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October 2009

What Veg Activities Might Learn from the Gay Rights Movement 
This article, by Sherry F. Colb, Professor of Law and Charles Evans Hughes Scholar at Cornell Law School, can be summarized as follows: Vegetarians should be more vocal about letting others know about our food choices and why we make them. The entire article can be viewed at writ.news.findlaw.com/colb/20090902.html

Here are some excerpts:

If inflicting terrible suffering and death on nonhuman animals who can feel pleasure, pain, and a wide range of emotions represents a real harm - and most people acknowledge, at some level, that it does - then no one should be offended by the suggestion that this harm must stop, just as other harms, once taken for granted as permissible, are now almost universally condemned. …

Like a gay man or a lesbian, a vegan can choose from a variety of ways of being a vegan. Some stay in the closet. One woman I know, for example, purchases only vegan foods for her home, but when she is out and about, she either eats what others are eating or claims that she is not hungry, so that people will not know her true identity. She explains that once she knows someone well, she will confide in him or her that she is a vegan. …

Often, when a vegan and a non-vegan go to a restaurant together, the non-vegan will ask a question like, "Do you mind if I order the cheeseburger?" The ethical vegan who says "No; go ahead" conveys the impression that being vegan is simply a personal choice, rather than reflecting a deep moral commitment. For most ethical vegans, the very question is frustrating, because it dares him or her to say out loud, "What you are doing is wrong, and you shouldn't do it." Not saying so feels like complicity, but saying so risks alienating others and putting one's own status at risk.

Fish Farming Now Accounts for 50% of Fish Production 
First, there was factory farming of land animals. Now, factory farming of marine animals now produces a significant percentage of the fish that human eat. Fish farming has all the downside to the welfare of the fish, to the environment, to resource utilization that farming of pigs, chickens and other land animals causes. www.sciencedaily.com/ . . .

Events:

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

CANADA: Annual Vegetarian Food Fair - Toronto - www.veg.ca/foodfair

USA :
600 Million Stray Dogs Need You - www.600millionstraydogsneedyou.org
Boston Vegetarian Food Festival - www.bostonveg.org/foodfest
Food for Life, NJ - www.njfoodforlife.org
Meat Free Movement - www.myspace.com/leronr
The Veggie Space - theveggiespace.com
Veg*n Snapshots - vgnsnaps.wordpress.com
Veggie Pride Parade, NYC, 2009 - www.veggieprideparade.org
Voice4Change - working4change.blogspot.com


September 2009

DC VegFest: An Example of How to Celebrate - Educate – Inspire

Washington, DC’s DC VegFest (www.dcvegfest.com) will be an exciting outdoor festival in the US capital city to celebrate and learn about the enormous benefits of a vegan diet and lifestyle. Co-organized by the Vegetarian Society of DC (VSDC, www.vsdc.org) and Compassion Over Killing (COK, www.cok.net), the DC VegFest will be held on Sat, 12 September from 12-6 pm. The event will feature food preparation demos and food sampling, speakers, commercial and non-profit exhibitors, and other fun activities.

To share thoughts with other organizers of similar events in the future, here are some areas that VSDC strongly believes contribute to a successful event:

  • making clear the desired outcomes of the event with quantifiable metrics to the greatest extent possible.
  • planning the event (and budget) to make it free and open to the public, encouraging as many people as possible to attend.
  • establishing the venue at a central, outdoor space with strong public transportation access. We were able to find a supportive university with an on-campus animal rights group that helped us reserve the space at a discounted rate.
  • attracting one or two speakers who have name recognition outside of the veg circles. We are fortunate to have Rory Freedman (author of the best seller Skinny Bitch and other books) and Wendy Rieger (a TV news anchor), asking both to help promote the event too.
  • utilizing online social networking and getting volunteers to promote it widely.
  • spending advertising money on low-cost, high volume postcards and getting volunteers to leaflet at strategic locations to reach people near / around the venue.
  • working personal contacts early in the process and being forthright to ask them to donate / sponsor the event or to ask specific people to help in whatever way needed.
  • always ensuring the organizing team feels and projects positive, determined energy to instill confidence in others.

For more information, see our dedicated website, www.dcvegfest.com. Please feel free to share ideas about other possibilities to help make such an event a greater success by contacting VSDC President Saurabh Dalal at president@vsdc.org

Book on Judaism and Vegetarianism Now Online At No Charge  
People of many different faiths are inspired to be vegetarian at least in part by their religious beliefs. This book, Judaism and Vegetarianism, by Richard Schwartz, a retired professor of Mathematics, is one example. Published in hard copy in 2001, it is now available free online at www.jewishveg.com/JudaismAndVegetarianism/. . . .pdf

Here is an excerpt from an endorsement of the book by Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland:

Those who seek to live in accordance with the most sublime values of Judaism will find Richard Schwartz’s book an inspiration and guide for an authentic modern Jewish life that fulfils the injunction to “turn from evil and do that which is good, seek peace and pursue it.”

