March 4, 2009

3/1/2009 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Purim and Vegetarianism

2. Veggie Pride Parade 2009 Scheduled

3. Scientists: Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates

4. Volunteers Sought to Represent JVNA at Upcoming Vegetarian and Animal Rights Conferences

5. Has the Postville Slaughterhouse Scandal Changed People's Eating Habits?

6. Orthodox Jewish Group Stresses Social Justice Learning and Activities

7. Orthodox Jewish Group Bringing Environmental Engagement to Jewish Day Schools

8. Are Cows “Weapons of Mass Destruction”?

9. Challenging President Obama on Vegetarianism

10. The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms and Human Illness

11. Global Warming = Apocalypse Now?

12. Petition to Reduce Meat Consumption as a Way to Reduce Global Warming

13. Dr. Greger's New Nutrition DVDs (and an older one for free!)

14. Veg Climate Alliance Press Release

15. More Recent News Items Re Global Warming

16. Petition 'FOOD vs FEED' to the UN

17. Is Society Falling Apart?

18. Important Congressional Effort to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

19. Is There Still Time To Avoid Global Warming Catastrophe?

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. Purim and Vegetarianism

With the production of meat and other animal products contributing significantly to global warming and other threats to humanity, it is urgent that we take every opportunity to promote vegetarianism and veganism. So, with Purim beginning on Monday evening, March 9 this year, please consider how to tie Purim to vegetarianism. To help, please read my article “Purim and Vegetarianism” at the holidays section at, and please consider using points in that article to compose your own articles, letters and talking points. Thanks.

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2. Veggie Pride Parade 2009 Scheduled

[I am one of the scheduled speakers this year. The parade was very successful last year, and I plan to try to help make it even more successful this year. Kudos to author, activist and JVNA advisor Pam Rice for her superb efforts organizing the annual parade.]

Forward message from Pamela Rice, parade organizer and coordinator:

Please forward this email freely.

Veggie Pride Parade, NYC, 2009 is on!

Mark your calendar for Sunday, May 17, 2009.

This year, bigger and better.

End point for the parade this year is Union Square Park (north end).
(Start point, the same as last year.)

Want to know how you can get involved?
Click here: and bookmark the page.


Become a sponsor:

Explore our entire Web site:

Special features at the Web site:
~ Slide show
~ Blog
~ Bulletin board
~ Lists of exhibitors and speakers 2009
~ Images from last year's parade
~ Media coverage from last year's parade
~ Contest winners from last year, with pictures
~ Official song by Cheryl Hill Band: Get Your Green On!
and much, much more!

Please forward this email freely.

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3. Scientists: Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates

[This and several related items in this newsletter show the urgency of our efforts. We must continue to seek more effective ways to get our messages out.]

Sunday 15 February 2009

by: Kari Lydersen, The Washington Post

Chicago - The pace of global warming is likely to be much faster than recent predictions, because industrial greenhouse gas emissions have increased more quickly than expected and higher temperatures are triggering self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms in global ecosystems, scientists said Saturday.

"We are basically looking now at a future climate that's beyond anything we've considered seriously in climate model simulations," Christopher Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Field, a member of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said emissions from burning fossil fuels since 2000 have largely outpaced the estimates used in the U.N. panel's 2007 reports. The higher emissions are largely the result of the increased burning of coal in developing countries, he said.

Unexpectedly large amounts of carbon dioxide are being released into the atmosphere as the result of "feedback loops" that are speeding up natural processes. Prominent among these, evidence indicates, is a cycle in which higher temperatures are beginning to melt the arctic permafrost, which could release hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, said several scientists on a panel at the meeting.

The permafrost holds 1 trillion tons of carbon, and as much as 10 percent of that could be released this century, Field said. Along with carbon dioxide melting permafrost releases methane, which is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.

"It's a vicious cycle of feedback where warming causes the release of carbon from permafrost, which causes more warming, which causes more release from permafrost," Field said.

Evidence is also accumulating that terrestrial and marine ecosystems cannot remove as much carbon from the atmosphere as earlier estimates suggested, Field said.


© 2009 truthout

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4. Volunteers Sought to Represent JVNA at Upcoming Vegetarian and Animal Rights Conferences

We could use volunteers to represent JVNA at upcoming conferences, to hand out literature and complimentary copies of “A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World,” and possibly to speak.

As indicated in previous messages, there is much material at and JewishVeg,com/Schwartz, including a self-paced course, questions and answers and much more that would enable you to be an effective speaker and advocate on “Judaism and Vegetarianism.”

If you would like to volunteer to represent JVNA, please let me know. Many thanks.

An example of a conference where you might help is in the message below:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I represent VegMichigan, a statewide organization for education about a plant-based lifestyle, and social activities for vegans and other interested people. Our annual public event, VegFest, attracts 1,000 or more attendees, and is scheduled for Sunday, April 26 in Ferndale, a Detroit suburb. I am the exhibitors coordinator for this event. I am seeking the participation of any group that shares our mission of promoting the ethical, health and environmental benefits of plant-based living. I would additionally like to feature the religious and spiritual basis for plant-based living.

I was wondering if you have a local Michigan chapter or Michigan members of your national group, that would be interested in participating at our event. Participation can include donating literature for general distribution, donating door prizes, or renting a table in our exhibitor's hall in order to promote your organization and distribute or sell merchandise that is consistent with our message.

