March 15, 2009

3/15/2009 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Passover and Vegetarianism

2. Interfaith Environmental Leadership Program Set Up

3. “A Sacred Duty” has Copyrighted Scenes from “The Animals Film”

4. Can Switch to Vegetarianism Help Reduce Massive Budget Deficits?

5. Seas Worldwide Rising Faster Than Expected

6. Thoughtful Article on Our Ecological Future

7. Op-Ed Article by George Will on Problems with Animal-Based Agriculture

8. Our Messages Keep Spreading to New Groups

9. HBO to Present Movie that Addresses Factory Farming Abuses

10. Looking for a New Way to Connect Environmentally to Israel?

11. New Edition of “Prisoned-Chickens-Poisoned-Eggs” Published

12. Effects of Animal Agriculture on Western Range Lands

13. Scientists Warn of 'Irreversible' Changes

14. EarthSave Florida Leader Discusses Vegetarian Connection to Environmental Issues

15. Liberal UK Jewish Group Actively Addressing Climate Change

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. Passover and Vegetarianism

Because it is becoming increasingly clear that a major shift to vegetarianism, and preferably veganism, is an essential step in trying to move our imperiled planet to a sustainable path, thus avoiding the unprecedented catastrophe that the world is rapidly approaching, we must try to increase awareness in every way that we can. Hence, please use my article “Passover and Vegetarianism” at the holidays section at, and please consider using it as a basis of your articles, letters to editors and talking points. Thanks.

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2. Interfaith Environmental Leadership Program Set Up

Forwarded message:

GreenFaith Fellowship Program Seeks Applicants

Interfaith Environmental Leadership Education and Training

Is God calling you to become a religious-environmental leader?

GreenFaith, an interfaith environmental coalition, announces the opening of the application process for the third class of the GreenFaith Fellowship Program for clergy and laity from diverse religious traditions. The Program is the only comprehensive US training program to turn lay and ordained leaders from diverse traditions into environmental leaders. Application materials for this national program are at, and the deadline for applications is June 1.

“This is a fantastic program,” said LeeAnne Beres, GreenFaith Fellow and Executive Director of Earth Ministry, a Seattle-based ecumenical Christian group. “It's well suited to clergy or lay leaders looking to strengthen their environmental ministry, and provides a well-rounded curriculum of eco-theology, environmental justice, and practical application.”

Creating a Cadre of New Leaders

Each year, the GreenFaith Fellowship Program gives a new class of clergy and laity the unique tools they need to become effective environmental leaders.

Each Fellow attends three residential retreats focused on eco-spirituality, environmental justice, and sustainability. Fellows also write their own eco-theological statement, and carry out an environmental leadership project. “There is a shortage of religious leaders in the United States who are speaking out on environmental issues,” said Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, Director of the Forum on Religion and Ecology at Yale University. “The GreenFaith Fellowship Program is indispensable.”

Fellows are selected through a competitive application process. GreenFaith strongly encourages applicants from the African American, Asian, Latino, Jewish, Islamic and Catholic communities.

Join a Leader

Founded in 1992, GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition which educates and mobilizes people of diverse religious backgrounds as environmental leaders.

GreenFaith is widely recognized as a leader in the international religious-environmental movement. Through a range of innovative programs, GreenFaith helps diverse religious institutions put their beliefs into action for the earth. From eco-themed worship services and religious education to 'green' facility management and environmental justice advocacy, GreenFaith provides a unique variety of resources and opportunities for religious-environmental action. To find our more about GreenFaith, see

GreenFaith is grateful to the Richard Oram Charitable Trust, the Kendeda Fund, the Edgebrook Foundation, and to GreenFaith members for the support that makes the Fellowship Program possible.

For further information about the Fellowship Program or to request an application form, contact Rabbi Lawrence Troster, Fellowship Program Director, at or 732-565-7740, ext. 302.

