June 27, 2011

06/27/2011 JVNA Online Newsletter

Shalom everyone,

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

1. My Webinar on “Judaism and Vegetarianism”/Suggestions Very Welcome

2. Vegan Resort in Costa Rica Seeking Help

3. Al Gore’s Comprehensive, Challenging Article About Climate Change Published in Rolling Stone Magazine

4. Vegetarian Week-Related Contest Organized

5. MANY Thanks to Some Wonderful JVNA Volunteers

6. More JVNA Volunteers Needed

7. JVNA Advisor To Participate in Half-Marathon to Raise Money To Improve Conditions for Animals

8. Terrible Rumor of Dog Stoned in Israel Is False!

9. State Of The Ocean: 'Shocking' Report Warns Of Mass Extinction From Current Rate Of Marine Distress

10. Will Cultured Meat Production Benefit Humanity?

11. Climate Change Accelerating Sea Level Increases

12. Western Fast Food Causing a Diabetes Epidemic

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. My Webinar on “Judaism and Vegetarianism”/Suggestions Very Welcome

http://www.jewishveg.com/schwartz/Webinar_Judaism and Vegetarianism.ppt

Many thanks to JVNA advisor Kris Haley and her husband and Craig Haley for their great work putting this webinar together.

I plan to add audio explanations and possibly use the slides as part of a power point presentation. So, suggestions will be very welcome. Thanks.

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2. Vegan Resort in Costa Rica Seeking Help

Forwarded message:

I am writing on behalf of Lands in Love animal friendly zone, hotel and resort founded six years ago by a group of 18 friends from Israel, all vegetarian and animal lovers with the purpose of providing safe home for homeless animals.

The resort is functioning as an economical structure enabling to provide all the needs to the many animals we host as well as a community structure for ecological, vegetarian and animal lovers retreat.

In the last three years we are encountering economic difficulties due to the global economic crisis and its impact on Costa Rica tourism.

The animals we host (more than 200 and growing) need daily treatment, food, vaccination, shelter, medical care and much more.

We need help

Accommodation or lots on our property are optional in return to your donation.

We are dedicated and persistent in our efforts and need assistance to keep saving animals, being a new home for them.

Thank you.



Tel: + 506 2447 9331
Fax: + 506 2447 9334
US: + 1 408 21 0991
Skype user: assaf6791
Costa Rica

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3. Al Gore’s Comprehensive, Challenging Article About Climate Change Published in Rolling Stone Magazine

Climate of Denial

Can science and the truth withstand the merchants of poison?


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4. Vegetarian Week-Related Contest Organized

* Vegetarian Week Contest

This year the Vegetarian Week planners have organized a contest in order 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 receive prizes.

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

Read the contest Guidelines:


Login to submit contributions:


* Vegetarian Week 2011

The preparation for the Vegetarian Week 2011 continues, under the motto "A sustainable Future Depends on Our Food Choices". See the Call For Action and use our Resources to prepare your own Vegetarian Week.

October 1-7, or around those days.

Call For Action:


Posters and Flyers


Images, Videos and texts


To change e-mail address or stop receiving this newsletter :


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5. MANY Thanks to Some Wonderful JVNA Volunteers

Maida Genser has been helping JVNA for several years by putting the e-newsletters out on the blog at http://jewishveg.blogspot.com/ and doing some web site updates.

She would like everyone to please check out her web page for her main charitable work, Citizens for Pets in Condos at http://www.petsincondos.org. Citizens FOR Pets in Condos is a non-profit public advocacy and educational organization dedicated to increasing acceptance of companion animals in condos and other types of association-run housing.

Maida summarizes the groups activities, “We educate the public about the health benefits of having animal companions and also advocate for responsible pet ownership/guardianship. Our motto: ‘creating a win-win situation for both people & pets.’ We provide resources for a pet-friendly America/Florida.”

We have another wonderful volunteer keeping our website well organized, but he prefers to be anonymous, at least for now.

John Diamond, our secretary/treasurer continues to do very important work in sending out DVDs, and Israel and Eva Mossman continue to be very helpful in sending out JVNA leaflets on request.

