June 9, 2009

6/7/2009 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Promoting A SACRED DUTY/How YOU Can Help

2. My Interview By Caryn Hartglass of EarthSave TV Now on the Internet

3. New Documentary Challenges Factory Farming

4. Support Anti-Fur Bill in Israel

5. Physician Writes Of Why He Stopped Eating Meat

6. Climate Change Could Influence Mid East Peace Prospects

7. Review of New Book on Religion and the Environment

8. Article Looks Back at Today's World From a Vegan 2109

9. Jewish Conference Scheduled/”A Sacred Duty” and Video of My Talk at the Flatbush JCC To Be Shown

10. ABC News Special Dramatically Shows Potential Effects of Global Warming

11. Thoughts on a [Possible] Coming Vegetarian Revolution

12. New Book Promotes Animal Protection

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. Promoting A SACRED DUTY/How YOU Can Help

We are VERY fortunate to have an anonymous volunteer who is making DVDs of “A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World” for 30 - 40 cents each. This enables us to relatively inexpensively continue to distribute complimentary copies of the acclaimed documentary. And with the world increasingly approaching an unprecedented catastrophe from global warming and other environmental threats, it is more important than ever that as many people as possible see the movie.

So, please consider doing one or more of the following:

* Request one or more complimentary DVDs to view and to share with others, by contacting me at president@JewishVeg.com.

* Let people know that they can see the entire movie and order a complimentary DVD by visiting ASAcredDuty.com. There are also reviews, blurbs and questions and answers about the movie at that web site.

* Try to arrange a showing at a local synagogue, Jewish Community Center, Jewish school or other venue.

* Try to arrange a showing at a local community TV station.

* Speak to rabbis, educators, friends, relatives and anyone else who might be interested about them seeing the movie.

* Please let me know of any suggestions you may have re getting the movie more widely seen.

* Please make a tax-deductible donation to JVNA by going to JewishVeg.com/action. This will enable us to continue to distribute complimentary DVDs to as many people as possible.


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2. My Interview By Caryn Hartglass of EarthSave TV Now on the Internet

You can see the entire interview by visiting:

EarthSave's description of the interview is below:

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D. Dr. Schwartz, Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island, the author of "Judaism and Vegetarianism," "Judaism and Global Survival," and "Mathematics and Global Survival," and over 130 articles at www.JewishVeg.com. He is President of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) and Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV), the Associate Producer of “A SACRED DUTY” and the Director Veg Climate Alliance. We talk about why people should be vegetarian today, why Jews and others who take their religions seriously should be vegetarians and what can be done to better promote vegetarianism as well as discussing the movie A SACRED DUTY that he helped produce.

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3. New Documentary Challenges Factory Farming

Forwarded message:

A new documentary will do for the perils of mass-produced food what An Inconvenient Truth did for global warming

By Miranda Purves | May 20, 2009 4:00 p.m.
documentary release - Food, Inc.


At least until its effect wears off, the riveting new documentary Food, Inc.-call it the real Scary Movie-will have you running from the supermarket for the hills, preferably ones dotted with grass-fed cows. From conversations with gentle activist-journalist Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) to scenes of meat processing plants grinding bone and gristle through ammonia before packing it in plastic-lined boxes and sending it off to the National School Lunch Program, director Robert Kenner paints a picture of a highly industrialized food system that in the past 15 years has come to control much of what we eat under a veil of secrecy, leaving obesity, diabetes, poverty, and pollution in its wake. In the midst of a media feeding frenzy before the film hits theaters this month-even Martha Stewart rushed to the press screening-we spoke to Kenner.

ELLE: In the movie, the National Chicken Council's communications director says, “These systems…produce a lot of food, on a small amount of land, at an affordable price-now somebody explain to me what is wrong with that?”

ROBERT KENNER: Low-cost food comes at a very high cost to all of us. It is mistreating the people who grow it and making us sick.

