April 29, 2008

3/24/2008 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. My Webinar Scheduled for This Wednesday/Your Chance to Learn more About “Judaism and Vegetarianism” and Perhaps Become a JVNA Speaker/Representative

2. Passover and Vegetarianism

3. I Am to be Honored on Staten Island on March 30

4. My Interview Now On You Tube

5. Israel Now Suffering Its Worse Drought In a Decade

6. JVNA Press Release Re Israel's Severe Water Shortage

7. Getting Vegetarianism Onto Cooking Shows

8. Four Positive Letters in the Jerusalem Post in Response to My Article “Purim and Vegetarianism”

9. Correction

10. Petition To World Leaders Re Vegetarianism

11. Glaciers Suffer Record Shrinkage

12. Two Vegetarian Seders Scheduled for the New York Area

13. Eco-Activist Torah Program Scheduled in Israel

14. A Personal Journey to Vegetarianism

15. The World's First “Party for the Animals”

16. An Increasingly Thirsty World

17. Campaign To Seek Global Warming Solutions

18. Challenge to Ritual Slaughter in the Netherlands

19. Jewish Raw Foods E-Mail Group Started

20. Action Alert: Improving Hospital Care for Breast Cancer Patients

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. My Webinar Scheduled for This Wednesday/Your Chance to Learn more About “Judaism and Vegetarianism” and Perhaps Become a JVNA Speaker/Representative

The message below was forwarded from Best Friends Animal Society. I hope you will consider taking part in the one hour webinar scheduled for 7 PM eastern time on Wednesday, March 26. The slides I will be using are attached and I hope you are able to download them. I hope many people will use this opportunity to become more familiar with the Jewish case for vegetarianism and will consider presenting this case at local synagogues, schools and other local Jewish and possibly non-Jewish settings, perhaps along with a showing of A SACRED DUTY. Suggestions welcome. Many thanks.

Best Friends Animals & Religion Network Community continues its 2008 Webinar series with an amazing Webinar next week!!

by Kris Haley, Best Friends Manager of Multifaith Outreach

This month's “Animals & Religion Author's Corner" will feature one of the co-authors of the Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion, Professor Richard Schwartz. As its Associate Producer, Prof. Schwartz will be discussing the new and revolutionary documentary, "A SACRED DUTY," which clearly outlines the looming environmental threats currently facing us and the role that animals play in the equation. Under Richards tutelage, we will embark on an amazing journey through the Jewish scriptural texts, interpretations and philosophies that illuminated the path toward the groundbreaking documentary, “A SACRED DUTY”

For those who have seen Al Gore's, "An Inconvenient Truth," "A SACRED DUTY" goes beyond, clearly addressing what that film did not and guides us to an understanding about how Jewish teachings can be applied to articulate an appropriate response for our planet.

These cutting-edge Webinars are open to all who wish to attend; friends and family welcome!

In addition to being A SACRED DUTY's Associate Producer, Professor Richard Schwartz is Professor Emeritus of the College of Staten Island and has authored many books, among them, "Judaism and Vegetarianism," "Judaism and Global Survival," and "Mathematics and Global Survival." Prof. Schwartz is the President of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA - www.JewishVeg.com) and the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV - www.serv-online.org)

We hope you will consider joining us for this
exciting new concept-Webinar which will feature extraordinary perspectives of animals and spirituality, conducted in real time. We will also have time at the conclusions of each Webinar for you to chat with Prof. Schwartz and ask questions.

Webinar broadcast information is as follows:

Webinar Name: Animals & Religion Author's Corner
Date: Wednesday, March 26th
Time: 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., MST (Mountain) 7-8 PM Eastern time

You may use the time converter at this link http://www.timezoneconverter.com/cgi-bin/tzc.tzc to determine the time to which Mountain Time converts in your particular time zone.

We hope you will join us and we look forward to your RSVP to piper@bestfriends.org. (She will then send you information on how to log in.)

Since thee is another webinar next week, please be sure to include the name, date and time of the Webinar(s) you are attending in your email.

Your RSVP will allow us to send you dial and log in information so that you can join us! Don't' forget to invite your friends, family and even your faith leaders!! Feel free to cut and paste this text and email it to your contacts!

We very much hope to see you at our upcoming Webinar next week! We thank for your interest and support in this very important work!