Rabbi Lawrence Troster

Director, Fellowship Program,
GreenFaith: Interfaith Partners for the Environment
201 833-5166

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3. “A Sacred Duty” has Copyrighted Scenes from “The Animals Film”

It has come to our attention that scenes of hens being debeaked that we have in “A Sacred Duty” were provided to us by an animal rights group which excerpted the scenes from a British documentary entitled 'The Animals Film' (Beyond the Frame Ltd., Copyright 1981) and we inadvertently used that material without first obtaining permission from the original producers.

It is essential that you DO NOT DUPLICATE that footage for any video without FIRST obtaining permission from them. (Address: Beyond the Frame Ltd., 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3XX, England. Tel 44-(0)208 201 9820)

The Animals Film is a pioneering, highly acclaimed documentary on abuses of animals on factory farms, laboratories and many other settings. We strongly recommend it. Some tributes to the enduring value of the movie are at:


If you would like to purchase a copy, please visit

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4. Can Switch to Vegetarianism Help Reduce Massive Budget Deficits?

Thanks to author and JVNA advisor Lewis Regenstein for his thoughtful comments below:

On NBC's Meet the Press today, Obama's Budget Director, OMB head Peter Orszag was quoted as saying that "the principal long term driver of our rising deficits is health care costs."

CNBC's financial reporter Erin Burnett replied, "health care is the one thing more likely to bankrupt the economy."

Here is a chance for us to stress that reducing/eliminating meat, dairy, & other high fat, high cholesterol junk food is the or a main cause of our epidemics of obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, strokes, & the other degenerative diseases that are a primary cost of health care.

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5. Seas Worldwide Rising Faster Than Expected

** Sea rise 'to exceed projections' **

global sea level looks set to rise far higher than forecast because of changes in the polar ice-sheets, a team of researchers has suggested.

Scientists at a climate change summit in Copenhagen said earlier UN estimates were too low and that sea levels could rise by a metre or more by 2100.

The projections did not include the potential impact of polar melting and ice breaking off, they added.

The implications for millions of people would be "severe", they warned.

Ten per cent of the world's population - about 600 million people - live in low-lying areas.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report, had said that the maximum rise in sea level would be in the region of 59cm.

Professor Konrad Steffen from the University of Colorado, speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, highlighted new studies into ice loss in Greenland, showing it has accelerated over the last decade.

Professor Steffen, who has studied the Arctic ice for the past 35 years, told me: "I would predict sea level rise by 2100 in the order of one metre; it could be 1.2m or 0.9m.

"But it is one metre or more seeing the current change, which is up to three times more than the average predicted by the IPCC."

"It is a major change and it actually calls for action."
Dr John Church of the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research added: "The most recent research showed that sea level is rising by 3mm a year since 1993, a rate well above the 20th century average."

Ice flow

Professor Eric Rignot, a senior research scientist at Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said that results gathered since the IPCC showed that melting and ice loss could not be overlooked.
"As a result of the acceleration of outlet glaciers over large regions, the ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are already contributing more and faster to sea level rise than anticipated," he observed.

Professor Stefan Ramstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said: "Based on past experience, I expect that sea level rise will accelerate as the planet gets hotter."

UK could face storm surge future

The forecasts by the team of scientists are critically important for coastal communities.

At Lowestoft, on the UK's east coast, the Environment Agency official in charge of coastal protection, David Kemp, said that even small rises in sea level could be overwhelming.

"Put bluntly, if it's 10cm below the height of the defence, then there's no problem," he told me.

"But if it's 10cm above the defence, then we could be looking at devastation

"It looks very benign today but the North Sea can turn into a very ferocious beast."

** BBC Daily E-mail **

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6. Thoughtful Article on Our Ecological Future

[I thought this essay by environmental activist Margaret Swedish was especially insightful, so I am including it in this newsletter. Comments welcome, as always.]