If you are interested in VegFest 2009, please contact me. As well, please see our website for more information. The link to VegFest is in the right hand column of our home page.


Joanne Blum
Exhibitors Coordinator

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5. Has the Postville Slaughterhouse Scandal Changed People's Eating Habits?

Meat scandal gives South Florida Jews kosher dilemma

[Letters by me and by Lewis Regenstein follow the article.]

By Lois K. Solomon | South Florida Sun-Sentinel,0,4186519.story

February 24, 2009

West Boca Raton - Judy Lipman has learned it will take more than a kosher meat scandal to get Jews to change their eating habits. She thought the federal raid last May on Agriprocessors, the giant kosher meat-processing plant that has been cited for mistreatment of animals and workers in Iowa, might get some Jews to consider going vegetarian. She and her husband, Herman, have been following a vegetarian diet for 15 years. In a recent column in "COBRUA Reporter," the newspaper of Century Village west of Boca Raton, Lipman tried to persuade her fellow residents to take a look at how kosher animals are treated and consider alternative foods. But she said few people have sought her out for further discussion. "It should have been a wake-up call for all of us," said Lipman, 83. "I've learned that people in their 70s and 80s are not about to change."

Although Lipman has had little success in getting her neighbors to give up meat, Jewish eating habits across the country are undergoing a transformation, said Sue Fishkoff, a Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent who is writing a book on the kosher food industry. "On a practical level, there is less kosher meat, so people are eating less," Fishkoff said. "But the biggest change is that keeping kosher has become a hot topic of conversation, that it's legitimate as a Jewish value, not just an Orthodox value.

"Many Jews in South Florida and around the country have monitored the Agriprocessors scandal and questioned the ethics behind kosher meat processing. Videos circulated showing inhumane cow slaughter at Agriprocessors, which produces brands that include Rubashkin and Aaron's Best. Many Jews felt deceived that the meat they eat might not meet the spiritual standards they thought came with the kosher seal. Observant Jews follow laws of kashrut, or keeping kosher, which regulate which animals can be eaten, how they are killed, how to prepare the meat and which foods can be eaten together. Some of the laws are from the Bible (prohibition of eating blood, Leviticus 7:26; prohibition of eating meat and milk together, Exodus 23:19), but others developed from the Talmud and rabbinical commentaries. Some observant Jews believe these age-old laws apply to modern times and are sufficient for Jews to follow the will of God. But others say keeping kosher also means workers and animals are treated according to contemporary moral and safety standards.

These competing values have given momentum to a proposed new seal called Magen Tzedek, which would ensure that stamped foods meet standards related to working conditions, fair wages, animal treatment and the environment. The seal will be awarded to some kosher food companies in the coming months, according to

Rabbi David Botton, of Hollywood, said he was deluged with questions about the processing of kosher meat after the raid. So Botton, a vegetarian for the past five years, said he started eating meat once a week to assure congregants it was safe and ethical. "

Because people are improper in business does not mean kashrut is compromised," said Botton, a doctor of Chinese medicine who leads Ner Yitzchak congregation in North Miami Beach. "We believe that in moderation, all things are good." However, Rabbi Barry Silver, who leads Congregation L'Dor Va-Dor in Boynton Beach, believes vegetarians more closely adhere to Jewish dietary ethics because they refuse to harm animals or the environment through the food they eat. Silver has given sermons about Agriprocessors and urged congregants to adopt vegetarianism, which he has followed for 36 years. "The rationale behind keeping kosher has always been to spare the animal pain," Silver said. "The practices now are the opposite: They are causing the animals to suffer. If you want to be true to your Jewish beliefs, you would become a vegetarian." Lois Solomon can be reached at or 561-243-6536.
My letter to the editor:

Dear Editor:

As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I am saddened that the reports of mistreatment of animals and people at the Postville Iowa glatt kosher slaughterhouse did not act as wake-up calls to the Jewish community to reconsider the consumption of meat and other animal products (“Meat scandal gives South Florida Jews kosher dilemma”).

However, there are dilemmas far greater than the one considered in the article. Why is the Jewish community (and other communities) ignoring that the consumption of meat and other animal products has been linked in many scientific studies to an epidemic of heart disease, several forms of cancer and other chronic, degenerative diseases and that the production of animal products contributes significantly (more than cars and all other forms of transportation worldwide combined) to global warming and other environmental problems that threaten all of humanity and all of creation? Why are we ignoring that plant-based diets are most consistent with basic Jewish mandates to preserve human health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources and help hungry people?

It is time to put the many moral issues related to our diets onto the Jewish agenda.

Lewis Regenstein's Letter:

To the Editor:

Thank you for Lois Solomon's fine article "Meat scandal gives South Florida Jews a kosher dilemma" (24 Feb.) Other widely-reported stories about abuses at the Postville, Iowa "kosher" slaughterhouse, Agriprocessors, may give people a false impression about Jewish law regarding treatment of workers and animals.

The code of laws forbidding cruelty to animals (the requirement "to prevent the suffering of living creatures") is one of the most important aspects of Jewish law, which also requires fair treatment of workers.