To visit the Animals & Religion Network Community, go to http://network.bestfriends.org/religion. To read and sign A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion, visit http://bestfriends.org/signproc

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2. Passover and Vegetarianism

With Passover about a month away, I am planning to send my articles “Passover and Vegetarianism” and “Passover and Earth Day” out widely. Please take a look at these articles in the holiday section at JewishVeg.com/Schwartz, and please let me know if you have any suggestions for improvements. Also, please feel free to use the material in these articles for your own articles, letters, and talking points. Thanks.

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3. I Am to be Honored on Staten Island on March 30

The annual UJA-Federation breakfast is scheduled for March 30 at 9:30 AM at Congregation B'nai Jeshurun on Staten Island. Many Staten Island synagogues pick an honoree for this event. This year, my synagogue young Israel of Staten Island has chosen me as the honoree. I am considering challenging the various synagogue representatives in my short talk to make tikkun olam a central focus of their activities, and I plan to offer a complimentary DVD to people who will use it to arrange a showing.

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4. My Interview Now On You Tube

Parts 1 and 2 of my 4-part interview by Supreme Master TV has been uploaded onto You Tube:

Part 1:

Part 2:

You might want to fast forward some of the extra material that SMTV has added re who is a vegetarian, etc. I hope that the 4 parts of the interview will soon be edited into one video, with much of the extraneous/extra parts removed.

Suggestions re using the interview segments as effectively as possible are very welcome.

Many thanks.

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5. Israel Now Suffering Its Worse Drought In a Decade




Israel is suffering its worst drought in a decade and will have to stop pumping from one of its main sources of drinking water, the Sea of Galilee, by the end of the summer, an official said Wednesday.

Water Authority spokesman Uri Schor said Israel must start pumping more ground water from aquifers that are already depleted.

"The situation is very, very bad," Schor said. "As we pump more from the aquifers, the quality of the water will go down."

Israel's water problem stems from population growth and rising prosperity that has seen an increase in lawns and gardens, Schor said. In addition, this winter was the fourth in a row in which Israel had low rainfall, with only about 50-60 percent of the average in most areas, he said.

Israel's rainy season ends this month and will not begin again until October.

Water is a contentious issue in the dry region, and the subject of one of the disputes Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators.

Despite the shortage, Israel will probably not reduce the amount of water supplied to Jordan according to a peace treaty between the countries, Schor said. Jordan's drought is much worse than Israel's, he said.

"Israel has in recent weeks reduced the drinking water supplied to farmers by more than 50 percent, increasing their need for recycled water," Schor said. "This weekend water officials will discuss raising the cost of drinking water in an attempt to cut household use," he said.

Israel has two desalination plants that supply about one-third of water needed by municipalities and households, Schor said. Three other plants, scheduled to be completed by 2013, will double that amount. The next one is due to be operational next year.

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6. JVNA Press Release Re Israel's Severe Water Shortage


For Immediate Release:

March 20, 2008
Richard H. Schwartz, President of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)
President@JewishVeg.com Phone: (718) 761-5876

Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) today urged Jews to see the recent report that Israel faces its worse drought in a decade
as the latest indicator that Jews should play a major role in applying Judaism's powerful environmental teachings in response to global climate change and other environmental problems that threaten Israel and all of humanity.

Richard Schwartz, president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) and author of “Judaism and Global Survival” stated: “When we read daily reports of the effects of global climate change, such as record heat waves, severe storms, widespread droughts, and the melting of glaciers and polar icecaps; when some climate scientists are warning that global climate change may spin out of control with disastrous consequences unless major changes are soon made; when a recent report indicated that our oceans may be virtually free of fish by 2050; when species of plants and animals are disappearing at the fastest rate in history; when it is projected that half of the world's people will live in areas chronically short of water by 2050; it is essential that the Jewish community fulfill our mandate to be a 'light unto the nations' and lead efforts to address these critical issues.”

JVNA pointed out that Israel is especially threatened by global warming. A report by the Israel Union for Environmental Defense in 2007 indicates that global warming could cause: (1) a rise in average temperature of 6 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit; (2) a significant increase in the Mediterranean Sea level, which would threaten the narrow coastal strip of land where 60% of Israel's population lives and where major infrastructure, such as ports and power plants, would be destroyed; and (3) a significant decrease in rainfall, estimated at 20-30%, which would disrupt agricultural production and worsen the chronic water scarcity problem in Israel and the region.

