October 25, 2009

10/21/2009 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Call For Volunteers To Get Our Messages Out and Promote Jewish Vegetarianism More Effectively

2. World Watch Article Argues that ‘Livestock’ Agriculture Emits Over Half of Human-Caused Greenhouse Gases!!!

3. Update On October 23-24 (Parshat Noach) as a Global Healing Shabbat

4. JVNA to Be Represented at Upcoming Hazon Food Conference/Call for Others to Help

5. Veg Climate Alliance Planning All Day Educational Event as Part of Copenhagen Climate Conference To Get Vegetarianism Onto Global Agenda

6. Getting Vegetarianism Onto the October 24 350.org Global Climate Change Events

7. Please Contact Your Local Community and Cable TV Stations …

8. Toward a Jewish and Interface Approach to Climate Change

9. NY Times Front Page on E-coli Laden Meat 10/4/09

10. Excellent Video Re Dietary Connections to Climate Change

11. Two Jewish Environmental Groups Reaching Out to Jewish Community

12. Action Alert: Please Sign Turkey Pardon Petition

13. New Group Aims to Convert Copenhagen Climate Conference into “Hopehagen”

14. Green Jobs, Climate Justice Webcast Scheduled

15. Action Alert: Write US Senators to Support Climate-Healing Legislation/More on Climate Healing Shabbat Next Shabbat

16. Two Excellent Very Short Videos Connect Eating Meat to Global Warming

Some material has been deferred to a later update/newsletter to keep this one from being even longer.

[Materials in brackets like this [ ] within an article or forwarded message are my editorial notes/comments.]

Opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the JVNA, unless otherwise indicated, but may be presented to increase awareness and/or to encourage respectful dialogue. Also, material re conferences, retreats, forums, trips, and other events does not necessarily imply endorsement by JVNA or endorsement of the kashrut, Shabbat observances, or any other Jewish observances, but may be presented for informational purposes. Please use e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and web sites to get further information about any event that you are interested in. Also, JVNA does not necessarily agree with all positions of groups whose views are included or whose events are announced in this newsletter.

As always, your comments and suggestions are very welcome.



1. Call For Volunteers To Get Our Messages Out and Promote Jewish Vegetarianism More Effectively

As I have stated several times, we have truth, morality and justice on our side. It is also increasingly clear that a major societal shift to plant-based diets is essential if the world is to avoid the unprecedented catastrophe the world is rapidly approaching, so we are working on the most critical issue facing humanity today, and we have an essential message that is generally being overlooked. So, it is essential that we get our message out more effectively.

So, I am seeking a volunteer who can put in even a few hours a week who has the technical expertise to improve our newsletters and help get them out to our constantly increasing audience. I would still play a major role in preparing material for the newsletter. If you can help in this way and/or possibly other ways, please let me know so that our essential messages can reach wider audiences in interesting, exciting ways. Many thanks.

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2. World Watch Article Argues that ‘Livestock’ Agriculture Emits Over Half of Human-Caused Greenhouse Gases!!!

A cover article “Livestock and Climate Change: What if the key actors in climate change are...cows, pigs, and chickens?” in the November/December issue of World Watch magazine has the potential of changing the outlook for effectively responding to the impending global climate catastrophe. The authors, environmentalists Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, discuss all phases of livestock agriculture and conclude that this sector causes the emission of at least half of all human-caused greenhouse gases. They argue that food producers should mount a major campaign to promote the consumption of plant-based foods, including meat analogs.

Further information can be found at the World Watch magazine web site (www.worldwatch.org). The complete article can be read at http://www.worldwatch.org/files/pdf/Livestock%20and%20Climate%20Change.pdf.

Since this article has great potential to effect the dialog on climate change and help shift our imperiled planet to a sustainable path, please spread this message as widely as possible. However, at first it is important to try to reach mainstream groups and publications, so that it is not thought that this is something that only vegetarian and animal rights groups are supporting. Please forward this information to your local publications and to influential people in your community. What would be especially great would b if noted climate experts endorsed the conclusions in the article.

A press release from World watch magazine is below.

Many thanks,

Richard (Schwartz)

Director, Veg Climate Alliance



Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Contact: Julia Tier

(+1 202) 452.1999 x594


Livestock Emissions: Still Grossly Underestimated?

