February 18, 2009

2/2/2009 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Tu B'Shvat as a Jewish Earth Day?

2. Announcement of Release of PSAs produced by Lionel Friedberg on Global Warming's Dietary Connections/New Associated Web Site

3. NOAA: Global warming 'irreversible' for next 1,000 years

4. Scientific American Article on How Meat Contributes to Global Warming

5. Attempts to Get President Obama to Endorse Vegetarianism

6. Letter From Arthur Poletti to Chicago Commisioner of Public Health Dr. Terry Mason re Attempts to Convince President Obama to Become a Vegetarian

7. Excerpts From the Latest EVANA Newsletter with Many Important Vegetarian-Related Articles

8. Question on Jewish Teachings about Animals from Concern for Helping Animals in Israel director Nina Natelson

9. Israeli Jewish Vegetarian Society Plans Tu B'Shvat Seder, Other Events

10. Tu B'Shvat Seder Announcement

11. Israel's Largest Veal Farm Shut Down

12. Message From Vegan Activist/Author/Lecturer Will Tuttle

13. Pioneering Animal Ethics Book Series Announced

14. Great Short Film on All Aspects of Vegetarianism/Veganism

15. Analyis of Impacts of Animal-Agriculture on Land Use and Global Warming

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. Tu B'Shvat as a Jewish Earth Day?

As indicated, Tu B'Shvat, which starts Sunday evening, February 8, is a great time to promote vegetarianism and environmental activism. Please consider setting up a Tu B'Shvat seder or other holiday event in your local synagogue, JCC or other setting. Please see the material on Tu B'Shvat in the holiday section at JewishVeg.com/Schwartz and from internet searches for talking points, letters to editors and other outreach efforts. Thanks.

I am scheduled to lead a Tu B'Shvat seder in my local synagogue on Sunday evening.

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2. Announcement of Release of PSAs produced by Lionel Friedberg on Global Warming's Dietary Connections/New Associated Web Site

Media Contact:
Pamela Millar

The Bottom Line on Climate Change: It's What's For Dinner!

Let's Act Now tells the public the other inconvenient truth - our meat-eating habit is a principal cause of global warming and a meatless diet can stop runaway climate change

February 2nd, 2009, New York /PRNewswire/- Let's Act Now launched today a nationwide Public Service Announcement campaign stressing the urgency of climate change and its connection to our food choices. [The PSAs were produced by Lionel Friedberg, producer/director/writer/cinematographer of “A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World.”]The campaign urges the public to understand their own personal responsibility in stopping global warming. According to a special report from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, animal farming produces more greenhouse gases than all global transportation combined. A switch to a plant based diet is the single most effective action a person can take to mitigate the effects of accelerating climate change.

According to the chief climate scientist at NASA, Dr. James Hansen, "There are many things people can do to reduce their carbon emissions, but changing a light bulb and other things are much less effective than changing your diet. Because if you eat further down on the food chain rather than animals which have produced many greenhouse gases, and used much energy in the process of growing that meat, you can actually make a bigger contribution in that way than just about anything. So in terms of individual actions, it is the best thing you can do."

Animal agriculture, including "sustainable," locally-raised animals, is a huge cause of global warming, creating nearly one-fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions. It also uses up most of our water, is responsible for the majority of rainforest destruction in the Amazon, and is a direct cause of global hunger. Changing our diet to a meat-free, dairy-free, egg-free vegan diet can significantly and rapidly reverse global warming, lower emissions, reduce deforestation, avoid drought, and help feed the hungry.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and winner of the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Al Gore, has this to say about the matter: "If you were to take into account the entire chain of meat production and consumption, it is hugely intensive in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore I always say that if you eat less meat, you will be healthier and so would the planet. We consume far too much meat in this world! It would help the global community enormously if we ate less meat, the entire meat cycle is very, very intensive in terms of carbon dioxide emissions…more than anything else, it is a win-win solution if we eat less meat."

The Let's Act Now website (http://letsactnow.org) stresses that the simple act of reducing meat consumption in our daily diets would have a major impact on global warming. As a coalition of concerned groups and citizens, the Let's Act Now website includes extensive data published in "Livestock's Long Shadow," a study of factory farming produced by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in 2006. Also on the website are analyses of the impact a plant based diet has on food and water resources, and public health, as well as discussions of ethical and moral considerations. Moreover, it has links to many other data-rich sources, such as CNN, the New York Times and Supreme Master Television.

All lives on earth are interconnected. Just imagine the power we have when we make our simple daily decisions. We can determine our own well-being and the well-being of others; we can choose to protect or threaten the welfare of animals; and most of all, we can choose to help save or destroy the planet we all live on. We have come to the critical moment when we have to decide which direction we want to go…. Let's Act Now!