JVNA is urging that tikkun olam-the healing and repair of the world -- be a central issue in synagogues, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions. “Judaism has marvelous teachings on environmental conservation and sustainability, and it is essential that they be applied to respond to the many current environmental threats,” stated Rabbi Barry Silver of Congregation L'Dor Va-Dor in Lake Worth Florida.

The group also stated that dietary concerns should be considered in terms of environmental impacts. JVNA secretary/treasurer John Diamond stated: “In view of the many threats to humanity, it is scandalous that the world is not only trying to feed 6.7 billion people, but also over 50 billion farmed animals; that 70 percent of the grain produced in the United States and over a third produced worldwide are fed to animals raised for slaughter; that the standard American diet (SAD) requires up to 14 times as much water as a vegan diet.” Author and Jewish vegetarian activist Dan Brook added: “A 2006 UN FAO report indicated that animal-based agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (18 percent in CO2 equivalents) than all the world's cars and other means of transportation combined (13.5 percent), and that the number of farmed animals is projected to double in 50 years. Therefore, what we eat is more important than what we drive and consciousness about both are ethical imperatives.”

The coalition urges rabbis and other Jewish leaders to make Jews aware of how animal-based diets and agriculture violate basic Jewish mandates to preserve human health, treat animals compassionately, protect the environment, conserve natural resources and help hungry people.

Further information about these issues can be found at the JVNA web site JewishVeg.com. The group's new one-hour documentary A SACRED DUTY: APPLYING JEWISH VALUES TO HELP HEAL THE EARTH can be viewed, in its entirety, at ASacredDuty.com. Also at that web site are further information about the movie and information about requesting a complimentary DVD.

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7. Getting Vegetarianism Onto Cooking Shows

Message with valuable suggestion re this issue from Nina Natelson, founder and director of Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI):

The letter I sent to the Post was published today, someone from Israel wrote to tell me. I haven't seen it so I don't know if they included the whole thing or edited it down to a sentence, but at least, it will mention the word vegetarian. [The letter is in the next item.] On the cooking shows on TV, I rarely see anyone prepare a vegetarian meal. You wouldn't know that many people are vegetarian from watching these programs. It is all about meat. The most popular chef, Rachel Rae, prepared a meal with chicken stock and told the audience this was a suitable meal for their vegetarian friends because it did not contain meat. I think there should be a campaign to write to TV stations to let them know that vegetarians also watch cooking programs and since these chefs often speak about the nutritional and health aspects of different foods, they should be telling people to go veg. Rachel Rae prepared a meal with a huge amount of kale and said nothing about its high calcium content. Then she added cheese to the kale “for calcium,” she told her audience. I think I'll write to her, myself, but this issue should be the topic of some group's campaign so there will be many letters.


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8. Four Positive Letters in the Jerusalem Post in Response to My Article “Purim and Vegetarianism”

I hope this will spur us on to many other letter-writing campaigns. If you come across articles that you think deserve a response, please let me know. Thanks.

Meatless feasting

Sir, - Thank you for printing the excellent "Purim and vegetarianism" (March 18). Richard Schwartz is absolutely right in saying that if Jews were educated about the horrible realities of factory farming and the powerful Jewish mandate to take care of our health, show compassion to animals, protect the environment, conserve resources and help the hungry, they would seriously consider switching to vegetarian diets.

For more information on the subject, I recommend viewing the movie A Sacred Duty (www.asacredduty.com).

Chairperson, SPCA Hasharon
Sir, - Richard Schwartz eloquently expressed the essence of ethical, environmental and Judaic vegetarianism. It's easy in the "me" world we live in to become obsessed with our own selfish desires. For global survival, however, it is essential we begin to look beyond ourselves and our own individual needs, and become more conscious about the world around us, and our connection with it.


Sir, - Richard Schwartz reminded us that the toll of animal agriculture on our health, on the environment and on animals is far too great for us to continue to justify eating meat just because we like the taste. The cruelty of shackling and hoisting recently spotlighted in your paper is only one of the horrors to which animals raised for food are subjected.

