Subject: Marin VEG February News
From: Patti Breitman
Date: 2017-01-31 8:52 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

February, 2017
Marin Vegetarian Education Group

Even when headlines make me cry with despair, there is good news, too, if I look for it. This doesn't deny there is much to protest and much work to do, but it's healthy to find cause to celebrate even when our hearts hurt. For starters, the reservoirs are full. All those months of wishing for rain, and now we crave sunshine again.  The milkmaids and fetid adders' tongue are in bloom, well worth a muddy hike to enjoy them.  And how about Ringling Brothers circus shutting down? Did you think that would happen this year?  I was giddy with delight when I learned about that.   As February begins, let's keep our radar alert to any cause for joy.

Sunday, February 12
Goatlandia Volunteer Day
From 10:30 until 1:00 on Sunday, February 12 you can clean the animal homes, wash the animal dishes, shovel hay and wood chips and give lots of hugs at a volunteer day at Goatlandia.  Enjoy a delicious plant based lunch following the work. RSVP is mandatory, and the work party is limited to only 15 people. This happens at Goatlandia Animal Sancturay, 2336 Olivet Lane in Santa Rosa.  To RSVP write to

Monday, February 13
Slaughterhouse Issue: Planning Commission Meeting
A meeting to vote on whether to recommend a change in the zoning in Marin to allow slaughterhouses will probably be held on Monday, February 13.  When I confirm the meeting and the time, I will send another email.  This vote is on what the planning commission will recommend to the Board of Supervisors. The BOS will make the official decision in a few weeks/months.

Hold the Date: March 11;  Register Now
Conscious Eating Conference in Berkeley
A terrific line up of speakers is coming to Berkeley's Conscious Eating Conference on Saturday, March 11.  The morning has three wonderful presenters, and the afternoon will focus on "Does Religion Help or Hinder Animal Liberation."  Speakers include Will Tuttle, Carol J. Adams, Cogen Bohanec, Kim Socha, and Jonathan Klein. Registration is now open: $15 in advance; $25 at the door, and admission includes lunch. If anyone wants to volunteer at my booth for Dharma Voices for Animals, you will not have to pay admission. Please let me know asap if you can help.   Learn more and register to attend at

Ringling Brothers Circus to Close
How exciting to learn that Ringling Brothers Circus will be closing in May!  In every story about the closing, animal rights activists were named as one of the primary reasons for the end of this 146 year institution.  I offer abundant gratitude to every volunteer who protested at the circus, educating families about the cruelty involved in capturing and training animals to perform. One of many reports on the closing can be found here:

Birkenstock Introduces Vegan Line

It's hard to believe that it's taken this long, but the German shoe company famous for comfortable "hippie" shoes has introduced a line of vegan shoes in the United States. See the shoes and learn about this response to demand at   As a bonus, below the article about Birkenstock, there is an 8 minute television interview with Caron J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat and co-author of my books Never Too Late to Go Vegan and How to Eat Like a  Vegetarian Even if You Never Want to Be One.

Bob Linden Speaks Out Against Many Vegan Organizations
The founder and host of GoVegan Radio, Bob Linden, speaks his mind about the compromises being made by some vegan organizations and the erosion of vegan advocacy among animal activists.  I found this 19 minute video fascinating because this is a subject that gets very little press.  Maybe that's because it divides the movement between abolitionists and those who promote a more gradual approach. I do miss the days when going vegan was the only alternative to harming animals, before so called "humane farming" introduced the myths and language of happy animals being raised to be killed.

Bad News About Cashews
Yes, cashews are good for you. And they are versatile and popular in vegan diets. But a report from the U.K. from 2015 is making the rounds again, and in it we learn the dark side of the cashew industry.  The women who work in India to extract cashews from their hard shells endure damage to their hands and earn very low pay for their efforts.  In Vietnam, the work is done in forced labor camps where workers are beaten or shocked.  Time magazine called the industry "blood cashews."  Does it help the workers if we stop buying cashews? Does it keep women employed if we don't? As always, it's a tough call. In any event, this article is worth reading.

Animals as Gifts
Around the holiday season, a few companies promote giving an animal to an impoverished family overseas to help that family make a better living.  Free From Harm published a very good article about the many reasons that this is a terrible idea. I wanted to save this for next December, but my organizing system is not reliable enough for that, so I'm sharing it now. Thanks to Judith G. for bringing this piece to my attention.

As always, be sure to look at  and  to find out what's happening in February. Also, check out Compassionate Living in Sonoma County. Their web site is   And The San Francisco Veg Society at www. also has events you may enjoy.


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