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6. More JVNA Volunteers Needed

We can always use more voluntary help in getting our messages out more effectively. There is much work to be done, and we have absolutely no paid staff at all. Even if you can only spare an hour a week or so, that would be very helpful and much appreciated. Thanks.

We can especially use some voluntary accounting help and help finding contacts - rabbis, synagogues, JCCs, professors of religion, etc. - that we can send our messages to.

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7. JVNA Advisor To Participate in Half-Marathon to Raise Money To Improve Conditions for Animals

Forwarded message:


I will be participating in the Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon October 2 in San Jose. This is a fundraiser for PETA and I am writing to ask for whatever donation you can afford to help animals the world over.


Please go to the link below and click on the green SUPPORT RON! box to the right in order to make your donation online. Thank you on behalf of the animals everywhere. If possible, kindly share this with loved ones, friends, relatives, co-workers, professional associates, and neighbors.


Ron Landskroner

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8. Terrible Rumor of Dog Stoned in Israel Is False!

The Case of the Dog Who Was Not Stoned

There has been a story going around, based on an incorrect story in an Israeli newspaper, alleging that an Israeli rabbinic court ordered a dog that was causing a commotion to be stoned to death.

Jewish court orders dog to die by stoning, believing it was a godless lawyer reborn


Fortunately, as indicated at the website below, the story is false.


I submitted the posting below after the article at the website immediately above. Please go to that website and post a message reinforcing our position. Thanks.


As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I am very happy to learn that the story about the stoning of a dog is false, because many people emailed me asking for my reaction to the original story.

However, while there is evidently much concern about one dog allegedly being stoned to death, I wonder why there is little or no concern about what I consider a far more disturbing situation - the massive mistreatment and then slaughter of almost 60 billion farmed animals annually worldwide, so that people can enjoy eating meat, a product that is causing an epidemic of heart disease, various types of cancer, and other chronic, degenerative diseases. Making the situation even worse is that animal agriculture is contributing to climate change, food shortages, scarcities of water and energy, deforestation, desertification, rapid species extinctions, soil erosion, and other problems that greatly threaten humanity.

It is important that we strive to increase awareness of Judaism's beautiful teachings on compassion to animals.

For more information on Jewish teachings on the proper treatment of animals and other vegetarian-related issues, please visit JewishVeg.com/schwartz. Also, please visit aSacredDuty.com to see our acclaimed documentary "A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World."

How about a respectful dialogue on "Should Jews Be Vegetarians?" It would be a Kiddush Hashem (a sanctification of God's Name), by showing the relevance of Judaism's eternal teachings to modern issues.


A later article:

'No dog stoned to death in Jerusalem court'


By Jessica Elgot, June 20, 2011

Jewish Chronicle Online

A rabbinical court in Mea Shearim did not sentence a dog to death

No stray dog was condemned to death, or stoned by a rabbinical court in Jerusalem, the Beth Din have insisted.

Israeli’s newspaper Maariv reported that a stray dog has wandered into a Beth Din financial court in the strictly Orthodox area of Mea Shearim and refused to be moved, which a judge decreed was a reincarnation of a secular lawyer who died 20 years ago.

Reports said the judges then "decreed" that local children stone the dog to death. But the secretariat of the court released a statement calling the reports “bitter humour” and said all that had happened was that the city dogcatcher had been called to remove the stray.

The story made headlines around the world, and was the “Most Read” story on the BBC – despite a correction and apology being printed in Maariv.

A statement from the court said: “There is no basis for stoning dogs or any other animal in the Jewish religion, not since the days of the Temple or Abraham.

“The female dog found a seat in the corner of the court. And the children were delighted by it; there were hundreds outside the court. They are used to seeing stray cats but most have never seen a dog before. The only action we took was to dial the number of the Jerusalem Municipality to get the people in charge to take it away.

“There was no talk of reincarnation, a lawyer has never been mentioned, either now or 20 years ago, and there was no stoning. Such inventions are a kind of blood libel, and we wonder why the inventor of the story did not continue to describe how we collected the blood of the dog to make our matzah.”