If we want to feed the hungry, save the rainforests, prevent animal suffering and reduce the incidence of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and other degenerative ailments, there is only one choice - to become vegetarian.

Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI)
Alexandria, Virginia
Sir, - "Purim and vegetarianism" added a refreshing dimension of ethics and seriousness to the fun and frolic this holiday is known for. The original Purim was a serious episode in the life of a major Jewish community of the times.

Richard Schwatz's reflections provide an opportunity for serious reflection on the way we eat and the manner in which we feast.


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9. Correction

Item #9 in last week's JVNA newsletter was titled “Israeli Youth Group Goes Vegetarian.” The corrected title and the complete item from the last newsletter is below. We regret the error.

Australian Youth Group Goes Vegetarian
News (March 9, 2008)
Netzer gets kids to eat their greens


Australian Jewish News

NETZER recently became the first Zionist youth movement in Australia to turn vegetarian.

Netzer participants will be strongly encouraged to avoid eating meat and fish at Netzer functions, in line with the movement's commitment to tikkun olam (repairing the world).

A document explaining the decision said it was “entirely ideologically based”.

Netzer has said that vegetarianism is linked with morality and uses a passage from the Torah to demonstrate that God originally planned for humans to subsist on a vegetarian diet. It goes on to explain that it was only after the time of Noah that God permitted people to eat meat.

“In the spirit of the utopian vision outlined in Bereshit, Netzer has decided to become vegetarian,” the document said.

The document also said modern practices in the meat industry meant that the kosher method of killing animals was no longer humane, and that it is environmentally responsible to not eat meat.

“Vegetarianism is a significant step in making a positive impact in the area of water, climate change and world hunger.”

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10. Petition To World Leaders Re Vegetarianism

Forwarded message from vegetarian activist Kian Tavakkoli:

The following website http://veg4earth.org/ is collecting signatures for a petition to present to world leaders for a call to a vegetarian diet. It includes a sample letter for writing to government officials. It would be great if you could include it on your website.

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11. Glaciers Suffer Record Shrinkage

Sunday, 16 March 2008, 19:51 GMT

Some glaciers in Europe have suffered significant losses The rate at which some of the world's glaciers are melting has more than doubled, data from the United Nations Environment Programme has shown.

Average glacial shrinkage has risen from 30 centimetres per year between 1980 and 1999, to 1.5 metres (150 centimeters) in 2006.

Some of the biggest losses have occurred in the Alps and Pyrenees mountain ranges in Europe.

Experts have called for "immediate action" to reverse the trend, which is seen as a key climate change indicator.

Estimates for 2006 indicate shrinkage of 1.4 metres of 'water equivalent' compared to half a metre in 2005.

Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary General of the UN and executive director of its environment programme (UNEP), said: "Millions if not billions of people depend directly or indirectly on these natural water storage facilities for drinking water, agriculture, industry and power generation during key parts of the year.


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12. Two Vegetarian Seders Scheduled for the New York Area

Hi Richard,
I like the new logo! I have a few pictures I need to send you (sorry for the delay) from the A Sacred Duty screening I had/ I will try to upload and get those to you this week. Overall it went really well. Thank you so much for putting the film out, I gave out the additional copies you sent and members of our group passed them on and so on to spread the word.

On a Pesach note, I figure there are a lot of JVNA members in the NYC area and I thought members might want to know that the NYC Jewish Veg*ns Meetup is having two veg seders this year and all are welcome to attend!

Vegetarian and Vegan Seder #1-First Night of Passover
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Long Beach, Long Island-Walking Distance from the LIRR
Organizer: Rena

Vegan Seder #2- Seventh Night of Passover(Relaxed and Reformish)
Friday, April 25, 2008 7:45pm
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Organizer: Cathy

Thanks for all you do!

Take care,

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13. Eco-Activist Torah Program Scheduled in Israel

Forwarded message:

We are excited to invite you to the
Eco-Activist Beit Midrash's 2007-8 Programs
Spring Summer
May 30th- June 28th, July 25th - Aug 23rd.

The EABM (Eco-Activist Beit Midrash) is a part of Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo- a new Torah learning center in the heart of Jerusalem. We are home to a dynamic social environment where Jews from all backgrounds are getting together and pursuing deeper understandings of our tradition and their application to our times and ourselves. In the Torah Ecology program, three days a week we focus on text-based learning (with an option to intern with local environmental groups) and two days are spent on community service projects and tiyulim (field trips).