Indeed, the Jews pioneered the concept of kindness to animals some 3,500 years ago, and it is mandated throughout the Bible and Jewish law. Even the holiest of our laws, the Ten Commandments, requires that farmed animals be allowed to enjoy a day of rest on the Sabbath. So the Almighty must have felt that kindness to animals was not a trivial matter.

Significantly, the first commandments given by the Lord (Genesis 1:22-28) concern the welfare and survival of animals, and human responsibilities toward them. God's very first commandment (Genesis 1:22) was to the birds, whales, fish and other creatures to "be fruitful and multiply" and fill the seas and the skies. His first commandment to humans (Genesis 1:28) was to "replenish the earth...and have dominion" [stewardship] over other creatures.

It is truly a "shanda," a shameful thing, that a kosher label can appear
on products resulting from the massive abuse and suffering of billions of factory farmed creatures, many of which spend their entire lives in misery, fear, and anguish, in addition to the often painful way they are killed.

Some rabbis and Jewish leaders have even characterized this as a "chillul Hashem," a desecration of the name of the Lord.

As an editorial in the venerable Jewish newspaper "The Forward" observed on 13 November, "The behavior attributed to Agriprocessors...ought to disqualify its products from receiving religious certification by any standard worthy of the name."

It is hard to imagine that abuse of animals would be pleasing to a merciful God. Can this truly be the will of the Lord, whose first commandments concerned animals, who called each animal He created "good" and the Creation itself "very good," who instructed us in the Bible to allow our animals an entire day of rest on the Sabbath, to leave some crops in the fields for the wildlife, to allow oxen to eat while working, and who repeatedly prohibited cruelty to animals ?

As Proverbs 12:10 tells us, "A righteous man has regard for the life of his beast." Truly, as Psalm 145:9 states, “His compassion is over all His creatures.”

Sincerely yours,

Lewis Regenstein
Atlanta, GA

The writer is the author of "Replenish the Earth: The Teachings of the world's Religions on Protecting Animals and Nature," and president of The Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature .

Atlanta, GA 30305

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6. Orthodox Jewish Group Stresses Social Justice Learning and Activities

Forwarded message from Uri L'Tzedek
Uri L'Tzedek News and Events
February 2009
Dear Friends,

Uri L'Tzedek is transforming the Orthodox community, and we need your help to move forward!

We are proud to announce that we have recently been awarded fiscal sponsorship through FJC. Donating to Uri L'Tzedek has never been easier.

Click here [See URL below] to make a secure, online, tax-deductible donation.

Here are three groundbreaking initiatives we are doing that your donation supports:

1) The Tav HaYosher - Ethical Seal for Kosher Restaurants
Uri L'Tzedek is preparing to usher in a new era of social justice in the kosher restaurant industry. Support Uri L'Tzedek in launching the Tav HaYosher (Ethical Seal). The Tav HaYosher is a program that protects the rights of workers in kosher restaurants. It is a giant leap forward for the Orthodox community and the Jewish social justice movement.

2) Cutting Edge Educational Programming
Our social justice batei midrash and yamei iyun, exploring the deep connection between Torah values and social justice, have attracted hundreds of attendees and continue to grow. Your generous donation will help sustain this and other innovative programming.

3) Developing the Next Generation Of Orthodox Social Justice Leaders
Uri L'Tzedek is now working student leaders at 15 university campuses around the country to develop their social justice skills, engage in issues they are passionate about, and support their growth.. Your donation will help Uri L'Tzedek to send passionate, young, Orthodox Jewish leaders into communities around the country to teach, inspire, and mentor new initiatives and partnerships.

In the current economic climate, it is critical to show your support for social justice work that raises awareness of pressing issues, serves the most vulnerable in our societies, and fights to effect needed systematic change. Together, we strive toward fulfilling the moral imperative of "Tzedek Tzedek Tirdof:" Justice, Justice Shall We Pursue!

Together, we can partner to make a more just world!
Bivrakha, [with a blessing]

The Uri L'Tzedek Team
In This Issue
College Events
New York Young Professionals
Uri L'Tzedek Fellowship Program
Youth and Education Community Initiative in Washington Heights
College Happenings

Uri L'Tzedek will be working with students at the following institutions to inspire social justice activism in their communities.

Boston and Harvard University - 3/3/09 - Yom Iyun, Torah Consumer Ethics and Jewish Buyer Responsibilities
Yeshiva University 3/4/09 - Uri L'Tzedek and STAND Beit Midrash - "Judaism and Genocide"
Princeton University - 3/6/09 - Beyond Kosher, it's Yosher. Jewish Justice in the Workplace
University of Maryland 3/8/09 - What is the Intersection Between Ethics and Kashrut?
Stern College for Women - 3/13/09 - Economic Justice

Click the links to find out more! [See URL at the end of this message.]
New York Young Professionals Programming


Uri L'Tzedek at Tikvat Yisrael - 3/20 - Uri L'Tzedek will be leading the educational programming at Tikvat Yisrael in Manhattan on the Shabbat (Friday night) of March 20th. We hope you will join hundreds of us tefillah, for social justice learning, and for dinner.

Uri L'Tzedek and Hazon - 2 part series on Social Justice, Environmentalism, and Food 3/16 and 3/30. Join Nigel Savage, Rabbi Ari Weiss, Adina Luber and Gabe Greenberg for Torah learning and hands-on activism around social justice, environmentalism, and Food. Mt. Sinai Synagogue in Washington Heights (187th and Broadway).