The Mainstream Media Has Stolen Our Materials   TIME.com
Check out this article from Time magazine. Sounds like they plagiarized parts from some vegetarian society’s flyer. Unfortunately, not all the article is that good.
www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1917458,00.html

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

USA : Book Publishing Company - healthful, sustainable living - www.bookpubco.com
- NYC VegFest - Oct 11, 2009 - vegfest.webs.com


August 2009

American Dietetic Association’s New Paper on Veg Diets  查看完整尺寸的图片
The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of nutrition professionals. This month, they released an updated version of their position paper on vegetarian diets.
eatright.org/. . ./advocacy_933_ENU_HTML.htm

Here’s an excerpt. You can read the entire paper online.

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.


July 2009

Welcome to New IVU Member Society and Supporters

Humane Society of Louisiana - mission is to investigate and prevent cruelty to animals. The group also hosts the annual NOLA Veggie Fest in New Orleans.

How Many Vegetarians Are There? 
Vegetarian societies are often asked how many vegetarians there are in their country, city, etc. Often, no data are available. However, there was a new poll in the U.S., which you can read about at www.vrg.org/press/2009poll.htm  Approximately, 3% of the population are lacto-ovo vegetarian and about 1% are vegan. You might be able to use the survey’s questions to do a similar study of your own.

 

Swine Flu and Factory Farming                           
According to Dr. Michael Greger, Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture for the Humane Society of the United States, the way animals are farmed in factory farms suppresses their immune system and gave rise to swine flu (now known as H1N1). American Public Health Association has called for an end of factory farming: www.jhsph.edu/. . . /farm_moratorium.html  

New Movie – Food, Inc. 
This film, Food, Inc. - www.foodincmovie.com/about-the-film.php - is not a pro-veg movie, and right now, it’s only showing in North America, but people who’ve seen it say there’s lots of good stuff in it. Here’s a review by one of the top US film critics -  rogerebert.suntimes.com/. . . /REVIEWS/906179985 and one from Time magazine - www.time.com/. . .1904144,00.html

However, one North American vegetarian activist was less than thrilled with the film. He reported that there is a scene where a farmer "jokes" that the animals have many good days and one very bad day - as he is slaughtering chickens calmly on camera. The activist’s overall view is that it is “vegetarian neutral or even a bit antagonistic”.

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
USA
Beyond the Garden - www.mybeyondthegardentv.com
Vegan 101 - www.meetup.com/vegan101
VeggieFest Chicago 2009 - www.veggiefestchicago.org

Events


June 2009

Review of ‘The Face on Your Plate’  
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is a former Professor of Sanskrit and Project Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives who turned his attention to the emotional lives of animals around 15 years ago. Since that time he has written several popular books on the subject, including When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie About Love, The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats, and The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, the last of which described the emotional lives of farmed animals and led to the author becoming a vegan. (Details of these and other publications can be found on the author’s website www.jeffreymasson.com.)

The Face on Your Plate -WW Norton, 271pp, pbk - presents the case for veganism. Each of the book's five chapters, as well as the lengthy introduction, can be viewed as separate essays. As might be expected, The Face on Your Plate draws heavily on the author's experiences researching and writing his previous books, especially in the second and fourth chapters which deal, respectively, with the conditions under which farm animals are reared and the reasons why most people implicitly deny the realities of animal farming through their choice of diet. The other three chapters present the environmental case for veganism, "the fishy business of aquaculture", and, finally, a discussion of the consequences for health of a plant-based diet and the author's own experience of life as a vegan. This last chapter is rather self-indulgent (do we really need to know what the author eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner?) and, with its many references to US grocery chains and exotic foods not generally found in the UK will be of limited use to British readers. Some of the arguments presented here are unconvincing, and insufficient evidence is presented in support of the extravagant claim that "from a purely scientific and nutritional point of view ... there is no healthier diet than a vegan one".

The author is on much firmer ground in other sections of the book where he appeals to the reader’s compassion rather than their self-interest. The first three chapters in particular contain plenty of valuable material and cogent arguments for veganism that will be of benefit to both the converted and the unconverted. The author’s informal, anecdotal style will appeal to many readers. He is astonishingly well read, as shown by the extensive recommended reading list, and some telling quotations are presented at the beginning of each chapter.

Masson’s arguments are unashamedly emotional. He wants the reader to empathise with farmed animals, to recognise the cruelties and deprivations inflicted upon them, to imagine themselves in their predicament, and ultimately to stop eating meat and other animal products – in short, to become a vegan. In answer to the charge that vegans care more about animals than they do about people, he asserts: “There is nothing more important to think about than the heart of empathy, which in the final analysis is nothing other than the ability to love. Becoming a vegan is simply one manifestation of that love.” Like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, quoted at the beginning of chapter four, Masson likens the adoption of a vegan diet to "a change of perception akin to a religious conversion". Though not the most cohesive argument for veganism, The Face on Your Plate has the potential to create many more converts.

