February 21, 2011

02/21/2011 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Important Book on Jewish Teachings on Animal Issues and Vegetarianism Now at JVNA Newsletter

2. Input and Blurbs Sought For My Manuscript “Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal Our Imperiled World”

3. Purim and Vegetarianism

4. Interview of Richard Schwartz by the European Vegetarian and Animal News Agency (EVANA) About “A Sacred Duty”

5. Teva Institute Plans Jewish Environmental Seminar

6. Talk Makes Very Powerful Case For Veganism

7. Climate Change a Major Factor Behind Turmoil in many Muslim Countries

8. Video Shows Two Israeli Rabbis Discussing Jewish Teachings on Compassion to Animals

9. World One Poor Harvest Away From Chaos

10. The Dark Side of Recent Headlines About Eggs

11. Compendium of Articles on Jewish Environmental Teachings Related to the Weekly Torah Readings Available From Canfei Nesharim

12. Is Our World on the Edge of Catastrophe?

13. Next Veggie Pride Parade Scheduled/I Am Scheduled to Speak/JVNA Will Have a Table/Volunteers Very Welcome

14. Action Alert: Effort to Mandate Environmental Education in Our Schools

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. Important Book on Jewish Teachings on Animal Issues and Vegetarianism Now at JVNA Newsletter

I am very pleased to report that the complete text of Vision of Eden: Animal Welfare and Vegetarianism in Jewish Law and Mysticism by Breslov Hasid and JVNA advisor Rabbi Dovid Sears is now at the JVNA web site at:


This is an extremely valuable, very comprehensive and objective source of information.

The book will be available online until a second, revised edition has been published, which probably won't be for awhile.

Please let others know about this valuable resource. Thanks.

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2. Input and Blurbs Sought For My Manuscript “Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal Our Imperiled World”

I have completed a manuscript for a book, “Who Stole My Religion? Revitalizing Judaism and Applying Jewish Values To Help Heal Our Imperiled World” that I would very much welcome input on and blurbs of support from influential people. Lantern Books, publisher of my previous Judaica books has tentatively agreed to publish the book. The book is NOT a project of or related to JVNA, but reflects only my views.

I believe that the book will be of great interest to many people and has tremendous potential to start widespread, respectful dialogues because of the following:

· It is very positive on Judaism and indicates the potential of Jewish values to help address current societal problems.

· It addresses the failure of the Jewish community, especially the Orthodox, to adequately respond to current problems, and, challenges them to place greater reliance on the words of Jewish sages, prophets and teachers than those of current right wing commentators and politicians like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin.

· It gives many examples of why Judaism is a radical religion.

· It urges Jews to lovingly and respectfully criticize Israel when they think she is acting incorrectly.

· It argues that a just, sustainable, comprehensive solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is essential for the future well-being of Israel, the Palestinians, the U.S., and indeed, the entire world.

· It contends that the Holocaust should be a spur to action to improve conditions for all the world’s people.

· It indicates steps that Israel and Jews worldwide should take to reduce anti-Semitism.

· It asserts that Jews should be environmental activists, vegetarians and animal welfare activists and should spend more time spiritually in natural settings.

· It discusses why Jews should be in the forefront of efforts to reduce climate change and other environmental problems that threaten Israel and the entire world with an unprecedented catastrophe.

· It contends that Democratic Socialism based on Torah teachings is the economic system most consistent with Jewish values.

· It argues against the Islamophobia prevalent in many Jews and others in our society.

· It presents several ideas to help revitalize Judaism.

The manuscript is written from a positive Jewish perspective consistent with a philosophy of openness and dialogue. It is also in the spirit of Soren Kierkegaard’s challenging criticism of Christianity, so many non-Jews will find it of interest.

To make the book as effective and readable as possible, I am seeking constructive criticism from a wide variety of people, Jews and non-Jews, progressives and conservatives, religious and secular, scholars and beginners, etc. Initial responses have been very positive. I think that the book has great potential, but knowing my limitations, I think it can be greatly improved, and this is why I am seeking input.

I don’t expect you or anyone else to agree with everything in this book, but I hope to provide openings for dialogues on many current, important issues.