ELLE: You visit a family who can afford value meals but not fresh broccoli.

RK: Yes, they also live in what's known as a “food desert”-parts of the country where people have far greater access to fast food than fresh produce. The father spends $200 every other week on diabetes medication. I think one out of every five dollars in medicine now goes toward diabetes. It's going to bankrupt the health care system.

ELLE: I was surprised to learn that the USDA does not have the right to shut down plants producing contaminated food.

RK: Companies feel they are better at policing themselves than the government is. But I don't feel any better about that than I do about AIG policing itself, and perhaps I feel worse, because we have to eat it. These cows live in their own excrement.

ELLE: What was the scariest thing you encountered while filming?

RK: The time I asked Barbara Kowalcyk what she eats and doesn't. Her two-year-old son died in 2001 after eating E. coli-infected meat, and she's been fighting for a law that will allow the USDA to force recalls. She couldn't answer my question because she was afraid of getting sued. That's when I knew this movie was about more than food. It's about freedom of information. These companies don't want us to know how their products are made.

ELLE: Now even organic peanut butter gets recalled. What can we eat? Squash?

RK: [Laughing] Well, no. [Our water system] can be contaminated. I think it's best to support growers who care about something more than the bottom line. Now going to the farmers market is like a religious experience for me. I can't miss it

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4. Support Anti-Fur Bill in Israel

Forwarded message:

Subject: Please send message of support to Nitzan Horowitz, Israel


Ban the fur trade: Support the Nitzan Horowitz Bill

On March 18th, Israeli Knesset Member, Nitzan Horowitz introduced a bill to enforce a total ban on the fur industry in Israel. If passed, the law would be a world precedent, prohibiting all fur importations, productions and all sales!

Please write to MK Nitzan Horowitz to show your support of his bill, by using the form [at the web site indicated above.]

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5. Physician Writes Of Why He Stopped Eating Meat

Thanks to author and JVNA advisor Arthur Poletti for sending us this information.

Dear Richard:

Please read these shocking, powerful and extremely persuasive publications which should be a mandatory obligation for every doctor in the world to read and
comment on.



These are classic publications written by the accomplished and established physician DR. Owen S. Parrot who has been trying to make as many people as possible aware
of the many reasons it is unwise to eat animal flesh including religious reasons.

I thought you may want to circulate the profound publications to your many contacts to help support and promote your relentless campaign to persuade as many people as possible to stop eating animal flesh.

This publications should be sent to every doctor in the world and leaders like President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Al Gore, as well as everyone in the United States Congress.

You may want to make contact with Dr. Owen S. Parrett because he may be very interested in teaming up with you and your staff in a joint effort.

I feel certain that Dr. Parrett would be very interested in viewing the one hour major masterpiece DVD you helped to produce titled *A SACRED DUTY* -- which
is currently being circulated throughout the world.

I enjoyed viewing the free online version which is posted on YouTube at:


Richard, I really believe Dr. Parrett and you could form an alliance that could be mutually beneficial and very affective in revealing the real truth about the major catastrophic disasters that have been related to the livestock industry for years.

[So far, we have not been able to find any contact information for Dr. Parrott.

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6. Climate Change Could Influence Mid East Peace Prospects

Climate change could prompt Israel to resist Golan pullout

By Reuters


[Another reason to work to end global warming]

DAMASCUS - Climate change could spark "environmental wars" in the Middle East over already scarce water supplies and dissuade Israel from pulling out of the Golan Heights, according to a Danish-funded study released this week.

The report said Israeli concerns about "food security and reduced agricultural productivity could shift the strategic calculation on whether to withdraw" from the Golan Heights.

"The expectation of coming environmental wars might imply that the way to deal with shrinking resources is to increase military control over them," said the study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, an independent organization headquartered in Canada.

The Golan supplies 30 percent of the water for Lake Kinneret.

