June 27, 2011

06/20/2011 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. Ten Ways You Can Make JVNA More Effective

2. Update on Efforts To Get the Israeli Chief Rabbinate To Ban Meat Produced by Shackling and Hoisting

3. Sampling of Letters Sent to Chief Rabbi Metzger in Support of CHAI’s Initiative Above

4. Vegetarian Week Contest Scheduled

5. Message From United Poultry Concern’s Director on Denial About How “Food” Animals Are Treated

6. Still Time to Register for AR2011

7. Study Indicates that Vegetarian Diets Are Healthier in Every Way

8. Arsenic Found in Chickens

9. Essay: How Much Is Global Warming Due to Animal Agriculture?

10. Message From Canfei Nesharim Seeking Support

11. Important Climate Change Articles:

11a. How the West Was Lost

11b. Are Progressives in Denial About Climate Change?

11c. "Merchants of Doubt": How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues From Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

12. Dead Sea Threatened by BOTH Shrinking and Flooding

13. Jews and Muslims Work Together to Protect Their Slaughtering Methods

14. 2012 IVU World Veg Congress Planned

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. Ten Ways You Can Make JVNA More Effective

It is becoming increasingly clear that the world is rapidly approaching climate, food, water, energy, economic, and other crises and that a major shift to plant-based diets is essential to preventing disasters.

JVNA is trying to be a positive factor as much as possible.

Here are ten things that you can do to make JVNA more effective:

· Volunteer to represent JVNA at veg and animal rights conferences to give out literature.

· Get people you know to contact me (president@JewishVeg.com) to get our free JVNA newsletters.

· Suggest that people visit our website (JewishVeg.com).

· Suggest that people visit JewishVeg.com/Schwartz, where I have about 150 articles, 25 podcasts of my talks and interviews, and the complete text of my book Judaism and Vegetarianism.

· Suggest that people visit aSacredDuty.com to see our acclaimed documentary, “A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World.”

· Request a complimentary DVD of “A Sacred Duty” and arrange a showing.

· Send one or more of my articles at JewishVeg.com/Schwartz to Jewish publications.

· Write an article using material at the websites mentioned above and send it to a Jewish publication.

· Write a letter to the editor using material at our websites.

· Call a talk show and present the Jewish case for vegetarianism or the case for becoming a vegetarian to reduce current threats to humanity.

· Your suggestions?

Many thanks for all that you do.

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2. Update on Efforts To Get the Israeli Chief Rabbinate To Ban Meat Produced by Shackling and Hoisting

Forwarded message from CHAI (Concern for Helping Animals in Israel):

Israeli Rabbinate Fails to Keep Its Promise to Ban Import
of Meat from Slaughterhouses Using Cruel Methods


Despite the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s promise to stop certifying as kosher meat from cows slaughtered in South America using the extremely cruel method of shackling and hoisting, it continues to certify the meat and allow it to be imported to Israel. Shackling and hoisting, which has already been banned in Israel, the U.S., and the European Union, requires that fully conscious animals be chained by the ankle and hoisted upside down before slaughter, causing excruciating tearing of muscles and tendons and extreme fright.

"The Rabbinate is on record as finding the practice of shackling and hoisting ethically problematic and certainly inflicting pain and suffering on animals," said Rabbi Adam Frank, rabbi of Congregation Moreshet Yisrael in central Jerusalem and Board member of Hakol Chai, the Israeli sister charity of Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI).

A year ago, Avi Blumenthal, an assistant to Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, promised that if the South American slaughterhouses did not abolish shackle-and-hoist and switch to a more humane method by 2011, the Rabbinate would cease to certify the meat produced there as kosher. Rabbi Menachem Genack, the head of the kashrut division at the New York-based Orthodox Union, said Rabbi Metzger had told him of his intention to switch to the less cruel inversion pen.

But the Rabbinate has not kept its promise. At first, says Frank, “the public was pacified by statements on behalf of the Israeli Rabbinate that they would ensure a change would occur. Either they misled the public or they lied."

Blumenthal admitted that the Rabbinate still certifies meat slaughtered using shackling and hoisting. The Rabbinate requires that every cow be slaughtered while lying on his or her back, in accordance with kosher laws, but a box-like holding pen that inverts the animal before the throat is slit can be substituted for the more cruel shackling and hoisting method.