If you would like to review all or part of the manuscript please let me know, and also let me know, if I do not know you already, something about yourself and any special contribution you might make about the book. Many thanks.

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3. Purim and Vegetarianism

Purim begins this year on Saturday evening, March 19. This and other Jewish holidays provide opportunities to show Jewish teachings related to vegetarianism. Please see my article “Purim and Vegetarianism” at the holidays section at JewishVeg.com/Schwartz. Suggestions welcome, and please feel free to share the article with others.

Many thanks.

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4. Interview of Richard Schwartz by the European Vegetarian and Animal News Agency (EVANA) About “A Sacred Duty”

[Based on the interview below and information at aSacredDuty.com, please continue to let people know about this acclaimed, award-winning documentary that makes such a strong case for vegetarianism and veganism based on Jewish values.]

On behalf of EVANA, Herma Caelen talks to Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, President of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) and co-founder and president of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV). Richard Schwartz is the author of the books Judaism and Vegetarianism and Judaism and Global Survival and also the associate producer of the documentary "A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World."

Herma Caelen: Richard, first of all let me thank you for taking the time to talk to us even though you must be very busy with the promotion of the documentary 'A Sacred Duty.' It seems that after the world premiere on 12 November 2007 the film has been very successful. In what countries has it already been shown and are more presentations planned elsewhere?

Richard H. Schwartz: In addition to many areas of the United States, the movie has been shown or will soon be shown in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Israel, Romania, South Africa, the United Kingdom and probably some countries that I am so far unaware of. Thankfully we have found very enthusiastic volunteers in the U.S. and other countries who are arranging showings and getting complimentary DVDs to key people.

EVANA: Does the film address mainly the Jewish community or does it offer vibrant messages to everyone of good will?

Answer: Although it has a Jewish perspective, “A SACRED DUTY” speaks to people everywhere about the ethics of our relationship to the natural world in which we live. The movie's universal message will appeal to anyone interested in such topics as religion, vegetarianism, the environment, health, nutrition, hunger, resource usage and collaboration to help heal our planet.

The movie may be said to be like Levy's Jewish Rye bread - you do not have to be Jewish to appreciate it.

All of the major religions share the same basic tenets. All have teachings that promote compassion and respect for people, animals and all of creation. Since working to heal the Earth is really a universal duty for all human beings, our hope is that A SACRED DUTY will challenge and inspire both Jews and non-Jews. Early indications are that A SACRED DUTY has been well received by people of all faiths, all around the world. There are many positive blurbs, many from non-Jews, at www.ASacredDuty.com. There has been special interest in the Jain community, both in the United States and in India.

EVANA: What gave you the idea to realize such a project and how did you manage to find the impressive support that eventually made the film the success it is today?

Answer: I viewed a very good documentary produced by the Christian Vegetarian Association on Christianity and Vegetarianism, and thought it would be nice if Jewish vegetarians produced a documentary that considered vegetarianism from a Jewish perspective. I suggested the idea in a Jewish Vegetarians of North America newsletter. I received a very enthusiastic response from Lionel Friedberg, a multi-award winning producer/director/writer/cinematographer, who agreed that it was essential that such a movie be made. I have had the great pleasure of working with Lionel for the past two years, and his commitment to successfully completing the movie in the most effective way possible has been consistent and inspiring. He, and his wife, a professional editor, worked diligently as a labor of love and dedication, accepting no professional fee at all, only reimbursement for their expenses.. We were extremely fortunate to have them as the producer and director of our movie.

EVANA: Please tell us a bit about the film itself. How long is it and what kind of information does it offer apart from interviews? Are there any graphic scenes people should be aware of before watching it?

Answer: A SACRED DUTY is one hour long. To dramatize statements in the interviews, there are spectacular scenes that were filmed in the United States, Israel and many other countries.

The movie stresses three major themes:

1. The world is imperiled as possibly never before by global warming and many other environmental threats. Many examples of environmental problems in Israel and worldwide are shown.

2. Judaism has teachings that provide a powerful basis for responding to current environmental threats. Examples of groups in Israel and the US applying these values are discussed.

3. A shift toward vegetarianism is an essential part of the necessary response to global warming and other environmental threats. All the reasons for Jews (and others) to be vegetarians are carefully considered.