Washington, D.C.—The environmental impact of the lifecycle and supply chain of animals raised for food has been vastly underestimated, and in fact accounts for at least half of all human-caused greenhouse gases (GHGs), according to Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, co-authors of “Livestock and Climate Change” in the latest issue of World Watch magazine.

A widely cited 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, Livestock’s Long Shadow, estimates that 18 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions are attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, pigs, and poultry. But recent analysis by Goodland and Anhang finds that livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide GHG emissions.

Reviewing both direct and indirect sources of GHG emissions from livestock, the study finds that previous calculations have both underestimated and overlooked certain emissions sources as well as assigned emissions they deem to be livestock-related to the wrong sectors. The authors locate these discrepancies in previous analyses of livestock respiration, land use, and methane.

Based on their research, Goodland and Anhang conclude that replacing livestock products with soy-based and other alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change. “This approach would have far more rapid effects on GHG emissions and their atmospheric concentrations—and thus on the rate the climate is warming—than actions to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy.”


For more information please contact:

Julia Tier, tel: (+1) 202 452-1999 x594, e-mail: jtier@worldwatch.org

Also in the November/December 2009 Issue:

Vision Quest: Who Will Control the Future of the Amazon?, by David Dudenhoefer

A complex and high-stakes struggle over the Amazon forests and their resources heats up.

Worldwatch First Person, by Ben Block

Seeking a Low-Carbon Future.

Vital Signs: Growth in Protected Areas Continues, by Margarita Yatsevich

Plus: Life-Cycle Studies: Beer, Eye on Earth, Talking Pictures, and Matters of Scale: Blogging Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics.

For more information or for a digital copy of the magazine, please contact:

Julia Tier, Tel: (+1) 202.452.1999 x594, E-mail: jtier@worldwatch.org


About World Watch magazine: This bimonthly magazine is published by the Worldwatch Institute, an independent research organization based in Washington, D.C. Launched in 1988, the magazine has won the Alternative Press Award for investigative journalism, the Project Censored Award, and a number of Utne Reader awards.

Subscription Information: One-year subscriptions (6 issues) within the U.S., Canada, and Mexico are $33 for individuals, $50 for institutions, and $25 for students. International subscriptions are $51 for individuals, $63 for institutions, and $40 for students. Purchase subscriptions through the Worldwatch website: www.worldwatch.org. or call (+1) 888 544-2303 (in U.S.) or 1.570.320.2076 (from overseas).

Worldwatch E-mail list: If you would like to receive Worldwatch press advisories regularly, please send your request to Julia Tier at jtier@worldwatch.org or call (+1) 202 452-1999 x594.

About the Worldwatch Institute: The Worldwatch Institute is an independent research organization recognized by opinion leaders around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Its mission is to generate and promote insights and ideas that empower decision makers to build an ecologically sustainable society that meets human needs.

For more information, visit www.worldwatch.org/.

Julia Tier

Communications Associate

Worldwatch Institute


+1 202.452.1992 x594

1776 Massachusetts Ave, NW Suite 800

Washington DC 20036 USA



Related Article from Bloomberg News

Livestock Accounts for Half of Greenhouse Gases, Study Claims

By Rudy Ruitenberg

Oct. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Livestock production accounts for at least half of human-caused greenhouse-gases emissions, according to a study by Washington-based researcher Worldwatch Institute that disputes a 2006 United Nations report.

Cattle, pigs and other domesticated animals discharge gases that are the equivalent of at least 32.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide, or 51 percent of world emissions, wrote Robert Goodland, former lead environmental adviser at the World Bank, and Jeff Anhang, a World Bank researcher. That is more than double the amount estimated by the UN.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s 2006 report “Livestock’s Long Shadow” attributed 18 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions to livestock. The FAO study excluded respiration by livestock, saying it is not a net source of CO2, a claim dismissed by Goodland and Anhang.

“A molecule of CO2 exhaled by livestock is no more natural than one from an auto tailpipe,” the researchers said. “Today, tens of billions more livestock are exhaling CO2 than in pre- industrial days.”

Breathing by livestock adds 8.77 million tons of carbon- dioxide equivalents to the atmosphere annually, the authors calculated. Carbon dioxide is the main heat-trapping gas blamed by scientists for climate change.