Blumenthal claimed that some slaughterhouses in South America have switched to the inversion method and those who did not will do so eventually, but the director of the Rabbinate's overseas slaughtering and meat imports department, Rabbi Ezra Harari Raful, said that while a small number of South American slaughterhouses have installed inversion pens, most of the 15-odd slaughterhouses that supply Israel still use shackle-and-hoist. Blumenthal conceded that the bottom line is that Israeli importers signed long term contracts with the slaughterhouses and so have no leverage to pressure their owners. The contracts with several of the slaughterhouses will expire over the next few years.

The fact that Israel is still buying kosher meat from slaughterhouses known to engage in extremely and unnecessarily cruel practices is completely unacceptable, says Frank.

See the article about this subject in Ha'aretz, 10 June 2011.

For further details about this issue, please see Kosher Slaughter: Should Shackling and Hoisting Be Permitted?


CHAI asks that you send a letter to Chief Rabbi Metzger, urging him to keep his promise to ban the importation of meat from cruel South American slaughterhouses that practice shackling and hoisting.

Please also consider reducing or eliminating your consumption of meat to prevent animal suffering, preserve human health, and save the environment.

Please donate to CHAI and Hakol Chai. Send your tax-deductible donations to: 
CHAI, POB 3341, Alexandria, VA 22302, USA, or donate through our website.

Yours for a more compassionate world, 

Nina Natelson

CHAI - Concern for Helping Animals in Israel
PO Box 3341, Alexandria, VA 22302
Email: chai_us@cox.net
Phone: 703-658-9650
Web: http://www.chai-online.org

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3. Sampling of Letters Sent to Chief Rabbi Metzger in Support of CHAI’s Initiative Above


Shalom Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger, shlit"a:

Kol hakavod for all of your important efforts on behalf of Medinat Yisrael and Klal Yisrael.

As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I very respectfully urge you to please fulfill your promise to put an end to shackling and hoisting of animals for shechitah. I believe that this action would be a kiddush Hashem by helping end violations of tsa’ar ba’alei chaim at South American slaughterhouses and by showing how Judaism’s eternal teachings apply to contemporary situations. It would also be consistent with other rulings you have made about the proper treatment of animals, including banning the use of furs imported from China, where animals are skinned alive.

"Tov Hashem la-kol, vi-rachamav al kol maasav -- God is good to all, and His mercy is upon all of His works." As Jews, we must strive to emulate Hashem's ways and thus bring this world closer to what the Creator wants it to be. Therefore, we turn to you, as Chief Rabbi, to redress this avoidable tsaar baalei chaim and to institute restraint systems for shechitah that minimize suffering. If this is done, it will be surely help fulfill our divine mandate to be a "light unto the nations" by our example, and not the opposite.

Thank you for your kind consideration.

Very truly yours,

Richard H. Schwartz


Shalom Rabbi.

Please fulfill the promise you made to end the cruel practice of shackling and hoisting in slaughterhouses that ship to Israel from South America.

Since all kosher meat imported from South America into Israel must be approved by your office, the decision in favor of humaneness or cruelty is entirely yours.

Further, please consider how any meat, even if permitted like the quail at Sinai that we just read about in Torah, is antithetical to our highest Jewish values of sh’mirat haguf, pekuach nefesh, tsa’ar ba’alei chayim, shomrei adamah, bal tashchit, tzedakah, shalom v’tzedek, v'Klal Yisrael.


Dan Brook, Ph.D.
The Vegetarian Mitzvah


"I urge you to stop the importation of meat from South American slaughterhouses that continue to practice shackling and hoisting. It is disgraceful to eat such meat, and your action in this matter is noted by Jews around the world. It would be a message to the Jewish world that Jews have a moral conscience about the food they eat, if you would follow through on your promise to censure the importing such meat."

Roberta Kalechofsky



L'khvod HaRav Metzger shlit"a

Shalom uverakha.

Please heed the many appeals you have received to put an end to shackle and hoist restraint systems used for shechita in South America. Not only are there superior restraint systems today, but this practice adds to the growing opposition to shechitah around the world and to hostility toward the Torah Hakedoshah and Klal Yisrael.

Dovid Sears
Brooklyn, NY

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4. Vegetarian Week Contest Scheduled

Forwarded message:

This year the Vegetarian Week has organized a contest, to highlight the benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle. The total value of awards is more than 200 euros, and anyone can submit one or more contributions (essays, posters, cartoons, slogans, etc.).

