November 30, 2008

11/29/2008 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. JVNA Promoting “Global Warming-Response Shabbat”

2. Vegetarian Author/Actvist Discusses His “World Peace Diet” On a Podcast

3. Message From Producer of Vegetarian Podcasts

4. Documentary Producer Seeking Vegans to Interview

5. First World Day For the Abolition of Meat Scheduled

6. An Effective Way To Get Our Messages Out To a Wide Public

7. JVNA Advisor Seeking Suggestions For a Religion and Environment Conference

8. NY Times Editorial asserts We Can Save the Economy AND the Planet

9. Haaretz Article Considers Shortage of Thanksgiving Turkeys

10. VegSource Produces a Vegetarian Documentary

11. Vegan Activist/Author Speaker Will Tuttle Continues to Spread Vegan Messages

12. Article Challenges Perceptions of Meat Eaters

13. Must True Religion Teach Kindness to Animals?/A Powerful Quotation

14. Video shows Underground Scenes of Horrid Abuse of Chickens

15. Action Alert: Promoting the Choice of a Vegetarian-Friendly Secretary of Agriculture

16. Chicken Manure Is Major Pollution Problem

17. Turn Veggie to Save Planet, Says Sir Paul McCartney

18. Obama, the Animals and the Future

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.




As I indicate from time to time, if you wish to unsubscribe from getting these free JVNA newsletters, please let me know and I will remove your email addresses, with no questions asked. If you previously asked to unsubscribe and somehow I neglected to do so, please forgive me and let me know again. On the other hand, if you know of people who might welcome getting JVNA newsletters, please ask them to contact me. Thanks.

1. JVNA Promoting “Global Warming-Response Shabbat”

Please help promote this idea. I am sorry about the very late notice, but I just found out about the UN global warming talks and the synchronized demonstrations scheduled for next Shabbat. Thanks.


November 27, 2008

Contact Person: Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D., President, Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) (718) 761-5876


Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) announced today a major campaign to make December 5 -6, 2008 a “Global Warming-Response Shabbat,” in conjunction with a “Global Day of Action - International Demonstrations on Climate Change,” on Saturday, December 6, which is midway through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting in Poznan, Poland, from December 1st to 12th 2008. Promoting this Shabbat does not necessarily imply agreement with all statements and actions related to the “Global Day of Action.”

Organizers of the “Global Day of Action” are planning synchronized demonstrations around the world on Saturday, December 6th in many places to call on world leaders to take urgent action on climate change.

The 'Call to Action' for these demonstrations and related events that will take place on December 6th 2008 is in the supplementary material below this press release.

JVNA urges the Jewish community to plan events for the “Global Warming Response Shabbat” that will increase the awareness of the importance of applying Jewish environmental teachings at a time when several climate experts are predicting catastrophic results from global climate change and other environmental threats unless major changes soon occur.

"Creation is endangered as perhaps never before by global climate change and many other environmental problems," said JVNA President Richard Schwartz, "and it is essential that Jews play our role as co-workers with God in addressing these threats. We should make tikkun olam, the repair and healing of the planet, a central focus in Jewish life today, thereby helping to move our imperiled planet to a sustainable path.”

Among the Shabbat-consistent activities suggested by JVNA are sermons, divrei Torah, talks, panel discussions and debates on Jewish responses to global warming and other environmental threats, environmentally-friendly meals and kiddushes, classes devoted to the issues, considerations of methods of greening synagogues and reducing individuals' impacts on the environment by using more efficient light bulbs, reducing driving through walking, biking and carpooling, etc., planning of letter writing campaigns, picture exhibits and nature walks and explorations. When Shabbat is over, there can be showings of relevant videos, including the JVNA video mentioned below.

JVNA will contact Jewish environmental groups, rabbis and Jewish institutions to inform them about this initiative and to suggest ways they can get involved.

Based on a 390-page report issued by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2006, indicating animal-based agriculture contributes more to greenhouse gas emissions (in carbon dioxide equivalents) than all forms of transportation worldwide combined, JVNA urges a consideration of shifts toward plant-based diets as an essential component of Jewish responses to current environmental threats.

Much valuable background material on environmental issues and Jewish teachings on conservation and environmental stewardship may be found at the following web sites:

[This does not imply that these groups support this initiative.]

