May 18, 2008

5/12/2008 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Update on A SACRED DUTY

2. Breaking Story: Major Raid of Agriprocessors Slaughterhouse by US Immigration police

3. First Veggie Pride Parade in America Scheduled for This Sunday

4. PETA's Undercover Video Takers a Kosher-Keeping Couple

5. JVNA Press Release on Dietary Connections to Food Crisis and Other Problems Posted at European News Source Web Site

6. Social Networking Site for Vegetarians and Vegans Established

7. Haaretz Article Considers Food Crisis

8. Global Warming Submissions Sought

9. Letters From Lewis Regenstein and Me Debunking Myth of Hitler Being a Vegetarian

10. Statement From CHAI Re Horse Racing in Israel

11. Midwest Animal Advocacy Conference Scheduled

12. Beauty Without Cruelty: Meat Consumption Causes Hunger and Starvation

13. Philippine President Urged to Adopt and Promote Vegetarianism

14. Great Jewish Vegetarian Video on You Tube

15. Catherine Manna Produces a Musical Message Related to A SACRED DUTY

16. Natural Lifestyle Network Initiates Bi-Monthly Newsletter

17. Burma Cyclone Impact Worsened by Animal-Based Agriculture

18. New Documentary “Meat the Truth” Has Great Potential

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. Update on A SACRED DUTY

a. A SACRED DUTY to be Shown at the Cinematheque in Jerusalem, with Hebrew Subtitles

The movie is scheduled to be shown by Ecocinema at Jerusalem's largest theater on May 17 at 9:30 PM, followed by a talk on Judaism and the Environment by Einat Kramer, who is working with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI).

Having the movie available with English subtitles will be very helpful with future outreach efforts in Israel.

Info about the Jerusalem Cinematheque:
11 Hebron Road
Jerusalem, PR 91083 Israel
+972 2 565 4333

Overview: Perched on the scenic slopes of Mount Zion, Jerusalem's two-screen art house cinema is an institution. Its regular program includes foreign and specialty films along with general... more

If you would like to attend free and help represent JVNA at this event, please let me know.


b. A SACRED DUTY DVD Being Sent to 1,000 People in South Africa

Dear Richard (and dear Marcia)-
We are about to mail some 1000 copies of our new issue of Animal Voice to people nationwide and a DVD of The Sacred Duty will be included in each.
I should have included a review article in this current issue of Animal Voice. .... But I am sure to get a lot of feed-back when people respond to receiving their new copy of Animal Voice together with the DVD and I shall make a full-page spread of quotes etc. I shall come back to you for a quote too - and from Marcia.
Best wishes,

Louise van der Merwe
SA Representative: Compassion in World Farming
Editor: Animal Voice
Managing Trustee: The Humane Education Trust
CEO: Humane Education Publishers
Tel./Fax +27 21 852 8160

Louise later added:
My privilege! It is a brilliant, brilliant DVD.
With appreciation to you too.

c. Continued Efforts to Get A SACRED DUTY Widely Shown

Please let others know that the entire documentary can be viewed at, and that at this web site, people can get further information about the movie and request a complimentary DVD. Thanks.
Please stay tuned for more developments.

d. Can you Help Promote A SACRED DUTY and Vegetarianism at Vegetarian, Animal Rights and Other Conferences?

We are planning to get many DVDs to animal rights activists and vegetarians at many of the conferences scheduled in the next few months and at the first US Veggie Pride Parade scheduled for May 18. If you can help in any way re these conferences, please let me know. In some cases, JVNA can provide some funding to assist you. Thanks.

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2. Breaking Story: Major Raid of Agriprocessors Slaughterhouse by US Immigration police


May 12, 2008

Message from “Failed Messiah”:
I've been told by two sources that more than 200 immigration police, troopers and federal agents are in the process of raiding Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa. Helicopters are said to be circling the facility, which will presumably remain closed for an indefinite period of time.

Agriprocessor … which is owned by the Rubashkin family of Chabad hasidim, produces the Aaron's Best, Rubashkin, Shor HaBor, Supre Kosher, David's and other glatt kosher and kosher meat and poultry brands.

UPDATE 11:30 am - The Des Moines Register is now online with a story predicting "hundreds of arrests":
Poststville, Ia. - Federal agents descended upon this northeast Iowa community at about 10 a.m. today to conduct an immigration raid at a meat-packing plant.

Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement entered Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville to execute a criminal search warrant for evidence relating to aggravated identity theft, fraudulent use of Social Security numbers and other crimes, said Tim Counts, a Midwest ICE spokesman.

Agents are also executing a civil search warrant for people illegally in the United States, he said.

Representatives of Iowa's congressional offices said they have been told by federal officials that hundreds of arrests are expected.

A helicopter hovered over the scene, and a number of agents formed a perimeter around the Agriprocessors facility. Vehicles from ICE and at least eight cars and vans from the Iowa State Patrol were at the plant. There were also reports of two moving vans at the scene, along with an ambulance and two black Chevrolet Suburbans.