All contributions are welcome, and the best will award prizes.

The deadline is 10 September. Submit your contribution(s) and good luck!

Read the contest Guidelines:


Login to submit contributions:



List mailing list



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5. Message From United Poultry Concern’s Director on Denial About How “Food” Animals Are Treated

Thanks to JVNA advisor and producer of “A Sacred Duty” Lionel Friedberg for sending us this message and for his introduction below:

I simply have to share this brilliantly written piece with all of you. It is the work of a woman whose beliefs, efforts and dedication I admire very much. She is Karen Davis, the president of a wonderful organization called United Poultry Concerns. In the article pulled from her e-mail today she talks about -- among other things -- how powerfully influential people such as Mark Zuckerberg, the guy who started Facebook, still has much to learn about what it is to be a compassionate human being. It'll only take a minute of your time and I assure you it is a most worthwhile read.




13 June 2011

“Only Connect.” Is Boiling a Lobster a Bonding Experience?
by Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns

Yes, it appears that most people are “very removed from” the meat they eat. Well, not from the meat, obviously, but from the animals to whom the meat was once attached. This removal dates to the mid- 20th century, when animals raised for food in Western countries disappeared from barnyards into factory farms.

Drive by the long, low buildings on the Virginia Eastern Shore where I live, and unless you already know what you’re looking at, you would never guess that many thousands of chickens are living inside each one of those buildings. And those huge Tyson and Perdue “processing plants” with the smoke pouring out of the smokestacks and the cement parking lots filled with cars, who would guess what is going on behind those walls? Except when you see the truckloads of chickens going up and down the roads all day, from the chicken houses to the slaughtering plants, or you’re one of the thousands of poultry industry employees on the Eastern Shore. Otherwise, how would you know?

So, to reconnect meat eaters with the animals they eat or, more precisely, to reconnect them with the fact that they’re eating animals, media culture and society have got on board with the animal welfare, deep ecology idea that what’s needed to bridge the gap, between urbanized meat eaters and the animals behind the scenes of this meat, is to slaughter their own animals. Look your chicken or your goat in the eye as you slice “its” throat and watch “it” struggle in pain and suffocate to death in “its” own blood. This will teach you that eating meat involves killing an animal, although Michael Pollan’s alter ego, Joel Salatin, owner of the Virginia family farm Polyface, told Feedstuffs that “people should not accept that it’s okay toeat grain but not a pig or a chicken just because one has eyes and one does not” (May 23, 2011).

The idea put forth by sectors of the animal welfare community seems to be that killing one’s own animals will somehow develop empathy in the killer. It isn’t just about “now I know” but “now I care.” But is this so? In the case of billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, there is no evidence in his account of his latest “personal challenge” that killing animals himself began or ended in empathy for the animals he had previously bonded with only as meat. According to the story, he “evolved,” from boiling a lobster to death, to cutting the throats of a goat and a chicken. And so on from there. Of the lobster episode Zuckerberg said, “The most interesting thing was how special it felt to eat it after having not eaten any seafood or meat in a while.”

In other words, the “most interesting, special thing” for Zuckerberg, by his account, was not the lobster or his relationship with the lobster as a fellow creature as opposed to “lobster”; it wasn’t about expanded or deepened empathy at all. It was about his Seafood experience, his Meat experience and the thrill of eating an animal he had, just minutes before, intentionally tortured to death in boiling water. (Don’t plead that Zuckerberg didn’t know the lobster was sentient.)

So what does it mean to bond with an animal or anyone else one chooses to kill for pleasure? Bear in mind that rapists and serial murderers sadistically, ritualistically “bond” with their victims – they know their victim’s pain and they experience it vicariously as pleasure. The fact is that bonding and “connecting” do not necessarily entail compassion, and violating another’s body does not invariably lead to sympathy with the victim or with anyone else. Indeed, hurting others is a thrill for many people who lust for more of the delicious sensation. We know this is true when it comes to humans intentionally hurting other humans, but when it comes to humans intentionally hurting animals, the rhetoric disconnects from reality as easily as the face disconnects from a small helpless body under the smack of a hatchet.

