Subject: Marin VEG December News
From: Patti Breitman
Date: 2016-11-30 8:57 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Marin Vegetarian Education Group
December, 2016

All of a sudden  we have frost on the roof in the morning, and it's dark before dinner.  Brrr!   Please wear light colored clothing if you're walking in the dark, and stay safe. Drivers are often distracted, and headlight glare can make it difficult to see pedestrians.  What good is eating a healthy diet if we are not smart about other risks?

I wish you a joyful season, and I believe that joy is possible even in the midst of troubling times.  There is plenty of work to do in this wounded world. We can do it with heart and stamina  if we remember all we have to be grateful for.  In my view, sharing what we know and what we have, supporting the good work being done for justice, and being kind at every possible opportunity is the best way to celebrate every day.

Only 21 days until the winter solstice! Enjoy every one of them and whatever holidays you observe this month, too.

Sunday, December 4 from noon until 4:00
Vegan Cooking Class with Syndee Collison
There are only a few spaces left in Syndee's fabulous, fun hands-on cooking class this coming Sunday.  Enjoy making marinated stuffed mushrooms, Sweet brown rice pesto croquettes, grilled tofu satay with peanut sauce, and much more.   The cost, including all this delicious food and recipes is $60. RSVP required. Contact Syndee at or by phone at 415-215-9802

Slaughterhouse Update
Hooray for the many people who showed up and spoke against slaughter houses at the Planning Commission meeting on November 28 and who wrote letters to the local papers.  There are still two more meetings, and we are hoping to get more people from outside the vegan world to speak against bringing slaughterhouses to Marin. The next meeting of the planning commission is scheduled for Monday, December 12 at 1 PM. There may be a board of supervisors' meeting before then where we might also speak up. I will keep you posted.

 It does not look to me that we are going to win this battle, but it is a noble fight, and we must continue to be a voice for farmed animals and compassion.  How often must some people be exposed to an idea before they consider it and take it in? Our words may be the first that the commissioners ever heard on what is wrong with raising and killing animals for human consumption.  Each message is important, even if we cannot see the results we want every time. I know that I dismissed vegetarians for years before I was ready to hear what they had to say.

The November 29 Marin IJ ran this cover story about the November 28 meeting:

And here are two letters from today's Marin IJ. Thanks to Sarah Lux and Rebecca Smith for writing them.

Slaughter runs contrary to Marin values

I’m writing to voice my opposition to amending Marin County’s development codes to allow for slaughter.

I oppose slaughter in Marin County because of my deep concerns about the negative animal welfare, environmental, public health and public safety impact it will have on residents, animals, workers and the planet.

Marin County has shown time and time again it values quality of life and progressive stances. Please stand on the right side of history this time, too — say no to slaughter.

— Rebecca Smith, San Rafael

Slaughter would hurt property values

Slaughter in Marin County would be a giant step backward for residents, animals and the environment.

The stated purpose of the proposal to allow slaughter is “to create a pathway for agricultural producers to start small and scale up to meet market demand.” This would allow for small-scale onsite and mobile slaughter across districts, as well as full-scale slaughter and rendering plants in industrial and agricultural districts.

Bad idea.

Scaling up to meet market demand for animal products has brought factory farms, illness, animal abuse, crime and more to an already overtaxed planet. The growth of animal agriculture in our county already far outpaces the growth of our plant agriculture.

Slaughter operations are among the largest polluters of water and are water-intensive. They produce tremendous waste, with up to 60 percent of a slaughtered animal unusable for consumption.

Slaughter operations drop property values. Would you want to live next door to that?

Most farm animals are killed in federally regulated slaughterhouses where abuse is rampant and local regulations could not intervene.

Ranchers could begin intensive transport into and out of the county, creating unsightly and destructive impact on once scenic country roads. And, animals could be killed in numbers up to 20,000 annually without so much as a use permit.

Instead of slaughter, Marin County officials would do well to provide for sustainable and humane solutions that will keep small farms small, increase market demand for plant foods, and keep Marin the idyllic community that it is.

— Sarah Lux, San Rafael

What About Grass Fed Beef?
An excellent article by Janice Stanger, PhD, explains the problem for the environment with grass fed beef.  This was published on the Forks Over Knives web site, well worth checking out regularly.

Very Short Survey Request
Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat, is writing a book about burgers. She asked me to share this very short survey.  Thank you for taking a minute (that's really all it takes) to complete it.

Ongoing Rift In Vegan World Explained
An article in Quartz, a digital business web site, exposes the rift in the vegan movement between abolitionists and those who want to gradually eliminate meat eating.  I can see merit on both sides of this debate. Reducing animal consumption is good.  Veganism is good.   Divisiveness helps nobody.

College Scholarships for Veg Activists
The Vegetarian Resource Group is offering two $5,000 and one $10,000 scholarships to vegetarian or vegan students who will graduate from high school in June of 2017. To learn more, go to

Change is Happening
Nancy Loewen sent this movie recommendation with good news about an ad that ran before the film. (I have not seen the film or the ad.)  It makes me feel encouraged to read this kind of news:
Somehow I wanted to tell you that I went to see Michael Moore's new film "Moore in Trumpland" which I thought was fabulous.  Anyway, before the film, there was an advertisement for some car, perhaps it was a jeep, I just don't remember.  But what did catch my eye big time was that the ad showed, in the very slick and fast way that ads do, numerous other wonderful things in life other than this car, and so suddenly there was a shot of a vegetarian restaurant, and another of a bumper sticker that read "I Love Animals."  I nearly fell off my seat, although  my surprise and delight may not be quite as warranted these days, in a way.  Still, I was so delighted with this little bit of cultural change.

Also, at one point in the Michael Moore film, Moore predicts that after 8 years of a black president, we will have 8 years of a woman president, and then 8 years of a gay president, followed by 8 years of a transgender president, and then, of all things, 8 years of a PETA president.  Fabulous once again!

No Connection
Last month I wondered if the money Veggie Grill was spending to expand its chain of restaurants was related to the investment in Beyond Meat by the Tyson Corporation.  There seems to be no connection, even though Veggie Grill will be offering the Beyond Meat burger soon. Thanks to Michele Simon of the Plant Based Food Association for telling me this.  I trust her to keep me from slipping into cynicism, and she's doing a great job.

Goings On for Vegans
Remember to look at these web sites for all kinds of events you may want to know about:  


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