Counts declined to confirm where people who are arrested will be detained. Federal officials have leased the National Cattle Congress fairgrounds in Waterloo, but they declined to explain last week whether the property was being prepared for use as a detention center.

Counts said that each person being arrested would be questioned by ICE and by Public Health Service medical professionals to determine if they have humanitarian issues, including child care giver or medical issues.

“Those interviews will aid ICE in determining whether people will be detained or conditionally released on humanitarian grounds, pending their immigration court appearance,” Counts said.

Counts described the events in Postville as a “single site operation.” He said he was not aware of any other immigration raids being conducted elsewhere today.

Aides to U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley, a Waterloo Democrat, said they have been told that "hundreds" of arrests are expected because the action is more of an "investigation" than an immigration raid, and specific individuals are being targeted for arrest as part of the investigation.

Jeff Giertz, a spokesman for Braley, said immigration officials left the impression that the Cattle Congress site will be used mainly for processing of suspects rather than any long-term detention.

Postville Police Chief Michael Halse said he did not know anything about the raid until 10 a.m. today.

Iowa Department of Public Safety officials referred all questions to federal authorities. A news conference is scheduled at 2 p.m. today at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cedar Rapids.…

UPDATE from “Failed Messiah” 12:50 pm - A well-placed source tells me this raid is the largest ever in ICE history. 500 federal agents are said to be participating.

He also tells me local schools are being raided on suspicion children are employed at the plant.

Some posted comments:

PRAISE HASHEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: John K. Diamond | May 12, 2008 at 12:15 PM
Yes, praise Hashem.

But, if we want to imitate Hashem's aspects of mercy and compassion, why are we not advocating that all slaughterhouses be closed, since so many of Hashem's defenseless creatures are slaughtered there, after living miserable lives on factory farms?

Why is the Jewish community generally ignoring that the production and consumption of meat and other animal products violate basic Jewish mandates that we take care of our health, treat animals with compassion, preserve the environment, conserve natural rsoiurces and help hungry people.

Would hashem want us to have a diet that is so harmful to our health, mistreats billions of farmed animals, contributes greatly to global warming and other environmental threats, wastefully uses land, energy, water and other resources and much more?

So yes, praise Hashem, certainly, but, even better, work to apply G-d's teachings toward a more just, compassionate, healthy, environmentally sustainable world.

Posted by: Richard Schwartz | May 12, 2008 at 01:03 PM
Just another example that agribusiness' corruption and cruelty knows no bounds.

Posted by: S. Morgan | May 12, 2008 at 01:12 PM
Professor Schwartz is, as always, quite right. His magnificent leadership and example is a beacon unto us all. What a pity that there is so much resistance in the Jewish community to his message. Is it perhaps that so many of those narrow-minded so-called 'religious' Jews deem it convenient to ignore the profound truths that come with a spirit of mercy and compassion? Does it mean that we have to reach too high? Have we not learned anything from history and from our own tortured past? To apply values that respect life -- ALL life -- would mean shattering jealously-guarded and archaic habits. Many find that difficult. It is perhaps easier to hide behind misguided interpretations of the Torah and to cling to practices from which we should have long ago moved away from. Do we not fully comprehend the story of the fall of man and the passages about Noah and the survival after the flood that are so eloquently portrayed in Genesis? The mere fact that the Jewish community can condone the existence of the cruel and blood-soaked Rubashkin empire is an indictment against us all. There should be an outcry against this outrage, this filthy commercial enterprise that rests upon the agony and abuse of untold numbers of innocent creatures who suffer unspeakably to satisfy our lust for dead flesh. WHERE ARE THE VOICES OF CRITICISM? THE SILENCE FROM THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IS DEAFENING!

Posted by: Lionel Friedberg | May 12, 2008 at 01:33 PM


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3. First Veggie Pride Parade in America Scheduled for This Sunday

Message forwarded:

Please cross-post widely.

[Please note: JVNA will be sharing a table with CHAI (Concern for Helping Animals in Israel) and Micah Publications/Jews for Animal Rights (JAR) at this event. If you would like to volunteer to help, please let me know, or just stop by the table. Thanks. Pamela Rice, a JVNA advisor, among many other credits, deserves a tremendous amount of credit for planning and organizing this event. Kudos, Pam. A recent news article about the event follows the announcement below]

For immediate release
Contact: PAMELA RICE, 212-242-0011

May 18, 2008
Greenwich Village, NYC


The First Veggie Pride Parade in America will take place in Greenwich Village, New York City, on May 18, 2008.

The procession will begin at 12 Noon in the Old Meat District (where 9th Ave., Gansevoort St., Greenwich St., and Little West 12th St. intersect).

The parade will culminate in Washington Square Park (Eastern end), where a festival of rock music, speakers, and exhibitors will take place.

Parade participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes and to wear sign boards announcing their pride in their vegetarian lifestyle.

Local restaurants will represent themselves with banners. And otherwise, contingents from all walks of life are encouraged to get involved.