Spirituality and Ecological Hope

That feeling of urgency

Posted: 10 Mar 2009 03:00 PM PDT

Fostering Ecological Hope Today
from Margaret Swedish:

I have so much on my mind today. The drivers behind all these dramatic changes in our world - changing climate, collapsing economies, millions of newly unemployed, millions of home foreclosures, ecosystem depletion, changes in behaviors of species, of flora and fauna, rapid population growth, overconsumption, and on and on - the drivers, the energy behind them, are/is picking up steam. It is all happening faster than we can keep up, much less take the time to figure out how to live through such a crisis. Meanwhile, the whole political process is woefully slow, inadequate, not to mention the economic models and institutions, which, though in critical need of transformation, may be the last to change.

I just came back from a lecture by Dr. George Stone, who teaches climate, energy, geology, and earth sciences at the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). It is the second in the lecture series sponsored this month by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, entitled Sustaining the World, Sustaining Our Souls.

Good title for the series, because we are going to need to do the latter in order to do what we need to do to accomplish the former.

Source: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Anyway, Dr. Stone scared me to death, which is what often happens when a good climate scientist gives a good lecture on global warming. Basically, he presented in stark terms what is the growing consensus among those scientists - that warming is happening at a rapidly accelerating pace, that we are going to exceed the dire predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in their Fourth Assessment released in 2007, that we are already committed to dangerous levels of warming, that our CO2 emissions are increasing at an increasing rate, and that we better start figuring out what we are going to do - and soon.

Even the next international meeting to hammer out a climate agreement among the world's nations in Copenhagen later this year feels way too slow, and then the years to hammer out the agreement, get it approved by legislatures, and get it working. By that time, we will likely have exceeded 400ppm of CO2 in the atmosphere. James Hansen, climate scientist with NASA, says a safe level - to keep a planet close to the one we know - is below 350ppm.

Just to remind us of how scary things are getting, check out this short article from AFP, which lays it out in pretty stark terms: Sea levels to surge 'at least a meter by century end.

Ready to replace your vehicles with clean cars yet? Ready to turn down your thermostats in the winter and turn them up in summer? Ready to fight so-called 'clean coal' technology? Ready to stop flying all over the places on your vacations and to your meetings and conferences? Ready to stop eating broccoli in February? Ready to stop consuming things and start spending time with your friends and family over meals cooked slowly and from locally produced food, or to play on swings in the park or stroll amidst nature, rather than go to the shopping mall and sit in front of home entertainment centers? Ready to stop eating beef?

Okay, you get my point. It is precisely the resistance of our entire culture, our human so-called 'civilization,' that is the reason things are getting so scary. It doesn't matter how we feel about it; unless we sharply cut back right now on the three fossil fuels - oil, coal, and natural gas - and then eliminate them as quickly as possible, we are headed for a terrible future.

A bit of a list of some of those things coming across my 'news desk:' Unbearable warming: Heat and drought may make U.S. southwest uninhabitable. Reports Says Economy Will Shrink Worldwide - “In one of the bleakest assessments yet… " Right, by the World Bank.. The global economy is collapsing, which is not surprising because it was all built on the same house of cards as our own phony economy of securities and derivatives and credit cards and overvalued home equity and not paying for what we buy and not being able to afford what we bought on credit - from the largest financial institutions to the individual consumer.

Meanwhile, so-called global warming 'skeptics' gather under the umbrella of the anti-science, pro-fossil-fuel-industry Heartland Institute for what they bill as an 'international conference on climate change,' or how to do everything you can to keep people trying to save life on the planet from saving life on the planet. One of my favorite environmental issues journalists, Andrew Revkin, wrote about it yesterday. We just don't have time for these people anymore.

Well, you know, I read the news and comment on it, and then I reach deep within to find the reflections, to help create the resources, from which we can find ecological hope and the spirituality that can nurture it. There is so much hunger for this. It's something we all must do, or participate in - articulating that spirituality and way of life that can help turn us in another direction, and fast.