The report also said the rise in sea level a result of climate change threatened to contaminate Gaza's sole aquifer.

The coastal aquifer, which is shared by Israel, is the only source of fresh drinking water for Gaza. The report said its water quality was abysmal.

Israel also draws water from most aquifers shared with the West Bank and restricts Palestinian water use.

Climate change will diminish water resources across the Middle East, found the report, which was released this week at the Danish Institute in Old Damascus.

The study comes ahead of a major United Nations conference in Copenhagen in December that will discuss a new treaty to deal with climate.

"In a region already considered the world's most water scarce, climate models are predicting a hotter, drier and less predictable climate," it said. "Higher temperature and less rainfall will reduce the flow of rivers and streams, slow the rate at which aquifers recharge, progressively raise sea levels and make the entire region more arid."

The study, which focused on the Levant - Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories - raised the specter of water shortages and climate-induced crises hitting the economies of those areas by 2050.

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7. Review of New Book on Religion and the Environment

Sally Bingham's “Love God, Heal the Earth”: A Review, by Rabbi Julian Sinclair

Posted: 04 Jun 2009 02:19 PM PDT

By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, as published on www.GreenProphet.com

Twenty years, ago, Sally Bingham went to her local bishop and announced that she wanted to be ordained so that she could become the world's first priest for the environment.

She was received with some skepticism. Undeterred, she embarked on almost a decade of study and became an Episcopalian minister in 1998. She went on to found Interfaith Power and Light (what a great name for an organization). Today IPL has some 2000 affiliated congregations in 26 states of the US.

In her recent book “Love God, Heal the Earth”, Bingham has brought together 21 leading voices speaking out about the about the religious duty to protect the environment. All are doers in the field, not just thinkers. Some are inspirational leaders. There a couple each of Muslims, Buddhists and Jews, and 15 Christians of all stripes and persuasions.

The tone of the essays is personal, often confessional. Each tells of a personal journey towards placing creation at the center of his or her faith and activism.

Some tell of mystical experiences in nature, others of a progression from a passion for feminism or civil rights to environmentalism.

Among the most interesting are the accounts of Richard Cizik and Joel Hunter, leaders of the Evangelical Climate Initiative for whom accepting the reality of anthropogenic climate change and the urgency of doing something about it was a struggle, and ultimately, a conversion.

Their stories vividly document the suspicion of science, of government and the mainstream media in the evangelical movement.

They show just how counter-cultural acceptance of climate change was within their churches. (This is what makes the Evangelical response to global warming politically very significant. It removes climate change from the leftish pigeon hole in which it was in danger of becoming stuck and elevates it to the status of an ethical issue that transcends party lines.)

One of the common themes of all the essays is that, as Bingham puts it,

The contributors all in different ways trace the transformation that begins with spiritual stirrings of love and reverence for God's world and eventuates in action.

As Pastor Clare Butterfield writes:

What we are trying to do is not to change light bulbs. We are trying to change people - with the assumption that they will then be the kind of people who will change their own light bulbs.

This heart-light bulb nexus touches on the unique and necessary contribution that religions can make in the struggle to avert climate change. Environmentalists are realizing that knowing what we must do may not be enough. We also need to find the moral passion to do it and the strength to overcome inner obstacles.

In the words of Gus Speth, Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and the Environment, quoted in the book by Richard Cizik:

“Thirty years ago, I thought that with enough good science, we would be able to solve the environmental crisis. I was wrong. I used to think the greatest problems threatening the planet were species extinction, pollution and climate change. I was wrong there too. I now believe that the greatest problems are pride, apathy and greed.”

“Love God, Heal the World” is an impressive and sometimes moving collection of testimonies from leaders of the environmental religious movement. It sheds light on the actions and the souls of people who are not only bringing new life and hope to environmentalism, but are also rethinking their religious faith and traditions in the light of the challenges environmentalism levels.