Participants may be animal-rights activists, environmentalists, or people simply concerned with their health. They may be bricklayers who just so happen to also be vegetarians (just one example). But on May 18, 2008 all will come together with one voice, one expression, of veggie pride.

At 2 p.m. on stage at the post-parade rally in Washington Square Park, the winners of a costume and poster-slogan contest in various categories will be announced.

At 4 p.m., also on stage, a 7-foot-tall human pea pod, Penelo Pea Pod (long-time mascot of parade sponsor VivaVegie Society) will be married in an open wedding ceremony. The lucky guy (ur, animal? vegetable?) has yet to be identified. Stay tuned. The secret will soon be out.

The parade is fashioned after, and will take place the same weekend as, the Veggie Pride Parade in Paris. The Parisian parade was the first of its kind ever to take place in the world and has been going on annually since 2001.

Visit for more information about the Parisian roots of the parade as well as the genesis for the New York spin-off.

Also at, find buttons to click to get involved through volunteering and sponsorship. Find maps with start location and parade route as well.

Click at for the official Veggie Pride Parade (USA) blog, calendar, volunteers' listserve, and costume page. And so much more...

Visit to find it all.

Other important web sites:

the blog:

and/or the program-guide page:

Please cross post widely.
Message from Pamela Rice and Recent News Article:

[amNewYork has a super excellent story about the Veggie Pride Parade in today's (Monday, May 12) paper, p. 4. A longer version of the story can be found in the amNewYork Web site. Use link below to read and leave a comment.]

Show your veggie pride in first-ever parade next week

What do you get when you cross a seven-foot peapod with an equally tall smiling carrot? Why, a veggie wedding. The nuptials of Penelo Pea Pod and PeTA's Chris P. Carrot will cap the first U.S. Veggie Pride Parade next Sunday in Greenwich Village.

The parade starts at noon in the Meatpacking District, where Ninth Avenue meets Gansevoort, Greenwich, and Little West 12th streets. It ends at Washington Square Park.

"I like going through Greenwich Village because I respect it for its legacy with progressive ideas, and vegetarianism is a progressive idea," said Pamela Rice, parade organizer and founder of the sponsoring VivaVeggie Society.

Rice, inspired by a similar event in Paris, has been organizing and planning for more than 10 months. "It is really going to be bigger than I thought. Mostly it is because of Facebook, MySpace and other online social networks rallying every vegan New Yorker to be there."

Already receiving angry emails, Rice said the event is supposed to be a fun and does not anticipate much protest.

"We will be chanting and some people do get huffy about it. That's our right to go down the street and carry our signs," said Rice.

Representatives from veggie-friendly restaurants and vegans dressed in fruit and vegetable costumes will also march to the park. Vegan friendly exhibitors like Wild Wood Organics and PeTA will provide free literature and food. And prizes will be given for best signs and costumes. Speakers will include Karen Davis, the founder of United Poultry Concerns, and Odette J. Wilkens, the executive director of the Equal Justice Alliance, a coalition of animal rights and social justice groups.

Rice says she hopes the event will allow vegetarians to come out of the shadows while dispelling misinformation about vegetarianism.

With the "go green" movement gaining prominence, Rice says, "We've lost our orientation to our food. There remains a conspicuous silence toward animal products that we need to examine."

-- Kathleen Bulson

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4. PETA's Undercover Video Takers a Kosher-Keeping Couple

Thanks to JVNA advisor Rina Deych for forward the message beow and her related letter to the editor:

“Kosher-keeping couple goes undercover for PETA”

By Marissa Brostoff

The Jewish Daily Forward

May 1, 2008
Of course I sent them a letter, but don't know if it will be published. Here is my letter:

To the Editor:

Kudos to Hanna and Philip for their compassionate and courageous work!
Without their intervention, the horrendous abuses at AgriProcessors and other establishments would have gone unnoticed. It seems more and more that the only truly kosher diet is a vegan one. The documentary film A Sacred Duty, available on the web at makes a really strong case for switching to a plant-based diet. Veganism is easier, cleaner, more humane, more healthy, and better for the planet! And there are perks ... imagine having only one set of dishes (and one for Pesach) - only Pareve!

Rina Deych, RN
Brooklyn, NY

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5. JVNA Press Release on Dietary Connections to Food Crisis and Other Problems Posted at European News Source Web Site

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6. Social Networking Site for Vegetarians and Vegans Established

Forward message from Jeff Popick

I'd like to introduce everyone to which is a social networking site for vegans & vegetarians. It's a fun, “one-stop” resource for networking, recipes, health & environmental info, veg-celebs, blogs, articles, locating a veg-restaurant or store, fun contests and polls, and a whole lot more. The site is still in beta testing, but let's all check it out. even has a live chat room, so we can all get together and chat in real time! And perhaps the best part is … it is totally free to join. Some of the features include: Detailed member profiles * Recipes * A locator of animal rescue groups, books, products, events, retail stores, restaurants, organizations & wellness providers * Articles * Blogs * Forums * Celebrities * Live Chat * Free Dating * Groups * Videos * Photos * Contests & Prizes * Free Classified Ads * Advice * Surveys * Seminars * Polls * Animal Adoptions … and more!

