Subject: April News from Marin Veg
From: Patti Breitman <>
Date: 2018-03-31 5:02 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Marin Vegetarian Education Group
April 2018

Last week there was frost on the roof in the morning. Now I need my ceiling fan in the afternoon. As the seasons and weather change, I am reminded of what the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said: "The only thing that is constant is change."  I wish you ease with ever changing conditions, and joy in the coming weeks of bright green leaves, new wild flowers, frog choruses and bird song. Hope to see you on April 11. Details below.

Wednesday, April 11

Vegan Cheese Making Workshop
The Fairfax Backyard Farmer (135 Bolinas Road, Fairfax) is offering a class called Intro to Cheese Making: Vegan Cheese with Miyoko Schinner on Wednesday, April 11 from 6 to 8 PM. Space is limited, and there are only a handful of slots still available, so do not hesitate if you want to learn from the master.  This is part of a series The Backyard Farmer offers on cheese making, usually dairy.  I'm delighted that enough vegans asked for this class that they added it to the course.  I hope it is well attended and that it won't be the only time a vegan cheese making class is offered.  The cost is $75. To register, go to
Read more about the wonderful Miyoko  a few paragraphs later in this newsletter.

Wednesday, April 11
Patti Breitman speaking on Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned
I will be the guest speaker at Wellness Central's  vegan buffet dinner in San Francisco's Opera Plaza Community Room (601 Van Ness) at 6 PM on Wednesday, April 11. My talk is called Mistakes Made and Lessons Learned in 32 Years of Vegan Living. The cost is a suggested donation of $15, and it includes an all you can eat, home made vegan dinner.  If you're not attending Miyoko's cheese making  class that night,  I'd love to see you in San Francisco. Dave from Wellness Central was a little hyperbolic in the write-up for this event, and I feel some pressure when I read what he promises for this talk. Still, I do think it will be a fun evening, so if you venture over the bridge for this, I will be grateful!

Sunday, April 22
Berkeley Earth Day and
Wild &  Scenic Film Fest
Celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 22 at the David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way) from 10 AM to 6 PM.  Discover crafts, speakers, food, eco-vendors and more at this event which is sponsored by Compassionate Living and The David Brower Center. This year, as part of the celebration, there will be a film festival featuring movies that transform viewers to become committed activists. There will also be an optional series of short films for children.  The event is free, but we need to buy tickets for the films. Learn more and find the link to buy film tickets at

The End of Dairy
While I can become giddy with joy when more and more dairy farms are going out of business,  I am mindful also of the grief and despair that can come with the loss of a job, a career, and a family business. And while I celebrate the move to plant based milks and cheeses and away from the inherent cruelty in dairy farming, I also hurt for the farmers who are losing their livelihood.  The same happened to people who bred, groomed, and housed horses when cars were growing in popularity and those who manufactured and repaired typewriters when computers came on the scene. There is no going back, and still, it can be a challenge when you are caught in the evolution. Here are two articles from March that highlight both sides of the dairy story. The first is from Mercy For Animals about the largest dairy company in the U.S. closing more farms.  The second is from The New York Times about the desperation of dairy farmers in New York State.  I am all for the continued progression to a plant based future. But I don't want to exclude the farmers from my circle of compassion.
Read about one former dairy farmer who switched to almond milk in the next item.

Plant Based Foods Association
Now Has Research and Education Fund
Congratulations to the Plant Based Foods Association and its founder Michel Simon on their two year anniversary!  When I became a vegan in 1986, I used to lament, "Why isn't there a lobbying group for the vegetable growers to counter the power of the dairy and beef industries?"  Well, the Plant Based Food Association is that lobbying group, only better than I ever imagined. Close to 100 producers of plant based foods are on board, and more are joining , even big companies, like Cambell's Soup,
that see the value in offering more plant based options.  The good guys now have a voice in Washington.  Among the members of PBFA is Elmhurst Milked, a former dairy supplier - one of the largest in New York City - that now sells almond milk instead of cows' milk. 
Recently, the Plant Based Foods Association added a fund for research and education, and that part of PBFA is a 501(c)(3) organization in its own right. This means that we can make tax deductible contributions so it can further its work in showing companies and consumers why and how the future is vegan.  I am thrilled to support the good work of the PBFA.  Check out the stellar list of members, and consider a gift to their new not-for-profit fund.

Hardy Ever and Only A Drop
An excellent article from Free From Harm explains how people who only use a little bit of milk or only eat meat on occasion, are choosing a "trivial indulgence" over the suffering of a conscious being. I like the way this argument is framed.

If Humans Were Food for Aliens
What if aliens arrived on our planet and found humans to be tasty? Thanks to Dawn Watch for telling us about this engaging essay from The Telegraph. The concept of eating sentient beings, and being eaten by them, inspired the writer to move away from his meat-centric diet.  Read it here:

A New Book by Carol J. Adams
Hot off the press! A new book by Carol J. Adams is called Burger, and it is the newest addition to a series called Object Lessons published by Booomsbury. The series includes books about Shipping Containers,  Bread, Shopping Malls, Eye Charts, and many more subjects to which we may not pay very much attention.  The publisher describes the series as books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. As we have come to expect from Carol Adams, Burger goes much deeper than a history of the burger and includes incisive writing on the burger's social implications, the changing nature of what a burger is, and the future of meatless burgers. This is a slice of American life as seen through our relationship with burgers, and it is fascinating. Whether or not you like the Impossible Burger or the Beyond Burger, this book will make you think more about Burgers' role in our lives and in our country.  Learn more at

Miyoko: The Queen of Vegan Cheese
Hooray for Miyoko Schinner who was on the cover of the spring issue of CL (Compassionate Living), the magazine of Mercy for Animals. They dubbed her The Queen of Vegan Cheese, and we are her adoring subjects, indeed.   Miyoko's wisdom is in evidence in many of her answers to questions posed by MFA. When asked "Why is it important to you to mentor other vegan businesses?" she says, "I don't see vegan companies as my competitors at all. I often give props to other vegan cheese brands.  We can't grow the category alone.  We may want to be the leaders, but we can't grow if the space given to plant-based cheese is only one shelf.   We need to create an entire section of the grocery store." Look for new flavors coming soon, she says, including the first lox-flavored cream cheese called Unlox your Dreams. 

Hold the Dates and Register Now
August 24-25
Compassion-in-Action Conference
Register before April  15 to receive bonus gifts from this summer's Compassion in Action Conference, hosted by Colleen Patrick Goudreau. Read about the speakers, see the schedule and testimonials from earlier conferences, and buy your tickets at

More in April
The web sites  and  offer other opportunities to meet with other veg folks.  Also, check out Compassionate Living in Sonoma County. Their web site is   And The San Francisco Veg Society at www. is worth supporting.


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