While the farm animal population has increased, the earth’s capacity to keep carbon from the atmosphere by absorbing it in plant mass has declined because forest has been cleared, the researchers said.

Overlooked, Undercounted

Goodland and Anhang also said the FAO report overlooked land use and undercounted the number of livestock, as well as excluding factors such as higher cooking temperatures typically required to prepare meat.

“The lifecycle and supply chain of domesticated animals raised for food have been vastly underestimated as a source of greenhouse gases,” the researcher wrote. “It implies that replacing livestock products with better alternatives would be the best strategy for reversing climate change.”

Replacing meat and dairy with soybean-based alternatives would mitigate climate change, Goodland and Anhang said. U.S. sales of “soy analogs” amounted to $1.9 billion in 2007, compared with meat-product sales of more than $100 billion, according to the report.

“This 1.9 to 100 ratio suggests much room for growth in sales of meat and dairy analogs,” the researcher said. “Worldwide, the market for meat and dairy analogs is potentially almost as big as the market for livestock products.”

Goodland and Anhang also said artificial meat cultivated in laboratories from livestock cells may be an alternative to livestock production, though production and commercialization are still “several years off” and it is unclear whether “in vitro meat” will be able to compete in terms of cost and taste.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rudy Ruitenberg in Paris at rruitenberg@bloomberg.net.

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3. Update On October 23-24 (Parshat Noach) as a Global Healing Shabbat

For information about this important Shabbat, please visit www.theshalomcenter.org

Ark-full of Ideas for Noah: Climate Healing Shabbat

Forwarded message from Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center and organizer of the special Shabbat:

Dear chevra,

As the Shabbat (October 24) on which we read the story of Noah, the Flood, the Ark, and the Rainbow draws near -- the day a broad spectrum of the Jewish community has named Climate Healing Shabbat – we have a treasury — an Ark-full!! -- of new information and ideas for you.

Many articles -- here are some of them -- appear on our Website in the Shabbat Noah section:


Stories, songs, midrash, Brachot,

Shalom, Arthur

“Jewish Leaders call for "Climate Healing Shabbat" at Noah/Rainbow Torah-time, Oct 23-24

“Climate Policy: 7 Principles for Jewish & Interfaith Action”

“Actions on Shabbat Noach”

Communities in the US, Latin America, and Israel have already committed to participating in Global Climate-Healing Shabbat Read their plans! Especially new -– resources from Canfei Nesharim, leading Orthodox ecology center.

“Evanston IL Interfaith Celebration of Creation & a Call for Climate Healing”

"Midrash on Noah and the Flood: Texts on the Preservation of Species and Human Responsibility,"
compiled by Rabbi David Seidenberg

"Preserving the Eyes of the Universe -- Responsibility, Ecology, and Humankind’s Role in the Universe" by Rabbi David J. Cooper of Oakland, CA

"The Return of Captain Noah"

A story by Rabbi Phyllis Berman & Rabbi Arthur Waskow from their book Tales Of Tikkun: New Jewish Stories To Heal The Wounded World:

Scorching heat poured down outside the cave. The air wavered as it rose from baking rock. Within the cave, carved deep into the Ararat mountainside, all was as cool as it had been when Noah and Na’amah took apart the great Ark and packed it away, spar by spar and plank by plank.

The Voice filled the cave. “Sleepers, awake! Noah, Na’amah — I need you once again!”

"God Said to Noah: An Old/ New Song to Avert a New Flood"

God said to Noah, The earth’s getting hotter, hotter,

God said to Noah, The earth’s getting hotter, hotter,

Yet she is My (clap) beloved daughter, daughter -

Children of the Lord.

People are making My air too smoky, smoky; Fix it now! –- And don't be pokey pokey ...

“New Haftarah for the Rainbow Covenant: Hebrew & English text” by Rabbis Arthur Waskow & Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

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4. JVNA to Be Represented at Upcoming Hazon Food Conference/Call for Others to Help

Forwarded message from JVNA representative Michael Bedar, who will be on a panel discussing issues related to Judaism and vegetarianism and will distribute copies of our DVD:

B''H {With G-d’s help]

Dear Richard,

It was good to speak with you and connect on your endeavors, your reflections on Israel today, and your coming climate/350 work in Copenhagen. On that note, because I know there is a diet and vegan contingent present, I am happy to share with you The State of the World Forum (worldforum.org), where I could make an introduction for you.