More information about JVNA and dietary connections to environmental issues can be found at the JVNA web site ( and the over 130 related articles by Richard Schwartz at JVNA will send a complimentary DVD of its one-hour documentary “A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World” to all who request one at, where the complete movie can also be seen, including a version with Hebrew subtitles.

Supplementary material:

The 'Call to Action' by the organizers of the “Global Day of Action” for the demonstrations and related events that will take place on December 6th 2008 is below.

“We demand that world leaders take the urgent and resolute action that is needed to prevent the catastrophic destabilization of global climate, so that the entire world can move as rapidly as possible to a stronger emissions reductions treaty which is both equitable and effective in minimizing dangerous climate change.

We demand that the long-industrialized countries that have emitted most greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere take responsibility for climate change mitigation by immediately reducing their own emissions as well as investing in a clean energy revolution in the developing world. Developed countries must take their fair share of the responsibility to pay for the adaptive measures that have to be taken, especially by low-emitting countries with limited economic resources.

Climate change will hit the poorest first and hardest. All who have the economic means to act, must therefore urgently and decisively do so.”

We feel that there is an overwhelming need to create a groundswell of global opinion to push for the urgent and radical action on climate change, without which we risk a global catastrophe of unimaginable proportions.

To help build for these demonstrations please find the contact for your country, below, or if there is not yet one listed there contact us at

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2. Vegetarian Author/Actvist Discusses His “World Peace Diet” On a Podcast

There is new audio material for the "Vegan - Vegetarian Solutions for a Sustainable Environment" podcast project by Dr. Will Tuttle:

Dr. Tuttle discusses the main ideas in his recent book, The World Peace Diet, which has been called one of the most important books of the 21st century. It provides the foundation of a new society based on the truth of the interconnectedness of all life. Dr. Tuttle makes explicit the invisible connections between our culture, our food, and the source of our broad range of problems - and the way to a positive transformation in our individual and collective lives. Anyone wishing to understand the big picture of our culture and why we have the unyielding dilemmas we face, and how we can solve them, will be fascinated by these provocative, challenging, and ultimately inspiring ideas.

In this overview, Dr. Tuttle discusses the power of food, the underlying crisis in our culture, and veganism as as path to peace and environmental sustainability.

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3. Message From Producer of Vegetarian Podcasts

Please send Joseph Puentes the contact information of others that he can invite to participate in this project (see item 2 above). There is much that can be done to make this project the powerfully convincing project it can be. With help from the community this project will continue to move forward.

If you have questions about how you can participate in the project please click here and then contact me:


I am trying to get a new but related podcast project started. This project would be to get Audio Presentations made in as many languages as possible. If you or one of your Vegan/Vegetarian friends speaks another language fluently please have them contact me so we can work on getting information about all the reasons (Animal Rights/Compassion/Cruelty, Health, Environmental, etc.) for being Vegetarian/Vegan into their language. I am especially interested in getting the podcast into the Chinese language.


Please share the audio files with your meat eating "environmentalist" friends and the general public as well. Don't forget to download the free iTunes program and subscribe to the podcast by inserting this RSS feed into iTunes:

Joseph Puentes [Podcast producer] (Vegan Environmental Solutions Podcast) (Environmental Podcast) (Blog for above) (Women's Peace Podcast) (Latin American History Podcast) (Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Aguascalientes

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4. Documentary Producer Seeking Vegans to Interview

Forwarded message:

Dear friends and colleagues,

I am seeking vegans to interview for a series of short documentary videos that will collectively be known as I'm Vegan (I'm Vegan: Todd, I'm Vegan: Carlos, and so on). Depending on how these turn out, I may also weave some of these narratives into a feature-length documentary. To that end, I am looking for a variety of interesting vegans to interview during my March-May shoot.

This is where you come in. You may be someone who demonstrates against animal exploiters or sells vegan products. You may be a vegan cookbook author or a vegan radio show host, but you know vegans and have access to vegans who are not. For this project, I'd like to focus on non-activists, non-philosophers, etc., vegans leading interesting lives outside or at the periphery of the AR/vegan community. Some examples include a vegan accountant who moonlights as a club DJ, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, an ER doctor, a computer consultant who teaches Krav Maga, etc., etc.