Paul Appleby, May 2009

Revamped Website and Other News from Carol Adams
Carol Adams, noted vegetarian author (including ‘How to Eat Like a Vegetarian Even if You Never Want to Be One’) and IVU supporter, sends news of a newly redesigned website - www.caroljadams.com – and an upcoming book – ‘The Sexual Politics of Meat (20th anniversary edition)’, coming November 2009. Twentieth Anniversary Edition. Also, Carol is inviting people for whom The Sexual Politics of Meat was an important book to send her videos: www.caroljadams.com/contact.html

Plus, you can join Carol on Facebook at www.facebook.com/.../carol,adams... and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/_caroljadams

New Book for Kids – ‘That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals’
Here’s the blurb from the book’s website www.wedonteatanimals.com
‘That’s Why We Don’t Eat Animals’ takes a candid, compassionate look at the plight of animals on factory farms, using gorgeous artwork and lively text to introduce vegetarianism and veganism to early readers.
An endearing cast of animals is shown both in their natural state—rooting around, bonding, nuzzling, cuddling, grooming one another, and charming each other with their family instincts and rituals—and in the sad conditions of the factory farm. The book also addresses the effect eating animals has on our environment, rainforests, and endangered species. At the end, a section entitled “What Else Can We Do?” suggests ways children can learn more about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyles.
The boldest step yet in children’s literature, this heartfelt, informative book offers a key resource to inspire parents and children to talk about a timely, increasingly important subject.

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

CANADA
Vegetarians In Canada - groups.yahoo.com/group/vegetariansincanada
Vegetarian Spice - email group - groups.yahoo.com/group/vegetarianspice

USA
Arbonne International - www.premierproducts.myarbonne.com
Bello Iris- Where Fashion Meets Compassion - www.belloiris.com
Prolife Vegans and Vegetarians - message board - prolifevegansandvegetarians.freeforums.org


[Saurabh Dalal]May 2009

Interview with IVU International Council Member Saurabh Dalal

Saurabh Dalal has served on the IVU International Council for many years. Currently, he is the Council’s Deputy Chair. Saurabh kindly agreed to be interviewed for ‘IVU Online News’.

read the full interview . . .

Video Source from VegSource
VegSource, the organisation that hosts the IVU website, has started a new video feature. Twice a week, they add short video clips of notable vegans and vegetarians, who share personal stories and perspectives about being veg.

If you want to see these videos as they come out, you can subscribe to the VegSource Newsletter. Every time they post a new video, they'll send you a notice by email.

To subscribe to these alerts: www.vegsource.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi?f=list&l=news

Recent clips include:

Reasons to be Vegetarian – Health or Kindness?
Virginia Messina is a well-known vegan dietician. Here, from her blog - veggiedietitian/.../vegan-for-health-of-it.html - are some thoughts on reasons for our dietary choices:

I’ve been resisting the urge to write about last week’s big news story concerning meat and mortality. The study made a case against high intakes of meat and got lots of press. It reinforced the idea that red meat is bad for us, so that’s a good thing for anyone who promotes a plant-based diet.

Like all epidemiologic studies, it had its share of weaknesses, but the large number of subjects helps to counteract some of that. Furthermore, the results are supported to some extent by other research about the dangers associated with red meat consumption.

But the study also found that eating more white meat, like chicken, was linked to a lower risk of mortality. The take home message, according to many of the articles I read, was “Eat less red meat and more chicken and fish.” It’s the same message we’ve been hearing for decades, ever since people started talking about cholesterol and heart disease. And it’s a message that really sticks. Most health conscious people don’t eat less meat; they eat different meat. And even among those who have cut back on meat for health reasons, most haven’t cut it out.

The same goes for dairy. Whole milk may be taboo on many menus, but it’s simply been replaced with nonfat yogurt.

We have piles of good data about the benefits of eating more whole plant foods and a largely plant-based diet. What we don’t have (yet) are studies showing that vegans have significantly better health than those who eat mostly plant foods but still include some small amounts of animal foods in their diets.

That’s just one of the reasons I’ve never been a big fan of the “health argument” for vegan diet. If we are going to rely on the scientific data in a way that is smart and responsible—as all good vegan health professionals should—then the argument falls short of convincing.

The best advocacy is based on arguments that are rooted in solid fact—the ones that focus on the suffering of farm animals. When it comes to health, I’m not convinced that a few bites of chicken would hurt me. But I know beyond a doubt that those few bites would contribute to animal suffering.

The Animal Activist’s Handbook

Here’s a new book by two people active in promoting animal welfare:
The Animal Activist’s Handbook: Maximizing Our Positive Impact in Today’s World by Matt Ball (of Vegan Outreach) and Bruce Friedrich (of PETA).

Here is a review from Compassion Over Killing:
www.cok.net/lit/handbookreview

‘The Question Is Not, Can They Reason? Nor, Can They Talk? But, Can They Suffer?’

Here’s a piece by a New York Times columnist about the ascendance of the idea that the welfare of our fellow animals deserves consideration.
www.nytimes.com/2009/04/09/opinion/09kristof.html?_r=1&em

Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
USA:
Central Jersey Vegetarian Group (CJVG) - cjvg.org
Cruelty-Free.org | Animal Defense Team - www.cruelty-free.org
National Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine - www.niam.com
New Jersey Vegetarian Resources - njveg.com
Shop Vegan Raw - www.ShopVeganRaw.com
Vegetarian Society of South Jersey - vssj.com


 

Read the complete latest issue of IVU Online News