Thank you so much for your support of my speaking on the Hazon Food Conference Vegetarian Roundtable. . . . When speaking and attending at the Food Conference, I will articulate the mission of the JVNA as a JVNA representative, and I will distribute up to 200 copies of A Sacred Duty. I will be giving out the rest of the 200 copies of A Sacred Duty during my other public interactions in the Jewish community, including the progressive Rabbis I am involved with at Beth Sholom.

[Information about the Hazon food conference is below. If you can attend and support Michael’s talk and help distribute DVDs, that would be very helpful and much appreciated. Please let me know. Thanks. Because we already have 2 other JVNA activists besides Michael planning to attend, we have the potential of really having an major impact at the Hazon conference.]

The Hazon Food Conference information is below. Remember, the Vegetarian Roundtable [at which Michael Bedar will be speaking] is 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Friday, December 25 (the 8 of Tevet), will be comprised of Moderator Alexander Sharone, and four speakers including myself. The panelists include the backgrounds of Torah values, nutrition, nursing, agriculture, animal rights, media, and filmmaking. We will address the audience concerning the diversity of where Jewish people are at with relating to plant-sourced only diets. We will present, in a lively, attractive, and inclusive way, the ethics, theology, ecology, climate, health, nutrition, justice, and how to actually prepare sustainable vegan food.

The following is pasted from the Hazon Food Conference Website, http://hazon.org/go.php?q=/food/conference/2009FC/theHazonFoodConference.html, or just www.hazon.org

Join us in 2009! 
December 24th, 3 pm – 27th, 1 pm 
Asilomar Conference and Retreat Center
On the Monterey Coast, CA

Join the thinkers and doers of the New Jewish Food Movement – where contemporary food conversations meet ancient Jewish traditions. The fourth annual Hazon Food Conference is the only place in the world where farmers and rabbis, nutritionists and chefs, vegans and omnivores, come together to explore the dynamic interplay of food, Jewish tradition and contemporary life.

The Hazon Food Conference is at the forefront of a national movement that explores the intersection of Jewish life and contemporary food issues. Conference themes focused on Jewish food culture, cutting edge food law and policy, food justice, kosher meat issues, health and nutrition, cooking and gardening, and Israeli food and agriculture.

Don't miss four days of do-it-yourself food workshops, cooking demonstrations, lectures, discussions, kids and family activities, joyful Shabbat celebrations, and of course, delicious and consciously prepared food.

The Hazon Food Conference is an inclusive community that welcomes everyone interested in Jewish life, the environment, and contemporary food issues. We welcome those from across the spectrum of Jewish practice or knowledge, people from other religious backgrounds, and all gender identities and sexual orientations. The Hazon Food Conference provides a comfortable space for all to engage with Jewish culture and food issues!

To learn more about Food Conference programs, click here.


The Hazon Food Conference explores the intersection between contemporary food issues and Jewish life. It will bring together more than 600 chefs, farmers, students, families, educators, and food enthusiasts for an engaging, educational experience centered around who we are as Jews and the food we eat to nourish ourselves. While we are rooted in the Jewish community, our work attracts participants from different life-stages, professions, and religious backgrounds. The Conference features diverse, engaging sessions for both adults and children.

Michael Aaron Bedar

Filmography 1999-2009: www.environ-mentalproductions.com

Spreading Film Arts that Inspire the Choice of Eating for Healing

In Residence:

The Joy of Learning Center

San Rafael, CA 94903


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5. Veg Climate Alliance Planning All Day Educational Event as Part of Copenhagen Climate Conference To Get Vegetarianism Onto Global Agenda

The latest draft of a program and topics can be read by visiting:


This is major event with many key speakers expected and the showing of many videos, all designed to try to help initiate the major societal shift to plant-based diets that is essential if the world is to avoid an unprecedented global climate catastrophe.

Because of the urgency of the issues, I am probably going to go to Copenhagen for a few days where I will introduce the educational event and help moderate discussions.

Suggestions very welcome. Thanks.

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6. Getting Vegetarianism Onto the October 24 350.org Global Climate Change Events

Forwarded message from Leron Rabinowiz. Organizer of campaigns for meatless days once a week:


Let's "take advantage" of the International Media attention that is already
being given to the global 350org events. Out of the 1,714 action in 138
countries the following was the first to address the diet aspect:


The more Meat Less events we create the better chances we can get on
mainstream media again. Similar to us getting the veggie message on NBC:


So let's take advantage of the fact that the media is already covering these
350.orgA events, we can once again get the veggie message covered on mainstream media!!