Some clarifications might be in order: If someone does a little advocacy in addition to their primary career (athletes and actors who occasionally speak out about veganism and animals, etc.) or is a full-time advocate in another area (anti-racism, human rights, environment), that will work. I'll also consider people who help animals in different capacities (veterinarians, shelter workers, etc.). I am mainly trying to avoid interviewing people whose primary focus is on vegan and animal advocacy or philanthropy in these areas.

Please forward the following information to any potential candidates, or link them to, where casting details also listed. If you have a blog, a podcast, radio show, or some other way of communicating to others about this project, or belong to or run any listservs or message boards, please distribute this info as widely as possible.

To be considered as a potential profile subject for I'm Vegan, please:

* Send 2 recent digital snapshots, one close-up and one full-length.
* Share your city, state, and zipcode.
* Answer the following questions:
1. How long have you been vegan?
2. Why are you vegan? (and/or What was your "A-ha!" moment?)
3. What does veganism mean to you?
4. What is your favorite thing about being vegan?
5. What is your least favorite thing about being vegan?
6. What are your favorite and frequent pastimes or hobbies?
7. Please share any kind of interesting story related to your being vegan (interaction with family members, roommates, schoolmates, co-workers, or experiences at restaurants, cafeterias, etc., etc.).
8. Why should you be interviewed for I'm Vegan?

Our route will take us all over the U.S., and possibly just over our borders, so if potential interviewees are at all highway accessible the submission will be considered.

Even if you're not forwarding this to anyone or submitting, but if you want to stay posted on website updates and newly uploaded profiles (help me promote this project), visit to sign up for the email list.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.



Eric Prescott
Director, Producer
I'm Vegan
(617) 640-6836

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5. First World Day For the Abolition of Meat Scheduled

Forwarded message:

Hello, the first World Day for the Abolition of Meat will be held on 31 January 2009.

What is World Day for the Abolition of Meat?

World Day for the Abolition of Meat is intended as a means of promoting the idea of abolishing the murder of animals for meat. Worldwide six million sentient beings are killed for their meat every hour! That figure doesn't even count fish, which of course are included in the demand for the abolition of meat. Meat consumption causes mor suffering and death than any other human activity and is completely unnecessary.

Many groups will mobilize to promote the abolition of meat. They will not only advocate vegetarianism and veganism to individuals but will call for society to abandon the practice of killing animals for food. We hope that this initiative will strengthen the animal rights movement over the years. It is important to address people both as consumers and as citizens - like the anti-slavery activists who, although only a small minority, not only sought a boycott of sugar produced by slaves but also clearly expressed the idea that slavery should be banned. It is important today to question society as a whole about the murder of animals for meat so that it can no longer avoid a public debate on the legitimacy of this practice.

On 31 January conferences, street actions, leafleting and information stands will be organized to spread the idea that the consumption of meat cannot be justified ethically and should therefore be abolished - just as human slavery was in its time. Here is the video of an original action for the abolition of meat, made by Swiss activists in 2007 (other groups are welcome to use the same format): v=z-iUs0kaDB0. Your actions can be reported on this website:

Feel free to inform all animal rights groups that you know about this international day. We hope to see many of you raise your voices for the animals and participate in the World Day for the Abolition of Meat.

With best wishes,

Committee for the promotion of World Day for the Abolition of Meat


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6. An Effective Way To Get Our Messages Out To a Wide Public

I strongly believe that we have truth, morality, justice and other powerful values on our side, and our message is essential to help move our imperiled planet to a sustainable path and to end the epidemic of diseases that afflict so many people. It would be great if we had the financial resources to take out ads and spread our essential messages in other ways, but we don't.

One effective way to get our messages out is to post comments on blogs, at the end of articles, to “Ask the Rabbi” web sites and at other Internet sites where messages may be posted. So, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of these free opportunities.

As one example, when JVNA advisor Ron Landskroner sent me the link for a wonderful documentary about the current worldwide water crisis, I posted the message below, the first one at that site:


Knowing that this is the "Century of Drought," shouldn't we shift away from animal-based diets, which require 14 times as much water as vegan diets (4,200 gallons per person vs. 300 gallons a person)?