To be sure, the authors present their views in engagingly broad strokes that raise a lot of questions. As many of the writers acknowledge, the world's religions have arrived late to this issue.

As the book shows, they are catching up fast.

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8. Article Looks Back at Today's World From a Vegan 2109

Thanks to author and JVNA advisor Dan Brook for sending us this interesting article:

Kathy Freston

Author, Health and Wellness Expert
Huffington Post

Dateline: June of the year 2109, in a high school social sciences class in Boise, Idaho.

Teacher: Good morning class. Today we are remembering what life was like in the days of Barack Hussein Obama, the first African American President of the United States. As you all know, President Obama did many [positive] things …


Some argue that he saved the world from impending ecological collapse by appointing key agricultural and scientific people that made critical recommendations.

A hundred years ago, you may find this hard to believe, but the entire world was behaving in a way that made scientists of the time wonder aloud whether humans are actually a rational species. Some of the most brilliant scientists of the day argued that without changes in policy, the world was doomed to Biblical-style plagues, floods, famines, food and water wars, and other catastrophes -- all of human origin. Even so, entire industries lined up to condemn these scientists -- there was actually a debate about whether global warming was a problem.

Gasps and murmuring of incredulity from the students.

I know, we see it all clearly now. But back then, people were used to just taking whatever they wanted of natural resources, not believing that there could ever be consequences. They thought there was no end to the oil in the ground, fresh air or water, trees, or even animals. They believed they could do whatever they wanted, and so they did.

It's impressive to think about how the transformation occurred, though. Take for instance how people used to eat. Back in the day, people used to eat animals as part of nearly every meal. No kidding. But then in late 2006, United Nations scientists argued that eating meat was "one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global," singling out meat consumption as a top cause of everything from desertification to loss of biodiversity to global warming. In fact, it was the business of raising animals for food that caused more global warming gases -- carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide -- than all the various forms of transportation put together. So even though driving those millions of big cars and flying old fashioned planes powered by oil were polluting the environment and warming the planet at breakneck speed, animal agriculture was an even bigger problem.

It seemed that no one listened, though, as 10 billion land animals and tens of billions of fish continued to be killed and eaten by humans every year in the United States alone.

Student: 10 billion animals and all those fish were slaughtered a year? For people to eat?

Teacher: Oh yes, people in the United States ate on average about 100 kilograms of animal flesh per person per year; of course back then the U.S. measured weight in something called pounds -- so it was an average of about 220 pounds. They ate huge chunks of cows -- their rumps, shoulders, and from around their ribs -- and drank their milk. They even ate the cow's baby's -- called veal -- because they liked the taste tender flesh. They dined on chickens more than anything, eating their breasts, legs, and wings. And people ate their eggs too!

Groans of disgust from the room. One student exclaims, "Humans consumed the milk and eggs of cows and chickens? Seriously?"

Teacher: Yes, seriously. But back to the environment please: It was inconceivable to people that the food they ate was what was warming the planet. Even former President Al Gore, who at that time had not yet been elected President or started his crusade against eating animals, didn't embrace the idea. He did finally see the connection of course, and he became one of President Obama's main advisors, urging him to see the full picture of what animal agriculture was doing to our planet.

At the same time, a number of scientists got together and challenged the world to recognize the insanity of funneling crops through animals to eat them. In addition to causing almost one-fifth of all global warming -- and for something both cruel and unhealthy -- funneling crops through animals also wasted hundreds of millions of tons of grain, corn, and soy. These crops were funneled through animals, wasting all of their fiber and carbohydrates, and the vast majority of their calories.

And remember, this was 100 years ago, when almost a billion people were starving and more than a billion lived in dire poverty. It's shocking to think that in such a rich world, people starved, but they did -- from those almost one billion who were not eating enough to be healthy, about 40 million people every year actually died from starvation-related causes. So that makes the waste of crops even harder to understand.