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7. Haaretz Article Considers Food Crisis

Thanks again to JVNA advisor Rina Deych for forwarding the article below and for her letter to the editor about it.

Food troubles are here to stay
By Uri Gordon and Lucy Michaels

The government sends calming signals and says no dramatic shortages are expected. The Economist says do nothing, market forces will sort it all out. But as the global food-price crisis hit Israel this week, something told us we are not being told the whole story.

Around the world food prices are soaring. Since January 2006, the price of rice has risen by 217 percent. Wheat, corn and soybean prices have more than doubled, and in several countries, milk and meat prices have also doubled.

Food prices and falling wages have sparked riots in more than 30 countries from Bangladesh to Egypt to Haiti - where the prices of rice, beans, fruit and condensed milk have gone up 50 percent over a few months, while the price of fuel has tripled.

The poor are being hit the hardest. The steep price rises make a huge difference in countries like Indonesia, where food purchases alone eat up over half of a family's disposable income (compared to 7.3 percent in the United States, and close to 20 percent in Israel).

With Israel's high dependence on food imports, it is no surprise that prices are rising. The country imports over 90 percent of its cereals, 70-80 percent of its fish and beef, and half of its pulses, oilseeds and nuts. We may soon be relying far more on Israeli potatoes, fruit and vegetables, since the present crisis appears to be part of a worrying long-term trend.

The striking fact is that from 1974 to 2005, real food prices dropped by 75 percent globally. So what can explain this sudden and aggressive upturn? Though it has been played down in official reactions, the obvious explanation is staring us in the face: the dramatic rise in oil prices.

In January 1999, crude oil cost $8 a barrel. Today it costs $119. Oil is vital for every stage of industrialized agriculture: from synthetic-pesticide and fertilizer production, to fuel for farm machinery and international freight. All of these have seen steep price hikes, and not surprisingly, food prices have risen with them.

The reality is that we are effectively "eating oil." {and eating animals, who are fed huge amounts of grains.] The shift to industrial agriculture over the last 60 years has left our food systems dependent on a nonrenewable resource. Now we are paying the price.

The rise in oil prices betrays a genuine market concern about "peak oil." Most geologists today agree that world oil production is reaching, or has already reached, its point of historical maximum. Like with any other nonrenewable resource, once the peak is passed, oil availability begins to decline and prices rise to reflect the growing scarcity.

Western governments don't publicly talk about peak oil, but they have been quietly and efficiently subsidizing the massive expansion of biofuels: converting the use of millions of acres of land from food to fuel crops, such as maize and canola, again contributing to rising food prices.

Meanwhile, land previously used to grow food is increasingly converted to grow animal feed, as the globalization of the American diet results in an increasing demand for meat worldwide.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization hopes that a projected 2.6-percent increase in world cereal production next year will ease the crisis. But this depends on favorable weather. This year, droughts in Australia and unseasonable rains in India caused crop failures that contributed to the crisis. If these events represent a new era of erratic and unpredictable weather patterns driven by global warming, the projections may fail to materialize.

Between peak oil and climate change, this may be the "perfect storm" that marks the beginning of the end of our civilization in hyperdrive. At the very least, the situation forces us to recognize that our modern industrial food system is extremely vulnerable and cannot be sustained on the current model.

The good news is that around the world, and in Israel, too, people are creating solutions that can make our future less precarious. Intelligent, small-scale and organic-farming methods, together with a resilient local economy, can help us weather the storm. This will require some serious transitions, but it is entirely possible.

Cuba survived its own version of peak oil with the collapse of the Soviet Union - its major source of food and oil imports. In response, the Cubans swiftly turned their gardens over for food production, and switched from industrialized agriculture to cooperatively owned organic farms.

Israel will also need to confront the challenge of self-sufficiency. Connecting the dots, the food and fuel crisis this year will only be exacerbated by the serious water crisis caused by the cold dry winter. Israel's clever "techno-fix" for the water crisis, desalinization, is not the solution, since it is hugely energy intensive. Breaking the addiction to oil is clearly a necessary step in a transition to a healthier and more sustainable society.

Dr. Uri Gordon teaches at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, and is the author of "Anarchy Alive!" (Pluto Press). Lucy Michaels is a doctoral environmental policy researcher at Ben- Gurion University.

Here's the letter Rina sent:

To the Editor:

Food troubles don't have to be here to stay, if we, as a species, learn to minimize our impact on the planet and live in harmony with nature. In November of 2006, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations issued a 400-page report entitled "Livestock's Long Shadow." It stated that animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, buses, planes, and all forms of transportation combined. Clearly, the only responsible thing to do is for our species to adopt a plant-based diet. Vegan food can feed many more people (and much more efficiently) than the resource-intensive, polluting, and barbaric meat industry can. Care about the food crisis and the environment? Go vegan. It's better for human health, the planet, and, of course, the animals.