Our goal is to open up a living interaction between the issues that pulse through today's environmental crisis and our vast spiritual inheritance- from Chasidic thought to Talmudic law. Whether looking at how Torah sources regulate Jewish urban life or understand bio-diversity, or hearing spiritual teaching on the relationship between human and Earth, natural cycles and the Jewish calendar- our tradition is brimming with untapped insights into the core of today's environmental issues. The EABM is all about opening this conversation of tradition and today.

Extended tiyulim into the Galil and the Negev and meetings with experts and activists from across the Israeli environmental movement provide an intimate connection to the land of Israel today and it's local challenges. The community service aspects of the program let us immediately impact our local community with the Green values and strategies that our participants bring.

To find more information, get in touch with a past participant or see a more in-depth description, please…..

Check the website www.shlomoyeshiva.org/eco-new
Join our Facebook group: Eco-Activist Beit Midrash
Write to Shaul Judelman, organicjew@yahoo.com,
or call us at 011.972.50.559.6136.

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14. A Personal Journey to Vegetarianism

My Journey To Vegetarianism

By Jordanna Gittleman

My journey toward vegetarianism and veganism was long and complicated but I knew my goal was to stop eating animals since I was three years old (when I watched my Father kill a fish). When I saw my Father torture, kill and cook that fish, and put it on my plate, I understood that the fish on my plate had been a living, breathing, feeling being, and I decided I did not want to hurt or kill another fish. As the years passed I watched my Father fish and shoot one animal after another, and my disdain for meat eating grew every time I watched him torture and kill another animal. I knew I would have no peace of mind until I stopped torturing and killing animals “for food” but my parents forced me to eat fish and meat so I ate it grudgingly and secretly longed for the day when I would never have to touch another dead animal.

I didn't bother discussing my determination to become a vegetarian because I had made it clear to my parents that I did not want to eat animals and they had made it clear that I must eat animals. Though I now know they were absolutely wrong, they seriously believed that animal flesh was essential to a growing child's health, and I didn't meet a single vegetarian until I was 11 years old, so I had no way of disproving my parents.

The first vegetarian I met was a sixteen year old named Erika. When I heard that she didn't eat milk or eggs I became determined to remove milk and eggs from my own diet. Though I could not explain why, I intuitively understood that removing eggs and milk from my diet would be a good idea. I intuitively sensed that there would be deep spiritual, mental and physical benefits when I removed eggs and milk from my diet, though I had no idea where that intuition came from. Over a decade latter, after I had actually removed the milk and eggs from my diet, I found a book called Judaism and Vegetarianism by Richard Schwartz. Judaism and Vegetarianism told me that people become healthier as they eliminate animal flesh, milk and eggs from their diets, and it also told me about the horrible tortures inflicted on animals in the milk, egg and butchering industry.

I had eliminated milk and eggs from my diet based on intuition alone, but Richard Schwartz's book told me that I was helping to prevent cruelty toward chickens and cows by abstaining from milk and eggs. His book told me that a vegetarian diet helps to maintain the equilibrium of the planet so that all people can survive in relative health, and a vegetarian diet is good for the Environment at large, and when the Environment is healthy, everyone, man and animal, can dwell together in safety and harmony.

And Richard Schwartz's Judaism and Vegetarianism also told me that I would be less likely to get cancer, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, heart attack, obesity, osteoporosis, premature menstruation and a host of other unwanted ailments if I stayed away from milk, eggs, fish, chicken and steak. After I read Richard Schwartz's book I read many more books and magazines about vegetarianism. Several of those books and magazines imply (often bluntly) that a host of (often violent) mental and sexual disorders are directly linked to diet, and there will be less violent crimes like rape if we eliminate flesh, eggs and milk from our diets, along with (as time progresses) processed food (which would be a raw food, or fruitarian diet).

The mental, spiritual and physical advantages (for the individual and society at large) of a strict vegetarian (or vegan) diet were discussed from a variety of angles by Will Tuttle in The World Peace Diet, Food for the Gods by Rynn Berry, The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Diet for Transcendence by Steven Rosen, Diet For a New America by John Robbins, and several magazines including VegNews, Vegetarian Times and Living Nutrition Magazine.