Youth and Education Trivia Night 3/21 - Join us for a fun night of trivia! Test your knowledge, socialize, compete for exciting prizes, and support an important local cause! At the Bridge Shul (179th and Ft. Washington).

Calling all applicants for The Uri L'Tzedek Fellowship Program

Uri L'Tzedek is currently accepting applicants for the 2009 Uri L'Tzedek Fellowship Program. This 10-week program (from June 8 to August 14, 2009) is an opportunity to work alongside Uri L'Tzedek's staff and Board, experience the many mechanisms that come together to create an effective nonprofit organization, gain exposure to communal Jewish life, learn Torah, social justice philosophy, community organizing models, and effect change.

Interns are needed in New York City and will dedicate their time to one of the following concentrations: Tav HaYosher (the ethical seal for kosher restaurants), development, communications, education, service, community outreach, website development, multi-media and technology.

Fellows will participate in weekly seminars focusing on the role of social justice in the Torah; workshops devoted to social justice "how to" and community organizing; and open-space conversations where Fellows will be able to discuss the religious and emotional dimensions of the Fellowship. Sessions will be led by Uri L'Tzedek staff and board, local rabbis, and social justice professionals. Uri L'Tzedek Fellows are volunteers.

You can see our website at: and contact us at:

Youth and Education Community Initiative in Washington Heights

Budget cuts in education threaten to limit the availability of learning materials in New York city neighborhood classrooms and quality tutoring services. As a community that values chinuch (education), we must work together to help improve the quality of education in our neighborhoods!

We are responding with a school supplies drive and a tutoring program.

We welcome your thoughts, questions and comments. Please be in touch!

The Uri L'Tzedek Team

Make your voice heard! Show your support for kosher restaurants that uphold legal requirements for treatment of workers.

Uri L'Tzedek | 25 Broadway | 17th Floor | New York | NY | 10004

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7. Orthodox Jewish Group Bringing Environmental Engagement to Jewish Day Schools

Environmental Engagement in Orthodox Day Schools
A New Study from Canfei Nesharim [An environmental group run by Orthodox Jewish environmentalists]

NEW YORK, NY-Canfei Nesharim today proudly announced the launch of its new study, "Environmental Engagement in Orthodox Day Schools: Suggested Educational Strategies." The study explores current trends and available resources, and identifies strategies to enhance environmental education in the Orthodox Jewish day school community. This report is the first study of its kind in the Orthodox day school community, where environmental education from the perspective of Jewish tradition has often been conducted on an ad hoc basis, or not present at all.

"We are so pleased to offer this new study as a resource to the community," said Evonne Marzouk, Canfei Nesharim executive director. "The report explores what is currently happening in Orthodox day schools, and charts a path that all organizations can use to bring this important Torah-based learning into Jewish schools." Marzouk commented that connecting traditional Jewish wisdom to today's modern challenges, such as the environment, can help young Jews recognize the relevance of our tradition to their lives today.

The study is based on a series of focus groups conducted by Canfei Nesharim in 2008, including 14 Orthodox day schools in the regions of Washington, DC; New York, NY; Boston, MA; Los Angeles, CA; and San Francisco, CA. The focus groups were conducted in partnership with the Partnership for Jewish Life and Learning (DC); the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (NY); and the Bureau of Jewish Education (Boston). The series of focus groups, and educational strategy, were funded by an Ignition Grant from the Covenant Foundation (

"I was pleased to participate and learn from a lively group of educators who were clearly committed to teaching their students about the environment," said the study author, Saundra Sterling Epstein of B'Yachad in Elkins Park, PA. "These strategies will help them learn from each other and help Canfei Nesharim provide what they need to take the next step. The results will make a difference for all of us as observant Jews - and as people who live on this planet."

The study describes existing programs in the schools that participated, and recommends the development of curriculum resources which can be integrated into teachers' existing classroom commitments over the course of the school year. Additionally, the study recommends opportunities for interaction between teachers who are already engaged in Torah-based environmental education, so that they can learn from one another and share resources. In response to the study, Canfei Nesharim will create a series of curriculum resources, in partnership with key schools, in 2009.

Canfei Nesharim (Heb: "The Wings of Eagles") is committed to inspiring Jews of all denominations to take an active role in protecting the environment as a key Jewish responsibility. Canfei Nesharim also provides a weekly Torah commentary with a teaching on the environment, and maintains a full resource library of articles, programs, and suggested actions on their website. Download the full study at:

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8. Are Cows “Weapons of Mass Destruction”?,1518,574754,00.html


08/27/2008 03:21 PM

'The Cow Is a Climate Bomb'

By Michaela Schiessl and Christian Schwägerl

Whether cattle are reared organically or with conventional farming methods, the end effect is bad for the environment, according to a new German consumer report. The agricultural lobby, however, is preventing politicians from tackling this massive source of greenhouse gas emissions.

A cow being measured for emissions. Cattle may be gentle creatures but farming them is contributing to climate change, says consumer group Foodwatch.

A cow being measured for emissions. Cattle may be gentle creatures but farming them is contributing to climate change, says consumer group Foodwatch.

For most people, it's the very picture of rural bliss, of a life in tune with nature and the wholesome world of farming: the happy cow standing on a lush meadow, calmly chewing its cud, a calf at its side.

