January 25, 2008

1/16/2008 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. A SACRED DUTY Can Now Be Seen On the Internet!

2. I Am Now Interviewed at Three Animal Rights/Vegetarian Web Sites

3. Idea To Get A SACRED DUTY and Vegetarianism Onto the Presidential Nominating Process

4. Happy Tu B’Shvat/Canfei Nesharim Tu B’Shvat Material

5. Vegetarian Book by JVNA Advisor/Vegetarian Activist

6. Very Clever Video Related to Vegetarianism
Spoofs Presidential Politics

7. Global Temperature Trends Continue

8. Action Alert: Help CHAI Stop Horse Racing Industry From Entering Israel

9. My Environmental Views in Russian in the Israeli Press

10. CD With Vegan Songs Produced

11. Study Shows Low-Fat Vegetarian Diets Ideal for Diabetics

12. Challenging Environmentalists re Global Warming/Diet Connections

13. Update From My Publisher Lantern Books

14. Ice Loss in Antarctica Escalating

15. Guest Op-Ed by Vegetarian/Animal Rights Activist Jeff Tucker

16. More Re Animal Experiments in Israel

17. Rabbi’s Daughter Protests at KFC, As Bat Mitzvah Project

18. Action Alert: Protest Transport of Horses to be Slaughtered

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. A SACRED DUTY Can Now Be Seen On the Internet!

Many, many thanks for vegetarian/animal rights activist Leonardo Fishman for getting our movie on the following two sites:


[*** Please visit this YouTube site, and register a positive opinion about the movie. Doing this can help convince YouTube decide to put the movie in a better location.


I understand the movie can be downloaded from this site.
Please help spread the news and try to encourage groups to link to the video, so that we can try to get as many people as possible to watch the movie.

As indicated in the message below, there is already a link at ShalomVeg.com: (Thanks Boris Dolin.)
That is great news that A Sacred Duty is now online! Knowing the way the internet works, news about the film will spread even more quickly now. I have put the film up on ShalomVeg.com - there is a link from the front page. The direct link is:

As with the other articles and videos at ShalomVeg.com, viewers can comment on the film after they watch it.
JVNA advisor Rina Deych has also linked to the movie at her MySpace blog.

I hope there will soon be many more sites where people can watch the movie.

Please make people aware of the new possibilities, and also, please try to get links from which people can see the movie. Thnks.


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2. I Am Now Interviewed at Three Animal Rights/Vegetarian Web Sites

Latest is at the web site of the European Vegetarian and Animal News Agency (EVANA):

Another is at the Humane Society of the US web site:
The third is at the web site of Best Friends Animal Society:


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3. Idea To Get A SACRED DUTY and Vegetarianism Onto the Presidential Nominating Process

Thanks to JVNA advisor Rina Deych for the following interesting idea:

Send out an alert to JVNA members (maybe even separate from a newsletter) for people to go to the presidential candidate sites and blogs and post info about this issue (animal agriculture/global warming connection) and A Sacred Duty. Also, people should write their senators, representatives, and the president about it (I have already done so). They can find their names at http://www.congress.org which also has great resources for contacting the media (5 sources at once)! We don't have to (only) rely on our publicist for this... we can encourage the general membership to do it.

Once the full film is on the internet, we can also email the politicians with the link (though some people are leery about clicking on links for fear of viruses).

Just a thought.


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4. Happy Tu B’Shvat/Canfei Nesharim Tu B’Shvat Material

Tu B’Shvat begins on Monday evening, January 21, at sundown. It is probably the most vegetarian and environmental of holidays. Please see my article, “Tu B’Shvat and Vegetarianism” at the festivals section of www.JewishVeg.com/schwartz, and please feel free to use the article to help promote vegetarianism.

Please use Tu B’Shvat seders and other Tu B’Shvat-related events to increase awareness of A SACRED DUTY and vegetarianism and the need for environmental activism. Thanks.

Forwarded message from Evonne Marzouk, Executive Director of
Canfei Nesharim, an Orthodox Judaism-based environmental group:

Dear friend,

On behalf of Canfei Nesharim, I am pleased to share with you a series of exciting new articles for Tu b'Shevat about the traditions in the Torah regarding our relationship to the environment, and our responsibility to protect it. I’d like to invite you to include one or more in your publication the week or month of the holiday, as part of our sixth annual “Tu b’Shevat Learning Campaign.” This year, Canfei Nesharim is offering seven articles written by Orthodox Jews which illustrate the relationship between Torah and the environment, as well as sample sedarim and program suggestions for synagogues and families, and a press release and opinion piece for Jewish papers.

We would be honored if you would join us by sharing these articles with your readers and members during the week of Tu b’Shevat (which falls this year on January 22). The seven articles available for the campaign are attached. Brief Descriptions of the articles are listed below. The articles may be shared with your readership and any other community members or email lists, so long as the footer information about our learning campaign remains intact.


As you know, Canfei Nesharim provides Torah-based resources about the importance of protecting the environment. Last year, over thirty organizations participated in the Learning Campaign, and we reached tens of thousands of Jews during the week of Tu b’Shevat. You can see our full Tu b’Shevat website including the partners from last year’s campaign at http://canfeinesharim.org/community/shevat.php. We also send a weekly Torah commentary on the environment (see http://canfeinesharim.org/community/parshas.php) and would be glad to share these resources for syndication.

Please let me know what further information I can provide. Thank you for your partnership on this important project!


Evonne Marzouk

Executive Director
The following articles are available for the campaign this year:

Planting the Tabernacle by Ariel Shalem

The Jewish National Fund (JNF) was not the first to plant forests in Israel. According to the Midrash Tanhuma (ch.9) on the Torah portion of Terumah, we have a precedent for the first plantation in the Bible planted by Yaakov (Jacob) a few thousand years before.

The Jewish “Earth Day” by Candace Nachman

Nearly 38 years ago, the first Earth Day was observed in the United States. Twenty million people, 2,000 colleges and universities, 10,000 grammar and high schools and 1,000 communities mobilized for the first nationwide demonstrations on environmental problems. But long before the beginning of the environmental movement, Torah Judaism recognized our moral and ethical obligation to protect the Earth.

The Land is Mine by Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

This Tu b’Shevat, the Jewish New Year of the Trees, also takes place during the year of Shemittah, the seventh year of rest for the land. Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch explains that the mitzvah of the Sabbatical Year is the great act by which an entire nation proclaims Hashem as the true Owner and Master of the land. It is therefore a special time for us to reflect on our responsibility to the land – and our relationship with it.

What a Beautiful Tree by Rabbi Elli Fischer

Tu b’Shevat is a good time for Torah learning about trees. I’d like to share with you a mishnah that has always concerned me, and see if we can learn something new that will help us enhance our appreciation of nature. (A new reading of Mishna Avot 3:7.)

You Shall Not Covet by Jonathan Neril

The Ten Commandments given in the Torah portion Yitro culminate with the command not to covet. “Do not covet” is not a little addendum tacked on to the end of the Ten Commandments, but one of the central messages of Divine revelation. Finding spiritual satisfaction in the service of the Divine is an important means of weaning oneself from a life of physicality. The commands “Love G-d with all your heart’” and “Do not covet” thus offer an alternative to a high consumption, unsustainable future. We can begin to repair the world by improving ourselves.

Shepherd-Consciousness by Fivel Yedidya Glasser, with contributions from Rabbi Chanan Morrison

Why did so many of the original leaders of the Jewish people choose to become shepherds? Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the first chief rabbi of pre-state Israel, explains that the advantage of shepherding may be found in the secluded lifestyle of the shepherd. While engaged with flocks, ambling through the hills and valleys, the shepherd is cut off from the noisy distractions of society, thus enabling ample time for inner reflection. Nevertheless, the shepherd is concerned with the actual physical needs of the flock. The result of this withdrawal is ultimately to have a positive impact on the larger world.

We need to change more than a light bulb by Evonne Marzouk

The environment is an issue that has been more and more at the forefront of many people’s minds recently. Yet the true problem is not with the fact that we drive SUVs or use the wrong kind of light bulb. The more fundamental problem is with the way Western society uses the environment. [an opinion piece for Jewish papers]

More information re Canfei Nesharim’s Tu B’Shvat Plans and Activities:

Dear friends,

With the beginning of Shevat, Canfei Nesharim is moving into full swing in our Tu b'Shevat Learning Campaign. You can participate by planning a program for your family or community, posting an article in your synagogue bulletin, or planting a tree in our virtual forest! See all our great Tu b'Shevat Resources. A brief list of the seven articles available for our campaign is below.