PSA Directed by Award Winning Producer Lionel Friedberg

The Let's Act Now PSA was produced by the multi-award winning producer/director/writer/cinematographer Mr. Lionel Friedberg. His film, "A Sacred Duty," is a stark reminder of the cruel and unsustainable practices of factory farming. According to Mr. Friedberg, "It may sound outrageous or far-fetched, but the only way to avoid an irreversible ecological catastrophe from destroying our world is to switch to a plant-based diet. From studies undertaken by dozens of organizations, including the United Nations, meat-eating is undermining our planet in so many ways. Beyond that there are the proven health benefits that are derived from a vegetarian lifestyle. And let us not forget that we are so distanced, detached and divorced from our food sources that people who eat the flesh of other beings pile not only toxic, tarnished and unhealthy commodities on their plates, but also heaps of unmitigated misery. The suffering endured by creatures destined for human consumption is beyond comprehension."
Copyright © 2009
Message from a coordinator of this project:

On Monday morning, the [above] press release will cross wire and our MNR page [web site] will go live http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/letsactnow/36666/. The public can view the PSA on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA8jvipC0Z0. The four clips of PSAs (10 sec, 15 sec, 30 sec and 60 sec) will be distributed to 400 TV stations in the USA.

[Please see the PSAs and visit the web site, and please help make others aware of these wonderful new resources. Thanks.]

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3. NOAA: Global warming 'irreversible' for next 1,000 years

Posted on 27 Jan 2009


[This article indicates why immediate steps are necessary to reverse global climate change, with the hope that it is not already too late.]

WASHINGTON, Jan. 27, 2009 -- Climate change is "largely irreversible" for the next 1,000 years even if carbon dioxide emissions could be abruptly halted, according to a new study led by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The study's authors said there was "no going back" after the report showed that changes in surface temperature, rainfall and sea level are "largely irreversible for more than 1,000 years after CO2 emissions are completely stopped."

NOAA senior scientist Susan Solomon said the study, published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, showed that current human choices on carbon dioxide emissions are set to "irreversibly change the planet."

Researchers examined the consequences of CO2 building up beyond present-day concentrations of 385 parts per million, and then completely stopping emissions after the peak. Before the industrial age CO2 in Earth's atmosphere amounted to only 280 parts per million.

The study found that CO2 levels are irreversibly impacting climate change, which will contribute to global sea level rise and rainfall changes in certain regions.

The authors emphasized that increases in CO2 that occur from 2000 to 2100 are set to "lock in" a sea level rise over the next 1,000 years.

Rising sea levels would cause "irreversible commitments to future changes in the geography of the Earth, since many coastal and island features would ultimately become submerged," the study said.

Decreases in rainfall that last for centuries can be expected to have a range of impacts, said the authors. Regional impacts include -- but are not limited to -- decreased human water supplies, increased fire frequency, ecosystem change, and expanded deserts.

source: Agence France-Presse

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4. Scientific American Article on How Meat Contributes to Global Warming

February, 2009 in Environment

How Meat Contributes to Global Warming

Producing beef for the table has a surprising environmental cost: it releases prodigious amounts of heat-trapping greenhouse gases

By Nathan Fiala

Most of us are aware that our cars, our coal-generated electric power and even our cement factories adversely affect the environment. Until recently, however, the foods we eat had gotten a pass in the discussion. Yet according to a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and the like to spew into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry. (Greenhouse gases trap solar energy, thereby warming the earth's surface. Because gases vary in greenhouse potency, every greenhouse gas is usually expressed as an amount of CO2 with the same global-warming potential.)

The FAO report found that current production levels of meat contribute between 14 and 22 percent of the 36 billion tons of "CO2-equivalent" greenhouse gases the world produces every year. It turns out that producing half a pound of hamburger for someone's lunch a patty of meat the size of two decks of cards releases as much greenhouse gas into the atmosphere as driving a 3,000-pound car nearly 10 miles.

In truth, every food we consume, vegetables and fruits included, incurs hidden environmental costs: transportation, refrigeration and fuel for farming, as well as methane emissions from plants and animals, all lead to a buildup of atmospheric greenhouse gases. Take asparagus: in a report prepared for the city of Seattle, Daniel J. Morgan of the University of Washington and his co-workers found that growing just half a pound of the vegetable in Peru emits greenhouse gases equivalent to 1.2 ounces of CO2 as a result of applying insecticide and fertilizer, pumping water and running heavy, gas-guzzling farm equipment. To refrigerate and transport the vegetable to an American dinner table generates another two ounces of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases, for a total CO2 equivalent of 3.2 ounces.

But that is nothing compared to beef. In 1999 Susan Subak, an ecological economist then at the University of East Anglia in England, found that, depending on the production method, cows emit between 2.5 and 4.7 ounces of methane for each pound of beef they produce. Because methane has roughly 23 times the global-warming potential of CO2, those emissions are the equivalent of releasing between 3.6 and 6.8 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere for each pound of beef produced.

Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "The Greenhouse Hamburger".

Nathan Fiala is a doctoral candidate in economics at the University of California, Irvine, focusing on the environmental impact of dietary habits. He also runs evaluations of development projects for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. In his spare time he enjoys independent movies and sailing. His study of the environmental impact of meat production on which this article is based was recently published in the journal Ecological Economics.

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5. Attempts to Get President Obama to Endorse Vegetarianism

My Letter to Chicago Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Terry Mason (Who knows President Obama):

[Suggestions welcome on this campaign and the material below. Thanks.]