Which brings me to the animal protection spokesman who recently blogged that while many Americans were shocked by Zuckerberg’s cruel behavior and “sympathized with the animals he killed,” their – our – reactions were/are misplaced: “While I understand those natural reactions to the killing of these creatures, I think we owe Zuckerberg some plaudits, not only for reminding people that eating meat involves the killing of animals, but also for recognizing that it’s morally dubious to simply pass on the ‘dirty work.’” Sure, okay, but let us ask, then, whether it is even more morally dubious, or just plain wrong, to do the dirty work yourself, especially when there is no need to do it at all. The topic is death, ladies and gentleman, not hauling the garbage.

Regarding the mantra that urban people need to “reconnect” through personal killing with “where their food comes from,” let us recall the fact that throughout most of human history and in many if not most parts of the world today, animals were, and are, driven to market on foot, slaughtered, beaten and otherwise openly abused in the streets in all kinds of ways, and the people doing and witnessing these events were and are basically oblivious to it. Familiarity breeds oblivion as much as absence does.

As I noted in my book, The Holocaust and the Henmaid’s Tale, B.R. Myers writes that research could prove “that cows love Jesus, and the line at the McDonald’s drive-through wouldn’t be one sagging carload shorter the next day.” Only consider: in Salisbury, Maryland, a McDonald’s sits on one side of the street and on the other side a gigantic chicken slaughter plant looms, surrounded by its endlessly sagging truckloads of chickens waiting on the dock to be killed. There is no clear evidence that the sight of suffering evokes sympathy or protest in the majority of people, and the first shock of seeing suffering can wear off. Even if it doesn’t, people can choose not to look. (p. 24)

In conclusion, I will simply say, in response to recent discussions about Zuckerberg and the like, that I do not believe that people voluntarily killing their own animals for gastronomy raises the moral level of society or the ethical status of animals in society. I do not believe that Zuckerberg’s behavior will have the slightest positive effect on ending global factory farming except, ironically, to further it since his fundamental message is that it’s perfectly all right to kill an animal needlessly if you wish to and can get away with it. Which in the case of “food” animals, you can. I do not share the view that Zuckerberg killing his own animals “reduces animal suffering,” nor do I believe that now that he is killing his own animals he “connects” with them, other than as a hedonistic sadist or an affectless sociopath, and sociopathology paradoxically comprises both. He boasts that he loves to hunt and kill animals. What else do we need to know?

When you choose to terrorize and torture an animal to death for culinary pleasure, or even let us say to kill a chicken or a lobster or a goat “humanely” with a death-inducing sedative, which nobody does, you’re saying that for you this animal is Nothing. You are Everything. Since animals have no protection against us, our words, and our lies, we can say and do whatever we please about our reasons for debasing them and making their lives miserable.

While it’s distressing, though not surprising, that a person like Mark Zuckerberg is killing animals for pleasure and publicity, it is much more distressing, and harder to overcome, the oily sanction bestowed on him by influential animal welfare representatives who seems to bond more closely with Zuckerberg than with animal rights activists and people who really do care about animals, not just in the abstract and bureaucratically, but genuinely. We’re chided that we should consider Zuckerberg’s behavior to be, not cruel, but somehow admirable and worth imitating – to help the animals, of course! “[I]f every American were to adopt Zuckerberg’s approach – or even just witness, if not participate in, what happens to farm animals – you can bet there’d be many fewer animals suffering on factory farms.” I’d bet otherwise, or maybe there would just be a lot more [in]visible blood everywhere, since the moral status and use of animals as edibles would still be exactly the same.

Why oh why did a 16th-century British observer write of the animal raised for food on those nice English “family farms” and estates: “They feed in pain, lie in pain, and sleep in pain.” And this was the life experience of these animals before they were dragged off to slaughter, and before factory farms. – Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns

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6. Still Time to Register for AR2011

Forwarded message frm Alex Hershaft of Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM):

There Is Still Time - AR2011 Is Almost Here!

Don't miss out on the animal rights event that will change your life! The Animal Rights 2011 National Conference will take place July 21-25 in Los Angeles.

Check out this year's exciting program. The 100 speakers include Gene Baur, Marc Bekoff, Bruce Friedrich, Alex Hershaft, Elliot Katz, Erica Meier, Jack Norris, Alex Pacheco, Nathan Runkle, Sam Simon (of The Simpsons), and many more.

Still making up your mind about attending? Here are some ways to save money:

You can earn back part or all of registration by volunteering at AR2011.