There is a spirited debate in college and university political science departments about whether it was the scientific argument about animals or the environmental and human starvation arguments that finally caused eating animals to be seen as so totally unethical, but everyone agrees that Richard Dawkins, other scientists, and animal protection groups focused attention on the scientific argument -- now obvious to us -- that other animals are more like us than they're unlike us (they feel pain, they are familial, they seek enjoyment, etc.) and that eating them is... well it's beneath our humanity and certainly bad for our health and the health of the planet.

Professor Dawkins, who was the foremost evolutionary scientist of his day, denounced what he called "speciesist arrogance" -- this idea that human beings are the pinnacle of creation -- and he called other species our "cousins," though these ideas were hardly the scientific consensus, despite the efforts of Dawkins, Jane Goodall, and other such pioneers. Of course it's obvious to us that other species have the same basic capacities and senses as human beings, but again, this was a big, big deal when Dawkins and Goodall were saying it 100 years ago.

[Judaism teaches that only human beings are created in God's image, but has many very strong teachings that prohibit mistreating animals.]

At that same time, animal protection groups started to focus more and more on the way these animals were treated. Groups documented the unbelievable cruelty of systems for egg production where so-called farmers crammed seven animals into tiny cages, as many as 100,000 in a shed, unable to do anything natural to being a chicken. They documented slaughterhouses -- it remains amazing to me that society didn't come up with another name for these places -- chopping animals' limbs off while they were still conscious.

They kept animals by the thousands in windowless buildings hidden away from view, and inside, they had people lined up to kill them, dismember them, and chop them up to be shipped out for food. There was a lot of blood, and there were horrible sounds coming from those places. But it was the biggest industry in the whole world, and people didn't seem to question the rightness of it. You can sometimes see these videos late at night on the American History channel, but they justifiably contain a parental warning, since they are not for the faint of heart.

At this point, most of the students are staring blankly, in total shock.

I'm sorry -- I know this is hard to hear. But it's important that we understand our history, and it's important that...

A student interrupts: But ma'am, how could this be? Wouldn't people get sick if they were eating animals' corpses? I mean, they were eating dead bodies!

Why yes, they got sick. Millions of people got sick from eating contaminated animal flesh every year, and thousands died. And even more shocking, more than half of Americans died for heart disease and cancer (those were big diseases back then), and two-thirds of Americans were overweight from eating this unhealthy diet. Although some doctors and nutritionists tried to tell everyone else that the human body is not designed to consume animals, much as people smoked cigarettes and denied the harm for so long, people also ate animals and denied the harm. I know this all sounds quite fantastical to you, but it's true.

Another student chimes in: But why, why did they eat animals? It seems so... gross.

Teacher: Well, perhaps they liked the taste of animal flesh [students groan collectively]. I'm really not sure. In 2008, a movie came out about a rugby team that experienced a plane crash, and the members ended up eating their team members as they froze to death. I suspect that the realization that humans are also made of flesh might have shocked some people.

At that time, it's important to remember that the very idea of green businesses was brand new and some businesses thrived as people clung to tradition. There were massive corporations dedicated to profiting from war, coal mining, oil, and killing billions of animals. You may not believe this, but people would actually call Thanksgiving "turkey day" because about 50 million turkeys were killed for that day alone.

First student blurts out in frustration: How could this be? My great grandmother was alive 100 years ago -- surely she didn't eat animals!?

Teacher: Well remember, humans held other humans as slaves not very long before that, and the Holocaust was a mere 60 years before Obama came to office. Think of things like the witch burnings, the crusades, the fact that women couldn't even vote 100 years earlier than the first black presidency. Thankfully, human beings evolve ethically, not just physically!

Anyway, about 100 years ago, a campaign began, spearheaded by a coalition of health, environmental, poverty, and animal protection groups, and supported by President Obama and his animal-loving family. Suddenly shirts and bumper stickers were everywhere, "Vegetarian is our HOPE!" And of course it had many layers to it -- the environment, global poverty, our health. It started becoming popular to eat a more plant based diet, and sure enough, a momentum was started, and within a few years, humans phased out eating animals.