January 28, 2009

Dr. Terry Mason
Chicago Department of Public Health
333 South State Street --2nd-- Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60604

Dear Commissioner Dr. Terry Mason,

Kudos for your initiative in urging Chicagoans to shift toward vegetarian diets, at least for this month. I hope it has very positive results and leads to healthier residents of Chicago as well as a healthier environment.

As you know, at this time when there is an epidemic of chronic degenerative diseases and the world is severely threatened by global warming and many other environmental problems and animal-based diets are so wasteful of land, water, energy and other valuable resources, it is essential that there be a major shift toward vegetarianism.

Based on your wonderful vegetarian initiative and your knowledge of President Obama, I hope you will help in our campaign to get him to consider a shift toward a plant-based diet and to urge Americans to reduce or eliminate meat from their diets. I hope you will also communicate to other health professional and politicians the importance of such a shift.

As president of Jewish Vegetarians of north America and the Society of Ethical and religious Vegetarians, and director of the Veg Climate Alliance, I have many contacts who could help in increasing awareness of the importance of a shift to plant-based diets.

I would very much welcome an opportunity to discuss this with you.

I know that Arthur Poletti, whom I am working closely with, has also sent you some valuable information on this issue.

As background, below are:

1) My open letter to President Obama;

2) An article: UK: Hospitals will take meat off menus in bid to cut carbon

3) An article: Schnitzel off the menu as Germans are told to cut down on eating meat

4) Link to candidate Barack Obama's response to a question re veganism

Items 2 and 3 show that other countries are already shifting toward vegetarian diets, and item 4 shows that the president is well aware of the health and environmental connections to animal-based diets.

Many thanks for your consideration.

Very respectfully,
Richard (Schwartz)

1) My open letter to President Obama;

January 20, 2009

President Barack Obama
Office of the President
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. NW
Washington, DC 20006

Dear President Barack Obama:

On behalf of the Veg Climate Alliance (www.vegclimatealliance.com), a group that represents the views of many environmental, health-related, vegetarian, animal rights and other groups in promoting a societal shift to plant-based diets as an essential step in responding to global warming and other current threats, I want to join many other people of good will in congratulating you on your historic election and wishing you the best of luck in all of your future activities.

In this critical time, when the US and the entire world face so many serious problems, we, along with so many others have been very impressed by your initial efforts to address today's urgent issues, and we wish you continued success.

We would like to very respectfully suggest an action that is seldom considered by our leaders, but one that can help dramatically in responding to many of today's threats -- that you (and possibly your wonderful family) seriously consider switching toward a vegetarian diet and that you urge the American people to also sharply reduce or eliminate their consumption of animal products. This would be consistent with your desire to reduce diseases by stressing prevention and the recent statement of Chicago Health Commissioner Terry Mason, whom you know, encouraging Chicagoans to join him in going vegetarian for at least January, 2009.

In your response to Nikki Benoit, that young lady in the “Vegan Outreach” T-shirt (http://vegclimatealliance.org/video-obama-tacklesagribusiness/), you showed that you are well aware of the issues. As you pointed out in that response, “Americans would benefit [health wise] from a change of diet.” At a time when there is an epidemic of diseases related to animal-based diets and medical costs are soaring, a shift to plant-based diets would reduce medical costs, and thereby help reduce the massive budget deficits that are currently projected and help enable you to carry out your objectives of providing tax cuts, improving our nation's infrastructure, and creating good jobs.

In your response, you also indicated that current food system is under enormous pressure in that so much grain is being fed to animals at a time when hunger is spreading, food prices are soaring and there have already been food riots in Haiti and other poor countries. In addition, at a time when droughts are spreading and increasing numbers of people will soon live in areas chronically short of clean water, an animal-based diet requires up to 14 times as much water as a vegan diet. Perhaps most important, as we increasingly see the effects of global climate change and when some climate scientists are projecting that global warming could spin out of control within a few years, with potentially disastrous consequences, unless major changes soon occur, a 2006 UN report “Livestock's Long Shadow” indicated that animal-based agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (in CO2 equivalents) than all the cars, planes, ships and other means of transportation worldwide combined (18% vs. 13.5%). That UN report projects that the number of farmed animals will double in the next 50 years, with the result that the increased greenhouse gas emissions would negate many positive changes and make it almost impossible to reach the greenhouse gas emission reductions that you and others seek.

As you know, in 2007, eleven retired U/S. generals and admirals indicated that global warming, by increasing the number of hungry, thirsty refugees fleeing global warming-related droughts, storms, flooding, diseases and wildfires, makes instability, violence, terrorism and war more likely. Hence, a societal shift toward plant-based diets could help you accomplish your desire to reduce terrorism and reach a more peaceful, harmonious world.

So, in many ways, a dietary shift by you and an education campaign to increase awareness of the urgency of a major shift toward plant-based diets would be a great step toward reaching many of your goals.