You can apply for a low-income discount or a full scholarship.

We offer discounted hotel rates and free morning & evening vegan snacks.

You can coordinate with fellow attendees on the travel & lodging boards.

Get an additional $20 off the discounted registration rate by entering "Member20" in coupon code box (on checkout page).

Vote for your preferred T-shirt design! (click on image to view)

FARM Undertakes Pay-Per-View Program!

FARM has received a grant from a very generous donor to conduct the national Pay-Per-View program, which pays passersby $1 to view a graphic 4-minute video of factory farming and slaughter-house atrocities. We are currently engaged in the program's pilot stage, operating booths at summer street fairs and festivals in the Washington, DC, and San Francisco areas.

We’re also teaming up with Action For Animals to bring Pay-Per-View to the Warped (rock music) Tour this summer! We’re still looking for volunteers for several of the tour stops, so please let us know if you’re available to help.

Learn more about the Pay Per View Program, and offer local coordination.

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7. Study Indicates that Vegetarian Diets Are Healthier in Every Way


Study: Vegetarian Diets Healthier In Every Way Than Diets With Meat

PCRM.ORG | Neal Barnard, MD | 06/14/11

Vegetarian diets are not just better for weight management, they are more nutritious than diets that include meat, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. With two out of three Americans needing to lose weight, the message is more urgent than ever.

The new findings are based on a study including 13,292 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Not only were vegetarians slimmer than their meat-eating counterparts, their fiber intake was 24 percent higher and calcium intake was 17 percent higher. Vegetarians also consumed more magnesium, potassium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, and vitamins A, C, and E, and less total fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol.

The study was accompanied by an editorial concluding that “the benefits of following a plant-based diet can be valuable beyond weight loss goals.” Specifically, the editorial noted, vegetarians have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and “lower risk for many disease states including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and hypertension.”

At PCRM, we have often used vegan diets to help people lose weight or improve diabetes or other health problems. In our 2006 review, 38 of 40 published studies comparing vegetarians and nonvegetarians showed that vegetarians weighed less. We also found that adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet brings a dramatic improvement in nutrition. Cholesterol and saturated fat intake plummet, while fiber, beta-carotene, and important vitamins increase. Using the Harvard School of Public Health’s Alternate Healthy Eating Index (AHEI) score, we have found that vegan participants excel in every AHEI category.

So this raises the question: If meat tends to crowd out nutritious vegetables, beans, and whole grains, and increases the risk for disease, why would anyone recommend it? The answer is that they shouldn’t.

When the USDA released its new MyPlate diagram on June 2, it looked very much like PCRM’s Power Plate developed in 2009 in that it included no meat group. However, instead of PCRM’s “legume group,” USDA opted for a “protein” group that includes beans and soy products, as well as meat. While USDA is slowly moving in the right direction, there is no scientific reason to include meat at all. Avoiding animal products is a key step for maximizing good nutrition and good health.

Farmer B, Larson BT, Fulgoni VL, Rainville AJ, Liepa GU. A vegetarian dietary pattern as a nutrient-dense approach to weight management: an analysis of the National health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2004. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011;111:819-827.

Turner-McGrievy GM, Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJA, Gloede L, Green AA. Changes in nutrient intake and dietary quality among participants with type 2 diabetes following a low-fat vegan diet or a conventional diabetes diet for 22 weeks. J Am Dietetic Assoc. 2008;108:1636-1645.

Berkow SE, Barnard NB. Vegetarian diets and weight status. Nutr Rev. 2006;64:175-188.

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8. Arsenic Found in Chickens


Thanks to JVNA advisor and author Rabbi David Sears for forwarding this link to us.

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9. Essay: How Much Is Global Warming Due to Animal Agriculture?

[This essay was prepared for distribution [by Steve Kauman, director of the Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)]at the upcoming General Synod of the United Church of Christ. Comments and suggestions to cva@christianveg.org are appreciated.]

When environmentalists talk about what we need to do address global warming, they rarely emphasize, and often don’t even mention, moving toward a plant-based diet. Yet doing so is one of the most important things each of us can do to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint. The 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report Livestock’s Long Shadow concluded that animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of human-derived greenhouse gasses – more than cars, trucks, and airplanes combined.