Rina Deych, RN
Brooklyn, NY

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8. Global Warming Submissions Sought

Thanks to Sue Tourkin Komet for forwarding the following:

Steven Pavlos Holmes, an Independent scholar and writer based in Boston, US, is calling for submissions of writings `grounded in personal experience' for a different kind of book about global warming. His aim is that it will "not be filled with bare facts and dire warnings but with human feelings, challenges and hope, and written not by the experts but by everyday people from all backgrounds, ages, and walks of life - written by you."

He continues; "Anyone with the courage to face the emotional and spiritual dimensions of the climate change crisis is invited to submit a story, essay, or poem. Submissions should express your own personal experience and reflections about global warming, including topics such as: perceiving the reality of climate change; facing the feelings; dancing with your sources of life; reflecting on your religious and philosophical foundations; choosing to change your life."

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9. Letters From Lewis Regenstein and Me Debunking Myth of Hitler Being a Vegetarian

To the Editor of the Jerusalem Post

Dear Editor:

Tsvi Bisk (May 6 letter, "Pretentious Prose") erroneously repeats the long-standing myth that Hitler was a vegetarian and/or advocated such a diet.

In fact, Hitler was not a vegetarian (nor were the top Nazis), and this persistent and pernicious myth about Hitler has long been used to try to discredit vegetarians by associating them with such an evil and violent person, even though he regularly ate meat and fowl.

This is confirmed in numerous reliable published accounts and first hand sources, including Robert Payne's classic work, "The Life and Death of Adolph Hitler," and Albert Speer's well-known autobiography, "Inside the Third Reich."

They make it clear that at private meals and those with his associates, Hitler avidly and openly dined on such dishes as sausages, squab (pigeon), ham, liver, and poultry.

Because of chronic health problems, during certain periods Hitler apparently avoided meat (as well as alcohol and tobacco), and his propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels often tried to portray him as a purist and ascetic, whose life was dedicated to sacrificing harmful pleasures for his people. But good propaganda does not make good history.

Payne observes that Hitler "had a special fondness for Bavarian sausages," and quotes Hitler's personal chef in Hamburg as bragging that the stuffed squab he prepared was "a great favorite of Mr. Hitler."

No, Hitler and his Nazi thugs were not vegetarians. Indeed, they actually banned vegetarian organizations in Germany and the occupied countries, and Himmler was a chicken farmer and slaughterer before turning to the slaughter of people.

Lewis Regenstein
President, The Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature
Atlanta, GA 30305


Editor, Jerusalem Post

Dear Editor:

Tsvi Bisk (May 6 letter, "Pretentious Prose") is simply wrong in claiming that Hitler was a vegetarian (except for short periods for health reasons) and a supporter of improved conditions for animals. This is fully documented in Rynn Berry's book "Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal Lover" (Pythagorean Publishers, 2004).

It is not surprising that the myth of Hitler being a vegetarian is often brought up.
This is a facile way to delegitimize vegetarianism by associating it with an evil person -- which in this case is not even true. Nevertheless, playing the Hitler card obscures the fact that the production and consumption of meat and other animal products violate basic Jewish mandates to preserve our health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources and help hungry people.

It also helps avoid considering that at a time of global warming, widening food and water shortages, rapidly vanishing species and many more environmental problems that threaten Israel and all of humanity, 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 an animal-centered diet requires far more water, energy, land and other resources and causes far more pollution than a plant-based diet.

More information on these issues and on Jewish teachings that point to vegetarianism can be found in my over 130 articles at

Very truly yours,

Richard H. Schwartz

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10. Statement From CHAI Re Horse Racing in Israel

Please distribute widely-May 7, 2008

Death at the Kentucky Derby


At Saturday's Kentucky Derby, second-place winner Eight Belles, pushed beyond her limits, shattered both front ankles. She was euthanized on the track.

The next day, her trainer raced three more horses, remarking, "back to business as usual."

An outpouring of criticism of racing by respected sports writers followed.

"Why do we keep giving thoroughbred horse racing a pass?" wrote William Rhoden, sports columnist for The New York Times. "Why isn't there more pressure to put the sport of kings under the umbrella of animal cruelty?"

Interviewed on the Lehrer Report, he added: “The industry shows a "wanton disregard for the health of animals...and there is nothing you can do to change the essence of it.... Thoroughbred racing is a brutal sport."

Track personnel try to hold down Eight Belles. (Photo: Brian Bohannon/Associated Press)

Sally Jenkins in The Washington Post noted, "According to to several estimates, there are 1.5 career-ending breakdowns for every 1,000 racing starts in the United States. That's an average of two per day."

Thousands more die every year, either because they were not fast enough or because they succumbed to bleeding in the lungs or heart attacks.