Would you like to plan a last-minute program in your community? Email us for more information.
With the "holiday season" just behind us, Canfei Nesharim is also providing a creative new action item (see "A Fresh Twist after Chanukah") to help you preserve the environment with some of the gifts you received last month. And this month we honor our latest Partner in Flight, Leslie Aiello. Read on for more exciting Torah and Environment Resources!

With best wishes,
~Evonne Marzouk
Torah Insight
This Tu b'Shevat, there are many ways that you can help Canfei Nesharim's effort to educate our community about our Torah responsibility to protect the environment:
- Read Torah articles about Tu b'Shevat and the environment
- Engage your community by planning a seder or posting an article in your shul bulletin
- Plant a tree in Canfei Nesharim's virtual forest
- Send an e-card to your family and friends wishing them a happy Tu b'Shevat!

Learn what the Torah can teach about the environment - each week! Subscribe today to our weekly Torah commentary.

Buy eco-products in Canfei Nesharim's web store! For every product bought, a donation is made to Canfei Nesharim. And a difference is made for the environment!

Adopt a Tree! Through the Eitz Chaim "Adopt a Tree" Program, you can support a living tree while supporting Canfei Nesharim. Makes great gifts for holidays, birthdays, all year round. Visit and order on their great new website. Or order toll-free at 1-800-660-9077.

Help Canfei Nesharim take flight by sponsoring one of our exciting upcoming products. Dedicate an individual parsha in our upcoming "Jewish Environmental Parsha Initiative" in honor or in memory of a loved one, or many other wonderful opportunities for sponsorship ranging from $100 to $18,000. For more information, email us or call 212-284-6745.

See your name in print! Build your portfolio and writing skills by writing periodic articles for On Eagles' Wings. For more information, email a writing sample to us.

As our organization expands, we are looking for volunteers for synagogue and school program planning, materials development, website maintenance, and other projects. If you'd like to be involved, contact us by email.

Canfei Nesharim (“the Wings of Eagles”) has launched its sixth annual “Tu b’Shevat Learning Campaign” (link: http://canfeinesharim.org/community/shevat.php) to engage communities in learning about protecting the environment during the Jewish holiday of Tu b’Shevat, with new resources for publications, synagogues, and schools. Individuals can also plant a tree in Canfei Nesharim’s “virtual forest” to support new Torah and environment programs. Canfei Nesharim maintains a full resource library of articles, programs, and suggested actions on their website at www.canfeinesharim.org.

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5. Vegetarian Book by JVNA Advisor/Vegetarian Activist

JVNA advisor and long-time vegetarian activist Arthur Poletti has a published book on vegetarianism. I found it very interesting, because it presents many important facts as part of a story, which greatly helps keep readers’ interests.

Here is a promotional statement about the free version of the book “God Does Not Eat Meat.”

This thought-provoking and controversial story cuts between a violent and bloody present world in which millions of animals are slaughtered
daily, to a future America where all meat has been removed from the food chain. The unlikely hero goes against the status quo with unyielding
determination to set an example of the many benefits of kindness to animals.

God Does Not Eat Meat can be read on line for free by visiting:


This story can seriously change your life.

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6. Very Clever Video Related to Vegetarianism
Spoofs Presidential Politics

Forwarded message:

Road to the Greenhouse!

Road to the Greenhouse
<http://www.peta.org/feat/greenhouse/index.asp> brings Broccoli Obama, Celery Clinton, Dijon McCain, Fruity Giuliani and a whole cast of
politicians to life to debate one of the most important issues facing
our country today: Is it time we gave peas a chance?

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7. Global Temperature Trends Continue

Forwarded article:
Northern Hemisphere Temperature Highest Ever

Frances C. Moore

With the record for 2007 now complete, it is clear that temperatures around the world are continuing their upward climb. The global average in 2007 was 14.73 degrees Celsius (58.5 degrees Fahrenheit) -- the second warmest year on record, only 0.03 degrees Celsius behind the 2005 maximum. January 2007 was the hottest January ever measured, a full 0.23 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous record. August was also a record for that month, and September was the second warmest September recorded.

Looking at the northern hemisphere alone, 2007 temperatures averaged 15.04 degrees Celsius (59.1 degrees Fahrenheit) -- easily the hottest year in the northern half of the globe since the record began in 1880, and more than a degree warmer than the 1951–80 average...

For entire text see http://www.earthpolicy.org/Indicators/Temp/2008.htm
For data see http://www.earthpolicy.org/Indicators/Temp/2008_data.htm

For an index of Earth Policy Institute resources related to Temperature and Climate see http://www.earthpolicy.org/Indicators/Temp/index.htm

And for more on the effects of rising temperature and how to stabilize climate, you may be interested in Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization by Lester R. Brown (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2008). Information about this book is on-line at http://www.earthpolicy.org/Books/PB3/index.htm.

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8. Action Alert: Help CHAI Stop Horse Racing Industry From Entering Israel

Forwarded message from CHAI (Concern for Helping Animals in Israel):



Because the bill that will legalize gambling on horse racing in Israel is about to be introduced in the Knesset, it is of the utmost importance that all who condemn the barbaric racing industry make their voices heard.

Please write to the Ministers of Justice, Environmental Protection, and Agriculture, and also to the Chairman of the Education, Culture, and Sports Committee in the Knesset, expressing your strong objections to the establishment of a horse racing industry and the introduction of legalized betting on horses in Israel.


I respectfully urge you to prevent the development of horse racing, as well as gambling on horse racing, in Israel.

Cruelty and corruption are an inherent part of this industry that is based on greed. Wherever racing exists, there is animal exploitation. The cruelties include the annual breeding of thousands of colts, most of whom will be killed because they are not fast enough; catastrophic injuries from being trained and raced at just two years old, when they are fastest but before their bones have hardened; widespread drugging to enhance performance so they can run even while injured; bleeding in the lungs and heart attacks, both of which can be fatal; and chronic ulcers.

In addition to the suffering and death of thousands of horses, racing will cause social welfare problems as a consequence of gambling. The planned infrastructure will also lead to the further destruction of the environment.

Please keep Israel free of the cruelty and corruption that inevitably accompany the racing industry.


Daniel Friedmann
Minister of Justice
29 Salah A-din St., Jerusalem 91490, Israel
Fax: 02-6285438
Tel: 02-6466527

Gideon Ezra
Minister of Environmental Protection

5 Kanfei Nesharim St., Givat Shaul, P.O. Box 34033, Jerusalem 95464, Israel
Fax: 02-6535958
Tel: 02-6553701/2

Rabbi Michael Melchior
Chairman, Education, Culture, and Sports Committee
The Knesset, HaKiryah, Jerusalem 91950, Israel

Fax: 02-6753986
Tel: 02-6753986

Shalom Simhon
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development
HaKirya HaHaklait, P.O. Box 30, Beit-Dagan 50250, Israel
Fax: 03-9485835
Tel: 03-9485800

[We have sent a DVD to each of the four Israeli officials above.]

Worldwide, thousands of racehorses die or are killed every year: during races, during training, or because they are not fast enough. Instead of reducing the unnatural pressure on the animals that causes broken backs and legs, heart attacks, burst blood vessels, gastric ulcers, and bleeding lungs (exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage), the industry sponsors lethal experiments on the animals, supposedly to learn why racehorses suffer and die from injury and illness, though the reasons are blatantly obvious.

The experiments include deliberately infecting horses with devastating viruses, subjecting pregnant animals to abdominal surgery so they subsequently abort their young, deliberately underfeeding them, and subjecting newborn foals to stress experiments. Most of these invasive procedures end with the horses being killed. The industry attempts to justify this cruelty with the immoral notion that some should suffer so many can benefit, when the high level of injuries and developmental problems the experiments pretend to address is purely the result of industry greed and callousness.

Information courtesy of Animal Aid, England

Although most people assume the horses can't possibly win against powerful money interests, CHAI continues the fight against establishing racing in Israel. Our campaign has been expensive; please help us show that compassion can be stronger than greed. Stop this grotesque industry from gaining a foothold.