All of these are wonderful sources of information for anyone, but, as a Jew, there's another factor which Richard Schwartz discussed in Judaism and Vegetarianism, something I had felt intuitively since childhood. As a child I was lucky enough to briefly attend a private Jewish day school run by Orthodox Jews. They told me that Moses and Rebecca proved their worthiness for roles of leadership in the Jewish community by demonstrating compassion towards animals. Compassion towards animals is a sign of a truly righteous person, so don't hesitate to show your compassion for animals by abstaining from meat in all secular and religious functions, because compassion towards animals is the mark of a truly righteous person. And people copy each other, so the best way to promote and encourage the growth of vegetarianism is to be one in public.

From numerous angles, it has been noted by Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaCohen Kook in A Vision of Vegetarianism and Peace, David Sears in The Vision of Eden (and his companion book called Compassion for Humanity in the Jewish Tradition), and many contemporary leaders in Rabbis and Vegetarianism (which was complied by Roberta Kalechofsky), that Vegetarianism and peace towards all sentient beings is our ultimate destiny.

We started off as vegetarians, in the Garden of Eden, and we are gradually becoming full vegetarians again, as the New Age dawns. The age of light, love, peace and compassion is dawning. We are returning to Eden. We are entering a new, better, more peaceful age. An age of peace, bliss and love. An age in which there is no killing or fighting. An age in which all men and animals dwell together in harmony. And this age of harmony, of peace, of light; this beautiful age exists because you are choosing to be it.

The Light of Love, Compassion and Peace exists because you are choosing to be the Light of Love, Compassion and Peace. The Compassion exists because you are choosing to be the Compassion. The Hope exists because you are choosing to be the Hope. The Love exists because you are choosing to be the Love.

The Peace exists because you are choosing to be the Peace.

The Shalom exists because you are choosing to be the Shalom.

Shalom Chaverim (Peace to you my Friends)

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15. The World's First “Party for the Animals”

Forwarded message:

Dear sir, madam,

We would like to bring the attached press release to your attention..

If you like to receive news about the Party for the Animals please send a reply e-mail to contact@partyfortheanimals.nl
Kind regards,

Party for the Animals
Information: + 31 6 12 66 71 07

Party for the Animals
PO Box 16698
1001 RD Amsterdam
The Netherlands
e-mail: contact@partyfortheanimals.nl

International press release

The world's first Party for the Animals starts a 'Worldlog' in 9 languages

Party leader Marianne Thieme reports on animal politics in the Dutch parliament weekly

17th March 2008 - “ Marianne Thieme, leader of the Dutch Party for the Animals (the first animal party in the world to be represented in a national parliament), will today launch a ˜worldlog" with the help of a team of 24 translators. Her goal is to inform kindred spirits across the globe about her work both within and outside of the Dutch parliament. The Worldlog will appear every week, first in Dutch, German, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Russian and Turkish; other languages will soon follow. The Worldlog is part of the Party for the Animals' new international website. The website and the Worldlog have been set up in response to increasing foreign interest in the Party.

In the Worldlog, Marianne Thieme will report on the pioneering work of the Party for the Animals. Nowhere else in the world is there a political party in parliament, which does not primarily represent human interests. In the meantime, Parties for the Animals have been set up or are in the process of establishing themselves in numerous other countries. In the Worldlog, Marianne Thieme will share her experiences with other proponents of animal rights. She also wants to inspire others to develop similar political activities and thereby ensure that we literally do justice to animals.

The Dutch Party for the Animals was established in 2002 and now has 2 seats in the House of Representatives, 1 seat in the Senate and 9 seats in the Provincial States parliament. The Party for the Animals is currently the fastest growing political party in the Netherlands. In addition, the Party now also has its own youth organisation and a scientific bureau. The latter recently produced Meat the Truth, a documentary on climate change. On the basis of scientific reports, this film demonstrates the livestock industry worldwide is responsible for the emission of more greenhouse gasses than all the cars, lorries, trains, ships and planes added together. The documentary will be screened this summer in, among other places, Brussels, London, Dresden, New York, Madrid, Sydney, Sao Paulo, Beijing, Singapore and can shortly be seen in Dutch cinemas.