It was, perhaps, the inevitable tide of history. In this case, scientific understanding met ecological crisis met the strong urge for self-preservation. We're learning from our mistakes and learning from science. We can, at least, be thankful for that, class. Don't you agree that learning from our mistakes is worth celebrating?

A young girl, silent until then, says quietly: I'm glad I wasn't alive then. I don't think I could have stomached eating an animal.

Dan Brook's Eco-Eating can be found at www.brook.com/veg

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9. Jewish Conference Scheduled/”A Sacred Duty” and Video of My Talk at the Flatbush JCC To Be Shown

Message from Kallah_2009@mail.vresp.com follows:

[If you plan to attend this interesting event [Kallah2009] that has classes, discussions and films on many Jewish topics, and would like to represent JVNA, please let me know. Thanks.]

There is still time to participate in the experience of a lifetime....

At the 2009 ALEPH Kallah, you will have the opportunity to come together with hundreds from all over the world to inspire and invigorate your Jewish experience.

Space is still available in most classes (check website for latest updates)

A week like no other:

* Classes with internationally renowned teachers
* Prayer services that will move your heart & soul
* Myriad oportunities to build joyous community
* Fabulous childrens programs -- toddlers to teens
* Kesher Leadership Program for Young Adults
* Healing Center to enhance the retreat experience
* Art, music, dance, theatre opportunites abound...

June 29 -- July 5, 2009
Ohio Wesleyan University 〓 (near) Columbus, OH
Just outside of Columbus OH, Ohio Wesleyan University is driving distance from Cleveland (2 hrs), Chicago (5 1/2 hrs), and Philadelphia (7 1/2 hrs).

For more information or to download the brochure, check out our website:

or, to request a paper brochure, contact kallahadmin@rcn.com

Don't let finances stop you! Take advantage of the "First Timer", Educator, Minyan, and other discount possibilities to lower the cost. Find out more about our extensive Work Study program where participants may serve the community while significantly reducing Kallah fees (click here). In addition, young adults can take advantage of our Kesher Leadership Program which also provides scholarship opportunities.

Forward this message to a friend

ALEPH Kallah
543 Walnut St.
Newton, Massachusetts

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10. ABC News Special Dramatically Shows Potential Effects of Global Warming

[I saw this two hour special and it very dramatically illustrated the unprecedented catastrophe the world is heading toward. The final 15- - 20 minutes discussed actions that should be taken to avoid disaster, but did not mention dietary changes. However, near the beginning it did poin t out that much grain is being used to feed farmed animals.]

The following material is from the ABC web site:

There are a number of critical environmental issues that we could face in the future. Our goal was to approach these possible scenarios in a compelling way that would give viewers a broader understanding of what could happen to foster and encourage dialogue now.

The predictions in Earth 2100 were based on interviews with over 50 scientific and environmental experts. Much of the information on climate and weather was based on the findings of the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment report (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The report is available online at http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/assessments-reports.htm

We have provided an annotated script of the program available online that lists specific sources for each of the scenarios in Earth 2100 at this link: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Earth2100/story?id=7736882&page=1

[I recommend that you take a look at this web site, since much valuable information is given, along with many sources.]

'Earth 2100': Note from the Producer

Explore the Sciene Behind the Making of 'Earth 2100'; Annotated Transcripts
June 2, 2009

The scenarios in Earth 2100 are not a prediction of what will happen but rather a warning about what might happen. They are based on the work of some of the world's top scientists and experts, as well as peer-reviewed articles from publications around the world. These notes are just a glimpse of the wide and diverse sources used to develop this program.

ABC News' "Earth 2100," hosted by Bob Woodruff, takes viewers on a journey through what the next century could have in store.