Please send your tax-deductible donations to: CHAI, POB 3341, Alexandria, VA 22302, USA, or donate through our website.

Yours for a more compassionate world,

Nina Natelson

CHAI - Concern for Helping Animals in Israel
PO Box 3341, Alexandria, VA 22302
Email: chai_us@cox.net
Phone: 703-658-9650
Web: http://www.chai-online.org

Letter sent by JVNA advisor Rina Deych in support of CHAI’s position:

Dear Mr. Simhon,

I am shocked and horrified that horseracing is planning to be introduced to Israel. It's a monstrous, brutal, abusive industry, which is rife with greed and corruption. The horses suffer horribly as they are bred annually and exploited as money-making commodities, rather than sentient creatures. Forced to race at the age of two, their bones not fully developed, they suffer horrific injuries, often necessitating euthanasia. Many of the colts are killed because they are not fast enough. Performance-enhancing drugging is widespread, assuring the animals run even when they are ill or injured. They often suffer chronic ulcers, bleeding in the lungs, heart attacks and death. If they are "lucky" enough to survive this miserable industry, they are often "rewarded" for their performance by being "retired" to the slaughterhouse, where they meet a horrifyingly brutal, violent, painful death.

In addition to the obvious animal abuse issues, there is the compounded issue that gambling will lead to social welfare problems, encourage more corruption, and contribute to the degradation of the society. Adding this abomination could serve to further destabilize an already volatile area and potentially fuel terrorist activity. Also, the proposed structure will tax the already fragile region environmentally (which, with the rapid progression of global warming would be disastrous).

Our responsibility as Jews to the planet and all life on it was best expressed by the recently released documentary film A Sacred Duty, which discusses applying Jewish values to help heal the world. A synopsis of the film can be found at http://www.asacredduty.com/ . Copies of the DVD can be obtained at no cost from John Diamond, of Jewish Vegetarians of North America at jdiamond4@cox.net .
This film should be viewed by all involved in the decision-making regarding the introduction of horseracing into Israel.

As a registered nurse, humanitarian, and wildlife rehabilitator, I was so impressed that Israel (my homeland from the ages of 5 to 7 1/2) banned foie gras, one of the cruelest industries on the planet. Allowing horseracing and betting would be moving many steps backwards. Please do not introduce this corruptive, pollutive, abusive industry to Israel.
Let us, instead, move together toward a compassionate, sustainable, peaceful world.

Thank you in advance for your consideration,

Rina Deych, RN and Wildlife Rehabilitator
Brooklyn, NY USA

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9. My Environmental Views in Russian in the Israeli Press


Can anyone translate this?

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10. CD With Vegan Songs Produced

Forwarded message from Lance Morrison, a raw-foods advocate:
Lance Morrison (npd-scub@pacbell.net ) has visited your GreenPeople listing: Jews for Animal Rights

My name is Lance Morrison--I am a California police officer. I have been a
vegetarian for 37 years, and my 14 year old daughter has never eaten animals. I did something I hope you find interesting and entertaining -- something your membership would get a kick out of. I made an 18 track vegetarian music CD called 'Pasture Prime.' These tracks are designed to conjure a smile as they inspire via its deeper meaning. Several songs are from the perspectives of the animals.

I wrote the music, played all of the instruments, and it is heartfelt. I think
its safe to call it one of a kind. You can hear it @ www.vegantunes.com. If you do enjoy it, would you please pass it on/place me in your newsletter?

Many thanks,


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11. Study Shows Low-Fat Vegetarian Diets Ideal for Diabetics

Posted by: "AnimalConcerns.org" animalconcerns@gmail.com
Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:23 am (PST)

NEW DELHI: Low-fat, vegetarian diets are ideal for people with diabetes and for Indians who are topping the charts with the highest incidence of Type 2 diabetes in the world, it would be a good idea to stay with the traditional Indian diet, remain fit and keep diabetes at bay.

According to a new study conducted and published by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine along with George Washington University and the University of Toronto, a low-fat, unrefined, vegan diet (excluding all animal products) is ideal for people with Type 2 diabetes.

"The diet appears remarkably effective and all the side effects are good ones -- especially weight loss and lower cholesterol levels. This study we hope will rekindle interest in using diet changes first,rather than prescription drugs," said Neal D. Barnard, lead researcher of the study now in India to talk about his research.

Dr. Barnard is also president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a non-government organisation that promotes preventive medicine, especially good nutrition.

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12. Challenging Environmentalists re Global Warming/Diet Connections

Letter from JVNA advisor Rina Deych:

PS: Here's the letter I'd written to him (and to the creators of the org):
Frankly, as a registered nurse, humanitarian, and environmental activist, it disturbs me every time I come across an organization that purports to be concerned about global warming, but leaves out one very important fact.

In November of 2006, the UN issued a 400-page report entitled "Livestock's Long Shadow," which stated that animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than cars, trucks, buses, planes, and all forms of transportation combined.

Naturally, part of reducing our impact on the planet includes using environmentally friendly hybrid cars, conserving energy and water, and recycling.
However, your site is ignoring this very important issue, which is just as, if not MORE important than everything you have on your site.
Vegetarian and vegan diets are better for human health, the planet, and, certainly, for the animals.

Summary of the UN report: http://www.wellfedworld.org/globalwarming.htm

Award-winning filmmaker Lionel Friedberg, in conjunction with Jewish Vegetarians of North America, has just released a film about the connection between animal agriculture and global warming. It's entitled A Sacred Duty (but it could easily have been called A More Inconvenient Truth). You can read about it and request a free copy here:

I hope to see this very important issue addressed on your site.


Rina Deych,RN
Brooklyn, NY USA

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13. Update From My Publisher Lantern Books

Order at lanternbooks.com
New Year 2008
Top 7 Books of 2007

Happy New Year from Lantern Books! We thought you might like to know what our customers thought were our best books last year. Here are our 2007 top sellers. Get 'em while they're hot:
1. The World Peace Diet
2. Manifesting God
3. No Easy Answers
4. Bird Flu
5. Vegan Diet as Chronic Disease Prevention
6. Lantern Vegan Family Cookbook
7. Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit

Just to be rounded, here are 8 though 10:
8. Five Spirits
9. Centering Prayer and the Healing of the Unconscious
10. The Longest Struggle
Best New Voices

It is not as if Pattrice Jones and Venerable Yifa were soft-spoken prior to 2007, but Lantern is proud to have published works by these powerful women with much to say:

Pattrice Jones, author of Aftershock:

Josh Harper of the SHAC7 says, "Listen to pattrice. pattrice jones is one of most important new voices in the animal liberation movement."

Venerable Yifa, author of Authenticity and The Tender Heart:

Yifa is a compassionate and focused person who shows us how Buddhist practices are relevant to contemporary life. She is in-touch, funny, and realistic, with insight to offer.


For those living in the digital world, check out some of our new eBooks.

If you're into new gadgets, read Authenticity now on your brand spanking new Kindle. If you prefer free stuff, Bird Flu is always available, in its entirety, online.

Your source for books on animal advocacy, vegetarianism, religion, and environmentalism.

Lantern publishes books for all wanting to live with greater depth and commitment to the preservation of the natural world.

Lantern Books
Order at lanternbooks.com

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14. Ice Loss in Antarctica Escalating


The Washington Post's Marc Kaufman reports: "Climatic changes appear to be destabilizing vast ice sheets of western Antarctica that had previously seemed relatively protected from global warming, researchers reported yesterday, raising the prospect of faster sea-level rise than current estimates."

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15. Guest Op-Ed by Vegetarian/Animal Rights Activist Jeff Tucker

Eco-Kosher for Survival


Guest editorial by Vegetarian activist and long time JVNA supporter Jeff Tucker

When we consider the human race is responding to Global Warming as a crisis of epic proportions, and that our very survival may be at stake, I marvel at the repetitive emphasis placed on Vegetarianism/Veganism as a solution. In the context of planet-wide problems: world hunger, energy Crisis, economic instability, disease epidemics, wouldn’t personal dietary choices and supermarket selections seem quite insignificant. Are they?