Since there are scenes that illustrate some of the many horrors on modern factory farms, there is a cautionary statement at the start of the movie.

EVANA: Are there plans of having 'A Sacred Duty' translated into other languages?

Answer: Yes, we have a volunteer to translate it into Hebrew and another volunteer to translate it into Spanish. We would be happy to have A SACRED DUTY available in these and many other languages. [Update, due to the efforts of Supreme master TV, the movie now can be found with subtitles in many languages at aSacredDuty.com]

EVANA: Has there been, or will there be, cooperation with the representatives of other religions?

Answer: Yes. Since I am president of Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV), I have been working with people of other religions to help promote A SACRED DUTY. I have been interviewed by representatives of religious subgroups of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Best Friends for Animals, and these interviews are at the web sites of these groups. We have received requests for our complimentary DVDs from members of various religions, many of whom are arranging showings.

EVANA: Many consider vegetarians as trouble makers, rocking the boat of culinary traditions. Has there been any resistance to your ecological testimony, which stresses the damages of meat consumption?

Answer: While we have been receiving an extremely positive response from the vegetarian and animal rights communities (as indicated, for example by the many very positive blurbs at www.ASacredDuty.com), most meat-eaters are resistant to our message. As Al Gore quips, “Denial is not just a river in Africa.” Hence, as discussed later, it is essential that we break through the ignorance, apathy and denial that keep so many people eating foods that are so harmful for them and the environment. And A SACRED DUTY provides a valuable tool for doing this.

EVANA: How can interested people obtain a copy of the documentary and what is the price and time of delivery?

Answer: We feel that the fate of humanity may be at stake in our efforts, so we are anxious to get the movie seen and discussed by as many people as possible. Hence, we are offering complimentary DVDs to people who will share it with others, arrange a screening or help promote the movie in some other way. DVDs will be sent out as soon as we receive requests.

Interested people can get a completely free DVD by sending their name and mailing address to the JVNA secretary/treasurer John Diamond at JDiamond4@cox.net.

We are happy to send more than one copy to people who indicate how they will share them with others who will help promote the movie.

We are also working to get A SACRED DUTY onto the internet to make it available to even more people.

EVANA: What is your recommendation to those who for one reason or another won't be able to see the film but who are, just like you, very concerned about the dangers which our present lifestyle represents for future generations?

Answer: Whether a person sees A SACRED DUTY or not, they should contact local religious teachers, educators, media members and other influential people and help make them aware that: (1) the world is heading toward an unprecedented catastrophe due to global warming and other environmental threats, (2) a shift toward vegetarian diets is an essential part of the necessary response to these threats and (3) it is time that we stopped ignoring these inconvenient truths and made the saving of the planet a main focus for society today.

EVANA: Today meat has a terrible press. Not only does the meat industry involve enormous cruelty to sentient and helpless beings, meat is also dangerous for human health and wrecks the environment on a huge scale. Some even say that the industry endangers a safe future for coming generations because its activities lead to global warming, desertification, soil erosion etc. Do you have an explanation on why people continue eating meat even though all these dangers are now known?

Answer: There are a number of factors, including:

* Ignorance: people have many misconceptions about nutrition and health, and this is furthered by industries that have a vested interest in keeping people confused and ignorant.

* A herd mentality: many people do not want to stand out and be non-conformists; they see their family and friends eating an animal-based diet and do not want to be different.

* Apathy and resistance to change: I think of an analogy to the metric system: Everyone recognizes that it is far more logical than the system in the United States, but people in the US resist switching because they are used to the present system.

* Failure of the medical profession to educate people about the many negative health effects of animal-based diets. Part of the problem is that we have a disease-care system, not a health-promoting system. A true "health-care" system would be concerned with preventing disease, and promoting wellness. We wait until all the damage is done then try to "fix" it with medicine (which often does not work).

* Failure of religious leaders to point out how the production and consumption of meat and other animal products is inconsistent with at least six basic religious teachings.

* Denial: people's lack of willingness to consider the realities of their diets.

EVANA: If you had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Al Gore who in spite of informing us about the 'Inconvenient Truth' of global warming continues to eat meat - what would you tell him?