October 24, 2009 is International Climate Change Action. That’s only about [a few] days away. So there is [some] time to organize something.. It’s really easy, simple and straightforward. Just register a Meat Free event

and pick a location near an existing 350 event in your area – so as to take
advantage of the foot traffic.

Simply hand out vegan starter kits, Alternative Living fliers, SOS material and please do consider also consider handing out the Meat Free business

cards which direct people to sign the petition at http://www.meatfreepetition.com/print.html – and thus address one of the main driving forces of animal agriculture. By gathering enough signatures we'll hopefully generate enough pressure to end the subsides, thus revealing the real cost of meat and making it too expensive for people to purchase.

Register your Meat Free event here http://www.350.org/oct24. We’ll include your event in our Press Release and we'll post all “Meat Free” themed events here on our Facebook fan page thus generating tremendous online momentum:


We have over 700 plus fans. As well as on our Facebook group page which has close
to 2,000 people from around the world


We already have a professional marketing and PR firm that will help to generate the print media interest.

Please do think about it and I look forward to hearing what you have to say about this special opportunity. Let’s not let it pass us by; Let's work together to make mainstream media report the meat free trends around the world.

Here is a video of the Supreme Master Television coverage of our last successful event titled “Peace begins on our Plate” which took place around the world: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgRJS4IdbaM

If you have any questions about registering, please do contact me anytime.

All the best,

Leron Rabinowiz

Meat Free Movement

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7. Please Contact Your Local Community and Cable TV Stations …

and ask if they would be willing to show “A Sacred Duty.” We would be very happy to provide complimentary DVDs. Thanks.

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8. Toward a Jewish and Interface Approach to Climate Change

Forwarded message from the Shalom Center:



The U.S. Senate is taking up the issue of climate policy. We at The Shalom Center will soon be reporting on the Boxer-Kerry bill. Meanwhile, the world's governments are trying to shape international policy in preparing for a crucial conference in mid-December in Copenhagen.

At the same time, grass-roots actions to insist on change to heal the earth are gaining strength.

A very broad spectrum of the American Jewish community has committed itself to observe Shabbat Noah (October 23-24) as Climate Healing Shabbat. That is when we read the Torah passages about the danger of the death of all life on earth, and the obligation of human beings to act in that crisis -- the story of the Flood, the Ark, and the Rainbow. For more information see http://www.shalomctr.org/taxonomy/term/68

To list your own Shabbat Noah project, please click to: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/602/t/4180/event/index.jsp?event_KEY=50242

The Shalom Center has developed a seven-point set of principles that we suggest should underlie Jewish and interfaith efforts to shape US and world policy on the healing the climate crisis. We welcome your comments. Please forward this note to your friends, co-workers, and congregants.
(Special thanks to the ALEPH rabbinical-student class on Eco-Judaism that discussed these principles.)

1) Our planet has always been a living demonstration that "YHWH Echad" ("the Breathing Spirit of the universe is One") -- but the climate crisis invites us into the clearest awareness in all human history of that truth. The planet is in this as One. Policy must reflect that. (Underlying Jewish principles: The Sh'ma, especially the traditional second paragraph on rain and crops, etc.

2) The cost of spewing CO2 & methane into the atmosphere must be greatly increased, by taxes and/ or "cap & trade" that require payment from the carbon-producers according to the damage they are causing.

(Underlying Jewish principles: Exodus 21:" "If a bull gores a man or a woman to death, the bull must be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible. If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull must be stoned and the owner also must be put to death. However, if payment is demanded of him, he may redeem his life by paying whatever is demanded.)

3) The pool of money this brings in must be used to prevent damage to the poor and middle class through higher costs of fuel and energy. The climate healing fund should be used in rebates, more for the poorer people etc. (Underlying Jewish principles: Tithing, gleaning, and obligatory tzedakah to assist the poor, orphans, widows, the landless.)

4) Big Coal or Big Oil have great political power, but must not be permitted to distort needed policy to keep benefiting themselves. For example, the EPA should continue to have power to enforce CO2 limits upon coal producers. (Underlying Jewish principles: Resistance to Pharaoh, Antiochus, etc.)