Each time I address the hot topic “ECO-KOSHER” it gets easier. Why? Because the issues are growing more prevalent, more relevant, more urgent. Our Yom Kippur liturgy in Unhewn Stones contained an astounding number of references to it; then Rabbi Rebecca’s sermons about ethical food choices and “Carnivore’s Dilemma” inextricably linked it to our Beth Or dialogue. I’m grateful for this linkage because I kvell when my separate interests and value-systems come together, namely: EarthSave Miami, Nalith Foundation (for vegetarian education), Yoga and Taoist Tai Chic practices, natural hygiene and Reconstructionist Judaism.

If Mentschkite deals with relationships- social and intellectual then I’d define Eco-Kashruth as the flip side, covering physical and biological. Living healthfully/wisely for our bodies and our world neatly defines its essence. As you read off these popular slogans and buzz words can you find their Jewish 'resonance'?: *GO GREEN; *ACT LOCALLY

In the Big Picture, we are addicted: governments to shortsighted policy, people to bad habits and substances. One of our biggest challenges is to un-addict. When the FDA or USDA develops a habit of marginalizing the public weal, in favor of third-party corporate high bidders, then we own the problem. When the health-care system fails to teach the root cause of health and disease we’re headed for trouble. Both Talmud and Torah are full of guidelines and stories about management of resources, land, people and animals. Modern science reeks with studies of our needs and practices, but somehow humans are sicker and on shakier (more toxified) ground than before. American kids will not outlive their parents. Cancer rates are exploding along with diabetes, heart disease, iatrogenic illness. Demands on our eco-system outpace its natural capacity, but Eco-Kosher holds the key to correcting these woes.

Eco-Kosher principles are fundamental, operate in Gan Eden, your town and Planet Earth. What’s wrong with regular Kosher, you ask. Answer, it’s incomplete. In the schtetl, Kosher meant properly Jewish and the unspecified details were governed by common sense and necessity. Common sense doesn’t hold a candle to Global Corporate/Big Government decisions. If we had insisted that capitalistic democracy better manage our society then perhaps things would be better today. But we need to delve into the meaning and application of KOSHER governance. Torah, scientists and rabbis have informed us what is good, inventoried our resources and offered motivation, but something remains rotten In our state of affairs.

Everywhere you turn, the media is surging with movies, lectures, and events forced upon us by Global Warming and political instability. On the one hand are genuine solutions, on the other a morass of disinformation and exploitation. Individually we’re not to blame, but we are collectively responsible- we’ve tolerated a Holocaust of trees, streams, air, animals and most importantly- our own physiologies- our own personal temples. Americans are plagued with a level of sickness and a reliance upon medicines, with a multi-trillion dollar budget that’s not getting the job done.

Rabbi Rami attended to the rising role of Eco-Kashrut, and its peaceful, compassionate, life-affirming values. In his book “Minyan” he lays out a multifaceted spiritual practice. Now numerous scholars and religious thinkers are converging on this body of knowledge, and just in time, perhaps, to avert disaster. Judaism indicates we have a Sacred Duty to live correctly and preserve our world. The Carob Tree story is one example; another ran in Newsweek on its cover “How To Help Heal the World”- as I said Earth Ethics are popping up everywhere- perhaps because we are in crisis mode and they have been overlooked too long already.

If we have a sacred duty to Tikkun Olam, to be Shomrai Adamah (Guardians of The Earth) then let's find out what we're up against, what our resources are. Here are some things you can do:

* Pick up the free brochure "A Case For Jewish Vegetarianism";
* Re-read “Prayer for The Well-being of our Planet” in Unhewn Stones;
* Visit Elat Chayyim in Falls Village, CT where contemporary and futuristic Jewish values are on the menu (check out their courses at www.jewishretreatcenter.org);
* Get the book "Judaism and Global Survival";
* Watch for the local premiere of "A Sacred Duty" video at Beth Or;
* Go green.

Vegetarily Yours,
Jeff Tucker

(from a bima Speech, BethOr, 09/28/07)

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16. More Re Animal Experiments in Israel

Letter from author, editor, publisher, lecturer and JVNA advisor Roberta Kalechofsky:

Martin Kraar, Executive Vice President
American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science
633 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10017

Dear Martin Kraar,

The experiments being done on primates at the Weizmann Institute are a
violation of tsa'ar ba'alei chaim.

Rabbi Dr. J. David Bleich has interpreted the concept of "holeh le-faneinu" (which literally means "a patient in front of us"), that it is permissible to take the life of an animal when the human patient is in immediate danger of death. "Prohibitions of tsa'ar ba'alei chayim are suspended for the purpose of saving an endangered life, but not in anticipation of a purely hypothetical eventuality." It is not permitted to experiment on animals because there may be some results in the future. Of course, I understand that that is the nature of most experimentation, and that is what is usually understood by experimentation. But this is not a sufficient reason for a Jewish institution to suspend the Jewish understanding of tsa'ar ba'alei chaim. That it is done in the name of science does not excuse it.

The eminent Maimonides scholar, Fred Rosner, wrote in his article, "Animal Experimentation: The Jewish View," that alternative means of obtaining the same information should be sought. One would hope that the Weizmann Institute---and Israel---would lead the world in the use of alternative methods. The world waits for this terrible scar of animal experimentation to be erased as one of its great evils. Let us go forward morally, as well as scientifically.


Roberta Kalechofsky, PhD.

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17. Rabbi’s Daughter Protests at KFC, As Bat Mitzvah Project


Rabbi's Daughter Protests KFC for Bat Mitzvah Project

Avital van Leeuwen, 12, took a stand against animal cruelty for her bat mitzvah project by protesting in front of a Van Nuys Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) on Sunday, Dec. 23.

Inspired by a video at kentuckyfriedcruelty.com, a site created by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Avital voiced concern about the cruel treatment she witnessed toward chickens by the fast-food chain's suppliers.

In the video narrated by Pamela Anderson, chickens are shown crammed together in overcrowded, feces-filled barns, overfed until some are unable to walk, and dropped into vats of scalding water, among other practices deemed unacceptable by PETA.

Enraged by the slaughtering practices displayed in the video, Avital invited many of her friends and family to participate in the protest against KFC.

"If it was a dog or cat being tortured it would be against the law. But for chickens it's not? They feel the same amount of pain as other animals," she said.

Those accompanying Avital on her bat mitzvah quest included her 10-year-old brother Yeshaia along with a member of her congregation, four of her friends and their parents. The protestors held signs that included such slogans as: "KFC is cruel, you finger lickin' fool," "The colonel tortures chickens. Don't eat here!"

Her father, Rabbi Jason van Leeuwen, said that any bat mitzvah project requires students to perform some kind of tzedakah work.

"It's not just training them to be ritually ready, but teaches them about who needs them in the world," said van Leeuwen, associate rabbi of Congregation Tikvat Jacob in Manhattan Beach, where Avital will have her bat mitzvah on Jan. 19.

The van Leeuwens, who eat a vegetarian diet, have opened their North Hills home to six chickens and one duck, which live in a backyard coop and pond.

"Those chickens will die of natural causes after a full, long life," van Leeuwen said.

 Celia Soudry, Contributing Writer

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18. Action Alert: Protest Transport of Horses to be Slaughtered

Forwarded message from the Humane Society of the US:

Make the Call for Horses on January 22!

January 14, 2008

Mark your calendars for January 22, 2008, the National Call-In Day for Horses!

The doors on the last remaining U.S.-based horse slaughter plants have been shuttered. Now, Congress must pass the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 503/S. 311) to end the transport to slaughter of American horses to Mexico and Canada. Even when plants were operating within the U.S., several thousand horses were exported to Mexico and Canada annually. Though the total number of American horses killed has dropped, all of them are now enduring terribly long trips over the border that end in a grisly form of slaughter. We have said all along that we must pass federal legislation to stop horse slaughter and the need has never been more urgent.

On January 22, please call your two U.S. senators and U.S. representative and express your support to end horse slaughter permanently.

* Senator Barbara Boxer at (202) 224-3553
* Senator Dianne Feinstein at (202) 224-3841
* Representative Henry Waxman at (202) 225-3976

Please tell your friends and family how they can help end horse slaughter, too. Email and handout the National Call-In Day for Horses flier to everyone you know!

Watch your email on the morning of January 22 for special Call-In Day instructions. Your emails and calls will not only make a difference, they will help make history. Help us end horse slaughter forever.

Thank you for all you do for animals.


Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

Copyright ©2008 The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) | All Rights Reserved.
The Humane Society of the United States | 2100 L Street, NW | Washington, DC 20037
humanesociety@hsus.org | 202-452-1100 | humanesociety.org

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** 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.