In addition, your response to Nikki Benoit mentioned the importance of getting more fruits and vegetables into school lunch programs and subsidizing healthier plant-based foods rather than animal products and processed foods, so we also hope you will follow up on these important initiatives.

One other thought: as you get a dog for your charming daughters, they would probably be happy to know that switching to nutritious, delicious plant-based foods can reduce the current mistreatment and slaughter of ten billion farmed animals in the US annually.

Thank you for your kind consideration. We would be very happy to provide further information and/or help in any other way. We believe that the future of the US and, indeed all future generations depends on your putting our suggestions into practice.

Very respectfully,

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
2) UK: Hospitals will take meat off menus in bid to cut carbon

Last week, the German federal environment agency went further, advising people to eat meat only on special occasions

26 January 2009

The plan to offer patients menus that would have no meat option is part of a strategy to be published tomorrow that will cover proposals ranging from more phone-in GP surgeries to closing outpatient departments and instead asking surgeons to visit people at their local doctor's surgery(...)

Among the most talked-about is likely to be the suggestion that hospitals could cut carbon emissions from food and drink by offering fewer meat and dairy products...

Dr David Pencheon, director of the NHS sustainable development unit, said the move would cut the relatively high carbon emissions from rearing animals and poultry, and improve health...


3) Schnitzel off the menu as Germans are told to cut down on eating meat

Germans are among the highest meat consumers in Europe, obtaining around 39% of their total calorie intake from meat and meat products, compared with 25% in Italy

23 January 2009

For a nation that loves its bratwurst and schnitzel, the message is not a welcome one. Germans have been urged to rethink their meat-eating habits if they want to help the planet.

Germany's federal environment agency has issued a strong advisory for people to return to prewar norms of eating meat only on special occasions and otherwise to model their diet on that of Mediterranean countries...


4) Link to then-candidate Barack Obama's response to a question re veganism

This short video shows that President Obama is well aware of the issues related to vegetarianism


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6. Letter From Arthur Poletti to Chicago Commisioner of Public Health Dr. Terry Mason re Attempts to Convince President Obama to Become a Vegetarian

Dr. Terry Mason
Commissioner of
The Chicago Public Health Dept.

Dear Dr. Mason:

I am extremely impressed with you because you had the guts and the courage to announce that you are a vegetarian and recommended that every meat eater should seriously consider the much healthier option.

Your Chicago Public Health Dept. colleague Tim Hadac asked me to spread the word far and wide about your announcement.

On January 14th I forwarded the Tribune publication of your fabulous announcement to a large number of organizations and to people like you who support the health and welfare benefits of vegetarianism.

Following are a few of the many publications about your announcement that you may or may not have seen.








Dr. Mason, as you know the health hazards associated with eating animal flesh are well-documented but until recently have not been fully revealed to the general public.

Fortunately more and more prominent leaders like you are becoming vegetarians and are willing to promote the health benefits regardless if it is not politically correct.

If Al Gore and Oprah Winfrey had the same insightfulness and awareness and wisdom that you have and were as brave and bold as you are they would have also become vegetarians
and would have also recommended that everyone do the same, especially for the health and welfare of all children.

Dr. Mason, I seriously believe if you were the newly elected President of the United States you would have made the same announcement!!!

Imagine what could happen if President Barack Obama made the same kind of announcement?

I think you will enjoy the posting of the following current U.S. News publication titled: More Children Refuse to Eat Meat Than
You'd Think, and for the Right Reasons


Dr. Mason, thank you for personally being the CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD!!

Arthur Poletti
Western Springs, Illinois

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7. Excerpts From the Latest EVANA Newsletter with Many Important Vegetarian-Related Articles

European Vegetarian and Animal News Alliance (EVANA)
Newsletter January 2009

In this issue you can read about:
1. Vegetarianism
2. Global Hunger
3. Meat kills climate
4. Whaling
5. Fur
6. Transport
7. Pigs
8. Book/Film/Song/Video
9. Recommended Mailinglists

[I have only included items below for the first three items. Many thanks to EVANA for providing this valuable resource.]

1) Finally - politicians discover the benefits of vegetarianism

European Union:
-European Parliament's Temporary Committee on Climate Change: '...reduce meat consumption'/A report voted .by the European Parliament's Temporary Committee on Climate Change http://www.evana.org/index.php?id=40260&lang=en

-Jens Holm, MEP Sweden: 'We should abolish meat subsidies, let meat bear its own environmental costs and work to make modern vegetarian food cheaper'

-Even in a country with one of the highest percentages of meat consumers the federal environment agency recommended to leave "Schnitzel off the menu".

-On 26 January the Guardian published the remarkable article "Hospitals will take meat off menus in bid to cut carbon"
Note: When those responsible for the publish health system of a country consider cutting meat as contribution to "Saving Carbon, Improving Health"....that's quite a breakthrough in the right direction!

-Barack Obama Asks Us To Re-Examine Food Policy
Quote: "The fact that we subsidize some of these big, agribusiness operations that are not necessarily producing healthy foods, and we discourage, or we don't subsidize farmers who are producing fruits and vegetables and small scale farming that gets produce immediately to consumers as opposed to having it processed. The fact that we're not doing more to ensure that healthy food is in the schools. All those things don't make sense. It is important for us to re-examine our overall food policy."