Sorry for this long bleak post. As I said, I had a lot on my mind today…

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7. Op-Ed Article by George Will on Problems with Animal-Based Agriculture

Will: 'National eating disorder' is Vilsack's problem, too


Wer'e from I-o-way, I-o-way,
State of all the land
Joy on evry hand ...
Thats where the tall corn grows.
-- Iowas unofficial song

Tom Vilsack, Iowas former governor, calls his the most important department in government, noting that the Agriculture Department serves education through school nutrition programs and serves diplomacy by trying to wean Afghanistan from a poppy-based (meaning heroin-based) economy. But Vilsacks department matters most because of the health costs of the American diet. If Michael Pollan is right, the problem is rooted in politics and, in a sense, Iowa.

Pollan, author of The Omnivores Dilemma and In Defense of Food, says that after World War II the government had a huge surplus of ammonium nitrate, an ingredient of explosives -- and fertilizer. Furthermore, pesticides could be made from ingredients of poison gases. Since 1945, the food supply has increased faster than Americas population - faster even than Americans can increase their feasting.

Agricultural commodity prices generally fall. But when a rare surge in food prices gave the Nixon administration a political scare, government policy, expressed in commodity subsidies, has been, Pollan writes, to sell large quantities of calories as cheaply as possible, especially calories coming from corn.

All flesh is grass says Scripture. Much of the too-ample flesh of Americans (three of five are overweight; one in five is obese) comes from corn, which is a grass. A quarter of the 45,000 items in the average supermarket contain processed corn. Fossil fuels are involved in the planting, fertilizing, harvesting, transporting and processing of the corn. Americas food industry uses about as much petroleum as America's automobiles do.

During World War II, when meat, dairy products and sugar were scarce, heart disease plummeted. It rebounded when rationing ended. When you adjust for age, Pollan writes, rates of chronic diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes are considerably higher today than they were in 1900. Type 2 diabetes -- a strange epidemic: one without a virus, bacteria or other microbe -- was called adult onset diabetes until children began getting it. Now it is a $100 billion-a-year consequence of, among other things, obesity related to a corn-based diet, which is partly because steaks and chops have pushed plants off the plate.

Four of the top 10 causes of American deaths -- coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer -- have, Pollan says, well-established links to diet, particularly through the superabundance of cheap calories of sugar and fat.

What he calls America's national eating disorder is not just the fact that Americans reportedly eat one in five meals in cars (gas stations make more from food and cigarettes than from gasoline) and that one in three children eats fast food every day.

He also means the industrialization of agriculture, wherein we developed a food chain that derives too much of its calories -- energy -- not from the sun through photosynthesis but from fossil fuels.


Will is a Pulitzer Prize-winning syndicated columnist, based in
Washington, D.C. (

Brought to you by the

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8. Our Messages Keep Spreading to New Groups

Shalom Professor Schwartz,

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing the use of your material for the educational CD we prepared on Masorti Judaism and the Environment. The CD is now complete. It was officially introduced at the Rabbinical Assembly convention in Jerusalem last month and was received with great enthusiasm and praise. Advance copies of the CD have already been viewed by many of our colleagues both here in Israel and abroad. Everyone who has seen it has indicated their gratitude to us - and of course to you - for preparing this exciting and very useful resource on such an important and relevant topic. They are looking forward to using the material in their home communities.

Most of the participants at the Rabbinical Assembly convention received a copy to take home with them. Other Masorti rabbis and educational personnel will be receiving a copy from us in the near future. We are distributing the CD free of charge, with no profit to our organization, because we believe in the importance of this project. We would like to send you a copy so please send us your regular mailing address and we will mail the CD to you as soon as possible.

In addition, we are very excited to tell you that we are planning to put the material up on our website for the benefit of all our Masorti kehillot around the world. Soon everyone with access to the internet will be able to access all of this material including your contribution.

If you have additional material relevant to the topic, will be preparing such material in the future, or do not wish to have your material posted on the web, please let us know ASAP.

Once again - THANK YOU!