January 14, 2008

1/9/2008 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Happy Tu B’Shvat/Environmental and Vegetarian Connections

2. Update Re A SACRED DUTY

3. Declaration of Animal Rights Signed in the Israeli Knesset

4. Update on New Jewish Vegetarian Web Site ShalomVeg.com

5. Action Alert: Helping End Cruelty to Farm Animals in California

6. Update on Animal Rights Group Directed by JVNA Advisor David Cantor

7. DVD Provides Encyclopedic Information on Raw Food Diets

8. Update on the Best Friends Animals Network’s Proclamation on Animal Compassion/How to be a Signer

9. New Book Indicates That Diabetes Can Be Reversed/Book Release Scheduled in NY City

10. Israeli Educator Tours US, Speaking on Maimonides’ Teachings On Nutrition and Health

11. Action Alert: Reducing Animal Abuses in Israel

12. Article in Los Angeles Jewish Journal Mentions A SACRED DUTY

13. Material on Tu B’Shvat From the Shalom Center

14. Charming YouTube Cartoon With a Vegetarian Theme

15. PCRM Report: Meat Consumption Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

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. Happy Tu B’Shvat/Environmental and Vegetarian Connections

Tu B’Shvat starts after sundown on Monday January 21 this year. I am scheduled to lead Tu B’Shvat seders that evening at the Staten Island JCC and on Tuesday for senior citizens at another branch of the SI JCC.

Tu B’Shvat is a great time to bring up environmental issues. Please visit the holiday section at the JVNA web site JewishVeg.com/Schwartz for my article relating Tu B’Shvat and vegetarianism.

Below is my letter that I sent to editors re Tu B’Shvat. Please use the material in my article and my letter to compose your own letters and for talking points. Thanks.
Dear Editor:

Many contemporary Jews look on Tu B'Shvat (January 21-22 this
year) as a Jewish ‘Earth Day,’ and use Tu B'Shvat seders as occasions to discuss how Jewish values can be applied to reduce many of today's environmental threats.

While Judaism teaches that "The Earth is the Lord’s" (Psalms
24:1), and that we are to be partners with God in preserving the environment, there are daily news reports about global warming, water shortages, air and water pollution, rapid extinction of species, and other environmental threats. Tu B'Shvat is the New Year for Trees, the date on which the fate of trees is decided for the coming year. Hence, it is an ideal time to consider the rapid destruction of tropical rain forests and other environmental problems.

In view of the above and much more, I urge Jews to use Tu B’Shvat
to start making tikkun olam, the repair and healing of the planet, a central focus in Jewish life today. Tu B’Shvat can be a great opportunity for education about environmental crises locally, nationally, in Israel, and internationally. This can also help energize our congregations, show the relevance of our eternal values and bring many Jews back to greater Jewish involvement.

For a complimentary copy of our new documentary A SACRED DUTY: APPLYING JEWISH VALUES TO HELP HEAL THE WORLD for possible use for an environmental program, please contact me at president@JewishVeg.com.

Very truly yours,

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2. Update Re A SACRED DUTY

We have decided to start trying to get A SACRED DUTY onto the Internet, YouTube, etc., so that it will be able to be viewed as widely as possible. If you have suggestions re this or can help, please let me know. Many thanks.


Superb Review of A SACRED DUTY in “Vegetarians in Paradise” Los Angeles Vegetarian Internet Magazine

While this review was also included in the special JVNA newsletter with strategy ideas about A SACRED DUTY, it is our first review and I think important enough to be included here again. Please share the review with others who might find it of interest. Thanks.

A Sacred Duty:
Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World

Produced by Lionel Friedberg & Prof Richard H. Schwartz
Written, Directed, Photographed, and Narrated by Lionel Friedberg

Presented by Jewish Vegetarians of North America
Available free at http://www.jewishveg.com

Review by Reuben and Zel Allen

Don't look behind you, Al Gore. You may have that Nobel Prize, but there's one area you haven't dared to broach: livestock production and the havoc it creates in the environment and with human health. If you do look behind you, you'll find Professor Richard Schwartz who has been delivering the message for many years in books like Judaism and Vegetarianism and Judaism and Global Survival.

But reading the message is not like seeing it on the screen, as Gore learned with An Inconvenient Truth. Now Schwartz has found the person who can transfer to film the thoughts he and others have been trumpeting for years. The filmmaker is Lionel Friedberg, an award-winning documentary cinematographer and director.

In making the film, Friedberg interviewed prominent rabbis,
environmentalists, and activists, but the emphasis was on A Sacred Duty of Jews to apply Jewish teachings in obtaining food, conserving natural
resources, and protecting non-human creatures.

Although the film emphasizes Judaism and Jewish teachings, the information and call to action are universal. Among the rabbinical leaders participating are Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, Ashkenazic Chief Rabbi of Haifa, and Rabbi David Rosen, Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland.

A Sacred Duty begins and ends with a biblical statement from Deuteronomy 30:19 read by Theodore Bikel:

"I call heaven and earth to bear witness against you today. I have
placed before you life and death, blessing and curse, and you shall choose
life, so that you may live, you and your offspring."

As Rabbi Yonassan Gershom tells viewers, this choice is represented
symbolically. Life is seeing our planet from outer space as one globe with
no national boundaries. Death is revealed in the mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb explosion. Both choices affect the entire planet. What happens in one part of the world affects everyone on earth.

The filmmaker chooses to focus on Israel because that tiny country is a
microcosm of the earth itself. In this relatively small nation are many of
the natural features found on the entire earth. A burgeoning population has led to pollution as revealed in scenes showing litter in the countryside as well as despoiled rivers, none safe for swimming or drinking water, and a Dead Sea that is rapidly dying, starved by a trickle of water from the
Jordan River.

Like so many countries of the world, Israel has serious environmental
problems, most noticeably air pollution. Quite startling is to learn that
17% of children have asthma. One in seven women in Haifa are plagued by breast cancer.

The heart of the film presents information that many vegetarians are
cognizant of, the toll of animal agriculture on the health of the planet and
the people inhabiting it. Referenced is the statement by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization that 18% of the greenhouse gases are from animal livestock production. The film also emphasizes the cruelty involved in factory farm food production in footage that makes necessary the cautionary note at the opening that there are graphic scenes that may be disturbing for some viewers.

Truly remarkable is the amount of information and ideas presented in this
documentary that is slightly less than one hour in viewing time. Friedberg
has assembled colorful footage that is highlighted by a stirring musical
score, composed and conducted by Andrew Keresztes

Combining his writing, photographic, and narrative skills, Friedberg has
created a visual message that convincingly reveals that vegetarianism can play a vital role in alleviating global warming and pollution. A Sacred Duty
emphasizes the need to apply Jewish values and teachings in the production of food and the utilization of natural resources. This film dares to tread where so many environmentalists fear to go -- recognizing that using animals for food is wasteful and cruel and is responsible for the destruction of the planet and human health at the same time.

A Sacred Duty is a tribute to Professor Richard Schwartz who is a living
incarnation of Jewish values. He has worked tirelessly and diligently for
many years to bring the information in this film into public consciousness.

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3. Declaration of Animal Rights Signed in the Israeli Knesset

Thanks to Vegetarian activist Jana Kohl for forwarding the following article to us:


January 3, 2008

Knesset backs animal rights, but doesn't roll out the red carpet

[I m planning to offer a complimentary copy of a SACRED DUTY to all the Israeli Knesset members and other governmental officials.]

By Shahar Ilan Tags: Haim Oron, Shelly Yachimovich

The doctrine of natural rights: "Out of an ethical recognition of the fact that animals undergo unlimited experiences ... suffering and pleasure, fear and joy ... I think we, as human beings and as a society, are obligated to act to defend their basic rights. These rights include, among other things, the right not to suffer from violence, from hunger or from thirst."

Thus reads the Declaration of Animal Rights, signed in the Knesset Tuesday by the initiative of Anonymous for Animal Rights, on Animal Rights Day.

In light of this, who said Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich can withstand pressure? She had not planned to be one of 30 MKs to sign the Declaration of Animal Rights (only 14 of whom actually did, led by MK Yoel Hasson of Kadima, who heads the Knesset's animal lobby).