-Chicago Health Commissioner Says, 'Go Veg!'

More veggie snippets:

-MyPyramid USA: Vegetarian diets can meet all the recommendations for nutrients http://www.evana.org/index.php?id=40880&lang=en

-Ronald McDonald Turns Vegetarian

-USA: More kids going vegetarian
Nutrition experts say kids are never too young to become vegetarians....

2) The consumption of meat is growing - and so is global hunger

Billions face food shortages, study warns
Half of the world's population could face severe food shortages by the end of the century as rising temperatures take their toll on farmers' crops, scientists have warned....

Europe: Global food security: more European initiatives needed say MEPs
The European Parliament calls for "immediate and continuous action" to ensure global food security..

UNICEF feels the pinch of the food price crisis

UN debates global food cost rise

PS: Please sign the petition 'Food vs Feed' and inform others about it. Thanks! http://un.evana.org/ (23 languages)
Comment (signature 10503): "By eating meat, we are eating the food of hundreds of other people"

3) Meat kills climate

Meat-eating is killing the Amazon
One of the main Brazilian newspapers reported today that ranchers account for 76% of forest clearing in the Amazon, according to new, more reliable data. But there's no point panicking and not doing anything about it: give up on all animal products and you'll be doing your share to help mitigate
the human impact on the environment.

WSPA: Eating our future/The environmental impact of industrial animal agriculture http://www.evana.org/index.php?id=40771&lang=en

Climate change, meat eating and the environment/Excerpt: It's important to note too that even if we ignore the effect of aerosols, animal agriculture is also a major source of carbon dioxide emissions

Veg Climate Alliance: Open letter to President Obama
'in many ways, a dietary shift by you and an education campaign to increase awareness of the urgency of a major shift toward plant-based diets would be a great step toward reaching many of your goals'

Food needs 'fundamental rethink'

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8. Question on Jewish Teachings about Animals from Concern for Helping Animals in Israel director Nina Natelson

Judaism says lost animals are to be returned to their owners (families), but are there exceptions under tsa'ar ba'alei chayyim? If the owner is a known animal abuser, for example, and the animal ran away (escaped) as opposed to getting lost, wouldn't returning the animal to the abuser be considered cruelty, even sadism? What about the need to respect animals and prevent harm from coming to them, even our enemies' animals?

In the case of cows who escaped from slaughterhouses, rescuers either paid the slaughterhouse a dollar before transporting the cow to a sanctuary, or else local authorities captured the cow and made the decision to give the cow to a sanctuary, at the urging of the public. These would be acceptable under Jewish law either because the owner agreed to accept payment for the cow or because Jews are required to obey the laws of the country where they live. But what if a rescuer, rather than the local authorities had captured the cow and brought him or her to a sanctuary? Would this be a violation of Jewish law? Would it be stealing someone's property, even though the cow bolted upon seeing other cows being slaughtered, ran miles, swam a river, hid from those who sought to capture him/her?

Some laws can be violated to save a life, but does this only apply to human life? Should we not also have compassion for animal life and animal suffering? When can laws (Jewish or secular) be violated to serve a higher moral purpose, such as tsa'ar ba'alei chayim?

There are many instances where this question arises. For example, a man tried to sell a 6-8 week old miniature poodle to passersby. When no one responded, he left the dog in his car (it was over 100 degrees that day) and headed into a shopping center. A passerby heard the dog's cries, squeezed an arm into the small window opening to unlatch the door and free the dog, who by then was lethargic and near death. The rescuer took the dog to a vet, who administered fluids and said a few minutes more and the dog would have died. Onlookers had called the police, but by the time they arrived, dog and rescuer were long gone. The police said according to state law, it is legal to break a car window to save animals on a hot day and the rescuer did the right thing in saving the dog's life. Should the rescuer have been required to return the dog to the irresponsible, uncaring owner, who would likely have endangered the dog's life on another occasion? To do so would go against all feelings of compassion for the dog and all sense of responsibility and respect for his life.

[Suggestions/comments welcome]

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9. Israeli Jewish Vegetarian Society Plans Tu B'Shvat Seder, Other Events

[Please let others in Israel who might be interested know about this event. Thanks.]

Please join us for a:

Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 7:30 PM

At the Vegetarian Community Center - 8 Balfour St. Jerusalem

Be part of a joyous celebration of our Jewish tradition as it relates to the nature and vegetation of the land of Israel.

Our Seder leader, Steven “Shaya” Kelter, invites you to bring a rare fruit on which to say the “Shehechiyanu Bracha”, as well as a song, poem, humor or brief story about trees, recounting of a Tu B'shvat custom you are familiar with, or other creative idea that can be shared with the other celebrants. Let your imagination reach down to the roots or up to the treetops! To discuss your ideas with Shaya in advance of the Seder contact him by email at kelter@netvision.net.il or by mobile phone 052-2873887.

The Seder will be held in English and Hebrew.