With very warm regards,

Rabbi Tzvi Graetz
Masorti Olami

18 Rehov Ha'Uman St
Jerusalem 93420


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9. HBO to Present Movie that Addresses Factory Farming Abuses

Forwarded message from DawnWatch

There is stunning news in the animal advocacy world, particularly for those of us who have been working in the field for years and remember the days when it was hard to find a news story that even touched on the cruelty to animals being documented by activists. This coming Monday, March 16, HBO will premier a documentary called "Death on a Factory Farm." According to the HBO synopsis, "'Death on a Factory Farm' follows the undercover investigation of Wiles Hog Farm by the animal rights group The Humane Farming Association (HFA), and the resulting court case against it." The industry magazine, "Pork," reports with apprehension that the documentary will run on HBO twenty times through till April 1.
You'll find the full schedule at -- just enter the documentary title into the search line on that page.

The Time Magazine web site currently has a terrific story on the issue -- an interview with, and photo of, 'Pete,' the undercover investigator and animal advocacy hero, who worked at the farm and videotaped the horrors. Many of us already know him from his previous undercover work that formed the basis of an earlier HBO documentary, "Dealing Dogs." The interview with Pete is on line at,8599,1883742,00.html
News outlets pay close attention to which stories get the most clicks and forwards, so please check it out and then go the bottom of the page where it says "Connect to this Time Story" and click on "Email," and email the page to all of your friends. You can also leave a comment on that page. Please do.

The HBO home page for this documentary is:
It includes links to pages where you can watch a brief preview video, read an interview with the multi award winning producers of the documentary, and read a synopsis of the film. The opening lines of the synopsis make the point that the film apparently drives home beautifully:

"Each year, ten billion animals are raised for consumption in the U.S., mostly on sprawling, industrialized farms, where virtually no federal laws mandate how the animals are treated - though guidelines exist - and state laws are ineffective. As a result, animals are frequently subjected to what many consider cruel treatment and inhumane conditions in the interest of economic efficiency."

We learn about the undercover video:

"Over the course of six weeks, Pete secretly filmed numerous disturbing scenes, including piglets being tossed into crates from across a room, impregnated sows held in pens that don't allow them to move, an unhealthy piglet being slammed against a wall to euthanize it, and a sick sow being hung by a chain from a forklift until it choked to death."

Will you forgive my turn of phrase if I write that the factory farming industry folks are crapping themselves in anticipation of this movie? (I did edit myself slightly.) The industry's general position is that the cruelty on this farm was an aberration. But while we don't yet have video from other farms of pigs being hung to death or slammed against concrete floors, some of the chronic cruelty, such as keeping the huge and intelligent animals in tiny individual pens too small to let them turn around or even lie down with their legs outstretched, is standard industry practice. Such cruelty is not limited to the pork industry -- most of us know about battery cages and veal crates, for example. Beef Magazine therefore reports at (my thanks to Mary Finelli for that link):

"For any of us the agriculture industry, this documentary sends shivers down our spines.... To put things into perspective, HBO has an estimated 35 million subscribers, and a premier program on HBO can reach between 1 to 3 percent of that audience, or about 500 thousand to 1.5 million people."


The Beef Magazine writer recommends to readers:
"I encourage all of you to tune in to this documentary, and follow up with letters of response to the producers and to HBO."

I always stress the importance of letting media outlets know how much we, the audience, appreciate their animal friendly content. With the meat industry calling for mobilization against HBO on this one, appreciative feedback from the audience becomes doubly important. Please send HBO a supersized thank you. Comments on HBO documentaries should be submitted at

You can also make sure that everybody who reads your local paper knows about the show. Some of the smaller papers publish close to 100% of letters they receive. The five minutes it takes you to send a quick note could help teach thousands of people in your area about the horrors of the modern food production system. As the show will air through the rest of the month you still have time to write now. Why not?

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line. If somebody forwards DawnWatch alerts to you, which you enjoy, please help the list grow by signing up. It is free.)