The nine language Worldlog will appear every Monday around 3 pm (15.00 CET) on the website www.partyfortheanimals.nl.

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16. An Increasingly Thirsty World

On World Water Day, a Mighty Global Thirst

Water Shortages Affect Food, Transit, Security

By Brad Knickerbocker
The Christian Science Monitor


Thursday 20 March 2008
A thousand tons of water produces just one ton of grain.

For 15 years, the United Nations has been observing "World Water Day," a time to consider the opportunities and challenges presented by a resource essential to the environment and to humankind.

It's becoming clear now that climate change may be altering the way people and governments think about water.

The UN reported this week that the world's glaciers are melting at "an alarming rate." Like reservoirs, glaciers store water and then release it at predictable rates, around which humans have formed communities and built economies. Agency France-Presse, the French news service, quotes Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, as saying:

"Millions if not billions of people depend directly or indirectly on these natural water storage facilities for drinking water, agriculture, industry, and power generation during key parts of the year."

As a result of shrinking glaciers, people will have to change their lifestyles, their farming, even move their homes," Mr. Steiner says.


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17. Campaign To Seek Global Warming Solutions

Forwarded message:

Climate change is an urgent issue that requires immediate solutions. That's why I've joined with Al Gore and others across the country and around the world who want to halt global warming.

We're on the verge of being over one million strong and I'm asking you to join us. Please click here today to become part of the solutions to global warming:


If leaders in business and government are going to make stopping climate change a priority, we need to send a loud message that we want action now. That's why I'm asking you to get involved today:


Together, we can stop global warming.

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18. Challenge to Ritual Slaughter in the Netherlands

[While JVNA would like to see all slaughter of animals for food ended, we have always opposed efforts to single out shechita (Jewish ritual slaughter) for criticism.]

Animal rights MP demands end to ritual slaughters

Mar 20, 2008, 19:23 GMT

Amsterdam - A leading Dutch animal rights politician Thursday demanded that an end to be put to ritual slaughters of animals in The Netherlands, while cautioning that this stance is not meant as criticism of the Muslim and Jewish faiths.

Marianne Thieme, leader of the Dutch Animal Party and a member of the Dutch parliament, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that ritual slaughtering was 'inhumane' and caused 'unnecessary' stress to animals.

Instead, she advocates that animals be made unconscious by an electric shock before they are ritually slaughtered.

Ritual slaughtering, performed by Muslims and Jews alike, involves cutting the animal's throat in a single strike. The arteries running from the brain to the spine are to be cut first.

In addition, animals are kept out of the slaughtering site until it is their turn, a practice meant to ensure they do not witness the killing of other animals before their own death.

Both Muslim and Jewish religious law prescribe this method in what is intended to minimize the animals' suffering. But Thieme, citing what she said was 'academic research,' claims that ritual slaughter methods actually increases the suffering.

'Ritual slaughtering is usually unsupervised and is performed by people who are insufficiently professional,' she claimed.

'Whenever supervision does take place, numerous problems are found. The slaughtering process itself takes longer, causing stress to animals before being slaughtered,' Thieme said, adding:

'After their throats have been cut it usually takes several minutes for them to die, particularly cows. Research demonstrates animals do experience pain after their throats have been cut. They suffer tremendously before dying.'

Full story:


OR: http://tinyurl.com/3ahddn

[Thanks to Smadar and AR-news]

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19. Jewish Raw Foods E-Mail Group Started

Name: Judy Pokras
Email: vegwriter@gmail.com

Please spread the word about this new raw recipes e-mail group called Jewish Raw Food.

It's for all fans of Jewish food who are also raw foods enthusiasts. You don't have to be Jewish to belong to this group. This group will make it easy for us to discuss ways to make raw vegan versions of tradition Jewish recipes from all regions of the world.

Here's a link to the group's home page:


Thanks very much,

Judy Pokras
Celebrating raw foods cuisine since 2001
with breaking news, authoritative info
and fun features. Have you signed up
for our free e-newsletter

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20. Action Alert: Improving Hospital Care for Breast Cancer Patients

Forwarded message forwarded by Nina Diamond:

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require Insurance Companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through mastectomy' where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.

You can support this bill at:


PLEASE PASS THIS ON on behalf of all women. THANKS.

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