Answer: First, I would congratulate him on his many years of effort that have succeeded in greatly increasing awareness of how threatening global climate change is, and for the recent well-deserved awards that he has won for his efforts.

Then I would very respectfully try to make him aware of another inconvenient truth - that, according to the 2006 UN Food and Agriculture report, “Livestock's Long Shadow,” animal-based agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (in carbon dioxide equivalents) than all the cars, trucks, ships, planes and other forms of transportation worldwide combined (18% vs. 13.5%).

I would point out that the same report projects that the number of farmed animals will double in about 50 years, and the resulting increase in greenhouse gas emissions will negate many of the positive changes that he has been promoting. Hence, I would continue, we will never reach the reductions in greenhouse gases necessary to avoid the catastrophe that the world is rapidly approaching, unless there is a major shift toward vegan diets. I would urge him to use his unique position to urge people to shift to plant-based diets as an essential step to move our imperiled planet to a sustainable path.

EVANA: Considering that our 'good old' ways bring about enormous risks for the future, humanity may not manage to turn things around in time. What would be the consequences? Do you think that the very survival of humanity could be at stake?

Answer: Absolutely, and this is the greatest moral, political, environmental, spiritual issue of our time. It is becoming increasingly clear that the world is rapidly heading toward an unprecedented catastrophe and steps must be taken immediately to respond, that it is essential that religious values be applied in response and that a major shift toward vegetarianism is an essential part of efforts to shift our imperiled world to a sustainable path.

There are almost daily news reports re severe storms, floods, droughts and wildfires, melting polar ice caps and glaciers and many other indications of global warming.

Key climate scientists, including James Hansen of NASA, are warning that we may reach a tipping point within a decade after which global warming will spiral out of control, with disastrous consequences -- unless major changes are soon made.

It is therefore urgent, and more timely than ever, that the message of “A SACRED DUTY” -- with its emphasis on the urgent need for a global shift to plant-based eating and agriculture -- be widely spread and heeded.

A major report by the Israel Union for Environmental Defense pointed out Israel's special vulnerabilities to global climate change, in terms of reduced rainfall, severe storms and flooding from a rising Mediterranean sea.

EVANA: Compassionate and concerned people are forced to helplessly witness unrestrained cruelty to animals and mind boggling recklessness towards nature. Can you give any kind of moral support to those who are about to despair about the damage humanity is inflicting upon our earthly home and its creatures?

Answer: We should consider the following:

* The good news is that most people have become aware of global warming and its threats, and many positive changes are occurring at the personal, local, regional, national and international levels. Of course, much more needs to be done, but there are many signs that the momentum has shifted in terms of awareness and actions.

* We have many recent tools to help in educating people, including the UN FAO report mentioned above, the recent reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group composed of thousands of the worlds leading climate scientists, that show convincingly that global warming is a reality and that changes are urgently needed to avoid disaster, and A SACRED DUTY. Also, many vegetarian and environmental groups have greatly increased their efforts to increase awareness and positive responses.

* We should also consider the major changes that have occurred in relatively recent times, including the end of slavery, the granting of voting rights to women and the end of child labor, due to the actions of committed activists.

Finally, we should consider the in importance of the issues and the urgency of our responses. We cannot give in to despair. As Thomas Paine stated, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph!”

EVANA: One final question: How can people accepting the recommendations of 'A Sacred Duty' promote them within their own communities?

Answer: I hope that everyone reading this interview will join JVNA and other groups in building a massive, unprecedented campaign around showings of A SACRED DUTY to help shift our imperiled world to a sustainable path, help revitalize Judaism (and other religions) and get vegetarianism and related issues onto the Jewish and other agendas.

We plan to use our many contacts in the vegetarian, animal rights, Jewish and other communities and the increasing awareness of current environmental and health crises to challenge all societal groups to make the major changes, including a shift toward plant-based diets, necessary to address current environmental threats.

We would like the movie to be screened in as many venues as possible. We hope that people reading this interview will request DVDs and use them to help set up such events and see that they get widespread media coverage and a sizable attendance, including religious leaders, educators and other key people.

To build on and magnify the publicity related to the movie showings, we are also planning a major letter writing campaign building on the themes of the movie, discussing the nature of present threats, why Jews (and others) should be involved, and the importance of a shift toward vegetarianism.