Actually, this 18% figure might be a gross underestimate. A 2009 analysis by Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang published in World Watch entitled “Livestock and Climate Change” concluded that at least 51% of human-derived greenhouse gasses derive from animal agriculture. By necessity, this report included estimates, and I offer a brief critical review of Goodland and Anhang’s article. I conclude that there is good reason to believe that far more than 18% of human-derived greenhouse gasses come from animal agriculture.

The Analysis

Many gasses have different degrees of greenhouse effects, that is, they trap heat leaving the earth and give the atmosphere its warmth. In order to “compare apples to apples,” the FAO calculated the greenhouse effect potency of different gasses compared to CO2, or “CO2 equivalents” (CO2e). The FAO estimated that animal agriculture adds 7,516 million tons of CO2e to the atmosphere each year. Goodland and Anhang argued that the FAO did not include 8,769 million tons CO2e added to the atmosphere by livestock breathing out CO2. The FAO did not include this source of CO2 because the amount of CO2 that farmed animals breathe out is roughly equivalent to the amount of CO2 taken from the atmosphere by the plants which the animals eat. However, if the farmed animals had not eaten those plants, there would be a steady increase in CO2 sequestration as farmland returned to forests. Further, continued intensive farming designed to provide feed for farmed animals releases carbon sequestered in soil.

Methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, but it has a significantly shorter half-life in the atmosphere. The FAO calculation adjusted methane to a CO2e value by lowering methane’s short-term impact but lengthening the methane effect over a longer duration. However, by reducing the short-term CO2e for methane, the FAO did not account for global warming positive feedback loops. For example, as methane and other greenhouse gasses increase global temperatures, polar ice melts. This converts ice, which reflects 70-80% of the sun’s light back into space, into water, which absorbs most of the sun’s light energy and reflects less than 10%. Warmer water and air then melt more ice. Goodland and Anhang’s adjustment for methane increased its CO2e by 5,047 million tons annually.

There are several other considerations, of which I will mention a few. Goodland and Anhang noted that the FAO used 2002 data on world tonnage of farmed animals, but this tonnage has increased rapidly since then. They estimate that the growth of the tonnage of farmed animals has contributed an additional 2,560 million tons CO2e. Goodland and Anhang also noted that the FAO overlooked other significant sources of greenhouse gasses attributable to animal agriculture, including farmed fish; fluorocarbons to cool meat, dairy, and eggs; cooking (meat typically entails higher temperatures and longer durations than plant foods); disposal of liquid and solid wastes of livestock; production, distribution, and disposal of packaging for animal products (which for sanitary reasons is generally much more extensive than for plant-based products); and carbon-intensive medical treatment of diseases related to consuming animals, including infectious organisms derived from farmed animals, and heart disease and other conditions related to consuming animal products. Goodland and Anhang estimated that these other categories add over 8,500 million tons CO2e annually.

I think that it is clear that, if we aim to avert an environmental crisis due to global warming, moving toward a plant-based diet must be a part of the effort.

Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D.

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10. Message From Canfei Nesharim Seeking Support

Forwarded message from Canfei Nesharin director Evonne Marzouk:

Changing the World

Dear Richard and Loretta,

I'm nine or ten years old, and my next door neighbor asks me, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" Still a child, I answer from the heart: "I want to change the world." His response: "Change it into what?"

I will remember this moment as the first time that my desire to make an impact, to matter, turned into a desire to make a difference. It was not enough to change the world. There was a world I was seeking to create.

Perhaps you too have been seeking to create a better world. Perhaps you've walked onto the bima of a synagogue with your hands shaking, ready to give your first speech about the environment. Or you've seen the faces of children light up in a garden, or taken a group of families blueberry picking - seeing them connect their food with the land for the very first time. You've chopped endless piles of fruit for Tu b'Shevat seder, helping people appreciate the value of trees, fruit and all of the earth's blessings.

With more than 300 change agents engaging their communities worldwide, Canfei Nesharim is empowering Jews to educate and empower our community to protect the environment. Not just to "change" the world, but to create a better world: a world in which we preserve our resources and live sustainability for today and for future generations.

But this change doesn't happen by itself. It requires your support to keep the momentum going. As we come to the close of our fiscal year (June 30), we need your help to continue creating that world. Can you help us with a donation of $36, $54, $100 or more (any amount is welcome!), or with an ongoing monthly or annual commitment to support our work, in our Planting and Building Campaign?