It is important to add that not all of the scientists we interviewed would agree with each specific scenario we present, or with our exact time frame. For example, some experts think that the more catastrophic events we depict would be unlikely to happen before the middle of the 22nd century, while others, like Jared Diamond, think that they could happen much sooner.

Though there is some disagreement about the specifics, there is widespread agreement among the 50-plus experts we spoke to in the course of our 18 months working on this show that if we do not change course in the near future, the collapse of our civilization is a real possibility.

When an insurance company, or an institution like the Pentagon, prepares for future threats, they always develop a worst case scenario -- a sober assessment, based on expert research, of the most serious possible risks. To avoid the worst, they believe, you must plan for it.

This program was developed to show the worst-case scenario for human civilization. Again, we are not saying that these events will happen -- rather, that if we fail to seriously address the complex problems of climate change, resource depletion and overpopulation, they are much more likely to happen

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11. Thoughts on a [Possible] Coming Vegetarian Revolution

Thanks to both Dan Brook and Lewis Regenstein, authors and JVNA advisors, for sending me the article below:


Foreign Policy - Wed, 06/03/2009
Meat: the slavery of our time
How the coming vegetarian revolution will arrive by force.

By Jim Motavalli

I have a prediction: Sooner than you might think, this will be a vegetarian world. Future generations will find the idea of eating meat both morally absurd and logistically impossible. Of course, one need only look at the booming meat industry, the climbing rates of meat consumption in the developing world, and the menu of just about any restaurant to call me crazy. But already, most people know that eating red meat is bad for their health and harmful for the planet. It's getting them to actually change their diet that's the hard part -- and that's exactly why it won't happen by choice.

Going by the numbers, eating meat is pretty hard to justify for the even moderately health-conscious. A National Cancer Institute report released last March found that people who ate the most red meat were, as the New York Times put it, "most likely to die from cancer, heart disease and other causes." The biggest abstainers "were least likely to die." Those who eat five ounces of meat daily, (the equivalent of one and a half Quarter Pounders or Big Macs) increase their risk from cancer or heart disease by 30 percent compared to those who eat two-thirds of an ounce daily -- a stark difference.

The environmental impact is also crystal clear -- and similarly appalling. "Livestock's Long Shadow," a 2006 report by the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organzation (FAO), found that livestock is a major player in climate change, accounting for 18 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions (measured in carbon dioxide equivalents), or more than the entire global transportation system.

The obvious solution to both health and environmental disasters is to stop eating meat altogether. But this is easier said than done. Even the studies addressing the impact of meat on the planet downplay vegetarianism, as if the authors are nervous to press it on people. Going veggie is not even proposed as one of the FAO's "mitigation options" (which instead include conservation tillage, organic farming, and better nutrition for livestock to reduce methane gas production). Nor is it emphasized in "Happier Meals: Rethinking the Global Meat Industry," a report by Danielle Nierenberg at the Worldwatch Institute. The study's author is herself a vegan, but she told me, "Food choices are a very personal decision for most people. We are only now convincing them that this is a tool at their disposal if they care about the environment."

She has a point: Giving up meat is tough, and arguing people into it is probably a losing proposition. Even with all the statistics out there about the dangers of meat, there are fewer vegetarians in the world than you'd think. A Harris poll conducted in 2006 for the Vegetarian Resource Group found that only 2.3 percent of American adults 18 or older claim never to eat meat, fish, or fowl. A larger group, 6.7 percent, say they "never eat meat," but often that means they only avoid the red kind. Worldwide, local vegetarian societies report high participation in just a few places - for example, 40 percent in India, 10 percent in Italy, 9 percent in Germany, 8.5. percent in Israel, and 6 percent in Britain.