We have produced 10,000 DVDs, and are sending out free copies to Rabbis and other key members of the Jewish community and other communities. We would like to challenge Rabbis to respectful email discussions/debates on “Should Jews Be Vegetarians?” and hope to extend this into other communities. We also wish to challenge the media to stop generally ignoring the messages we are presenting re the major threats to humanity, the failure of the Jewish community to adequately respond and the necessity for major dietary shifts in response to current threats.

Through these and more steps, we aim to do nothing less than change the consciousness of Jews and others regarding the threats facing all of humanity and the entire creation, vegetarianism, the need to respond to current environmental threats and much more. We have great potential, and we welcome everyone's help in promoting the movie and our messages.

Of course, we also desperately need financial help to continue and greatly expand our efforts. People may give tax deductible donations by visiting www.JewishVeg.com/action.

EVANA: We thank you for having given us the opportunity to find out more about the documentary and wish all involved in the production and promotion an even faster growing national and international success.

Response: I want to thank you Herma and the European Vegetarian and Animals News Agency (EVANA) for this wonderful opportunity to share our message and for your long-time most welcome cooperation, help, valuable suggestions and cooperation for my efforts and for the efforts of Jewish Vegetarians of North America. I look forward to working cooperatively with you on future initiatives.

[This interview occurred in 2008, shortly after A Sacred Duty came out.]

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5. Teva Institute Plans Jewish Environmental Seminar

Forwarded message from the Teva Institute:

Earn pre-requisites for a Teva Certificate in Jewish Environmental Education

Choose Dynamic Sessions from Our Unique Tracks:

Congregational Education Track

Camp and Wilderness Track

NEW Eco-Change Makers Track

NEW Shabbat Retreat in Nature

Organic Agriculture and Educational Gardening (facilitated by the Jewish Farm School)

Register now and experience it for yourself...

For questions about individual and group registration
Email Emily Kaplan: Emily@tevacenter.org or call 212-807-6376, x112

For information on sessions and educators
Email Cara Michelle Silverberg: Seminar@tevacenter.org
or call 212-807-6376 x117

We can't wait to see you there.

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6. Talk Makes Very Powerful Case For Veganism

Forwarded message from author and JVNA advisor Arthur Poletti:

[I have seen the video and found it very powerful and educational and very much worth seeing, although I did find fault with a couple of points, such as the statement that one of the Ten Commandments is “Thou shalt not kill,” rather than “Thou shalt not murder.”]

Hello Richard

It was great to speak with you earlier today.

Below is the Youtube video titled:

Best Speech You Will Ever Hear.

Please devote 70 minutes of your time to hear this incredible speech which I believe is the most important speech I have ever heard.

You may be compelled to seriously consider recommending this speech to everyone you
know and also changing the name of your organization from ----Jewish Vegetarians
of North America (JVNA) to --- Jewish Vegetarians and Vegans of North America (JVNA)

Gary Yourofsky's powerful and enlightening message about the true meaning of animal
rights has been heard by nearly 60,000 students in 166 middle schools, high schools and universities across the nation. Gary uses thought-provoking prose, inspiring stories, indisputable facts, quotes from Pythagoras, W. R. Inge, and other great thinkers, plus graphic footage from slaughterhouses (land and sea), to ask people to be kind to animals, and ultimately go vegan.

Here is the Youtube speech that has convinced many people to become vegans and potentially could, with help from world leaders like you, convince millions more.

Especially vegetarians that have been on the fence and may only need to see this speech to be persuaded to make the simple change.


Here is Gary Yourofsky's web site.


Please let me know what you and your associates think of this amazing speech?

For the urgently needed sake of animals, humans, the earth, and the earth's atmosphere.


Arthur Poletti
Vegan Author

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7. Climate Change a Major Factor Behind Turmoil in many Muslim Countries

How Global Warming Felled Mubarak

Good Fences
By J.J. Goldberg

Published February 02, 2011, issue of February 11, 2011.


The craziest part of the uprising in Egypt is how it caught us all by surprise. After all, it was predicted — three years ago. Unfortunately, nobody was paying attention. It sounded too weird. The warnings weren’t coming from political analysts, but from climate and crop experts. Which means — what? Climate topples dictator? No way, right?

