April, 2019
Marin Vegetarian Education Group

Let's all be April Fools! Smile at strangers. Blow a kiss to the driver who lets you in. Talk to the wildflowers, sing with the frogs. When someone's cell phone goes off in a quiet place, dance to its music.  May this be a month of joy for you.

Wednesday, April 3, 6 PM
Wellness Central: Vegan Camp This Summer
San Francisco, Opera Plaza Community  Room

On Wednesday this week, April 3, Wellness Central is presenting Sean Braniff, president of the Vegetarian Educational Institute. His presentation will focus on an annual vegan summer camp/retreat/education week for adults and children in the Sierra that has been running every summer for decades.  The evening includes a vegan dinner prepared by Patricia Allen Koot. The cost is $15. Reservations are called for by email: RSVP@WellnessCentral.us or by phone: (888) 234-1361  Learn more about the camp at happyhealthyretreats.com or come to this delicious dinner and lively presentation on Wednesday.

Here is how Wellness Central describes the event:

Imagine! A week-long vegan getaway on the shores of a lake in the beautiful Sierras! Enjoy delicious vegan food, educational seminars, fun recreation, and time to bask in the natural beauty of the mountains and trees. What a great choice for a summer vacation! And it is within driving distance.

This coming Wednesday, April 3 at 6 pm, Sean Braniff, president of the Vegetarian Educational Institute, will share with us about this vegan health retreat and how YOU can enjoy it!

Before his talk, enjoy a DELICIOUS vegan dinner planned by a certified vegan nutritionist, Patricia Allen Koot, NE, NC. ALL vegan. ALL health-supporting. And ALL you care to eat!

Location is the Opera Plaza Community Room, 601 Van Ness, San Francisco. Take the elevator to the mezzanine, then follow the sign down the hall to the right.

A fifteen dollar requested donation covers the full-course vegan dinner PLUS the talk. The Nutritionist, and the presenter, are donating their time. Funds go toward food materials, facility rental and related costs.

And don't overlook the give-aways! This week, take home with you some YUMMY vegan dark choco peanut butter cups, and vegan cookies--and more.

RSVP to reserve your place! email to: RSVP@wellnesscentral.us OR call (888) 234-1361.

Sunday, April 7, 1:00
Lunch at Taj of Marin
Reservations requested
Join friendly Marin vegans for the monthly meetup lunch at 1:00 at Taj of Marin in San Rafael.  This is a vegan buffet including bread and dessert, but the restaurant must know how many to expect.  Learn more and sign up at https://www.meetup.com/marin-vegan/events/cbjltqyzgbkb/

Conscious Eating Conference Now Available on Line
Please Watch the Debate
If you missed the Conscious Eating Conference last month, you can watch all the speakers now at https://www.upc-online.org/forums/2019/videos.html
I recommend listening to JoAnn Farb's wonderful presentation about the coercion of social groups.  And there was a lot of buzz about the debate regarding cell- based meat. Many people have asked me for my opinion on the subject, so I will share it here.

I am still undecided.  My initial reaction was, of course, it's better for the animals.  But then I watched the debate from the conscious eating conference.  While cell-based meat (also called lab grown meat and clean meat)  promises that fewer animals will be confined and killed for food, it also perpetuates the belief that meat is somehow necessary (and normal and natural) for human consumption.  It legitimizes and ensures the continuance of eating meat.  Also, according to the anti-side in the debate, lab-grown meat will use even more energy than factory farming and will continue to harm animals. Hard to believe, right? Watch the video!

Whereas the pro-side claims that getting people to care about animals and the environment and go vegan has failed, I suspect that the movement was derailed intentionally by the meat industry.  When I went vegan in 1986, anyone who wanted to boycott the cruelty of animal exploitation in food production had no choice but to go vegan. The surge in veganism seemed unstoppable.  Soon thereafter, some farms started promoting "cruelty free," "humanely raised," "antibiotic free," "happy cow" meat, milk and eggs.  Then consumers could say, "I only eat . . ."   and bypass the choice to go vegan.  Now it looks as if cell-based meat will offer another animal based option for meat eaters to choose, and further normalize met eating, rather than choosing vegan.   The pro-side makes a compelling argument in the debate at this conference, but then so does the anti-side.  I highly recommend watching the video of the debate.  I learned a great deal listening to both sides.  Of utmost importance, and a fact that adds confusion to my thought process, is that vegans and vegetarians are decidedly not the intended market for cell-based meat. It is meant for meat eaters. (To which point, someone said that meat eaters may reject it as not natural.)