Donate here via Razoo

With all best wishes,

Evonne Marzouk and the whole Canfei Nesharim team

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11. Important Climate Change Articles

The following articles provide great insight on the climate change issues:

11a. How the West Was Lost

Chip Ward, TomDispatch: "Arizona is burning. Texas, too. New Mexico is next. If you need a grim reminder that an already arid West is burning up and blowing away, here it is. As I write this, more than 700 square miles of Arizona and more than 4,300 square miles of Texas have been swept by monster wildfires. Consider those massive columns of acrid smoke drifting eastward as a kind of smoke signal warning us that a globally warming world is not a matter of some future worst-case scenario. It's happening right here, right now."

Read the Article

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11b. Are Progressives in Denial About Climate Change?


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11c. "Merchants of Doubt": How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues From Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming

Truthout's Progressive Pick of the Week: "Merchants of Doubt," by authors Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, exposes how radical think tanks have created a cadre of scientists - motivated by money and ideology - to debunk established scientific facts on threats such as DDT, tobacco, nuclear weapons and global warming.

Read the Article:


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12. Dead Sea Threatened by BOTH Shrinking and Flooding


Thanks to JVNA advisor and author Rabbi Dovid Sears for forwarding this link to us.

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13. Jews and Muslims Work Together to Protect Their Slaughtering Methods

[Note: JVNA opposes all types of slaughter, but we protest when shechitah (Jewish ritual slaughter) is singled out for criticism. We recommend the book Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz, which points out the many problems and cruelties at non-kosher slaughterhouses.]

Forwarded message from vegetarian activist Scott Young:

Hello Richard, Thought you might find this of interest. Looks lke these two diverse groups have finally found some common ground. From, Scott


Jewish and Muslim representatives Thursday appealed to Dutch lawmakers not to enforce plans requiring animals to be stunned before halal and kosher slaughtering rituals.

"We are against any form of stunning because it's against our religion," Yusuf Altuntas, president of the CMO - an organization that links the Muslim community with the Dutch government - told a parliamentary commission.

"One of the first measures taken during the Occupation (during the Second World War) was the closing of kosher abattoirs," Dutch Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs said during the debate in The Hague.

Dutch law required animals to be stunned before being slaughtered but made an exception for ritual halal and kosher slaughters.

The country's Party for Animals (PvdD) which holds two seats in the 150-seat Dutch parliament, has submitted a proposal which, if implemented, would see this exception abolished.

Dutch media widely reported that the PvdD's proposal was expected to get a majority nod from parliamentarians, but a time frame was not given.

"The animals suffer more and are more distressed if they are not stunned," Esther Ouwehand, a PvdD parliamentarian told AFP. "By getting this modification in the law, we hope to inspire other countries," she added, pointing out that in Norway and Sweden these measures had already been taken.

More than 2 million animals - mainly sheep and chickens - are subjected to ritual slaughter every year in the Netherlands, the PvdD added.

Abdelfattah Ali-Salah, director of Halal Correct, the organization which issues halal certificates in the country, however called the figure "inexact." He said some 250,000 animals were slaughtered yearly without being stunned beforehand.

Jewish and Muslim representatives Thursday insisted ritual slaughter respected the animals' welfare, notably restriction methods used to limit suffering and that those slaughtering received expert training.

"If we no longer have people who can do ritual slaughter in the Netherlands, we will stop eating meat," Chief Rabbi Jacobs said.

They did however offer to implement some measures which they said would ease the animals' suffering, especially better controls in abattoirs where ritual slaughters were performed and an improvement in conditions under which animals were being transported.

Several organizations in France in January launched a poster campaign reporting conditions in which animals were killed during ritual slaughter.

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14. 2012 IVU World Veg Congress Planned

Forwarded message:

It‘s still about more than a year away, but planning is already moving forward for the 2012 IVU World Veg Congress (WVC) to be held in San Francisco. Among the featured speakers will be John & Ocean Robbins (pictured here), Dr Michael Greger, Dr Don Forrester, Prof T. Colin Campbell, Dr Richard Oppenlander, Colleen
Patrick-Goudreau and Cherie Soria.

Other not-to-be-missed elements of the WVC include a wide variety of international
vegan cuisine, healthy food demos, vegan speed dating, children‘s corner, the
Veghealth Awards ceremony and, last but not least, live entertainment. For updates,
visit www.ivu.org/congress/2012

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