Bleacher Report sportswriter Ed Berliner describes racing as "a spectator sport that needs to pass into the history books and join other barbaric and greedy spectator pastimes that employ animals for amusement. There is...little difference between horse racing and cock fights, bull fighting and dog racing." Racehorses, he writes, "are used for nothing more than making money by some who reside in a dark and wretched corner of society, knowing full well they can buy them, race them, abuse them, and kill them without a second thought." His article ends with the statement that racing "properly continues to lose fans, interest, and credibility. And would lose many more if people only wanted to know the truth."

Two-thousand years ago, the Romans ran their horses to death just like this at the Hippodromes in Caesarea and Beit She'an. Today, Israeli real-estate and tourist-industry developers are working hard to revive this sorry entertainment, expecting to make a financial killing. The exploited victims will be the same: innocent horses and naive bettors ready to risk everything.

Send your tax-deductible contributions to CHAI at
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

Phone: 703-658-9650

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11. Midwest Animal Advocacy Conference Scheduled

Gil Schwartz,, writes:

Join activists from all around the country this summer at the Midwest's premiere animal advocacy conference, "Their Lives, Our Voices." This conference is being hosted by Compassionate Action for Animals and will take place in Minneapolis at the beautiful Hubert H. Humphrey Conference Center from June 6-8.

The special half-price early registration of $50 for the general public, and $20 for students is open only until Friday, May 16th!

[If you can help attend and represent JVNA, please let me know. JVNA may be able to reimburse you for some of your expenses.]

The speaker line-up includes Carol Adams (author); Gene Baur (Farm Sanctuary); Paul Shapiro (Humane Society of the United States); Collen Patrick-Goudreau (Compassionate Cooks); Freeman Wicklund and Nathan Runkle (Mercy for Animals); Erica Meier (Compassion Over Killing); Matt Ball (Vegan Outreach); pattrice jones (author), Hillary Rettig (author), Karen Davis (United Poultry Concerns), Karen Dawn (DawnWatch) and many more!

Visit our website now to learn more about the event and register at this special price!

Their Lives, Our Voices' focus is on farmed animal advocacy efforts and practical ways to help animals in your community. We want to enable as much attendee participation and networking as possible, so we're hoping you can come and make this a great event. It includes four full vegan meals.

Register today!
Gilbert Schwartz
Campaign Coordinator
Compassionate Action for Animals
300 Washington Ave SE, Rm. 126
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Office: 612-626-5785
Cell: 612-296-9020

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12. Beauty Without Cruelty: Meat Consumption Causes Hunger and Starvation

Statement released by Beauty Without Cruelty - India on 21st April 2008


Not bio-fuel, but animals raised for meat are the main reason for the growing shortage of food in the world. One-third of the annual global food production is used for feeding animals specially bred and fattened to be killed for their flesh. If the crops fed to them were to be consumed by humans, there would be no shortage.

The world is on the verge of a global food crisis. Economists are questioning how fair it is to use land to grow corn, etc, for the production of bio-fuel when people increasingly don't have enough to eat. Fuel is, but a lesser reason for this deep-rooted problem.

The main reason for the growing shortage of food needs to be tackled: animals specially bred and fattened to be killed for meat. If the crops fed to them were to be consumed by humans, there would be no shortage of food. As much as one-third of the approximately 2000 million tons of annual global food production is used for feeding these animals for their flesh. The feed-to-meat ratio varies depending upon species (poultry, pigs, cattle, sheep & goats) and whether produced in a developed or developing country, but on an average 4 kilograms of feed yields only 1 kilogram of meat.

Moreover, the FAO has stated that the world's livestock production is 18% more responsible for global warming than all transport emissions. It causes wide-scale land degradation, uses large quantities of the earth's increasingly scarce water resources, pollutes land, water and air, and is responsible for excessive use of energy, all of which are downright harmful to our environment.

Environmentalists are not the only ones who are showing deep concern. Emerging markets' central banks and governments are no longer ignoring rising food prices coupled with low stocks of rice and wheat (inflation and hoarding) and protests of shortages resulting in social tensions. They know that converting land produce to meat is an expensive business, the direct effect of which is a steep rise in grain prices which hits the poor most.

If those living in developed countries do not stop eating meat, and if those of developing countries (who are liable to start eating meat when their incomes rise) include it as part of their diet, they will positively be hastening mass starvation of fellow humans on this planet.

Beauty Without Cruelty (an animal rights organisation) feels that each and every one can easily help solve world hunger... by NOT eating meat, a second-hand food.

Diana Ratnagar
Chairperson Beauty Without Cruelty - India
Beauty Without Cruelty - India
4 Prince of Wales Drive, Wanowrie,
Pune 411 040. INDIA.
Tel: +91 20 2686 1333 / 2686 1166
Fax: +91 20 2686 1420
Cell: +91 98 221 94494

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13. Philippine President Urged to Adopt and Promote Vegetarianism

Forwarded message:

Animal activists propose vegetarian diet against food crisis

Manila, May 8 (DPA) Animal protection activists Thursday urged Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to adopt and publicly advocate a vegetarian diet as part of efforts to ease a food supply crunch and sky-rocketing prices.