Please see our documentary "A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal the World" at

written by Richard Schwartz , November 28, 2008

Once again, please take advantage of such opportunities, so that, in spite of our lack of financial resources, we can spread our important messages as widely as possible. Thanks.

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7. JVNA Advisor Seeking Suggestions For a Religion and Environment Conference

Forwarded message from Ron Landskroner:

Looking for suggestions regarding organizations, individuals, books, periodicals, websites, etc. addressing religion & environment/ecospirituality. This will be used for one of the strands featured at the 2009 conference of the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) to be held in Portland, OR. Please contact me directly at: Thank you.

Ronald Landskroner
Oakland, CA

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8. NY Times Editorial asserts We Can Save the Economy AND the Planet

Save the Economy, and the Planet

Published: November 26, 2008

Environment ministers preparing for next week's talks on global warming in Poznan, Poland, have been sounding decidedly downbeat. From Paris to Beijing, the refrain is the same: This is no time to pursue ambitious plans to stop global warming. We can't deal with a financial crisis and reduce emissions at the same time.

There is a very different message coming from this country. President-elect Barack Obama is arguing that there is no better time than the present to invest heavily in clean energy technologies. Such investment, he says, would confront the threat of unchecked warming, reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil and help revive the American economy.

Call it what you will: a climate policy wrapped inside an energy policy wrapped inside an economic policy. By any name, it is a radical shift from the defeatism and denial that marked President Bush's eight years in office. If Mr. Obama follows through on his commitments, this country will at last provide the global leadership that is essential for addressing the dangers of climate change.

In his first six months in office, Mr. Bush reneged on a campaign promise to regulate carbon dioxide and walked away from the Kyoto Protocol, a modest first effort to control global greenhouse gas emissions.

Still two months from the White House, Mr. Obama has convincingly reaffirmed his main climate related promises.

One is to impose (Congress willing) a mandatory cap on emissions aimed at reducing America's output of greenhouses gas by 80 percent by midcentury. According to mainstream scientists, that is the minimum necessary to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and avoid the worst consequences of global warming. Mr. Obama's second pledge is to invest $15 billion a year to build a clean economy that cuts fuel costs and creates thousands of green jobs. That includes investments in solar power, wind power, clean coal (plants capable of capturing and storing carbon emissions) and, as part of any bailout, helping Detroit retool assembly lines to build a new generation of more fuel-efficient vehicles.

Mr. Obama has surrounded himself with like-minded people who have spent years immersed in the complexities of energy policy.

His transition chief, John Podesta, was an early advocate of assisting the automakers and of finding low-carbon alternatives to gasoline. Peter Orszag, his choice to run the Office of Management and Budget (where environmental initiatives went to die during the Bush years) is an expert on cap-and-trade programs to limit industrial emissions of greenhouse gases.

Success is not guaranteed. Last year, a far more modest climate-change bill fell well short of a simple majority in the Senate. At least on the surface, it seems counterintuitive to impose new regulations (and, in the short term anyway, higher energy costs) on a struggling economy. Mr. Obama will need all his oratorical power to make the opposite case.

The historical landscape from Richard Nixon onward is littered with bold and unfulfilled promises to wean the nation from fossil fuels, especially imported oil. What is different now is the need to deal with the clear and present threat of global warming. What is also different is that the country has elected a president who believes that meeting the challenge of climate change is essential to the health of the planet and to America's economic future.

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9. Haaretz Article Considers Shortage of Thanksgiving Turkeys

Will U.S. Jews have kosher Turkey this Thanksgiving? - Haaretz - Israel News


But concerns about Thanksgiving this year extend beyond turkey shortages. Some Jews have questioned the circumstances under which kosher meat is slaughtered, in light of evidence that Agriprocessors violated labor and immigration laws and appeared to treat animals cruelly.

Allen, who has been a vocal critic of Agriprocessors and created a new certification called Hekhsher Tzedek to evaluate the conditions under which kosher food is produced, has observed some members of his congregation grappling with what to do this Thanksgiving. In recent weeks, a few people have told him that they will be having a vegetarian Thanksgiving this year.


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10. VegSource Produces a Vegetarian Documentary

The first VegSource Documentary ever!

Many readers may not know that in the bricks and mortar world, the owners of VegSource earn a living making films and documentaries.