Please go to to read reviews and see a fun celeb-studded video and an NBC news piece on Karen Dawn's new book, "Thanking the Monkey: Rethinking the Way we Treat Animals," which was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the "Best Books of 2008."

To discontinue DawnWatch alerts go to

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10. Looking for a New Way to Connect Environmentally to Israel?

Eco Flyer

~~~ Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo's~~~
Eco-Activist Beit Midrash
Spring Session: May 15-June 14
Summer Session: July/August
Applications on-line
View Our On-line Clip

Ecology and Judaism Across Israel...

Our one month programs combine dynamic Jewish learning, community service and unique tiyulim [hikes] with the passion that our students and staff share for this field. The EABM brings together young Jewish people from all backgrounds with an interest in the environment for an opportunity to learn a Jewish approach to ecology, while volunteering and learning about modern environmental issues and organizations in Israel. This co-ed program is accessible and welcoming to people of all Jewish backgrounds and offers a sincere exploration of the relevance and application of Torah wisdom to one of today's most important issues.

Opening the Tradition...

Through texts of Chumash, Mishna and Gemara and teachings from Jewish philosophy and Chassidut our classes pose real questions to the original texts. Addressing, challenging and refining the understandings that are at the core of today's environmental crisis- the learning is a new branch of the Oral Torah, with the questions that modern times' demand we ask and an honest search for answers- a real living Torah program! Our staff are on the forefront of this growing field and are dedicated to making the text come alive to all. No prior Jewish learning experience is necessary- just curiosity.
Not the Learning is the Point, but the Action!!
-Pirke Avot
spray As the Saying of Our Fathers teaches, learning must lead to action- and the classroom is not our only playground. There are optional afternoon internships with local NGOs and the whole group works with Jerusalem community garden projects. This year we are happy to break ground on our own urban perma-culture project in the heart of Jerusalem, our home base. As a member of the Coalition for a Sustainable Jerusalem we are linked to a wide variety of local organizations- providing a strong network to learn and work with.

Out -and- About
dance And of course, we are in the field- walking rarely tread places of the land of Israel, meeting the plants of the TaNaCh, standing alone in Negev moonlight, meeting the Israeli environmental movement, visiting communities with goals of sustainable living- kibbutzim new and old, urban and rural and being together with the incredible group of people this program attracts.
Sign up now as registration and scholarships are limited!
Also check out the Facebook Group- Eco-Activist Beit Midrash
FMI: write to Shaul Judelman:

Email Marketing by
Sukkat Shaleym Inc | 18 Hagilboa Street | Jerusalem | 94314 | Israel

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11. New Edition of “Prisoned-Chickens-Poisoned-Eggs” Published

[This book (now beautifully re-packaged) and its author, Karen Davis, put chickens on the AR map--a monumental achievement.
-Pamela Rice]

UPC President Karen Davis Updates the Plight of Chickens, Health and Environmental Issues in Groundbreaking Book on the Poultry Industry

Click for browser presentation


or at:

Karen Davis wrote Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs in the mid-1990s to focus attention on the billions of chickens buried alive on factory farms. The book was a catalyst for animal rights activists seeking to develop effective strategies to expose and relieve the plight of chickens. United Poultry Concerns' campaign in the 1990s to reveal the U.S. egg industry's cruel practice of starving hens to force them to molt their feathers and cut the cost of egg production was decisive in shifting advocacy attention to chickens and the hidden causes of Salmonella and Campylobacter food poisoning.

The Newly Revised Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs documents what has happened since the book first appeared - the waging of high-profile campaigns to get rid of battery cages for laying hens, undercover investigations exposing the appalling cruelty to chickens and turkeys by poultry industry workers, globalization of chicken production and its effect on the environment and spread of avian influenza, and how farm animal sanctuaries have become key players in debunking industry myths with truthful accounts of the sensitive and intelligent birds being brutalized in the name of "food."