Way. Let’s walk through it. Consider those warnings in the spring of 2008. It was a time of worldwide food shortages. Wheat prices had doubled from the year before, and other crops weren’t far behind. Hunger became critical, and riots exploded from Bangladesh to Yemen and points in between.

Some of the causes were economic: use of grains for biofuel instead of food, derivatives trading that raised prices artificially, free-market reforms that set food prices free to float. The biggest culprit, though, was a string of natural disasters hammering wheat production that year: unseasonable drought in southern Australia, torrential rains in India and more.

As food riots spread, the world press was filled with predictions of developing-world governments tumbling like dominoes. Most worrisome was Egypt, the world’s largest wheat importer. Britain’s Guardian newspaper warned then that the shortages would bring down Hosni Mubarak’s three-decade rule sooner or later.

How soon? The first real clues appeared last fall. In September 2010, commodities traders began warning of a major wheat shortage this winter. The reasons were all weather-related. The Russian drought and wildfires in the summer of 2010 had halved the wheat crop and prompted a government ban on exports. An early frost in September had badly damaged crops in Canada and China. Prices were soaring.

The very next month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington issued an “Arctic Report Card,” painting an even darker picture. As the greenhouse effect thinned the ice caps, Arctic air temperatures were rising, driving polar winds south and east. The forecast for the winter of 2010-2011 was monster snowstorms throughout the Northeast and Midwest, and too little rain in the West. America’s Midwestern breadbasket could expect fields frozen solid, disrupted transportation and a poor winter wheat harvest.

Similar reports were coming from the Southern Hemisphere. In November, the Australian state of Queensland received the first of a biblical-scale series of floods; growers say 50% of Australia’s reduced wheat crop this year won’t be good for much besides livestock feed. Meanwhile, Argentina’s wheat-growing regions are dry.

On January 5, 2011, the crisis became official when the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that food prices worldwide had risen to their highest levels ever. It said the situation was likely to get worse in the coming decades, as climate change continues. “We are entering a danger territory,” an FAO senior economist, Abdolreza Abbassian, told reporters.

Entering a danger territory? We were already in it. By the time the FAO report was released. Mohamed Bouazizi had been dead for 24 hours.

Bouazizi, a 26-year-old Tunisian with a computer science degree but no job, was selling fruits and vegetables from an unlicensed pushcart on December 17 when a police officer ticketed him and, for good measure, slapped him. Enraged, Bouazizi set himself on fire. His neighbors took to the streets in fury. Police opened fire, the protests spread across the country and by January 14 Tunisia’s president had fled the country. The rest is history.

Well, part history, part myth. When the rage first erupted, the reasons were transparent. Bouazizi’s compadres were chanting for jobs and food. Time magazine called it “Tunisia’s Hunger Revolution.”

After Bouazizi died on January 4, however, the protests turned political. Trade unions and opposition parties joined in. The dictator was defeated. This was catnip for the Western press. The protesters’ cause was transformed from food to democracy, and the protesters from beggars to icons. There was a happy ending.

This helps explain why the larger conflict in Egypt is so confusing to so many of us. When Tunisia’s dictator fled, Egyptians saw an opportunity and poured into the streets. But there was no movement, no leader, only the crowds. The intellectuals and dissenters tried to get their arms around it and are calling for democracy. The crowds won’t be happy, though, if democracy is all they get. You can’t eat a ballot.

Contact J.J. Goldberg at goldberg@forward.com and follow his blog at blogs.forward.com/jj-goldberg/

Read more: http://www.forward.com/articles/135144/#ixzz1DnKZRmMQ

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8. Video Shows Two Israeli Rabbis Discussing Jewish Teachings on Compassion to Animals

Kol hakavod (kudos) to JVNA advisor Rabbi Adam Frank for this and all the important things he is doing in Jerusalem to educate people on Jewish teachings on the proper treatment of animals.


Video: In 8 minutes of chevrutah (paired learning) with Pardes Institute Rosh Yeshiva Rav Danny Landes I show that Torah intends to protect animals.