This year, we made a decision that we wanted to apply our "real world" expertise to something we're passionate about -- health.

The result is a brand new documentary, to be released in December -- called Processed People!

Watch the trailer online right now:

Look around the website to learn more -- and then pre-order your copy, to receive it in time for the holidays.

Help Bail Out VegSource!

Like many companies, VegSource has been slammed by the terrible economy. We've been around for 12 years on the Internet now, and this is the bumpiest ride we've experienced.

We know the government is bailing out banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, auto companies, etc. etc., and we (the taxpayers) aren't really going to get anything in return -- except more debt.

Now it's your turn to help bail out VegSource -- by supporting our documentary work,and buying this film. But instead of receiving nothing, like the government bailouts, you'll get something really special, really valuable. And you'll be helping us (VegSource), too.

If this film is successful, we'll do more -- in fact, we've already got our next one on the drawing board. Support this film -- it's a bargain -- and we'll do more fascinating, first-rate films about subjects important to you!

A Film for All Eaters

This is a documentary you can give to your most meat-eating of friends, without offending them, without talking down to them.

Rather, they will be intrigued. And maybe they'll start to grasp the wisdom behind the plant-based food choices you make.

Check out the Processed People trailer:

Pre-order your copy today (ships priority Dec 19):

And start out your New Year with a new lifestyle -- or with renewed determination to continue the path you're already traveling.

Then vist the front page of where you will find holiday recipes, and a lot of recent news items:

If you prefer to order by phone, you may call us at 818-349-5600.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Peas & love!
Jeff & Sabrina
(818) 349-5600

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11. Vegan Activist/Author Speaker Will Tuttle Continues to Spread Vegan Messages

Forwaded message from Will:

Dear friends,

Thanksgiving greetings! Madeleine and I are heading into Texas as we continue our "Planting Peace" tour - now drawing to the end of our 13th year full-time on the road in our solar-powered RV.

I'd to share just a few thoughts and resources. One is that now that the election is over, I think it's important to remember that every day is an election; every day we vote with our dollars and dictate to the vast economic complex what we want to be produced, and what activities we want to support. Each and every one of us is making an impact with our lives, and as we become more sensitive to the repercussions of our actions and votes, we can transform our lives and contribute to the transformation and healing of our world.

We also elect what to speak, think about, and focus our attention on. There is nothing more empowering than bringing our daily lives into congruence with our deeply-held values, and I am grateful for the powerful positive steps being taken in our country and in our world to live with greater awareness of the interconnectedness of all life, and with greater compassion for all living beings and for future generations. It is difficult to overstate the immensity of the challenges we face; as Obama recently said, "Our planet is in peril." We are each called to question the underlying assumptions of our reductionistic and obsolete cultural mentality and, as Gandhi said so well, be the change we'd like to see in the world.

Along these lines, I'd like to share a video that we made recently in Cincinnati called "A Case For The World Peace Diet." It has been airing on Supreme Master TV, an international TV channel that broadcasts 24/7 and presents only constructive and positive news and programs. Here's the link:

Increasingly, people are making the connections between veganism and environmental sustainability, and I recently published an article in the British journal Resurgence Magazine entitled "What Then Should We Eat?." Please click here to access the article:

Also, there has been an unprecedented amount of discussion about the plight of animals, especially turkeys, over the last few weeks, from the infamous Sarah Palin turkey-pardoning debacle in Alaska to Time and Newsweek articles on veganism, vegetarianism, and the tensions that often erupt or simmer between families that are divided on the subject of eating animals. It's so healthy to see our culture begin to have this long-overdue public discussion!
A recent undercover investigation shows what turkeys endure in our factory farm system:
And if you know people eating "organic" or "free-range" turkeys, this shows the turkey hatcheries where they come from:
Finally, here are some fun, cruelty-free turkey dishes:

We have also found out recently that agave nectar may have a dark side - that it may not be much different than high-fructose corn syrup. Click here to find out more:
For a smile, here's an article on "Giant Rats as Mankind's New Best Friend:"

We have many events in Texas coming up over the next two weeks, primarily in the areas of Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Please see our tour schedule, for details, particularly if you know folks (or live) near those areas. We'll be in Florida for the winter, presenting in many areas; the schedule is still evolving there. Please think ahead to early March for the Holistic Holiday At Sea, our first-ever Caribbean cruise leaving from Fort Lauderdale for 8 days featuring, besides Madeleine and me, T. Colin Campbell, Neal Barnard, Christina Pirello, Amrit Desai, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, Christine Horner, Dirk Benedict, Sherry Rogers, and many more.