The story, when circulated on Yahoo, attracted more than 1,800 comments, most expressing violent anger. One wrote “the more I see of Israelis, the more I like my dog.”

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9. State Of The Ocean: 'Shocking' Report Warns Of Mass Extinction From Current Rate Of Marine Distress


A related article:


Very frightening situation.

From a cyber friend from Malaysia:

[Moshiach] Ben David will not come until they will seek fish for a sick person and not find it - [the rivers will be as thick as oil, fish cannot live in them]- Talmud Sanhedrin 98a

Pollution, global warming and other man-made problems are pushing the world's oceans to the brink of a mass extinction of marine life unprecedented in tens of millions of years, a consortium of scientists has warned.

Dying coral reefs, biodiversity ravaged by invasive species, expanding open-water "dead zones," toxic algae blooms, and the massive depletion of big fish stocks are all accelerating, according to the report, which is due to be presented at the United Nations on Tuesday.

"We now face losing marine species and entire marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs, within a single generation,'' the report said.

The rate at which carbon is being absorbed by the ocean is already far greater than at the time of the last globally significant extinctions, which wiped out up to 50 per cent of some deep-sea animals, the report said.

Overfishing has also reduced some commercial fish stocks by more than 90 per cent.

"We are looking at consequences for humankind that will impact in our lifetime."

Sources: CNN and Aljazeera

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10. Will Cultured Meat Production Benefit Humanity?

Environmental Impacts of Cultured Meat Production

Hanna L. Tuomisto†* and M. Joost Teixeira de Mattos‡

University of Oxford, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, The Recanati-Kaplan Centre, Tubney House, Abingdon Road, Tubney, Oxon OX13 5QL, U.K.

University of Amsterdam, Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences, Molecular Microbial Physiology Group, NL-1018 WV Amsterdam, Netherlands

Environ. Sci. Technol., Article ASAP
DOI: 10.1021/es200130u
Publication Date (Web): June 17, 2011
Copyright © 2011 American Chemical Society
E-mail: hanna.tuomisto@zoo.ox.ac.uk; Tel.: +447726450316;
Fax: +441865393101.


Cultured meat (i.e., meat produced in vitro using tissue engineering techniques) is being developed as a potentially healthier and more efficient alternative to conventional meat. Life cycle assessment (LCA) research method was used for assessing environmental impacts of large-scale cultured meat production. Cyanobacteria hydrolysate was assumed to be used as the nutrient and energy source for muscle cell growth. The results showed that production of 1000 kg cultured meat requires 26–33 GJ energy, 367–521 m3 water, 190–230 m2land, and emits 1900–2240 kg CO2-eq GHG emissions. In comparison to conventionally produced European meat, cultured meat involves approximately 7–45% lower energy use (only poultry has lower energy use), 78–96% lower GHG emissions, 99% lower land use, and 82–96% lower water use depending on the product compared. Despite high uncertainty, it is concluded that the overall environmental impacts of cultured meat production are substantially lower than those of conventionally produced meat.


Thanks to Herma Caelen for forwarding this material to us.

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11. Climate Change Accelerating Sea Level Increases

Sea Levels Rising at Fastest Rate in 2000 Years

By Samantha Oltman

Wed Jun. 22, 2011 12:00 PM PDT


The science behind a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal is complicated, but the evidence is more precise than it has ever been: Sea levels are now rising at a faster rate than they were at any time in the past 2,000 years. For much of the two millenia measured in the study, sea levels were either stabilized or rising at .25 millimeters per year. But right around the end of the 19th century, sea levels started rising at a comparatively drastic 2.1 millimeters per year, and the trend has continued today.


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12. Western Fast Food Causing a Diabetes Epidemic

Diabetes epidemic affecting 350m – and western fast food is to blame

• Lancet study shows diabetes now a major health problem
• Number of people with disease has doubled since 1980

Robin McKie
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 25 June 2011 16.59 BST


Thanks to author and JVNA advisor Lewis Regenstein for sending this article to us.

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