes waste out of the body. Meat contains no fiber. People who eat lower on the food chain tend to have fewer instances of constipation, hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.

9. You'll help reduce pollution. Some people become vegetarians after realizing the devastation that the meat industry is having on the environment. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), chemical and animal waste runoff from factory farms is responsible for more than 173,000 miles of polluted rivers and streams. Runoff from farmlands is one of the greatest threats to water quality today. Agricultural activities that cause pollution include confined animal facilities, plowing, pesticide spraying, irrigation, fertilizing and harvesting.

10. You'll avoid toxic chemicals. The EPA estimates that nearly 95 percent of the pesticide residue in the typical American diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products. Fish, in particular, contain carcinogens (PCBs, DDT) and heavy metals (mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium) that can't be removed through cooking or freezing. Meat and dairy products can also be laced with steroids and hormones, so be sure to read the labels on the dairy products you purchase.

11. You'll help reduce famine. About 70 percent of all grain produced in the United States is fed to animals raised for slaughter. The 7 billion livestock animals in the United States consume five times as much grain as is consumed directly by the American population. "If all the grain currently fed to livestock were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million," says David Pimentel, professor of ecology at Cornell University. If the grain were exported, it would boost the US trade balance by $80 billion a year.

12. You'll spare animals. Many vegetarians give up meat because of their concern for animals. Ten billion animals are slaughtered for human consumption each year. And, unlike the farms of yesteryear where animals roamed freely, today most animals are factory farmed -- crammed into cages where they can barely move and fed a diet tainted with pesticides and antibiotics. These animals spend their entire lives in crates or stalls so small that they can't even turn around. Farmed animals are not protected from cruelty under the law -- in fact, the majority of state anticruelty laws specifically exempt farm animals from basic humane protection.

13. You'll save money. Meat accounts for 10 percent of Americans' food spending. Eating vegetables, grains and fruits in place of the 200 pounds of beef, chicken and fish each nonvegetarian eats annually would cut individual food bills by an average of $4,000 a year.

14. Your dinner plate will be full of color. Disease-fighting phytochemicals give fruits and vegetables their rich, varied hues. They come in two main classes: carotenoids and anthocyanins. All rich yellow and orange fruits and vegetables -- carrots, oranges, sweet potatoes, mangoes, pumpkins, corn -- °©owe their color to carotenoids. Leafy green vegetables also are rich in carotenoids but get their green color from chlorophyll. Red, blue and purple fruits and vegetables -- plums, cherries, red bell peppers -- contain anthocyanins. Cooking by color is a good way to ensure you're eating a variety of naturally occurring substances that boost immunity and prevent a range of illnesses.

15. It's a breeze. It's almost effortless these days to find great-tasting and good-for-you vegetarian foods, whether you're strolling the aisles of your local supermarket or walking down the street at lunchtime. If you need inspiration in the kitchen, look no further than the Internet, your favorite bookseller or your local vegetarian society's newsletter for culinary tips and great recipes. And if you're eating out, almost any ethnic restaurant will offer vegetarian selections. In a hurry? Most fast food and fast casual restaurants now include healthful and inventive salads, sandwiches and entrées on their menus.

Return to Top

15. Action Alert: Reducing Fur Sales

Thanks to animal rights activist Batya Bauman for the following:

Please contact Land's End and let them know that you
do not appreciate their selling fur. http://tinyurl.com/2tp6wb

Here is a response from Lands End, together with Batya’s response to them.


Dear Kathy,

I hope you will let me know when you discontinue these objectionable
items. We would like to resume buying from Lands End’s wonderful catalog at that time.


Batya Bauman
Amherst, MA
On Oct 25, 2007, at 3:21 PM, landsend@landsend.com wrote:

Dear Ms. Bauman:

Thank you for taking the time to write and share your concerns.

I am sorry that we have disappointed you with the fur trim on a few of our products. Your past loyalty has been appreciated and I apologize that we have let you down. We do understand that these products are not for everyone, which is why we offer a wide range of products.

However, I will be sure to share your comments with our merchandising teams and I知 sure they will keep them in mind as we develop product for future seasons.

We are always interested in listening to our customers and your thoughts and requests are an integral part of our decision-making process. Thank you for helping us improve our product offerings.

Once again, thank you for sending us your comments. Your past patronage is valued and it is my hope that we will continue to have an
opportunity to serve you.


Kathy Nondorf
Customer Communications
Batya’s original message:

I am appalled that Land's End is selling rabbit fur. PLease cancel my catalog subscription until you discontinue this abominable practice. I shall, in turn, defer any Land's End purchases I make until such a time.

Thank you,
Batya Bauman
Amherst, MA 01002

Please contact Land's End and let them know that you do not appreciate their selling fur. http://tinyurl.com/2tp6wb

Return to Top

16. Web Site Provides Useful Information For Spiritual/Ethical/Environmental/Vegetarian Investing

Dear Richard:

Thank you for kind words! Here is a brief description of what Investing for the Soul is all about, both for your newsletter and SERV members.

For the spiritual, vegetarian, or ethical investor, Investing for the Soul (www.investingforthesoul.com) is unique in offering relevant global news, insightful commentary, resources and services. If you are a vegetarian and an investor who wishes to grow spiritually while minimally harming the earth that sustains us, it is imperative that we employ our higher spiritual values in investing decisions. Consider that when we invest in a company, or many companies in the case of a mutual fund, we share in the responsibility for the activities of those companies as well as participate in the outcomes of their corporate actions. Such actions have a direct influence on our personal and spiritual development as well as that of our beloved earth!

So let us invest in companies whose activities we believe are most helpful to us spiritually, ethically, and for life, generally! By investing this way, a better life, and even potentially higher profits, awaits us all. Indeed, the accumulating masses of reports and studies (see our Article Archives) suggest that outperformance of portfolio returns is frequently possible by employing spiritually and ethically oriented investing strategies."

Again, thank you and best wishes, Ron

Ron Robins, MBA
Founder & Analyst
Investing for the Soul
"Resources for spiritually or ethically oriented investors and investment professionals."
Website: www.investingforthesoul.com
E-mail: ronr@investingforthesoul.com
Phone: 705-635-3034
Address: PO Box 6500, Huntsville, ON Canada P1H 2J8

Media that have featured our activities include: Report on Business Television's Business Morning; CBS MarketWatch; The Financial Post; Rogers Television's Money Line; CBC Radio One's Metro Morning; 680 News Radio; New Directions Magazine; The Catholic Register; and Environmental News Network Radio.

Return to Top

17. My Old Article on “Mad People Disease” Posted by the European Vegetarian Union News Agency


Return to Top

** Fair Use Notice **

The material on this site is provided for educational and informational purposes. It may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. It is being made available in an effort to advance the understanding of vegetarian, environmental, nutritional, health, economic, social justice and human rights issues etc. It is believed that this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have an interest in using the included information for educational or research purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. The information on this site does not constitute legal, technical or medical advice.