In an open letter to Arroyo, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) noted that while the world is already growing enough crops to feed every human being, some of this food is used to feed animals being raised for consumption.

"Animals raised for food consume nearly one billion metric tonnes of food edible by humans every year - that's enough to feed about half the world's population," Jason Baker, PETA's Asia-Pacific director, said in the letter.

"It takes up to 16 kg of grain to produce just one kilogram of meat," he added.

Citing Arroyo's vow to lead the Philippines by example, Baker asked her: "Will you now lead the Philippines in the charge against hunger by going vegetarian and advocating a vegetarian diet?"

PETA offered to assist Arroyo's staff with vegetarian menus and other information about the diet.

The Philippines, now the world's biggest rice importer, has been scrambling to build up stocks amid surging prices of the staple grain and other food items. The government has also been distributing less expensive rice and food to poor communities.

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14. Great Jewish Vegetarian Video on You Tube

Thanks to Catherine Manna for providing the link below>

It includes positive statements from Jewish Sages and Some Modern Jewish Vegetarian Activists, Two of Whom Are Closely Associated With JVNA.

Please take a look, help make others aware of the video and let us know what you think.

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15. Catherine Manna Produces a Musical Message Related to A SACRED DUTY

Please take a look, and let us know if you have any suggestions for improvements.


We are very fortunate to have Catherine's dedicated efforts to promote A SACRED DUTY and Jewish Vegetarianism.

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16. Natural Lifestyle Network Initiates Bi-Monthly Newsletter

From: Cynthia Chatfield <>
Subject: Natural Lifestyle Network: April 17 Newsletter

Forwarded message:

Dear Friend,

As someone who is interested in living a healthy, sustainable and conscious lifestyle, the Natural Lifestyle Network ( is respectfully offering you this inaugural issue of our bi-monthly newsletter.

We are committed to creating a regional community of like-minded individuals and businesses -both online and off- and we hope you'll consider learning more. Members of our community are invited to submit articles to include for distribution and posting on our website, and anyone can list an event in our online Calendar. We serve the states of VA-DC-MD-DE-PA-NJ.

Help us grow! Forward this email to friends or colleagues who are interested in this lifestyle.

Please note that if you do NOT wish to hear from us again, you can easily remove your email from our list by using the link at the bottom of this message.

Cynthia Chatfield, President, The Natural Lifestyle Network
256 Eagleview Blvd, Suite 505, Exton, PA 19341


Yes, You Can Buy Green Electricity Right Now. We tell you how.

Did you know that you can probably elect to purchase some or all of your electricity from renewable sources? You may not be aware of this option that several regional electricity providers have made available. It's a voluntary choice for consumers who wish to support less-polluting energy alternatives and contribute to a cleaner and healthier environment. Find out what's available in your area and how you can participate...



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17. Burma Cyclone Impact Worsened by Animal-Based Agriculture

Mangrove loss 'put Burma at risk'

By Mark Kinver
Science and nature reporter, BBC News

Destruction of mangrove forests in Burma left coastal areas exposed to the devastating force of the weekend's cyclone, a top politician suggests.

ASEAN secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan said coastal developments had resulted in mangroves, which act as a natural defence against storms, being lost.

At least 22,000 people have died in the disaster, say state officials.

A study of the 2004 Asian tsunami found that areas near healthy mangroves suffered less damage and fewer deaths.

Mr Surin, speaking at a high-level meeting of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore, said the combination of more people living in coastal areas and the loss of mangroves had exacerbated the tragedy.


Mangroves are salt-tolerant evergreens that grow along coastlines, rivers and deltas

"Encroachment into mangrove forests, which used to serve as a buffer between the rising tide, between big waves and storms and residential areas; all those lands have been destroyed," the AFP news agency reported him as saying.

"Human beings are now direct victims of such natural forces."

His comments follow a news conference by Burma's minister for relief and resettlement, Maung Maung Swe, who said more deaths were caused by the cyclone's storm surge rather than the winds which reached 190km/h (120mph).

"The wave was up to 12ft (3.5m) high and it swept away and inundated half the houses in low-lying villages," the minister said. "They did not have anywhere to flee."

Storm shelter

Mangroves have been long considered as "bio-guards" for coastal settlements.

A study published in December 2005 said healthy mangrove forests helped save Sri Lankan villagers during the Asian tsunami disaster, which claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people.

Researchers from IUCN, formerly known as the World Conservation Union, compared the death toll from two villages in Sri Lanka that were hit by the devastating giant waves.

Monk planting mangrove saplings outside a temple (Getty Images)
The 2004 tsunami prompted a series of mangrove replanting projects

While two people died in the settlement with dense mangrove and scrub forest, up to 6,000 people lost their lives in a nearby village without similar vegetation.

"Mangroves are a very dense vegetation type that grows along the shore," explained Jeffrey McNeely, chief scientist for IUCN.

