Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is for GR's Newest Vegan Entrepreneurs
Another vegan coup is unfolding right here in little ol' GR. Local chef, filmmaker, record producer, and now vegan entrepreneur Ryan Cappelletti is opening Bartertown and ROC's Cakes--a worker owned, vegi-vegan-raw diner and cakeshop located at 6 Jefferson Street in Grand Rapids. If you're as excited as I am about this incredible development, please show your love by coming out to a Bartertown benefit on Monday, February 21st at the Wealthy Street Theater at 8pm. In addition to the singular opportunity to support an amazing new venue in our fair city, your contribution of $5.00 includes admission to a screening of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (the film that inspired the name "Bartertown"). Your contribution of $10.00 buys admission to the movie plus $5.00 in Bartertown Bucks to spend at the diner. Limited edition tees and other ground-level merch will be for sale as well. Mark your calendars and see you there!
Thursdays Through October: Farm Fresh Produce at 1905 Madison SE (near Burton)
If you attended Bryant Terry's unforgettable cooking demo at Wake Up Weekend 2010, you're already aware of the problem of urban food deserts--places in the city where lack of access to fresh, affordable, healthful food threatens the well-being of the people who live there. Thanks to a partnership between the Kent County Health Department and the Greater Grand Rapids Food Systems Council, there's a new food oasis in town where fresh, locally-grown produce from regional farms and community gardens are available and EBT-Bridge Cards are accepted for payment. To become a vendor or to learn more about the market, contact Yvonne or Christy with your questions. Don't miss this important opportunity to help make widespread food autonomy a reality in our community!
TONIGHT! The Truth About Food (FOR FREE!) in a Neighborhood Near You!
Doors open at 6PM and the reel gets rolling at 6:30. There will be information tables to browse and a question-and-answer discussion after the show. This event is sponsored by Aquinas College's Students Striving for Sustainability, WMCO-OP, and Slow Food West Michigan. Why not make it an evening to remember by visiting Brick Road for some vegan pizza before the show, and The Meanwhile for a local pitcher and some post-film discussion?
Mark Your Calendars for Saturday, July 11 at 11:30 am!
Interested in hearing a free lecture by Will Tuttle, peace activist and author of The World Peace Diet? Come to Brick Road Pizza at 11:30 am on Saturday morning to catch the lecture, and stay for an optional vegan buffet at 12:30 pm (the cost of the optional buffet is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children under 12). See you on Saturday!
Join Forces With a Great New Vegan Vlog
Recent college graduate Michelle Taylor has taken her passions for clear, engaging communication and compassionate eating and channeled them into an excellent new vegan blog comprised of a series of brief video clips designed to demythologize the transition to a whole foods, plant-based diet. Check out Vegan Break and show your support for Michelle's exciting new initiative!
Better Safe Than Sorry: Please, No Peanut Ingredients in Potluck/Cook-Off Foods
Due to the nationwide salmonella outbreak that has been linked to peanuts, we are declaring Wake Up Weekend 2009 a peanut- and peanut-ingredient-free event. While it is disappointing to have to rule out so many delicious recipes in one fell swoop, I suspect we'll all be happier without the specter of a mass outbreak looming over our festivities. Apologies to Jimmy Carter, as well as to those of you who may have been planning a peanut-based contribution to our events. Luckily, the peanut-free options for tasty vegan vittles are practically limitless! Let's stay on the safe side and exploit some of those!
Vegan. For the People. For the Planet. For the Animals. It's that simple.
Nonviolence United, a nonprofit NGO out of Boulder, Colorado, has done the movement a great service with this excellent 12-minute video that details the variety of pressing reasons--human, animal, and environmental--for choosing a vegan lifestyle. Instead of relying on the tired tactics of doom, gloom, shame, blame and gory images of suffering animals, the folks at NU have given us an inspiring vision of veganism as a smart, green, compassionate way to live well for ourselves, the earth, and our fellow creatures. The video embedded above is a self-contained 9-minute edit (drat, those YouTube length restrictions!), but the full version is well worth watching. Share it generously with family and friends! And don't forget to register your support with Nonviolence United for doing us all such a good turn with this positive, upbeat resource!
Prestigious Pew Commission Affirms California Ballot Initiative
The following is the text of an e-mail update from Paul Shapiro, director of the factory farming campaign at The Humane Society of the United States.
The panel concluded that factory farms pose unacceptable risks to public health, the environment and animal welfare. It also issued a series of recommendations, including a phase-out of battery cages, gestation crates, veal crates, foie gras, and tail-docking of dairy cows, along with inclusion of poultry under the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act. The Commission even put out a press release in which it cites the pending California anti-cruelty ballot measure as one of "the types of modest animal welfare public policy improvements that the Commissioners recommend implementing."
The Washington Post published a great story on page A2 today entitled, "Report Targets Cost of Factory Farming." USA Today's story begins, "The way America produces meat, milk and eggs is unsustainable, creates significant risks to public health from antibiotic resistance and disease, damages the environment and unnecessarily harms animals, a report released Tuesday says." The Wall Street Journal's coverage focuses both on the problems caused by factory farming and the Commission's conclusion that the "agriculture industry is exerting 'significant influence' on academic research." And the Des Moines Register's article highlights the fact that the Commission is accusing "some livestock interests of trying to disrupt a wide-ranging study of the industry by threatening to yank financing for scientists and universities."Comments (1)
Compassionate Eating as Care of Creation
As many of you know, I spent the summer writing a booklet on the intersection of animal ethics and faith issues (from a Christian perspective) for the Humane Society of the United States. The result of this endeavor is finally available online and you can check it out here. The limited edition version of the publication (which is not yet featured on the website) includes 14 amazing collages by our very own Adam Wolpa. We hope to have a pdf of the limited edition up soon, but until then you can check out Wolpa's collages here.