"When you pick up a chicken on the road who has fallen off a truck on the way to slaughter, the huge white bird with the little peeping voice and baby blue eyes feels like liquid cement," says Karen Davis in Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs. The birds are sick with respiratory infections and they are often rotting with diseases. This latest edition effectively explains why these birds are so ill, why eating them makes people sick, and what can be done to cure the pathology of the modern poultry industry.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Karen Davis, PhD is the founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. She is the author of several books and numerous articles for the national press and was featured on National Public Radio. A major article in The Washington Post titled "For the Birds" won the 1999 Ark Trust Genesis Award for Outstanding Newspaper Feature. The article can be read by going to Karen Davis can be reached at or 757-678-7875.

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12. Effects of Animal Agriculture on Western Range Lands

Forwarded message from author Mike Hudak:

In its January 2009 issue, Audubon magazine published a glowing review of Quivira Coalition Director Courtney White's pro-ranching book Revolution on the Range. The March issue of that magazine includes George Wuerthner's letter response to that book review. I reproduce Wuerthner's letter below.

The hubris of Courtney White and others who believe that nature will fall apart if humans aren't there "managing" the land is unbelievable. All livestock production in the arid West has unavoidable ecological impacts-changes in nutrient cycles, changes in fire regimes, soil compaction, spread of weeds, competition with native herbivores, damage to riparian zones, dewatering rivers (for irrigation), and so forth. And the list of species endangered or jeopardized primarily or largely as a result of livestock production includes many animals well known to Audubon readers, including the sage-grouse. Indeed, livestock grazing is the single greatest cause of species endangerment in the West. A much clearer picture of how the livestock industry degrades our public lands and bullies public employees and activists is Mike Hudak's book Western Turf Wars.

George Wuerthner

Editor, Welfare Ranching

Livingston, MT

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13. Scientists Warn of 'Irreversible' Changes

Thanks to writer and vegetarian activist Judy Lipman for forwarding this article:

COPENHAGEN (March 12) - Hundreds of leading scientists warned Thursday that global warming is accelerating beyond the worst predictions and threatening to trigger "irreversible" climate shifts on the planet.

Saying there's no excuse for inaction, the nearly 2,000 climate researchers meeting in Copenhagen urged policy-makers to "vigorously" implement the economic and technological tools available to cut emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.

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14. EarthSave Florida Leader Discusses Vegetarian Connection to Environmental Issues

FROM THE CHAIR, ARTICLE - Spring 09 EarthSave Miami Newsletter

BY: Jeffrey M. Tucker [Jeff is a long-time supporter of vegetarianism and JVNA]

EarthSave does not require everyone's oath of strict vegan adherence, nor does it operate a Food Police force. We do educate the public about a cluster of modern day issues, letting the impact of our logic, the accuracy of our information and the urgency of our recommendations generate individuals' decisions. People are prompted to continue modifying behaviors as long as satisfaction rules over frustration or doubt. Going from an occasional meatless meal to more consistent avoidance of animal products is a journey we invite everyone to experience, for their benefit, for ours collectively. To top it all off, our sustainable, plant-based diet comes with a Lifetime Warranty- see me at a Potluck for your copy of the fine print detailing how it adds life to your time, maybe even time to your life!

Because geopolitics, science and global economics have 'contracted' our modern world, scant tolerance remains for the exploitation of nature, including human nature. Deep Ecology, an emerging science and ethos, postulates a cohesive, planetary web of life. As this becomes threatened so we are spurred on to stronger and more profound actions, calling upon many disparate interest groups from religious, spiritual, academic and social domains for support and solidarity. I am truly amazed by the lopsided equation of universal vs. special interests in the Game of Global Survival.

The Woodstock Generation envisioned a peaceful planet, dominated by an intelligent, advancing civilization and sowed seeds of hope for our lifetimes. But many seeds perished upon a toxic landscape, poisoned by a 'profitable' arsenal of chemicals from agent orange to pesticides, industrial products to pharmaceuticals. As we misguidedly let grazing animals trample rainforests, let garbage contaminate the ecosphere and fostered a monstrous ethic of animal husbandry-speciesism, so we also contravened common sense and sensibilities. Perhaps Global Scorching represents the sum of all such blunders, when your accounting method omits ecological costs from the bottom line.