Please join us at, and feel free to sign up for our free daily "Veg Inspiration For The Day" at

A big thank-you to all of you who are working diligently to raise consciousness on this Earth, and spreading the light of peace and love through the interconnected webs of relations here. Bless you all!

That's it for now.
Love and peace,

Will & Madeleine

Dr. Will Tuttle
1083 Vine St., Healdsburg, CA 95448
Visit to find out more about The World Peace Diet and sign up for Veg Inspiration For The Day.
Visit for our original music and art.
Visit to participate in The Prayer Circle for Animals.

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12. Article Challenges Perceptions of Meat Eaters

Forwarded message:

Subject: Do you eat birds, cows, pigs (not hamburger, poultry, pork...)

Animal Feelings: Learning Not to Care and Not to Know By William Crain At a recent New Jersey public hearing, the topic was a proposed bear hunt. A small boy walked up to the microphone, said his name was Bobby, and told the officials that shooting bears was horrible. "How would you like it if someone shot at you? You wouldn't like it, would you?" Then Bobby threw up his arms and said, "But you won't care what I say because I'm only seven years old," and walked back to his seat in a dejected manner.

Many parents and teachers have observed that young children are fascinated by animals and care deeply about them. Recent research has revealed that animals are so important to young children that they routinely dream about them. In fact, 3- to 5-year-olds dream more frequently about animals than about people or any other topic, and animal dreams continue to be prominent at least until the age of 7 years.

But as children grow up in the Western world they, like Bobby, find that their deep feelings for animals aren't shared by the dominant culture.

The rudest awakening occurs when children discover the source of the meat they eat. In a preliminary study of urban, middle class children, one of my undergraduate students, Alina Pavlakos, found that most 5-year-olds didn't know where meat comes from. They knew they ate meat, but when asked, "Do you eat animals?," most said, "Nooo!,"-as if the idea were outrageous.

Pavlakos found that children soon learn otherwise, most by the age of 6 or so. She and others also have informally observed that many children become distraught when they learn the facts. As Jane Goodall points out, some children want to become vegetarians at this point, but their parents rarely permit it.

In the years that follow, our culture seems to work in many ways to dampen children's sensitivity to animals-especially farm animals. Sometimes our language hides the identity of animals as food. We eat pork, not pigs; veal, not calves; meat, not flesh. The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer pointed out that the English language more subtly distances us from animals by referring to them with the impersonal pronoun "it," as if they were mere objects. If a young person becomes interested in the science of animal behavior, she will learn to avoid the attribution of any human emotions, such as pain or happiness, to animals. The scientific custom is to view animals impersonally.

In a tour de force, our society has managed to keep the public largely in the dark with respect to factory farms, which produce nearly all the meant Americans consume. Factory farms subject animals to incredible suffering, but most adults know little about it. This, at least, is what another undergraduate student, Srushti Vanjari, and I have found. From December, 2005, to the present, we have distributed questionnaires to undergraduates at different colleges and to adults in hotel lobbies and a senior citizen center in the New York metropolitan area. In these samples, 73 to 90% of the adults rated their knowledge of factory farms as either slight or nonexistent (with a large majority of these respondents rating their knowledge as nonexistent).

Admittedly, our surveys are informal, and some of my friends question the results. They believe that the past decade has witnessed a dramatic rise in vegetarianism as people have become aware of the mistreatment of animals. But the most recent Harris poll, conducted in 2006, found that only 2.3% of American adults chose a vegetarian diet-a figure that is actually down from 2.8% in 2003.

At a time when there is so much emphasis on improving education, the widespread adult ignorance with respect to animal suffering is stunning. I hope educators will rise to the task of eliminating this ignorance. I hope, for example, that educators will introduce secondary school and college students to writers such as John Robbins, Peter Singer, and Jane Goodall, and will encourage discussions on animal emotion and treatment. Perhaps the day will come when the adults in our society, with their blinders removed, will share young children's fascination and empathy with animals.