But for Thilo Bode, the sight of this gentle-eyed creature is everything but reassuring. Bode, the head of German consumer protection organization Foodwatch, warns: "The cow is a climate bomb."

Whether they are raised conventionally or organically, one thing cows have in common is that they burp and fart to their hearts' content. Like all ruminants, cows are constantly emitting methane -- a greenhouse gas that is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide -- from both ends. As malodorous as pigs may be, it is the gaseous emissions of billions of cattle, goats and sheep that are contributing to global warming.

Bode wanted to find out just how strong the effects of the greenhouse gases methane, nitrous oxide and CO2 are. On Monday Foodwatch published a comprehensive study of the effects of agriculture on the climate, the first study of its kind that differentiates between conventional and organic farming. The scientists who conducted the study, with Germany's Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IOeW), accounted for both the CO2 emissions resulting from the production of feed and fertilizers, as well as the land requirements and productivity of various production methods.

The results are enough to send diehard fans of steaks and burgers into a panic. Even if all farms and methods, organic or otherwise, were optimized to reduce their effects on the climate, Foodwatch concludes that the principal approach to making agriculture more climate-friendly would require a drastic reduction in beef production. This would mean a radical increase in the price of steaks and the like. "It's time we went back to the days of the Sunday roast," says Bode.

A Blind Spot in Climate Protection Policy

But when it comes time to break the bad news to the average citizen, politicians are suddenly thin on the ground. Agriculture is the blind spot in the German government's climate protection policy. Farmers are for the most part exempt from an ambitious national program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 1990 levels by the year 2020, through methods such as better home insulation, energy conservation and the use of gasoline substitutes. Ironically, German agriculture is responsible for 133 million tons of CO2-equivalent emissions, bringing it close to the level of emissions attributable to road traffic (152 million tons).

Officials at the German Agriculture Ministry headed by Horst Seehofer, a member of the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), offer a disarmingly simple explanation: It is "too difficult, from a methodological point of view," to measure the greenhouse gases that are emitted in connection with fertilizer application, the spraying of pesticides and herbicides, cattle digestion and the draining of wetlands. Meanwhile, the Environment Ministry has a completely different take on the matter: "We have exempted agriculture from the climate protection strategy in order to limit the number of potential sources of conflict," says a senior member of the staff of Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel, a member of the Social Democrat Party (SPD).

Hans-Joachim Koch, who, until recently, advised the government in his former capacity as chairman of the German Advisory Council on the Environment, is even more direct when he says: "The lobby is well-organized." His successor, Martin Faulstich, agrees. "No one dares to say that we ought to eat less meat and more plant-based protein," says Faulstich, who has announced plans to commission a special report on agriculture.

The council is especially concerned about the loosening of environmental protection standards in the context of the planned Environmental Code. The Agriculture Ministry has managed to avert rules that relate to agriculture, such as a ban on draining wetlands. Now the draft legislation will be submitted to the German parliament, the Bundestag, after the summer break -- but without such proposals.

The results of the Foodwatch study clearly illustrate how important it is to include the farming sector.

The worst source of agricultural emissions, making up 30 percent of the total, is the draining of wetlands. The large amounts of CO2 trapped in the soil of wetlands are released when the land is used for farming. According to the IOeW study, the only way to stop these adverse effects on the climate would be to restore the wetlands. The resulting loss of land would have to be offset by doing away completely with the farming of crops for biofuels, a practice that is already considered questionable in terms of CO2 emissions, because of the large amounts of fertilizer it consumes.


Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

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9. Challenging President Obama on Vegetarianism

[This new initiative might be one that connects all AR, environmental and other groups working on the change....]

---------- Forwarded Message ----------

Global Warming and vegetarianism. President Obama and Global Warming.

Being vegetarian is more effective in the fight against global warming than not driving your SUV. According to a 2006 United Nations report, raising animals for food generates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world together.

Indianapolis, IN (PRWEB) February 22, 2009 -- President Barack Obama has promised to change Washington, but it looks like the Capital is the same. The meat lobby is become stronger every day.

The new president is talking about Global Warming

America for animals is a new project that aims to send monthly message (in audio*) to Obama.

Its first message talks about Global Warming. Few people know that "eating meat" is the number one cause of this important matter.
Freitas says ISPCA doesn't expect hear anything back from the White House. "Politicians don't care about animal welfare and a animal rights. Only Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) speaks out against cruelty to animals, and we cannot forget the outstanding voting records of Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA). Both democrats never let animals rights and welfare down in D.C.

Indiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals - ISPCA.
Indianapolis, IN 46244-1405 - Tel : (317)348-1100

full story:

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10. The Hidden Link Between Factory Farms and Human Illness

Laura Sayre, Mother Earth News: "You may be familiar with many of the problems associated with concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs. These 'factory farm' operations are often criticized for the smell and water pollution caused by all that concentrated manure; the unnatural, grain-heavy diets the animals consume; and the stressful, unhealthy conditions in which the animals live. You may not be aware, however, of the threat such facilities hold for you and your family's health - even if you never buy any of the meat produced in this manner."

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11. Global Warming = Apocalypse Now?