Something for Everyone
While the argument developed in this booklet is grounded primarily in broadly Christian assumptions, my hope is that there may still be some strategic value in the booklet for people who do not share these assumptions. After all, many non-Christians who care about the plight of animals still have a vested interest in being able to appeal to Christian audiences in a language that such audiences can understand and appreciate. Moreover, there are certain empirical facts about the fallout of our dependence on industrial animal agriculture that all of us have a vested interest in knowing, regardless of our diverse religious identities. Pages 23-36 focus specifically on these empirical issues, so if you're allergic to religious discourse but still interested in the general topic, you can skip straight to this section of the booklet for a succinct overview (with recourse to the latest scientific research) of the hidden human, animal, and environmental consequences of the traditional American diet.
VegMichigan Goes All Out on April 13th!
Those of you who attended this year's Wake Up Weekend! will remember enjoying fellowship with our friends from the East, VegMichigan. On April 13th, we'll have a chance to see them again, this time on their side of the state, at the Metro Detroit Great American Meatout in Ferndale, MI. With free food from local veg-friendly restaurants, product samples from veg companies, and a cavalcade of excellent speakers, this event is a "must attend" for Michigan vegans on a mission! Tickets may be purchased in advance here at a discounted rate of just $7.00 per person ($3.00 for students, children 5 and under are free). Interested in free admission to the Meatout plus a free subscription to VegNews Magazine? Consider joining VegMichigan; membership has its privileges! Interested in carpooling or joining a Grand Rapids caravan destined for the Meatout? Leave a comment below and we'll see what develops.
Why not green your diet and your wallet simultaneously?
According to this article by MSN Money correspondent Mark McCredie, it's possible to do both at once, as long as you focus on the staples and avoid the temptation to binge on chanterelle mushrooms at Whole Foods (just $39.99 a pound, while supplies last). An important part of his argument, interestingly, is that some of the savings afforded by a green diet come in the form of the money you won't have to spend on long-term healthcare costs.
or "NYTimes Public Editor Deals Planck Shattering Blow"
The torrents of indignant letters from people affronted by Nina Planck's misinformed op-ed on veganism apparently swamped the New York Times editorial office to such an extent that they had their "Public Editor" investigate. The result? Planck gets another spanking. Check it out here.
OR "Weak Planck Splinters Under Weight of Scientific Evidence"
From the American Dietetic Association to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, virtually everyone who is up to date on the latest research in nutritional and dietary science agrees that a well-planned vegan diet is safe for all stages of the human life cycle (including pregnancy, infancy, childhood and adolescence).
It is curious, in light of this, that the New York Times recently saw fit to publish an op-ed piece entitled "Death By Veganism" in which food writer Nina Planck asserts, among other falsehoods, that vegan pregnancies are "irresponsible" and that vegan diets are nutritionally inadequate "in the long run".
Predictably, the bloggosphere was instantly ablaze with incendiary trash-talking from both sides of the fence. Happily, not everyone gave into the temptation to reply to Ms. Planck in kind, as is evidenced here in Dr. John McDougall's level-headed and thoroughly compelling response to the many myths, exaggerations, and outright falsehoods proffered in "Death By Veganism".
We have all been familiar with the advertising that states having three servings of milk a day will help you lose weight. Well, now that campaign is ending. In an article written by Kim Severson for the New York Times, she explores the role of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine's role in the ads being pulled. Many familiar with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) have already been aware that dairy products do not assist in weight loss. Instead, dairy damages our bodies (see PCRM's website for more information). PCRM played a role in getting the ads pulled by complaining to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) about the Dairy Council's misleading ads. If you wish to read more of the article, click here.Comments (1)
Here is yet another reason to not support the pork industry and not eat dead pigs.
Of course, they inhumanely raise and kill baby and young adult pigs -- who are smarter than dogs, if that makes a difference -- for the mere pleasure of eating their dead bodies.
But this is something new: a clever and creative woman runs a pro-breast feeding site called "The Lactivist" page, which is dedicated to "Supporting Breastfeeding in Public, Extended Breastfeeding and Breast Milk Bank Donations." (If you don't know that breast milk is the best food for babies, read up here and pretty much any other source that's not sponsored by baby formula companies). To raise some funds for her important cause, she makes some cool T-shirts. Anyway, she used to have a shirt that said "The Other White Milk." But she recently got a cease and desist order for producing this shirt from the National Pork Board claiming that violates their trademark on the phrase "the other white meat." They claim that her "use of this slogan also tarnishes the good reputation [WHAT?!?!] of the National Pork Board's mark in light of your apparent attempt to promote the use of breastmilk beyond merely for infant consumption, such as with the following slogans on your website in close proximity to the slogan "The Other White Milk." "Dairy Diva," "Nursing, Nature's Own Breast Enhancement," "Eat at Mom's, fast-fresh-from the breast," and "My Milk is the Breast."
We already knew the Pork Board was pretty darn bad , but this is certainly a different kind of low. But for the details on this interesting story, see here.
I'm sure some people (I think maybe even this woman) say that pork should be boycotted because of this, but since pork should be boycotted anyway, I won't say that.
Got health? If not, then consider the position statement on vegan and vegetarian diets by the leading authority on nutrition in North America based on their seventeen-page review of the recent nutrition research:
- It is the position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada that appropriately planned vegetarian diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. . . Well-planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle, including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence. . . A vegetarian, including vegan, diet can meet current recommendations for all of these nutrients. . . Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals. Vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass indices than nonvegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease; vegetarians also show lower blood cholesterol levels; lower blood pressure; and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.
Read the full position paper and check the sources here:
“Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian Diets,” Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 2003;103:748-765.
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