Ahimsa is a keyword of ethical veganism and probably the entire New Age. Living in the 'contracted' sphere of activity, people are urged to play nicely or feel the inter-connected consequences ever more acutely. In the “Live and Let Live” credo which comes first? I interpret ahimsa thusly “If we let the plants, animals and natural forces live about us so they will enable us to survive, even thrive.” Continuing to harm our partners in this fine-tuned web of life cannot fail to produce dire consequences. So, please pass the peas.

Jeff Tucker March 13, 2009

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15. Liberal UK Jewish Group Actively Addressing Climate Change

Source: Christian Aid - UK
Gillian Sandford

Reuters and AlertNet are not responsible for the content of this article or for any external internet sites. The views expressed are the author's alone.

The Jewish movement Liberal Judaism has joined forces with Christian Aid to press for a new climate change deal that is fair to the poor in developing countries who are already bearing the brunt of global warming.

The March edition of the magazine LJ Today carries co-branded pledge cards and details of how to sign up to Christian Aid's international Countdown to Copenhagen campaign on climate change.

On Wednesday March 11, co-branded campaign materials are being distributed at the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, London, where Liberal Judaism's Chief Executive Rabbi Danny Rich will formally endorse the campaign together with LJ rabbis, from regional synagogues, ministering the faith's 10,000 members.

Taking the Copenhagen pledge includes a commitment to:

Reducing your personal carbon footprint through recycling, reusing and reducing consumption Writing to the Prime Minister and speaking to your local MP to let them know you expect the UK Government and other world to work for a new international climate change agreement that is fair to poorer countries Encouraging friends and family to sign up to the pledge

Rabbi Rich says: 'Climate change affects everyone, irrespective of religion but the poor suffer disproportionately. The threat to our world is so great that it is vital that Liberal Jews join people of other faiths to lobby for laws that cut carbon emissions.

'Liberal Judaism is proud to endorse and co-brand the pledge cards. We do this as a core part of our faith. There is also a moral imperative which finds its expression in the concept of Tikkun Olam - repairing the world.'

Christian Aid head of campaigns Paul Brannen said: 'I am delighted that Liberal Jews are showing solidarity with Christian Aid and joining us in crucial activism to stop global warming. We hope this will mark the beginning of ongoing cooperation on shared campaign issues.

'The campaign pledge at is a mouse click away and I urge all those who care about the planet and global justice to give us their support.'

The Copenhagen climate conference this December will see a new international climate deal agreed that will come into force when the first phase of the Kyoto treaty expires in 2012.

Christian Aid is calling for the rich industrialised countries to cut emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 and to pay a greater share of the cost of global cuts - on top of the actions they are taking domestically.

It wants technology that can help cut emissions shared with poorer countries and wants rich countries to support poorer ones financially in adapting to climate change. But it also says developing countries have to play their part by bringing in emission-cutting programmes that can be measured, reported and verified. - ends -

For more press information, pictures or case studies, please contact Gillian Sandford on or on 07912 407692.

Notes to Editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in 49 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.

2. Christian Aid is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition - the UK's largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change.

3. .Liberal Judaism - one of the three major strands of Judaism in the UK with over 30 congregations and 10,000 members - seeks to make Jewish life relevant to the modern world. The main difference between Liberal Judaism and traditional (Orthodox) Judaism is in their respective attitudes to the bible. While preserving the core beliefs and practices that underpin the religion, Liberal Judaism believes that ancient laws must be interpreted to ensure that ethical values and practices take account of what we know and the world as it is today. Ethical behaviour and social action take priority over ritual.

[ Any views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not of Reuters. ]

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