5) Inside the US, industries and regions that are specially endangered by climate/ energy reform (e.g. coal mining, oil drilling, autos) must be given special help for retraining in green jobs. (Underlying Jewish principles: Maimonides 8th and highest approach to tzedakah: Help the poor to end their own poverty by providing capital, etc: A fishing rod, not just a fish.)

6) Outside the US, poor nations must be given major help by the rich for two purposes: pursuing economic development thru non-fossil pathways, and meeting urgent crises already swamping / flooding/ scorching them. (Underlying Jewish principles: Maimonides 8th and highest approach to tzedakah: Help the poor to end their own poverty by providing capital, etc: A fishing rod, not just a fish.)

7) Public policy must start encouraging what we usually think of as "personal" choices for non-climate-destroying practices: Much more restful and reflective time for family & neighborhood, much less "production /consumption" time. Frugality in energy use, eating less meat. Simplicity in life-path. More money for learning, arts, etc; less for making Things. Taxes, subsidies, wages /hours laws, etc., are all ways of encouraging these directions. (Underlying Jewish principles: Traditionally, Shabbat (an earth-healing as well as human-healing practice) was a communal commitment, not just individual choice.

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9. NY Times Front Page on E-coli Laden Meat 10/4/09

Forwarded message from DawnWatch <news@dawnwatch.com>

The Sunday, October 4, New York Times has an article on the front page, titled, "The Burger That Shattered Her Life."

The piece, by reporter Michael Moss, opens with a description of a young woman permanently paralyzed after having eaten an e-coli tainted burger. It then describes the process by which the burger got to her dinner plate.

It reminds us that "hamburger meat is often an amalgam of various grades of meat from different parts of cows and even from different slaughterhouses."

Of the hamburger in question we learn:

"The ingredients came from slaughterhouses in Nebraska, Texas and Uruguay, and from a South Dakota company that processes fatty trimmings and treats them with ammonia to kill bacteria."

We read about cattle arriving at slaughterhouses smeared with the feces they've been living in at feedlots, which is often inadvertently spread to the meat as workers slice away at the carcasses or when "large clamps that hold the hide during processing sometimes slip and smear the meat with feces...."

The article makes it clear that testing for e-coli is beyond lax. We read:

"An Agriculture Department survey of more than 2,000 plants taken after the Cargill outbreak showed that half of the grinders did not test their finished ground beef for E. coli; only 6 percent said they tested incoming ingredients at least four times a year."


"Many big slaughterhouses will sell only to grinders who agree not to test their shipments for E. coli, according to officials at two large grinding companies."

Even after the outbreak that paralyzed the woman on whom the article focuses, we learn that Cargill, the production plant from which that meat had come, "agreed to increase testing of finished ground beef... but would not test incoming ingredients."

We read about Department of Agriculture (USDA) investigation of Cargill and learn that "investigators discovered that their own inspectors had lodged complaints about unsanitary conditions at the plant in the weeks before the outbreak, but that they had failed to set off any alarms within the department. Inspectors had found 'large amounts of patties on the floor,' grinders that were gnarly with old bits of meat....'"

Moss also tells us of USDA slaughterhouse inspection reports that were released by the department through the Freedom of Information Act with blacked out details of Cargill's grinding operation. The reporter comments:

"Those documents illustrate the restrained approach to enforcement by a department whose missions include ensuring meat safety and promoting agriculture markets."

That conflict of interest and the resulting danger to the US food supply is covered in depth in Fast Food Nation. I also look at it, often citing Fast Food Nation, in Thanking the Monkey, pages 187-193.

You'll find the whole fascinating New York Times article on line at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html

Check it out, and please email it to all of your friends. You can read some of the readers' comments and post your own beneath the article. And most importantly, please send a letter to the editor. Few of the comments either discuss the treatment of the animals on feedlots and in fast-paced slaughterhouses, or note how easy and healthful it is to live without consuming them. That is ground we can cover in letters to the editor.

The New York Times takes letters at letters@nytimes.com

Always include your full name, address, and daytime phone number when sending a letter to the editor. Remember that shorter letters are more likely to be published. And please be sure not to use any comments or phrases from me or from any other alerts in your letters. Editors are looking for original responses from their readers.