Admission: NIS 25

Admission includes food and beverages required for the Seder

Space is limited, so please e-mail ijvsjlem@013net.net or call Yossi at 052-2598773 for reservations.

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10. Tu B'Shvat Seder Announcement

You are invited to come together with a new, grassroots, traditional & progressive, downtown Jewish community to celebrate, learn, sing, meditate, and eat in appreciation of ancient and new trees and their fruit at a...

Tu bi-Shevat Seder - festive Dinner for the Jewish New Year of the Trees
Sunday, Feb. 8
5:38pm (odd by the clock, but perfect by the sun-it's sunset)
The Kiever Synagogue - a beautiful, historic shul in Kensington Market
25 Bellevue Ave. [Canada] (directions: http://www.kievershul.com/location.html)

Enjoy a delicious, four-course, kosher, vegetarian dinner freshly cooked by downtown
Jewish chef David Moyal while we explore the agricultural, mystical, and environmental meanings of the seder rituals and discuss contemporary food issues, guided by Rabbi Aaron Levy and Risa Alyson Strauss, Program Director of the Kavanah Organic Community Teaching Garden

Advance registration is required by Monday, Feb. 2
Click to purchase a $20 adult/teen ticket (http://tinyurl.com/sederadult);
or a $10 child (ages 5-12) ticket (http://tinyurl.com/sederchild)
little ones aged 0-4 are free.

In order to minimize the waste we create, please bring your own re-usable plate, bowl, fork, knife, spoon, cup, mug, and napkin, and a bag in which to take them home dirty (in order to maintain the kosher status of the Kiever's kitchen, we will not be able to wash our dishes there).

Volunteers and musicians needed!
To volunteer or for more info, please contact Aaron Levy at rabbiaaronlevy@gmail.com or 416-546-6043.

Help spread the word - please share this email with a friend.

Thanks to the Kiever Synagogue and Torat HaTeva for their support!

If this was forwarded to you and you want to join the email list for this nascent community, email rabbiaaronlevy@gmail.com

"The varieties of fruit enlighten the eyes." -Rabbi Akiva (Babylonian Talmud, Sanhedrin 17b)
- Show quoted text -
"The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution." -Paul Cézanne

Risa Alyson Strauss
Program Director
Kavanah Organic Garden and Nature Programs
The Jewish Nature Centre of Canada - Torat HaTeva
(416)805-8382 (TEVA)

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11. Israel's Largest Veal Farm Shut Down

Fowarded message from Pete Cohon, Director of Veggie Jews:

Israel's largest veal-farm in Bazra has closed down. The owners of the farm, the Leicht Family, decided to stop the cruel production of "special-fed"or "milk-fed" veal. They announced that their decision comes in the wake of a public relations campaign against them and the new regulations that have passed following the pressure on the government applied by Anonymous for Animal Rights. The new regulations put substantial limitations on calves' husbandry and consequently on the production of veal. The Bazra veal-farm became a prime target for animal rights lobbyists, because of its sheer size and the fact that it is located close to Israel's economic hub, Tel Aviv. Protests were held at the farm and animal rights activists gave water to the dehydrated calves (dehydration is part of the production method). Anonymous for Animal Rights visited the farm repeatedly for documentation, and filed complaints against the owners for ignoring laws and regulations, to both the police and the Ministry for Agriculture. The Leicht Family was greatly agitated by critical articles in the local press and the lasting public pressure, and even threatened to file a libel suit against Anonymous for Animal Rights, but eventually decided to stop the veal production. Part of the farm is being dissolved now and the last "special-fed" calves have been sent for slaughter. However, the Leicht Family's other business, raising calves by common methods, is continuing.

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12. Message From Vegan Activist/Author/Lecturer Will Tuttle

Dear friends,

As many of you know, the Season For Nonviolence begins on January 30, anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination, and runs for 64 days, to the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination on April 4. It is a time to commemorate the teachings and example of these two great human beings.

There will be many events in cities throughout North America during this time to educate, inspire, and celebrate nonviolence, and I hope that we can all begin to realize and reduce the immense violence we commit towards animals used for food, and help raise consciousness in our culture that nonviolence begins on our plates. As I discuss in The World Peace Diet, if we yearn to contribute to peace, a terrific opportunity for all of us is to move ever closer to a vegan way of being in the world, and spread the word to others through our efforts and example. Veganism is radical inclusion--including all sentient beings within the sphere of our compassion. King said, "Violence anywhere hurts everyone everywhere," and Gandhi's basic entreaty was to "Be the change you want to see in the world." These two teachings point to the interconnectedness of all of us, and to the necessity for an awakening to this truth at the daily life level.

With the new administration of Barack Obama, there is still a palpable sense of relief and optimism in the air, even in the midst of what everyone recognizes are enormous challenges. We must never forget that all change comes from the grass roots, and that Presidents are under enormous pressure from the plutocracy to divide, exploit, and confuse. As we insist on peace, justice, sustainability, and equality, and live these values in our lives and communicate them as best we can through all levels of our culture, we will see our leaders responding. I highly recommend boycotting not only the meat, dairy, egg, and other animal abuse industries, but also the pharmaceutical-medical complex and the mass media. Getting news from alternative sources is empowering and illuminating! There are so many, and they are proliferating!