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9. World One Poor Harvest Away From Chaos


Thanks to JVNA advisor Ron Landskroner for forwarding this link to us.

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10. The Dark Side of Recent Headlines About Eggs


Article by renowned author John Robbins.

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11. Compendium of Articles on Jewish Environmental Teachings Related to the Weekly Torah Readings Available From Canfei Nesharim


Canfei Nesharim Store / Publications

What does the Torah say about protecting the environment?

Find out! Order Canfei Nesharim's

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Bal Taschit: Do not waste

Tzaar Ba'alei Chaim: Treatment of Animals

Nature in Tefilla

On Conserving Water and Netilas Yadayim

The Unity of Creation

Ecology and Spirituality

And Including:

Source Sheets for Learning Sessions

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Cost: $15.00 + $5 shipping (inquire about reduced community rate)

PLEASE NOTE: If you are shipping outside the United States, please contact us for shipping prices and information. We are able to ship locally from Jerusalem, London, and Toronto.

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12. Is Our World on the Edge of Catastrophe?

Planet could be 'unrecognizable' by 2050


WASHINGTON (AFP) – A growing, more affluent population competing for ever scarcer resources could make for an "unrecognizable" world by 2050, researchers warned at a major US science conference Sunday.

The United Nations has predicted the global population will reach seven billion this year, and climb to nine billion by 2050, "with almost all of the growth occurring in poor countries, particularly Africa and South Asia," said John Bongaarts of the non-profit Population Council.

To feed all those mouths, "we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000," said Jason Clay of the World Wildlife Fund at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

"By 2050 we will not have a planet left that is recognizable" if current trends continue, Clay said.

The swelling population will exacerbate problems, such as resource depletion, said John Casterline, director of the Initiative in Population Research at Ohio State University.

But incomes are also expected to rise over the next 40 years -- tripling globally and quintupling in developing nations -- and add more strain to global food supplies.

People tend to move up the food chain as their incomes rise, consuming more meat than they might have when they made less money, the experts said.

It takes around seven pounds (3.4 kilograms) of grain to produce a pound of meat, and around three to four pounds of grain to produce a pound of cheese or eggs, experts told AFP.

"More people, more money, more consumption, but the same planet," Clay told AFP, urging scientists and governments to start making changes now to how food is produced.

Population experts, meanwhile, called for more funding for family planning programs to help control the growth in the number of humans, especially in developing nations.

"For 20 years, there's been very little investment in family planning, but there's a return of interest now, partly because of the environmental factors like global warming and food prices," said Bongaarts.

"We want to minimize population growth, and the only viable way to do that is through more effective family planning," said Casterline.

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13. Next Veggie Pride Parade Scheduled/I Am Scheduled to Speak/JVNA Will Have a Table/Volunteers Very Welcome

Forwarded message from Veggie Pride Parade organizer Pamela Rice:

Dear Richard:

I would like you to speak at next VEGGIE PRIDE PARADE.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Could you speak for about 7-10 minutes?

This year's event will be just as the last two years:

It will start in the West Village, reach/end at the north end of Union Square Park (by 12:45 p.m.), and continue till 5 p.m. You would speak some time between 2 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.

[I agreed to speak.]

visit: http://www.veggieprideparade.org/

Speakers list is at top.

Thank you !!

Pamela Rice
Veggie Pride Parade
One Union Sq. West
Rm. 512
New York, NY 10003
212-966-2060, cell
212-242-0011, office

[Please let me know if you would like to volunteer to help at the JVA table. Many thanks.]

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14. Action Alert: Effort to Mandate Environmental Education in Our Schools

Forwarded message from JVNA advisor Rina Deych:

My friend, author and environmental activist Alix Fano has proposed an idea to make environmental education mandatory in grades K through 12. Considering the dire state of our planet, I think this is an excellent idea.

If you agree, please take a few moments (really, it only takes a few seconds) to create an account and vote for this idea (just remember to uncheck the box that asks if you wish to receive their newsletter – unless you would like to): http://tinyurl.com/4ns6dht. Once you create the account, simply click on the link again, and it will take you the page where you can vote for this idea.

The more people vote for the idea, the more likely it will actually get presented to Education Secretary Arne Duncan.


Rina Deych

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