Article by William Crain, Professor of Psychology
William Crain is professor of psychology at The City College of New York. He is the author of Reclaiming Childhood: Letting Children Be Children in Our Achievement-Oriented Society and the editor of the journal, Encounter: Education for Meaning and Social Justice.

Dr. Crain advocates for the child's right to play and for the protection of nature and animals, and is co-founder of the Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary in Beekman, NY (, where children and adults visit animals rescued from inhumane conditions.

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13. Must True Religion Teach Kindness to Animals?/A Powerful Quotation

Thanks to Israeli vegetarian activist Jonathan Danilowitz for submitting this challenging quotation:

There is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to other animals as well as humans, it is all a sham. -Anna Sewell, writer (1820-1878)

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14. Video shows Underground Scenes of Horrid Abuse of Chickens

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15. Action Alert: Promoting the Choice of a Vegetarian-Friendly Secretary of Agriculture

Forwarded message from Gene Baur of Farm Sanctuary:

Dear friend of the animals,

Of all the animals in the United States facing cruelty and exploitation, those raised and slaughtered for food make up the vast majority. One of the most significant impacts President Elect Barack Obama can make for farm animals as he transitions to be the leader of our country, lies in who he chooses as the next Secretary of Agriculture.

In addition to our new president, Election Day also saw passage of California's Proposition 2 granting hens used in egg production, calves raised for veal, and pregnant sows used for breeding basic freedoms. The Obama Administration has the opportunity to advance more humane agricultural policies nationwide.

The next Secretary of Agriculture needs to support a new American diet, one filled with fresh fruits and vegetables and other plant foods grown by sustainable methods and available to all, rather than continue down the path of harmful industrial animal agriculture and government subsidies to the wealthy meat and dairy industries.

Please urge President Elect Obama to appoint a Secretary of Agriculture who will bring needed change to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and our broken food system. Tell the Obama Administration your vision of a government where farm animal welfare matters.

Gene Baur, president and co-founder
Farm Sanctuary

P.S. Read more about this topic on my blog.

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16. Chicken Manure Is Major Pollution Problem

Major article in NY Times on 11.29/08

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17. Turn Veggie to Save Planet, Says Sir Paul McCartney

Ex-Beatle claims eating less meat is 'single most effective way' to cut emissions
By Steve Connor, Science editor_Saturday, 29 November 2008

Sir Paul McCartney has teamed up with a Nobel Prize-winning scientist to urge people to become vegetarian to save the planet from the greenhouse gases created by rearing livestock.

In a letter to The Independent, the musician joins Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to blame worsening global warming on a rise in the number of people who eat meat.

The musician and Mr Pachauri, who are both vegetarians, also believe that global food shortages are exacerbated by the planting of cereal crops for animal fodder. A mass switch to a more vegetarian diet will, they say, help the poorest people in the world.

Becoming vegetarian, or at the very least eating less red meat, is "the single most effective act" anyone can take to lessen greenhouse gas emissions. As well as producing the greenhouse gas methane, the livestock business uses up increasingly scarce sources of fresh water and increases other forms of pollution through its need for agricultural chemicals, they argue.

"Unfortunately, with higher incomes, societies, even in developing countries, are turning to greater ... consumption of animal protein, which reduces the availability of food grains for direct consumption by impoverished human beings," they say. "Already 60 per cent of food crop production in North America and western Europe is being diverted for production of meat." Sir Paul and Mr Pachauri also suggest that people switch off lights, turn down their central heating, buy compact fluorescent lamps and use bicycles.

Dr Pachauri, who accepted a half-share in this year's Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of the IPCC, has long advocated vegetarianism as a way of fighting climate change. He has been a vegetarian for eight years, while Sir Paul stopped eating meat about 30 years ago largely because of his concerns about the welfare of farm animals.

"With growing awareness of ... the need to mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases, citizens across the world often ask what it is that they can do to mitigate emissions," they say in their letter. "There are several reasons for a shift to a much lower input of meat in human diets if not complete vegetarianism ... We are writing this letter not because vegetarianism is a fad or an emotional issue but because it is a very attractive option for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and stabilising the Earth's climate and ensuring global food security."