It is no secret that human rights are more important to Yachimovich than animal rights. But her 12-year-old daughter Rama, a student at the Open School in Jaffa and a tireless collector of abandoned animals, won the battle. Rama's class was invited to the signing ceremony, and she successfully pressured her mother to sign the document. That's what you call intensive lobbying.

The animals, meanwhile, stayed outside. It was impossible to ignore that the Declaration of Animal Rights was signed without any animal representation.

When Hasson tried to bring in his family's dogs for a photo-op for the daily Maariv, he was told the cats that are sometimes photographed walking around the cafeteria were all the Knesset could handle.

Knesset policy is that seeing-eye dogs are allowed in, while other animals are not. But special requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis, said Knesset director general Avi Balashnikov. He said he did not receive any such requests.

The Knesset cafeteria marked a day without meat yesterday. When Yossi Beilin, the outgoing chairman of Meretz-Yahad, discovered he had to choose between lasagna and stuffed peppers, he suggested taking protest action.

Haim Oron, a candidate for taking over Beilin's position, also took it hard, but said he was prepared to suffer for one day. United Arab List-Ta'al chairman Ibrahim Sarsur became nostalgic about his childhood when the Friday meals were considered a celebration.

An interesting coalition in favor of animal experiments for the purpose of saving lives has developed between the scientists and the ultra-Orthodox. Balad chairman Jamal Zahalka, a pharmacist, said there is no way to develop painkillers without causing animals terrible pain.

Yehuda Avidan, a strategic consultant close to Shas, thinks the whole event is "hypocrisy of the first degree," saying that developing anticancer drugs justifies animal experiments. "The Weizmann Institute is doing sacred work," he said.

This week saw the continuation of a conflict between the ministerial committee for legislation, which refuses to discuss bills for special days in the Knesset that are dedicated to specific topics, and MKs who think the special days are a great opportunity to advance related legislation.

Hasson and MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) submitted a proposal to have animal rights' groups monitor the experiments.

MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud) proposed making it illegal to kill animals for inappropriate purposes.

A compromise was finally reached because Hasson is also acting coalition chairman: The laws were proposed in the Knesset plenum, but the vote will take place another time.

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4. Update on New Jewish Vegetarian Web Site ShalomVeg.com

This is an e-mail from the 'ShalomVeg.com' web site by coordinator Boris Golgin:


I would like to personally welcome you to the ShalomVeg community, and thank you for joining and registering on the site. Since the site officially went online a few weeks ago, over 30 visitors have registered, and hopefully more are on the way.

I hope you have had time to explore all of the features on ShalomVeg, including the recently updated learning section with a growing collection of articles, essays and videos. As mentioned in the registration email, there is also a recipe database, and a classified ads and forum section. Additionally, you have the ability on most sections of the site to leave your comments and share your views with others (this can be done anonymously if desired).

Recently we have added a "What Do You Think" discussion section to the site, where you can share your views on questions and issues relevant to the community, and see how others respond. This month's first discussion is on how best to respond to questions about our eating choices, and how to inform other Jews about vegetarian and animal issues in the most productive way. See the front page for more details.

Since one of the main goals of ShalomVeg is to provide a way for members of our community to get to know each other, please take a few minutes to add information to your profile so other users can know who you are. This feature is great for networking and finding other people in your area to work on projects, share activism ideas or even become friends. You can add as little or as much information as you want, and only other registered members who have been approved by the administrator can view the profiles. You can also add a photo--of yourself, or any other photo you choose--so you have a "face" on the site. The more profiles and photos that are up, the more useful the site can be for everyone.

To make changes to your profile, simply log on, go to "Go To My Profile" in the user menu, click the "Edit" tab and then update your profile info. To add an image, go to "Edit" and then "update your image". To see other member's profiles, go to the user menu and click "search profiles".

We are adding more articles to the site on a regular basis, and will be adding other features such a poetry/creative writing section and chat in the near future. If you have any of your own writings you would like to share with the community, you can submit them too. Again, please let us know if there is anything that you would like to see on the site, or if you would like to help in any way.

Thanks again for joining, and I look forward to seeing you on ShalomVeg!

Boris Dolin,
Director, ShalomVeg.com

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5. Action Alert: Helping End Cruelty to Farm Animals in California

Forwarded Message:
From: Humane Society of the United States

Forwarded by A SACRED DUTY producer Lionel Friedberg

Subject: Calling all Californians: help end cruelty to farm animals

Your help is urgently needed to end three of the worst abuses animals endure on factory farms!

Thousands of California citizens are volunteering their time to collect 650,000 signatures from other Californians to place the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act <https://community.hsus.org/ct/h11XIH41KzoJ/>; on the November 2008 ballot.

This common-sense ballot measure will reduce a tremendous amount of suffering and intensive confinement. It requires that animals be able to turn around and extend their limbs, meaning that it would prohibit battery cages for egg-laying hens, veal crates for calves, and gestation crates for breeding pigs. Please take a moment to check out a new campaign video! <https://community.hsus.org/ct/h11XIH41KzoJ/>; about this historic initiative.

We still need to gather hundreds of thousands of signatures before the end of February! But we can only do this with your active participation! As a California resident and voter, you can volunteer to help place this critically important measure on the ballot. We really need your help. Will you help us and volunteer to collect signatures <https://community.hsus.org/ct/h71XIH41KzoK/>; to help us reach our goal? It's simple, fun, and rewarding -- and this measure alone will reduce the misery that 20 million farm animals endure in the state in cramped cages and crates on factory farms. And please also tell your friends and family ; how they can get involved in the signature gathering effort. If you are already a volunteer, thank you! If you haven't been involved, now is the time! With your help, we can win an enormously significant victory for farm animals in California. Sincerely, Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO, The Humane Society of the United States. P.S. Please make sure to check out HumaneCalifornia.org

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6. Update on Animal Rights Group Directed by JVNA Advisor David Cantor

Forwarded message from David Cantor:

Responsible Policies for Animals Update - Circulate Freely


I hope 2008 has started well for you!

Many thanks to all who donated to Responsible Policies for Animals near the end of 2007! You're making possible all the more groundbreaking animal advocacy -- not to mention encouraging me and RPA's other Board members. Like other primates, we're social animals, too!

And RPA members will get more member benefits this year! RPA's New Year's resolution is to put out more issues of Thin Ice in 2008. You've been patient about only receiving one in 2006 and one in 2007. But there's much more to tell you -- about RPA's activities that you make possible, ways you can advance RPA's creative campaigns, and useful knowledge for educating others.

If you haven't yet seen the February 2008 issue of VegNews, have a look! I think you'll like Responsible Policies for Animals' display ad! It's in the Marketplace section, on page 95.

With a circulation of 60,000 and an estimated 180,000 readers, describing itself as "Vegetarian NEWSPOLITICSFOODTRAVELBUZZ," VegNews magazine does a very professional job of popularizing plants-only eating and debunking misconceptions that humans have a natural need to eat anything from animals.

The new issue includes a special feature on extreme vegan athletes. Many people still think athletes need meat in order to have "enough protein." But it's long been known that plants-only eating provides more stamina -- and "[t]oo much protein will, in fact, hinder athletic performance." Not surprising -- after all, humans are natural herbivores. If you're still not sure, you might be surprised at some of the article's amazing athlete profiles!

Eating plants only isn't one and the same as advancing humane treatment of animals as society's norm -- that is, animal rights. But to accept humane treatment as public policy rather than just personal choice, the vast majority must understand plants-only eating is not only possible but preferable -- due to powerful, misguided and misleading social, political, and institutional influences. VegNews is very good at communicating that.

RPA will run ads in all six 2008 VegNews issues! To make VegNews' affordable ad rates all the more economical, we'll run the current display ad in three alternating issues and run a (less-expensive) classified ad in the intervening issues.

Like the current display ad, I think you'll like the clever classified ad we've devised!

Not-ta-worry! In case you don't subscribe to VegNews or can't conveniently locate a copy, we'll show you both ads in future e-mails. But you'll enjoy them more in the magazine!

Meanwhile, discuss RPA's work with me anytime, let me know if you'd like to do more to advance RPA's campaigns, visit www.RPAforAll.org and www.ExpertsOfConscience.org if it's been a while, tell friends about RPA, have a great January, and watch for more Updates and Thin Ice before long!