Some good news! A colleague who lives in Chicago and works out in the same gym where Obama also used to exercise, saw him on the last day he was in the gym in late December, and gave him a copy of The World Peace Diet! I had signed it specifically to Obama, and she was able to put it right into his hands, as he smiled and graciously received it! The next day, he and his family left for their Hawaii vacation, and from there went to Washington, DC and the inauguration. Thanks to the angels for this minor miracle, and please, if you have time, write to Barack Obama and Michelle Obama and recommend that they read The World Peace Diet and go vegan as an example of the "Yes We Can" and "Change" themes we have been hearing so much.

A few days ago, a film crew from Supreme Master Television (www.suprememasterTV.com) came down to our rolling home by the edge of the Atlantic here in the Florida Keys and filmed an appeal that I made, urging President Obama and all leaders to switch to an organic, whole foods vegan diet to exemplify their willingness to be the change, and to encourage others to do the same. It is gratifying to see that there are leaders at various levels of government who are courageously urging people to switch to plant-based eating, and are doing it themselves. Please thank them and encourage others also!

Also, if you are involved with or interested in the Unity movement, there is an interesting new video that Supreme Master TV has created about the Unity Movement and vegetarianism, entitled, "The Unity School of Christianity and Spiritual Vegetarianism," Part 1 and Part 2. It is eye-opening and encouraging, and is internationally translated and televised, like all SMTV content.

Some more good news! Sales of The World Peace Diet broke new records in 2008, and it was again, for the second year in a row, the #1 best selling book of New York's Lantern Books (out of 150 books). It will be going into its fifth printing soon, which will include the long-missed index! In the meantime, you can always download the index for free from our website. The book is still $20, signed, including a free CD and Madeleine's Intuitive Cooking, and there are also several quantity discounts available as well. We also have the book available as an audio book for $20 (physical) or just $15 to download to your computer. Before too long, it'll be available as an audio book on iTunes as well. See http://worldpeacediet.org for details.

There's even more good news! Increasing numbers of people are facilitating study courses and book study groups on The World Peace Diet in cities around North America - and our two leading facilitators, Mark Stroud and Anna Ferguson in Cincinnati are working with a new 501(c)3 non-profit called A.P.E. - Animals, People, Earth - to promote the World Peace Diet in Cincinnati and beyond by encouraging book study groups nationwide, opening a vegan restaurant in Cincinnati, developing a line of vegan foods, and sponsoring a vegan yoga conference in Cincinnati in October of 2009 called, you guessed it, the World Peace Yoga Conference - see you there! For more information on all this, go to: www.worldpeacediet.org/APE.htm. The conference will feature Gabriel Cousens, Andrew Harvey, Sharon Gannon, and many other leaders in the yoga, spirituality, and vegan movements.

And one more thing! Please consider joining us on the vegan Caribbean cruise called the Taste of Health Cruise, leaving from Fort Lauderdale on March 1 until March 8, featuring T. Colin Campbell, Neal Barnard, Christina Pirello, Isa Chandra Moskowitz, and others. For more information, http://www.atasteofhealth.org/events/presenters.htm. That same week if you're in L.A., Gabriel Cousens & Michael Beckwith are putting on an 8-day vegan juice fast for peace. See http://www.juicefastforpeace.com.

Finally, please join the forums and discussion groups at www.worldpeacediet.net, and feel free to sign up for our free daily "Veg Inspiration For The Day" at www.worldpeacediet.org and/or the Worldwide Prayer Circle For Animals at www.circleofcompassion.org. Also please remember that our continuously updated tour schedule is posted on our website: www.willtuttle.com/schedule.htm. If you would like to host us in your community, please let us know! Some upcoming highlights are speaking in W. Palm Beach at Hippocrates Health Institute in February, in Los Angeles at the Green Lifestyle Film Festival in March, and in London for the International Veggie Show and the Jain Convention in April. There are many other upcoming events planned in Florida and the eastern U.S., including my piano concerts with Madeleine's art exhibits, intuition workshops, Sunday morning services, individual sessions for music & art, etc.

A big thank-you to all of you who are working diligently to raise consciousness on this Earth. You are making a difference! We are all connected.
Bless you all!

That's it for now.
Love and peace,

Will & Madeleine

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

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13. Pioneering Animal Ethics Book Series Announced


IMMEDIATE: 31st January 2009


The publisher Palgrave Macmillan in partnership with the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics is delighted to announce the launch of a ground-breaking book series in a new field of enquiry: animal ethics.

The new Palgrave Macmillan book series will be jointly edited by the internationally known theologian the Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and Professor Priscilla Cohn, Emeritus Professor in Philosophy at Penn State University and Associate Director of the Centre. The book series will publish pioneering work written by new and established academics from a wide range of disciplines including anthropology, ethics, history, law, literature, linguistics, political theory, religion and science. The aim of the series is to provide a range of key introductory and advanced texts that map out ethical positions on animals.