News & Analysis

a blogful of leafy green commentary

Apocalypse now
Climate change is here and now and getting personal

Posted by Joseph Romm (Guest Contributor) at 7:11 PM on 19 Feb 2009
Read more about: climate | climate science | climate change impacts
Tools: print | email | + digg | + | + reddit | + stumbleupon

This post is by ClimateProgress guest blogger Bill Becker, executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project.


A disturbing development in the march of global warming, revealed in science's use of the English language.

Not long ago, most climate scientists stuck to the future tense when they talked about the impacts of global warming. Now, they are using the present tense -- and using it more and more often. Now, they tell us the damages have arrived in the United States.

In other words, climate change isn't just a problem for our kids anymore. It's here and now and getting personal.

What concerns climate scientists today is not only that the adverse impacts are showing up faster than they expected; it's that political leaders are moving slower than they should. Climate scientists from around the world will meet next month in Copenhagen "to warn the world's politicians they are being too timid in their response to global warming," according to The Guardian.

They'll also introduce information to update the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose findings now are considered conservative and "wishy washy" by many in the science community, in light of more recent research and its more extreme conclusions. As Michael Lemonick reports in Yale Environment 360:
Since (2007), new reports have continued to pour in from all over the world, and climate modelers have continued to feed them into their supercomputers. And while a full accounting will have to wait for the next IPCC report, which is already being assembled (but which will not go to the printer until 2014), the news is not encouraging.

The new reports, many of them documented in an October 2008 paper by the World Wildlife Fund, include estimates that sea level rise may be triple what scientists projected just two years ago; that we should start preparing for an average atmospheric temperature rise of 4°C, twice the level the European Union defines as "dangerous"; that the Arctic Circle may be ice-free 20 years ahead of the most pessimistic IPCC projections; that carbon dioxide emissions are accelerating faster than expected; and that some of these adverse impacts already are locked and irreversible for the next 1,000 years.

Last year, the United Nations invoked the present tense in its finding that "nine out of 10 disasters recorded are climate-related, while the number of disasters has doubled to more than 400 annually over the past two decades." John Holmes, the Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, concluded:

Climate change is not some futuristic scenario, it's happening today, and millions of people are already suffering the consequences.


Grist: Environmental News and Commentary
a beacon in the smog (tm) ©2009. Grist Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Gloom and doom with a sense of humor®.

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12. Petition to Reduce Meat Consumption as a Way to Reduce Global Warming

petition overview | letter
Livestock Production Reduction for the Environment
Target: local governmental officials, state governmental officials, and national governmental officials in the United States
Sponsored by:
UCSD Student Org: Vegetarian Environmentalist Group (VEG)

Any objections to JVNA endorsing this petition?

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13. Dr. Greger's New Nutrition DVDs (and an older one for free!)

Forwarded message from Dr. Michael Gregor

As many of you know, every year I review the world's scientific nutrition literature for the most groundbreaking developments and compile the most important findings into my annual “Latest in Nutrition” talk. My schedule is so tight these days, though, that I'm only able to squeeze in a few dozen talks each year, so I'm excited to announce I've started making my annual
nutrition updates into DVDs!

So far I've recorded the two most recent years-2007 and 2008-of my “Latest in Nutrition” talk, and the 90-minute DVDs are now available at:

As always, all the proceeds I receive from the sales of books, DVDs, and speaking engagements go to charity.

If you haven't been able to attend any of my recent presentation, here's your chance to catch up on everything you missed, and if I was lucky enough to catch you, here's your chance to share this critical, life-saving information with your friends, family, and community--and I've packed bonus,
never-before-presented research findings into each one, so there's something new for everyone!

Here's the list of chapters in the Latest in Nutrition 2007 DVD:

1. Introduction
2. Preventing Cancer: Which Foods to Avoid
3. Slowing the Growth of Breast Cancer
4. Preventing Cancer: Which Foods to Eat
5. Just the Flax, Ma'am
6. How to Eliminate Constipation
7. The Healthiest Vegetables
8. The Dangers of Blue-Green Algae and Spirulina
9. Never Eat Raw Alfalfa Sprouts
10. Fecal Bacteria in Sushi
11. How Much Pesticide Can Be Washed Off?
12. Which Fruits and Vegetables Don't Count?
13. How Much Doctors Know About Nutrition
14. Raw Food Diet Myths
15. The Food That Can Drop Your Cholesterol 20 Points
16. The Healthiest Fruits
17. Noni Juice: Helpful, Harmless, or Harmful?
18. HerbaLife Supplements: Helpful, Harmless, or Harmful?
19. The Healthiest Beverage
20. The Food That Cuts Your Fatal Heart Attack Risk in Half
21. Foods for Weight Loss
22. The Great Grain Robbery
23. Good Fats, Bad Fats, Great Fats, and Killer Fats
24. What About Olive Oil?
25. The Healthy Type of Chocolate
26. Recipe of the Year
27. Nutritional Deficiencies: Vegans vs. Meateaters
28. Avoiding Iodine Deficiency
29. The One Supplement Everyone Eating a Healthy Diet Needs
30. New Studies on Vegans and Vegetarians
31. Effects of Meat Hormones on Fertility
32. IQ and Vegetarian Children
33. Diet and Body Odor
34. Conclusion

And the chapters in the Latest in Nutrition 2008 DVD:

1. Introduction
2. Nutrition Quizshow
3. Nutrasweet: Harmful?
4. MSG: Harmless?
5. Black Pepper: Helpful?
6. Vitamin E Supplements
7. Vitamin A Supplements
8. Beta Carotene Supplements
9. Vitamin D Supplements
10. Vitamin Supplements Worth Taking
11. Broccoli Sprouts
12. One Egg a Day: Harmful?
13. Two Cups of Coffee a day?
14. Black Coffee vs. Black Tea
15. Black Tea vs. Green Tea
16. Yerba Maté
17. Red Tea
18. Honeybush Tea
19. Soy Foods
20. Soy for Women with Breast Cancer?
21. Meat
22. Dairy Products
23. Flame Retardants in U.S. Food
24. Fish: Omega 3s and Mercury
25. Should Everyone Take Algae DHA?
26. Acrylamide in French Fries
27. New Antioxidant Superstars
28. Superfood Bargains
29. Recipe of the Year
30. Oranges vs. Orange Juice
31. Apples vs. Apple Sauce
32. Sun-dried vs. Golden Raisins
33. Raisins vs. Currants
34. Carrots vs. Baby Carrots
35. Green Lettuce vs. Red Lettuce
36. Red Onions vs. Yellow Onions
37. Pinto Beans vs. Black Beans
38. The Best Bean
39. The Best Mushroom
40. The Best Beverage
41. Bottled Water vs. Tap Water
42. The Best Apple Variety
43. The Best Nut
44. Raw vs. Cooked Vegetables
45. Steaming vs. Microwaving
46. Roasted Nuts vs. Raw Nuts
47. Best Cancer-Fighting Berry
48. Flawed Study Interpretation
49. Golden Carrot Study of the Year
50. Conclusion

You can expect my “Latest in Nutrition” 2009 DVD to be released this summer.

What about all my old nutrition DVDs, though? Sadly, they are all sold out-I guess they're collectors' items now! :). But some folks have been kind enough to upload one of my first DVDs to the internet. My “Maximum Nutrition” DVD is now available for download free of charge at Since it's a torrent file, you'll need BitTorrent software, but that's available free at places like

I'm going to continue to try to fit in as many live appearances as my schedule permits. See for the dates I've so
far confirmed this year. I hope I'll be able to catch you in person this year, but if not, at least you can now catch me on your TV!

PS: I had another two articles published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature this month. If you're interested, they're available free, full-text at

PPS: Next month keep an eye out for me on the Colbert Report!

Michael Greger, M.D.
Director, Public Health and Animal Agriculture
The Humane Society of the United States
2100 L St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20037

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14. Veg Climate Alliance Press Release

[Please help to spread this press release.]

How Can Your Choice of Dinner Curb Global Warming? Ask Veg Climate Alliance.


According to a U.N. report animal-based agriculture contributes more to global warming than the entire transport sector. The best thing a person can do to stop global warming and its catastrophic consequences is to switch to a plant-based diet.

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15. More Recent News Items Re Global Warming

Thanks to EVANA for the first three items and to Ron Landskroner for the last three items below

Why Global Warming May Be Fueling Australia's Fires

Although the wildfires caught so many victims by surprise last weekend, there has been no shortage of distant early-warning signs.

More on climate change and meat:
Eat less meat to fight climate change: UN expert

The EU parliament calls meat a climate threat


Scientists capture dramatic footage of Arctic glaciers melting in hours

"Greenland is losing enough water each year to cover Germany a metre deep." By Jessica Salter, UK Telegraph, 20 February 2009

Top scientists say CO2 enough to melt the poles

"New science from American Academy shows climate out of control. Horrible news plus: Dr. V Ramanathan says planet already heated 2.4 degrees C! Masked only by smog. Will the economic downturn bring a heat wave, as factories close?" [radio show]
Bubbles of warming, beneath the ice,0,1748869,full.story


"As permafrost thaws in the Arctic, huge pockets of methane -- a potent greenhouse gas -- could be released into the atmosphere. Experts are only beginning to understand how disastrous that could be." By Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times, February 20, 2009,0,1748869,full.story

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16. Petition 'FOOD vs FEED' to the UN

[Please join me in signing this important petition. I have been asked to present it at the UN, tentatively on September 24, 2009. Suggestions very welcome.]

On Feb 24, 2009, at 9:35 AM, European Vegetarian and Animal News Alliance - EVANA wrote:

Dear Sir/Madam,

the UN warns that about one billion people are now starving.

Unfortunately, in spite of this dramatic situation the UN's agencies FAO and WHO continue to ignore vegetarianism as a possibility to alleviate or even end this suffering and injustice. For that reason we have prepared a petition to the UN and would be grateful for your support.

Petition 'FOOD vs FEED' to the UN
- 23 languages, incl. Hindi

Please inform also others about this petition. Thank you!

best regards


Common Press Release: More hunger in the world calls for more ethical living

Billions face food shortages, study warns

U.N. Says Food Production May Fall 25 Percent By 2050

Indian food policy failing, millions stay hungry-UN/About 20 percent of the world's 1 billion hungry poor live in India

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17. Is Society Falling Apart?

Forwarded message from environmental activist Margaret Swedish:

Spirituality and Ecological Hope

Is our society falling apart?