Best wishes,

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

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7. DVD Provides Encyclopedic Information on Raw Food Diets

Forwarded message from the DVD producer Mark Pearlmutter:

[I am including this because I think that environmental sustainability requires a major shift toward raw food diets.]

“Raw for Life”


the definitive “Why To Go Raw” DVD

This DVD is an invaluable tool for life change. It’s an encyclopedia of raw lifestyle with 30 medical experts and celebrities such as Woody Harrelson, Anthony Robbins, Morgan Spurlock (creator of "Super Size Me"), Rev. Michael Beckwith (featured in the "The Secret" and “Oprah”), Gabriel Cousens MD, David Wolfe and others. These leaders in the movement explain in simple terms how and why raw is so beneficial to us and the environment.

Chapters include “Optimal Athletic Performance”, “Health and Wellness”, “Wisdom of Eating Raw”, “Rejuvenation and Longevity”, “Spiritual Aspects”, “Detox and Cleansing”, “Nutrition”, “Weight Reduction”, “Beating Diabetes”, “Starting Out”, and “Recipes From Leading Chefs”.

It is perfect for advocates of health, weight control, peak performance, animal rights, vegetarian eating, ecology -- or for diabetics wishing to find a natural treatment and possible cure. It is available online and at select retailers.

It contains 2 discs and is designed to help you reach your loved ones with convincing information from recognizable and respected faces. It offers a credible message pointing toward the healthiest possible life for anyone willing to change.


Encyclopedia of Raw Lifestyle—“how to” and “why to”
30 leading experts and celebrities explain the benefits of raw
Famous chefs prepare signature recipes
Perfect gift — order online for direct shipping to family and friends
Use For House Parties and screenings

Available at HYPERLINK http://rawforlifedvd.com/

Mark Pearlmutter

Material from the “Raw for Life” web site:

"Raw For Life" is an A-to-Z encyclopedia of Raw Food, perfect for beginners and Raw Food enthusiasts. This two-disc DVD inspires people with the Raw Food philosophy, the wisdom of eating a raw food diet, important medical facts and nutritional information.

We have combined the expertise of Doctors and Nutritionists with testimonials from celebrities, athletes, and chefs who live the Raw Food Lifestyle. Our goal was to create a product that would empower people to take control of their health and happiness. In "Raw For Life", you will find everything you need to transition to a healthier state of being.

This DVD is perfect for Vegetarians, Vegans, and Raw Food Vegans looking for new recipes and resources; someone coping with diabetes, heart disease, or excess weight, those seeking to reverse their aging process; athletes looking to improve their performance; actors, dancers, and other performers looking for a healthy way to maintain their weight and image; anyone looking to live longer, be stronger, perform at their best, and get their nutrition on the right track!

"Raw For Life" is ready to ship out. Buy it as a gift, for your friends, family, or yourself. This is the perfect gift for loved one for the holiday season.


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8. Update on the Best Friends Animals Network’s Proclamation on Animal Compassion/How to be a Signer

Forwarded message from Best Friends Animals Network:

Welcome to a community designed to share how kindness and respect for animals is being embraced by a broad denominational spectrum of people and leaders of faith. The Animals & Religion Network Community is designed to provide information and resources, for you and your religious or spiritual organization, that illustrate our spiritual connection with animals and how this connection can be better understood and embraced in religious circles.

A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion

Sign the proclamation!

For more information, or to sign the proclamation, please visit:

http://network.bestfriends.org/Petitions/Detail.aspx?gu=religion&pn=6&g=922d350e41804f64aa372d2805b912c1 (petition link)

Download the proclamation

Send to a friend

There are currently 6713 signatures!

View Proclamation Signatures

Help us achieve One Million Signatures in Support of Compassion for Animals!

On November 7, 2007, Best Friends Animal Society hosted a historic gathering of people of many diverse faiths in Washington, D.C. United by their compassion for animals, the diverse group came together to witness the unveiling and signing of 'A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion.' This important document, created by a group of clergy representing more than 20 of the world's religious traditions, issues calls to action for people of all faiths to reclaim a commitment to animals.

We invite you to become a part of this movement for animals by adding your name to this important document and, in doing so, renewing your commitment to compassionate living.

Help Best Friends collect one million signatures from people of all faiths who are committed to making this world a kinder place for animals. Be part of this historic movement by adding your name today!

A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion

Purpose Statement

As people from diverse religious traditions, we are united in our 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 in an effort that will define our legacy as stewards of God’s creation.


In a world of increasing violence towards others, ourselves, and our environment, we believe it is essential to reclaim and recover a commitment of compassion for all of life. We believe that a commitment to compassion begins with the most vulnerable among us, which includes animals. Therefore,

We Proclaim:

that creation is a gift of love;

that we have been especially entrusted by God to care for this creation;

that as an integral part of creation, farm, wild, and domesticated animals depend upon us, both directly and indirectly, for their welfare;

that as heirs of their respective traditions, religious communities bear a special responsibility for the welfare of these animals;

and that as ambassadors of compassion, religious communities should extend compassion not only to the human family, but to animals and to all of creation.

Five Calls to Action

As concerned people of faith and in response to these proclamations, we make the following five calls to action in five arenas that directly impact the quality of animals' lives: Pet Overpopulation and the Plight of Homeless Pets; the Meat and Fur Industries; Animals in Sports and Entertainment; Medical Research and Experimentation on Animals; and Wildlife Preservation and Protection.

I. Whereas millions of animals are killed each year and many more are left homeless due to a) aggressive for-profit breeding programs that add to an already massive pet overpopulation crisis, b) the reluctance or unwillingness on the part of some pet owners to spay or neuter their pets, and c) “No Pets” restrictions in common interest housing areas such as apartments and condominiums;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to promote legislation and educational programs designed to prevent further animal cruelty, abuse, and overpopulation; spay or neuter all pets; adopt animals from shelters rather than purchase them from breeders or pet stores; and advocate for more inclusive policies in all common interest housing agreements.

II. Whereas the increasing commercialization and commoditization of animals for the purpose of human consumption and comfort causes untold suffering upon animals each year in factory farms, the commercial fishing industry, and the fur-trade;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to make conscientious food and clothing choices by reducing meat consumption and refusing to wear fur; buy from local farms that implement humane practices; and actively support all local, regional, and national businesses, organizations, and causes that promote and encourage the humane treatment of animals.

III. Whereas tens of thousands of animals are exploited each year in various sporting and entertainment venues for the purpose of providing entertainment, amusement and, in some cases, profit, and who are then often disposed of or abandoned when they fail to adequately entertain, amuse, or provide sufficient financial gain;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to reject any form of entertainment that harms and/or exploits animals and, instead, to choose venues that benefit animals and provide opportunities for education and animal protection.

IV. Whereas thousands of animals continue to be bred for and used in medical and commercial research and experimentation, often for dubious and medically unnecessary reasons and which, in many cases, cause pain, anguish, and suffering, often in spite of alternative methods that have been scientifically proven to be as effective or more humane;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to contact their elected leaders to request their support and/or sponsorship of legislation that demands an end to medically unnecessary animal testing and commercial animal research that cause undue pain and suffering; to promote efforts that seek to find alternative methods to animal testing and research; and to educate themselves and others regarding current methods and practices in order to increase awareness of the deplorable conditions that continue to exist for countless animals.

V. Whereas urban expansion and over-aggressive land development continue to encroach upon wildlife populations and habitat and many species are being threatened or completely destroyed as a result;

We therefore call upon all people of faith to refrain from consuming or purchasing any threatened species and to boycott companies that profit from wildlife eradication and environmentally unsustainable deforestation.


As leaders of different religious and faith traditions, we recognize the unique opportunity we have been given to effect profound and lasting change for the sake of animals. As stewards of God’s creation, we accept and embrace our duty, responsibility, and moral obligation to both protect the lives of animals and assure that those lives reflect the respect and dignity they are to be afforded as part of God’s creation. We therefore invite all people of faith, under the guidance of their various faith traditions, to take up the mantle of compassion towards all of life and recognize that, as human beings, we are only part of God’s creation and cannot presume to be all that matters in it. Indeed, because animals are an inextricable part of our social and natural environments, we therefore affirm that any lasting effort for change on any level will only be complete insofar as it pays attention to and advocates for animals and their well-being. Finally, we call upon religious leaders of all traditions to honor and encourage those in their faith communities who make compassionate food and clothing choices and who work for the benefit of animals.