They cite a 2006 report by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation which stated that livestock are one of the most significant contributors to climate change because 70 per cent of former forests in the Amazon have been turned over to grazing and livestock now use 30 per cent of the world's land surface.

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18. Obama, the Animals and the Future

Forwarded message (comments welcome):

{Although Barack Obama is very far from being a vegetarian, perhaps he will be open to arguments about dietary changes.]

This post is a hopeful look at changes in the way animals are treated in America. But first…

Congratuations Planet Earth

The worst is now behind us. Obama's election in America is a concrete manifestation of our optimism for the future. The American people are ready for change, and have shown, beyond expectations, how much they want it, and the whole planet is with them.

Obama and McCain are apart where it counts: mindset….I get the feeling, and I hope to God it's true, that Obama is new school: “we are one global family, what affects one affects the other”. The details may be gritty, but to me, this is an incredibly important factor which will catch on.

A friend hears this and reminds me what a president seeking to make real, positive changes will be up against. I think the hardest part is behind Obama. Although certain groups and powers will resist change with all their might, the people have expressed their desire to change in the ballot box, and will support Obama, the manifestation of their desire for peace and true prosperity: a more enlightened future.

The Animals

The day Barack Obama was elected he said “I will always be honest about you about the challenges we face.”

Previously, he's also said: “I think how we treat our animals reflects how we treat each other,” he said. “And it's very important that we have a president who is mindful of the cruelty that is perpetrated on animals.”

Obama has already said that the relationship between humans and animals has to change. believe he wants to say more, and will say more now that he can relax a little.)

Democracy Now!

There are two paths to change, one starting from the top and the other from the the bottom.

Real change starts from the bottom, of course, that is, with the people themselves. The people must be informed well enough to make good choices and demand the change through their power as both political and economic citizens. This means the elimination of special-interest-politics and the onset of democracy, one change President Obama has clearly committed to.

It is of course undemocratic to tell people what to think and feel in regards to animals. However, it is extremely democratic to inform people about the animal feed affect our health and the environment, as well as the inescapable cruelty of the mass production of “meat”: the flesh of once living beings.

An Informed Public

So Obama doesn't need to 'change' anything except the way the American public recieve information. The marketing of harmful substances should be restricted, as tobacco is in Australia, where the industry simply cannot advertise at all because it's product is simply anti-life. Currently, the public has very poor access to very importanjt information about how meat and diary sonsumption drastically reduces life expectancy through the creation of the worst chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease; and the environment through massive use of resources, degradation and overuse of land and use and pollution of water. These simple facts need to enter the public conscience, because they are true and are immenently affecting our future.

Death, Disease, Starvation and Climate Change “In Moderation”

Terms like 'choice', 'moderation' do not apply to the animal diet as we currently think. It is because we have a very incomplete picture, dominated by cultural habit, that we believe animals to be a good source of food. The term 'everything in moderation' turns my stomach when I hear it in regard to the animal diet. It's like saying a little starvation is good for health, a little chronic disease is normal. A little extra greenhouse effect is good for the climate. It's not. Our human bodies and the world's climate have natural balances and demand certain treatment. Abuse them and the balance is upset, and “moderation” becomes deadly.

Obama, we need to know how to live right.

We have such massive and serious problems that it must seem terrible and daunting to be the one the world looks to to sort them out. And they do. But the animal diet relates to everything. It creates massive unnecessary environmental stress, affecting international relations in water and land stressed areas… it creates massive extra health expenditure and the heart break of familes and loved ones. Who would say no to less cancer, diabetes, and artheroschlorosis. Stomach aches and migrances affect productivity. We could feed ourselves on a tenth of the land. Water would run fresh again. Forests would start to thrive again. Rain would start to fall in regularity again. Anyone notied the the whole planet is out of kilter? Anyone noticed that almost everyone is dying of disease, sooner or later? It all comes down to meat baby, and beyond that, it all comes down to what we know. And we don't know meat, what it is, where it comes from, what it does. It is made with cruelty, it cruelly kills and maimes, it comes from the killing floor. Meat is death.

Please help the people come to this conclusion by removing special-interest politics and supporting the propogation of INFORMATION when it is needed. God bless and God speed.

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