I send thanks to Lew Regenstein and Tim Gorski for making sure we all saw this article.

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 http://www.DawnWatch.com. 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 ?www.ThankingtheMonkey.com for a fun celeb-studded promo video and information on Karen Dawn's 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." And check out Karen's new blog at www.ThankingtheMonkey.com/blog!

To discontinue DawnWatch alerts go to http://www.DawnWatch.com/nothanks.php

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10. Excellent Video Re Dietary Connections to Climate Change

Watch and vote for this video about saving the planet. It goes to the UN. They need to listen to this message:


So, please help and forward it to others to vote as well.

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11. Two Jewish Environmental Groups Reaching Out to Jewish Community

Lewis Regenstein (regenstein@mindspring.com) has shared an article from JTA.org with us. Here is what Lew says:

Follow the link to read the article "Jewish environmental groups appealing to community":


Jewish environmental groups appealing to community

October 15, 2009

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Two Jewish environmental organizations are launching communitywide campaigns on environmental issues.

The Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life and Hazon are starting pledge drives focusing on the issues of energy and climate change. The goal is to encourage Jewish people and institutions to commit to actions, including adding environmental issues to the community's legislative agenda, improving the sustainability of their buildings and working for a less carbon-based energy policy.

The campaigns also will call for Jewish institutions to create "green teams or sustainability committees aimed at starting the process of setting specific goals for lowering the carbon footprint of their institution and the whole community," according to a news release.

Hazon has established a new Web site to provide educational and other materials.

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12. Action Alert: Please Sign Turkey Pardon Petition

Forwarded message from Alex Hershaft, director of Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM):

In honor of Gentle Thanksgiving, FARM (Farm Animal Rights Movement) has launched a petition urging President Obama to pardon all the turkeys bound for the dinner plates at the White House this year.

Please click on the link below to send a letter to President Obama:


Then forward this message to your friends.

Find out more about FARM's Gentle Thanksgiving campaign at www.GentleThanksgiving.org.

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13. New Group Aims to Convert Copenhagen Climate Conference into “Hopehagen”


Their aim is to show that the upcoming Copenhagen conference on climate change can provide hope to the world, in terms of coming up with proposals to reduce global climate-related threats.

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14. Green Jobs, Climate Justice Webcast Scheduled

Forwarded message from Larry Troster

Subject: [KOL-CHAI] Register for GreenFaith's Green Jobs, Climate Justice Webcast Nov. 12

Larry Troster <ltroster@OPTONLINE.NET>

Dear Friends -

This fall, the Senate is working on a national energy bill – the most important environmental bill of the decade. We need you and your congregation to work for strong legislation.

Join us for GreenFaith’s Green Jobs, Climate Justice – a national webcast on the energy bill - on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 7:30-9:00 p.m. ET. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. Register right now by clicking on the link at www.greenfaith.org.

Learn from Leaders, Mobilize your Community

Green Jobs, Climate Justice will give you the chance to learn from experts about what we need in a strong bill. You’ll get education and advocacy resources for your congregation. You’ll hear from

1. the Blue-Green Alliance on green jobs

2. the Environmental justice community on reducing urban air pollution

3. the Union of Concerned Scientists on protecting developing countries from global warming

You’ll also hear Jewish and Evangelical leaders share why these issues are so important.

GreenFaith will provide education and advocacy resources for your congregation. Register for the webcast at www.greenfaith.org and receive a theological statement, discussion guide and letter-writing kit.

Climate Change – a Mounting Disaster

Every month, we hear more alarming news about damage from climate change –

a. more severe storms

b. more spreading of disease

c. more environmental refugees

Without strong legislation, the future is bleak.

Benefits of Strong Climate Legislation

A strong energy bill can create enormous benefits, such as

1. creating thousands of green jobs

2. reducing air pollution in our cities

3. protecting developing countries from the effects of global warming.

We need your help to reach as many people as possible with our message – today. Register today for Green Jobs, Climate Justice by clicking on the link at www.greenfaith.org.

Rabbi Lawrence Troster,

Director, Fellowship Program,


201 833-5166 (home office)

732 565-7740 ex. 302 (office)


46 Bayard St.,

Suite 401,

New Brunswick, NJ 08901

"How great are Your works, O Lord,

How very profound Your designs!"