Posted: 24 Feb 2009 10:45 AM PST

Fostering Ecological Hope
Today from Margaret Swedish:

How would you answer that question? Really. I actually want to know how folks would answer that question. As I read Bob Herbert's column in the NY Times today, it all resonated with my experience of reality. We live in a crumbling nation, our infrastructure falling apart, our spirits left sagging amidst the fallout of a period of hyper-consumption, when buying into the American Dream meant living beyond our means, living for 'things' (disposal goods, mostly), putting it all on a credit card, and our neighbors and communities be damned - not to mention Nature, which has suffered enormously in the process.

Our parks are polluted, our soils are contaminated by industrial agriculture, our rivers contaminated from the runoff of our industrial life, our air toxic to breathe, our atmosphere and biosphere altered forever, with what ultimate result for humans we have few certainties, though we know it won't be pretty. This has been reckless beyond belief. What happened to us?

So in the midst of this are the attempts being made, a step at a time, one project at a time, to reverse our course, to repair the damage or at least slow it down, to think creatively about a wholly new and sustainable infrastructure underneath a post-consumer society, a scaled-down way of life. We hope the stimulus package, which has so many billions of dollars available for creativity, will help bring this turning about.

One example from my part of the world: Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is looking to spend a share of our stimulus to build a pipeline to carry methane and other gases from local landfills to Jones Island, one of our dense industrial areas right on Lake Michigan. The intent would be to replace natural gas with this recycled stuff, taking a bit of pressure off the planet and saving taxpayers a bunch of money. Any extra energy produced from the process would be sold to the local utility company.

You see, this is how we need to start thinking. But more than that, we need to reach deep within ourselves to shift priorities from the superficial American Dream of unending wealth generation and consumption of stuff to living meaningful lives within meaningful relationships with one another and the rest of the Earth. We need to rediscover that taking a walk in the park with our loved ones, playing on the playground with our kids, sipping a glass of wine on the porch on a quiet summer evening, is much more enriching than buying the latest high-tech toy.

We need to realize that the American Dream must be rebuilt on values of community, unselfishness, a commitment to the common good and the good of the commons, on the project of creating a new way of life in keeping with the balance of life that is the special gift of this planet - until one species really messed it up.

Actually, our society is falling apart, irreversibly so. The real question is what kind of life will emerge from the crumbing of the old - something ugly, sinister, and bitter, or something enriching, profound, and spiritually renewing?
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18. Important Congressional Effort to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Forwarded message:

Dear Richard ,

Below is an important email sent out by Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) yesterday to his colleagues in the House of Representatives. Chris Van Hollen is Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a long-time environmental champion.

You can find out more about the Cap and Dividend option at

As Congress debates climate legislation, USCEC and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network urge you to study and consider actively supporting this approach.

For justice and a stable climate,

Ted Glick
USCEC coordinator

Dear Colleague:

I have been - and will continue to be - a supporter of leading congressional efforts to address the challenge of global climate change. The science is clear: Heat-trapping emissions that have been accumulating in our atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution are increasing global temperatures - causing glaciers to melt, sea levels to rise, oceans to acidify and weather events to intensify. Moreover, and more troubling, recent observations published since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 Fourth Assessment Report indicate climate impacts occurring at a greater pace and to a greater degree than the IPCC's models originally predicted. Additionally, there is no step more important to building out our clean energy future than providing markets with a strong price signal to accelerate the development and deployment of homegrown renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. With President Obama in the White House, the time for Congress to act is now.

Climate science can be complicated. But our legislative solution to climate change need not be. At its core, any successful climate change bill must deliver scientifically based emissions reductions while enjoying broad popular support from the American people - and it must continue to do both for at least forty years.

In that regard, I believe there is one approach that offers the best chance to get the job done: Cap and Dividend.

The strength of Cap and Dividend lies in its simplicity, transparency and durability: Cap carbon emissions, auction carbon permits, require first sellers of fossil fuels to annually surrender permits equivalent to the carbon content of the fuel they sell, and distribute auction proceeds in the form of dividends to everyone with a Social Security number.

Towards that end, I will soon be introducing The Cap and Dividend Act of 2009, which will:

o Cap carbon emissions in 2012 and establish a scientifically driven glide path to a minimum 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050;

o Auction 100% of carbon permits;

o Require first sellers of fossil fuels (i.e.. oil, coal and natural gas) to surrender permits equivalent to the carbon content of the fuel they sell into the U.S. market each year; and

o Distribute at least 90% of total auction proceeds in the form of dividends to every American with a Social Security number.

Cap and Dividend has attracted a growing chorus of support from news organizations like Newsweek and The Washington Post, as well as diverse political voices ranging from former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich to Republican Tennessee Senator Bob Corker.


Member of Congress

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19. Is There Still Time To Avoid Global Warming Catastrophe?

Thanks to JVNA advisor Ronald Landskroner for Forwarding this message:

"Gaia" scientist says life doomed by climate woes

By Peter Griffiths

* Climate scientist Lovelock sees death "on grand scale"
* Vast areas will become deserts, or flooded

LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Climate change will wipe out most life on Earth by the end of this century and mankind is too late to avert catastrophe, a leading British climate scientist said.

James Lovelock, 89, famous for his Gaia theory of the Earth being a kind of living organism, said higher temperatures will turn parts of the world into desert and raise sea levels, flooding other regions.

* * * * *
Please send any feedback or questions via email to

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