"Where the saltwater and freshwater meet, that is where the mangroves grow; they often extend from several hundred metres to a few kilometers inland.

"Especially in river deltas, mangroves prevent waves from damaging the more productive land that are further inland from the sea."

Lowering defences

A recent global assessment found that 3.6 million hectares of mangrove forests had disappeared since 1980.

The study carried out by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said that Asia had suffered the greatest loss, with 1.9 million hectares being destroyed, primarily as a result of land use change.

Map showing location of Irrawaddy region in Burma (Image: BBC)

It found that large-scale conversion of mangroves into shrimp and fish farms were among the main destructive drivers.

Other pressures included new development to accommodate the growth in the tourism sector and rising populations.

Mette Wilkie, a senior forestry officer for the FAO, said most of the mangroves in Burma had suffered as a result of being overexploited.

"There are very limited areas that you would describe as pristine or densely covered mangrove in the Irrawaddy area," she said, referring to the region of Burma where Cyclone Nagris first made landfall.

"There are some efforts in place to try to rehabilitate and replant mangroves, but we do know that the loss rate is quite substantial still.

"During the 1990s, they lost something like 2,000 hectares each year, which is about 0.3% being lost annually.

"But that does not give you the whole picture because the majority of these tidal habitats are being degraded, even if they are not being completely destroyed."

Growing awareness

However, the global picture is not entirely bleak. The FAO assessment showed that the annual rate of destruction had slowed from 187,000 hectares during the 1980s to 102,000 hectares during the early 2000s.

Bangladesh's natural defences: The Sundarbans mangrove forests



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18. New Documentary “Meat the Truth” Has Great Potential

World Premiere Meat the Truth in London with Marianne Thieme, Pamela Anderson, Emily Deschanel, Greg Vaughan, Henning Steinfeld, John Powles and many others!

"...has already been described by a Dutch newspaper as being better than Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth."

The world premiere of Meat the Truth will be held on May 19 at 10 am at the Odeon West End cinema in London, Leicester Square. There are still a few tickets available, so if you are interested in attending this event, please mail, the Vegetarian Society, at

The massive impact of livestock farming on climate change

Meat the Truth!

presented by Marianne Thieme, the world's very first MP for animal rights!

Starring: Pamela Anderson, Bill Maher, James Cromwell, Emily Deschanel, Tony Denison, Esai Morales, Megan Blake, Debra Wilson Skelton, Elaine Hendrix, Kate Flannery, Carol Leifer, Joy Lauren, Hal Sparks, Constance Marie, Kristina Klebe, Skyler Gisondo, Graham Patrick Martin, Greg Vaughan, Touriya Haoud Vaughan, Wayne Pacelle, Howard Lyman, Henning Steinfeld, Matt Prescott, Harry Aiking, Danielle Nierenberg, David Davies, John Powles and many others!

An Alalena production commissioned by the Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation.

Livestock farming creates major environmental problems: A reduction in meat consumption is inevitable

Meat the Truth is the very first documentary to address the Relationship between livestock farming and climate change. The film is presented by the Dutch politician Marianne Thieme, member of parliament for the Party for the Animals in the Netherlands. Meat the Truth is based on authoritative and influential scientific sources, which demonstrate that livestock farming is one of the most important causes of global warming. The conclusions reached by this Dutch production have already generated more societal debate Than the underlying reports upon which it is based.

The livestock farming industry is responsible for the emission of more greenhouse gasses worldwide than all the cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes added together. The calculations used in the film derive from and have been verified by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the World Watch Institute and the Institute for Environmental Studies, Free University Amsterdam and numerous other reliable scientific sources.

Many celebrities, such as Pamela Anderson, Bill Maher, James Cromwell, Emily Deschanel, Tony Denison, Esai Morales, Megan Blake, Debra Wilson Skelton, Elaine Hendrix, Kate Flannery, Carol Leifer, Joy Lauren, Hal Sparks, Constance Marie, Kristina Klebe, Skyler Gisondo, Graham Patrick Martin, Greg Vaughan and Touriya Haoud Vaughan, participated in the making of this documentary, which has already been described by Dutch newspapers as being better than Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

The Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation hopes that this film will make a valuable contribution to the societal discussion about the transition to a more plant-based diet and thus also a more humane society. Moreover, the Foundation also hopes that the film will provide a showcase for the important reports on livestock farming and climate change, which have thus far proved inaccessible to the general public.

Excerpts from reviews that appeared in major Dutch newspapers:

As true as a belching cow; Marianne Thieme has estimated the impact of livestock farming on the greenhouse effect correctly. There is nothing wrong with the calculations. The impact of livestock farming has been correctly calculated. It avoids all crude effects.


NRC Handelsblad.

In the film, Marianne Thieme outshines Gore's presentation skills with verve. In many ways, Thieme proves herself to be a worthy successor to the Nobel Prize winner.

Vrij Nederland

An Alalena production

Visit for more information.

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