So how will we become a vegetarian planet? The numbers suggest that we won't stop eating meat simply because it's "the right thing to do." People love it too much. Instead, we'll be forced to stop. By 2025, we simply won't have the resources to keep up the habit. According to the FAO report, 33 percent of the world's arable land is devoted to growing crops for animal feed, and grazing is a major factor in deforestation around the world. It's also incredibly water-intensive. The average U.S. diet requires twice the daily amount of water as does an equally nutritious vegetarian diet, reports the Worldwatch Institute. Meanwhile, there will be more than 8 billion people on this earth, and two-thirds of the world's population will live in water-stressed regions.

Sounds like a mess -- and one that doesn't bode well for our cattle cravings. Meat will disappear -- except as a luxury available to few -- and the ethical issues will evolve, too. In the way that slavery, once a broad social norm, later became an unthinkable crime, we can expect to see a similar shift once meat-eating disappears from our planet. Perhaps, some day, the very idea of eating animal flesh will seem as remote as the idea of owning humans does now. So if you're a carnivore, enjoy now -- before the inevitable vegetarian revolution begins.

Jim Motavalli is a senior writer at E/The Environmental Magazine

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12. New Book Promotes Animal Protection

Re. Bad Hare Days

Forwarded message:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I would like to tell you about a book I have written and had published on the controversial subject of live hare coursing in Ireland and the campaign to protect the Irish Hare. It's called Bad Hare Days (published by Olympia Publishers of London) and in it I recount the ups and downs of campaigning on the issue over three decades.

In addition to exploring the nature of hare coursing from my own perspective as an animal protection campaigner, I also describe the social and psychological impact on campaigners of engaging in a difficult and tension-wrought campaign aimed at changing public opinion on this and other animal protection issues.

As I lack the resources to mount a huge promotional drive of the kind one associates with celebrity authors, I am doing what I can to “spread the word” about the book.

I'm not sure if it would be possible for you to mention the book on your website or in a newsletter. If not, I'd appreciate if perhaps you might tell someone about it. The “Bush Telegraph” can be most effective too!

If interested, you might like to read a review of the book and some further details at the following link:

Reproduced below is what the publisher's promotional piece has to say about the book:

Bad Hare Days by John Fitzgerald

In Ireland the 'humble hare' has been the subject of great controversy. After years of an abusive sport, which resulted in its child-like death screams being heard regularly throughout Ireland, a result was achieved.

For those few dedicated people trying desperately to save the gentl creature from the horrors of the cruel sport of hare coursing, the struggle was painful and fought against great odds. The author writes about one of the 'world's most barbaric blood sports' continuing during a deadly period for the hares, the 1980s.

His own peaceful and non-violent action and that of, initially, a few others' did arouse the public and achieve what at first appeared to be a hard-won benefit to the hare. But the hare's troubles were - and are -
> far from over. Though it can no longer be torn apart by greyhounds, now muzzled, it can still be mauled, injured, and tossed about like a rag doll on the coursing field.

In addition to highlighting the hare's sad plight, this is also a
campaigner's story. The author recounts vividly the ups and downs of his own fight against cruelty. He paid a major price in suffering as a result of being persecuted for his beliefs. The gentle hare, apart from its use and abuse in coursing, has now become an endangered species in Ireland, and this book reinforces its right to be protected.

About the Author:

John Fitzgerald is a free-lance journalist and writer living in Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland. Before taking up these twin
pursuits, he had worked for almost a decade in a farmers' co-operative, during which time he wrote hundreds of letters to newspapers exposing cruelty to animals in general, but hare coursing in particular, as part of a national campaign against blood sports in Ireland. He has been involved for almost three decades in Ireland's anti-hare coursing movement and the present book focuses on a tumultuous phase in the campaign that had a devastating immediate and long-term impact on his
life. John Fitzgerald has contributed articles to a number of national and provincial Irish newspapers and to the popular Ireland's Own magazine. He is also the author of four previous books, all dealing with aspects of his native county's heritage, history, and folklore.

Thanking you for your kind attention,


John Fitzgerald

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