Palgrave Macmillan aims to publish the first set of books in early 2010. Commenting on the new series Professor Linzey notes, “Interest in the ethics of our treatment of animals has increased markedly over the last 40 years. This series will explore the challenges that Animal Ethics poses, both conceptually and practically, to traditional understanding of human- animal relations.”

Academics working in relevant areas of enquiry are invited to send ideas and proposals via email to Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics by emailing director@oxfordanimalethics.com to request a proposal form.

For more press information please contact Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics on (+44) (0)1865 201565 or email director@oxfordanimalethics.com or Priyanka Pathak, Commissioning Editor, Philosophy & Linguistics, Palgrave Macmillan, on: +44 (0) 1256 302698 or email P.Pathak@Palgrave.com.

Notes to editors

1. The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics was founded in 2006 by its director Professor Andrew Linzey, is an independent Centre with the aim of pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through academic, research, teaching and publication. The Centre has more than 50 Fellows drawn from a variety of academic disciplines from throughout the world. For more information about the Centre and its Fellows please see its website at www.oxfordanimalethics.com.

2. The Revd Professor Andrew Linzey is a Member of the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford. He has written or edited 20 books, including Animal Theology (SCM Press/University of Illinois Press, 1994) and Creatures of the Same God (Winchester University Press, 2007).

3. Professor Priscilla N. Cohn is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Abington College, Penn State University. She has taught courses on animal ethics for 35 years, and lectured on five continents. Her books include Contraception in Wildlife, Book 1 (Edwin Mellen Press, 1996) and Ethics and Wildlife (Edwin Mellen Press, 1999).

4. The Centre is dedicated to the memory of the celebrated Catalan philosopher José Ferrater Mora. His prodigious scholarship is widely acclaimed, and the Centre honours his name because of his outstanding contribution to humanitarian thought, particularly in the area of animal ethics.

5. Palgrave Macmillan is a major force in international publishing with a long track record of success in academic publishing. For details of Palgrave Macmillan's current lists please see its website at http://www.palgrave.com.

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14. Great Short Film on All Aspects of Vegetarianism/Veganism


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15. Analyis of Impacts of Animal-Agriculture on Land Use and Global Warming

Science eLetters

Steven A. Kolmes,
University of Portland

Food, Land Use Changes, and Biofuels
25 March, 2008

T. Searchinger et al. [as well as Fargione et al. (1)] make the case that whether biofuel production has a net greenhouse gas benefit depends on land use changes as large new areas are converted to agricultural uses and a carbon debt is incurred. Alternatively, dietary changes in the United States could free vast areas for biofuel production without converting more land to agricultural use. Beef requires 13 kg of grain and 30 kg of forage per kg of meat produced; broiler chickens, 2.3 kg of grain per kg of meat. Additionally, beef production requires 57 kcal of fossil fuel for each kcal of food gained, while broiler chickens have a 4:1 ratio (2). The FAO estimates cattle rearing and processing accounts for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions (3). The U.S. grows slightly under 40 million hectares of corn and roughly 25 million hectares of soybeans (4). A little over half the corn we grow goes into animal feed (5). Over half the soybeans grown in the U.S. are crushed for soymeal and oil, and approximately 90% of the soymeal produced goes into livestock feed for meat (6). A lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet (dairy, eggs, plants) also requires animal feed, but about half as much as a meat-heavy American diet (2).

If the U.S. consumed less red meat, millions of hectares in corn or soy production could be used for ethanol or biodiesel, with no undesirable land use alterations and hence no additional carbon debt. Fossil fuel demand would also be reduced if we moved away from the 57:1 ratio mentioned above. Additionally, livestock produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Moderating our carnivory could therefore help reduce what are presently abnormally high atmospheric methane levels (7). We don't need to wait for technological advances in lignocellulosic ethanol to make biofuel production an important component of atmospheric carbon reduction. We just need to eat as though we live on a finite planet.

Steven A. Kolmes
Environmental Studies Program, University of Portland, Portland, Oregon 97203, USA.


1. J. Fargione, J. Hill, D. Tilman, S. Polasky, P. Hawthorne, Science 319, 1235 (2008).
2. D. Pimentel, M. Pimentel, Am. J. Clinical Nutrition 78, 660S (2003).
3. H. Steinfeld et al., Livestock's Long Shadow, Environmental Issues and Options, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, ISBN 978- 92-5-105571-1 (2006) (available at http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/A0701E00.pdf).
4. National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA, Report Released June 29, 2007 (available at http://www.usda.gov/nass/PUBS/TODAYRPT/acrg0607.txt).
5. E. Leibtag, Amberwaves (2008) (available at http://www.ers.usda.gov/AmberWaves/February08/Features/CornPrices.htm).
6. Soy Stats, 2007, available at http://www.soystats.com/2007/Default- frames.htm. (Sponsored by the Illinois Soybean Association, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, North Dakota Soybean Council, Ohio Soybean Council, Iowa Soybean Association, South Dakota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, and the Kentucky Soybean Board.)
7. J. R. Petit et al., Nature 399, 429 (1999).

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