(Psalm 92:6)

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15. Action Alert: Write US Senators to Support Climate-Healing Legislation/More on Climate Healing Shabbat Next Shabbat

Forwarded message from Rabbi Arthur Waskow, director of the Shalom Center:

Dear Shalom-seekers,

We are at a great choice point for healing the planetary climate crisis --- the most dangerous crisis in all human history, but one we can still heal. Before I expain why and how, let me say right away that we have made it possible and easy for you to write your Senators to support climate-healing action. The letter is at -


And I also want to say right away that in accord with next Shabbat (October 23-24, the story of the Flood & Rainbow) having been proclaimed Climate Healing Shabbat, and in the light of calls for world-wide action on Oct. 24 by many environmental leaders, I hope you will urge your own synagogue, church, or masjid board or social action committee; your havurah, local chapter of the PTA or teachers union or AJCommittee or National Council of Jewish Women; your local Jewish or church newspaper, to take a stand urging strong climate-healing action by your Senators. 

Why is it so important to act NOW?

 Because the US Senate is now considering a major, flawed, but useful bill to heal our plant from global scorching.

 And why is that so important? 

Because the US contributes far more per capita to global scorching by our over-use of fossil fuels than any other country. So the first turning point will be getting the US government to define this as a great issue by passing a major bill, even if it has important flaws.
IF that happens, other major governments (outside Europe, which is well ahead) will have good reason to move as well, and the Copenhagen conference may point forward instead of bogging down in despair. 
And if a major bill is passed, that COULD - it depends on us, the people - energize instead of lulling major public action by Americans. (The early civil rights bills and court actions in the 1950s were inadequate, but they encouraged widespread committed public action, and that in turn moved Congress to do much more.)

The US Senate now has before it a flawed but useful bill co-sponsored by Barbara Boxer of California and John Kerry of Massachusetts, with unexpected and important strong public support from Lindsey Graham, a Southern Republican ---- offered on some conditions. His support is important because it may well open the way for other Republicans, who will be necessary to reach the 60 required votes. 

In the view of one of the wisest and most knowledgeable analysts of Congressional enviro policy, David Roberts of Grist on-line enviro magazine, there is now reason for cautious optimism about the Senate's passing a bill. Roberts, though he views Graham's conditions as odious (allowing but not mandating off-shore oil drilling and nuclear power) thinks they will have little actual ecological down-sides because few companies expect to make money from drilling or nukes, whereas the finances of wind and solar energy are much more attractive. 

For David Roberts' full analysis of "Seven Reasons for Optimism about the Senate Bill," for our own "Seven Principles for Jewish & Interfaith Action on Climate Policy," and items on prayer, model sermon materials, songs, and stories for use on Shabbat Noah, see our section on Shabbat Noah at -

I don't want to blind-side you, our faithful Shalom Center members, readers, supporters, and activists. There are many environmental activists - and we agree! -- who think the crisis requires much more vigorous action than is set forth in the Kerry-Boxer bill and its House-passed counterpart, the watered-down Waxman-Markey bill. (Interesting that in each House there is one Jewish co-sponsor from California and one Christian from Massachusetts.) 

Some of these critics even oppose these bills. They seem to think that if the bills pass, the public will relax; that if they fail, there will be massive demands for much more radical action. My own experience both as an insider on Capitol Hill and as a street activist outsider leads me to a different sense - that utter Congressional failure will lead to despair, but half-success will lead to public action, action to more success, more success to more action, and then to even more effective law. 

So I urge you, our members, readers, and activists, to act NOW, especially using the momentum of the Shabbat of Noah (October 24) and its proclamation as Climate Healing Shabbat -- to work hard for the Senate bill.

I urge you to write this week to your Senators to urge them to support the Kerry-Boxer bill, and to keep it strong. If you click to --

you will find a model letter and an easy way to fax your Senators. I hope you will add your own words. 

 And I hope you will follow up by getting your own clubs, organizations, newspapers, and friends to take a stand supporting the bill and letting your Senators know. You could do this easily just by forwarding this letter to your friends, co-workers, and key local leaders. 

With blessings of shalom, salaam, peace! --
--- Arthur

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16. Two Excellent Very Short Videos Connect Eating Meat to Global Warming

Thanks to long-time vegetarian/AR Australian activist Philip Wollen for forwarding these links to us:



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