Subject: Update from MarinVEG
From: Patti Breitman
Date: 2017-02-03 9:36 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Marin Vegetarian Education Group
Update February 3, 2015

Cashew Response
Thanks to Miyoko Schinner who replied to my piece about cashews with a common sense caveat. With her permission I am sharing her note here:

Patti, thanks for shedding some light on cashews, but it's like anything else: there can be abuse in any industry. Slavery and forced labor aren't automatic. Our organic cashews are from farms that are audited (social audits, which show that the workers are paid higher than the average wage in Viet Nam). 

In fact, I have been invited to go visit them but just haven't had the time. I plan to go later in the spring. I fear that blanket articles like this can hurt businesses such as ours. We get lots of inquiries from people asking about our coconut oil because of the stories about coconuts being picked by monkeys. Things can get out of control on the internet.

Slaughterhouse Meeting Update
The Planning Commission meeting will be on Monday, February 13 at 10:30 AM.  The commissioners will probably not hear any more public comment on the issue of slaughterhouses, as they indicated that their minds were made up. Now our efforts will be focused on the Board of Supervisors who will have the final say on the issue.  The BoS won't give an indication of timing until it reaches their queue.  The planning manager hopes to submit the commission's recommendations  by March, and from then it won't be terribly long until it appears on their agenda, but we are not yet sure how many meetings they expect to have on it.

So now we are going to be working to get broad public awareness of the proposal to change the zoning to allow slaughterhouses and, we hope, broad public opposition, too. I will keep you posted on what we will be doing on that front and how you can help.  In the meantime, you can find out which supervisor represents you and begin letting them know (politely) how you feel about bringing slaughterhouses to Marin.  It is best not to mention animal rights or compassion, but to focus on safety, environment, quality of life, and other objective reasons you are opposed.  This is a challenge for many of us, but it's important that the reasons be those the supervisors  can easily support without being accused of giving in to an animal rights agenda.  You can find your supervisor at