Sincerely, Sign this proclamation To read the full assessment report, click on the News tab above.

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9. New Book Indicates That Diabetes Can Be Reversed/Book Release Scheduled in NY City

Forwarded message from Michael Bader of the Tree of Life Institute:

Dear Dr. Richard Schwartz,

Shalom! Hope I may serve you today!

I would like to offer you, for JVNA and Interfaith Vegetarians, one of the select spots on the table for Gabriel Cousens, M.D.'s book release in NYC on January 15, and to ask you to making a special announcement to your entire NYC-area mailing list about this:

Rebbe Gabriel Cousens, M.D., is speaking in New York City. He is speaking for a culture change. His breakthrough in reversing diabetes naturally, which affects over 21 million with diabetes and 54 million with pre-diabetes in the US, shows that we can shift as a culture at large to a Culture of Life and Liberation, through waking up to how we are living.

Gabriel is releasing the hot new book, There Is A Cure for Diabetes: The Tree of Life 21-Day+ Program, imbued with massive information, inspiration, research, science, and experiences many can relate to and use to transition to a way of wellness, intention, and healing in your life.

Gabriel invites you to learn there is a cure for diabetes. And the cure is the Culture of Life and Liberation lifestyle and cuisine!

He is speaking at 55 Broad St. in NYC on January 15. 7:00 to 9:30 pm.

The website to register for the event, and for full information about the breakthrough presentation, is: www.21daycure.com

Price includes your copy of There Is A Cure for Diabetes, signed! $20 in advance, $30 door.


Thank you for your consideration - we hope to have your materials out, and have you attend on behalf of JVNA as our guest.

Best regards

Michael Bedar
Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center
Assistant to Gabriel Cousens, M.D., M.D.(H)
Retreat Planning, Promotion, and Media Supervisor
email: michael@treeoflife.nu
phone: 520-394-2520 x209
fax: 415-598-2409
web: www.treeoflife.nu

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10. Israeli Educator Tours US, Speaking on Maimonides’ Teachings On Nutrition and Health

Forwarded message from Chana Bracha Siegelbaum

“Rambam: Character development, Nutrition & Health”
Based on HaYad Hachazaka –Hilchot Deot Chapter 4

Learn from the wisdom of the Rambam to develop healthy life habits conducive to vitality and longevity. “Whoever lives in accordance with the directions I have set forth has my assurance that he will never be sick… or need a physician” (Hilchot Deot, 4:20)

More than 800 years ago, the Rambam instructed us that preventative medicine is the most efficient medicine. Discover how Rambam’s holistic outlook is applicable for guarding your health today. Selected sources from the Rambam’s teaching on Nutrition & Health in Hebrew/English accompanies the learning.

Rebbetzin Chana Bracha’s USA Speaking tour Feb 3-18

She will be visiting, NY, Boston, Baltimore, LA, San Jose, Dallas, and Florida

For more information please contact Elana Roth, mishpacharoth@yahoo.com

With Blessings of the Torah & the Land,

Chana Bracha Siegelbaum

Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin
(972-2) 993-2642
Director@berotbatayin.org http://berotbatayin.org/

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11. Action Alert: Reducing Animal Abuses in Israel

Forwarded message:

Please crosspost:


Tell the Weizmann Institute to Stop Torturing Monkeys and Cats

The American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science (ACWIS) is responsible for securing funding for the Weizmann Institute of Science
in Rehovot, Israel, where cruel experiments on cats and monkeys were
recently exposed in an undercover investigation.

An October 2007 undercover investigation by the Israeli organization Let
the Animals Live documented cruel experiments that involved the

* Drilling holes in animals' skulls in order to expose their brains

* Attaching chambers and silicone disks to animals' skulls

* Subjecting them to daily water deprivation

* Immobilizing animals in restraint chairs
and inserting electrodes directly into their brains

* Forcibly keeping animals' eyes open for
hours while they watch patterns on screens

The investigation also documented that after tests were completed, all
cats and some monkeys were killed by experimenters and had their brains
removed for further examination.

Watch the video and take action here:


Bruce Friedrich
Vice President, International Grassroots Campaigns

Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence
encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.

-Elie Wiesel

* Please watch, download, and distribute this free and uncopyrighted
video <http://www.meat.org/> .

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12. Article in Los Angeles Jewish Journal Mentions A SACRED DUTY

Below are links to material on greening in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal -- one main article, two sidebars and a small calendar of upcoming events.





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13. Material on Tu B’Shvat From the Shalom Center

A Prophetic Voice in Jewish, Multireligious, and American Life

Tu B'Shvat is coming -- the evening of January 21. It celebrates the rebirthing of trees in the midst of winter, and in the mystical tradition of Kabbalah, also the reawakening of Divine energy with God seen metaphorically as the Tree of Life, with Its roots in Heaven and Its fruit, ourselves -- the universe.

At www.shalomctr.org/node/1328 you will find the text of a pamphlet that you can download as a supplement for you to use in holding a Tu B'Shvat Seder or giving a sermon on the Birthday of the Trees. Click here for a PDF file that you can download and print as a four-page pamphlet.

Ancient rabbis taught that Tu B'Shvat represented the fiscal New Year for trees, in regard to tithing their fruit. Kabbalists in 16th century Tzfat in northern Israel modeled a sacred meal for that day on the Passover seder, celebrating in their meal God's flow of natural abundance through four courses of wine and fruit.

Today that flow is most threatened by the global climate crisis. The comments in our supplement are keyed for your use in each of the four Seder courses, to address the climate crisis in thought and action.
The Tree imagery reminds us that the Temple Menorah was patterned after a tree, with branches, leaves and almond blossoms (Ex. 25:31-40, 37:17-24). The original menorah was a Tree of Light -- truly a green menorah. Our Green Menorah Covenant campaign is a year-round effort, not for Hanukkah only.

Please contact us to learn more about becoming a partner in the Green Menorah Covenant, bringing us to speak, and supporting our work.

For an anthology of Jewish thought and practice on trees and Tu B'Shvat from the earliest biblical days till now, see Trees, Earth, & Torah, edited by Ari Elon, Rabbi Naomi Mara Hyman, and Rabbi Arthur Waskow (Jewish Publication Society, 1999).

The Green Menorah work has been generously supported by the Arnow family foundations, Rita Poretsky Foundation, ALEPH Alliance for Jewish Renewal, the New World Foundation, Hazon, & Shalom Center members.

Regards, shalom, salaam, peace -- Arthur

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14. Charming YouTube Cartoon With a Vegetarian Theme


Thanks to Vegetarian Activist Luiza Carrol for forwarding the following message to us:

"The Little Fish" is a charming 9 minutes cartoon, with strong vegetarian message and beautiful music. It contains only a few words, spoken in Russian and written in Esperanto, but its message is clear enough even without any words. Here is the address of the cartoon:


Enjoy yourselves!


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15. PCRM Report: Meat Consumption Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

Thanks to Israeli vegetarian activists Yosef and Hadassah Harrell for forwarding this article:

Breaking Medical News

Meat Consumption Increases Risk of Breast Cancer

A substudy of the Diet, Cancer and Health study, a prospective cohort study established to evaluate the role of diet and cancer among 24,697 postmenopausal Danish women, was set up to evaluate the relationship between meat consumption and risk of breast cancer. This nested study looked at 378 women who developed breast cancer and matched them to controls who did not develop breast cancer. A higher intake of meat (red meat, poultry, fish, and processed meat) was associated with a significantly higher breast cancer incidence rate. Every 25 gram increase in consumption of total meat, red meat, and processed meat led to a 9, 15, and 23 percent increase in risk of breast cancer, respectively. However, the degree of risk may depend on genetics. Certain genes activate the carcinogens (heterocyclic amines) found in cooked meat. The study showed women with genes that rapidly activate these carcinogens are at particular risk of breast cancer if they eat meat.

Egeberg R, Olsen A, Autrup H, et al. Meat consumption, N-acetyl transferase 1 and 2 polymorphism and risk of breast cancer in Danish postmenopausal women. Eur J Canc Prev. 2008;17:39-47.

For information about nutrition and health, please visit www.pcrm.org/.

Breaking Medical News is a service of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 5100 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W., Suite 400, Washington, DC 20016.

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