It seems to me that if all the money, energy and time that's being spent on cell-based grown meat were instead allocated to vegan education, the movement would again gain momentum.  But wait! It has gained momentum! Among environmentalists, young people, scientists, medical doctors, food producers, investors and consumers, veganism is thriving and growing. (See the January 2019 newsletter at MarinVEG.org for evidence of this at http://marinveg.org/news/.)  Right now, even though I don't like them personally because they are too much like meat, I vote for the plant-based Impossible Burgers and Beyond Meat. I will be eager to watch the creation of cell-based meat and to watch how and if my opinion about it changes over time.

Grocery Shopping Bags
Paper, Plastic, Cotton
Now that New York k state is following California in banning single use plastic bags, The New York Times published an article about paper, plastic and reusable cotton bags.  I was surprised to learn that using a cotton bag to tote groceries is only more environmentally friendly than a single use plastic bag if the cotton bag is used more than 130 times.  Also, I learned a lot about the production of paper bags.  And I was delighted to learn (really, to be reminded, as I already knew this) that what goes in  the grocery bag has a bigger impact on climate and environment than the choice of bag. I hope you learn something here as well.  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/29/climate/plastic-paper-shopping-bags.html?emc=edit_nn_20190331&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=2111411620190331&te=1

Trader Joe's to Reduce Plastic Packaging
Guide to Vegan Trader Joe's
One of the only reasons that I don't like Trader Joe's is their excessive use of plastic packaging. So I was happy to see this report that they are focusing on reducing their use of plastic packaging. https://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/trader-joes-listened-to-consumers-and-will-reduce-plastic-packaging/
And if you're wondering what, beyond produce and Miyoko's cheeses and butter is available for vegans, check out this list: https://www.livekindly.co/ultimate-vegan-guide-trader-joes/

Forks Over Knives
Spring Magazine Available
Are you tired of printing recipes from the Internet? Would you like to have a colorful, glossy magazine filled with healthy, plant based recipes?  Forks Over Knives has been publishing seasonal magazines for a while, and the spring magazine is now available for $8.99. According to FOK, some stores carry it (Safeway, Target, Barnes and Noble), but you can order it at https://www.forksoverknives.com/product/forks-over-knives-magazine-spring-2019/#gs.3dzdzr

Fishing is Not Good for Fish
Sounds obvious, no? But many people say that they stopped eating land animals, but still eat fish. And some people say they "catch and release" when they go fishing. If you know anyone like that, please share this piece from Peta:  https://www.peta.org/living/entertainment/youll-never-go-fishing-after-reading-this/
Thanks to Judith G. for sharing it with me.

Panda Express Adding Vegan Options
In response to a petition and pressure from animal rights groups, Panda Express is adding vegan options to its menu. You can usually find Panda Express in airport and shopping mall food courts. There are 2000 locations in the United States.  Learn more at https://tinyurl.com/y57ugf9v

Daiya Launching Breakfast Burrito
Daiya announced that in the fall of 2019 they will launch two varieties of vegan breakfast burritos. Here's the scoop: https://tinyurl.com/y6lc7r8w

So Delicious Adding New Products
One of my favorite frozen desserts is the vanilla ice cream from So Delicious. So I was excited to see that they are expanding their line of vegan frozen desserts. Looking forward to frozen mousse!  https://tinyurl.com/yyjaz7xq

What Else to Look For in April
Be sure to visit  http://www.bayareaveg.org/events.htm  and  http://www.meetup.com/marin-vegan/  to find out what's happening in the coming weeks. Also, check out Compassionate Living in Sonoma County. Their web site is  www.socoveg.org/ and The San Francisco Veg Society at www. SFVS.org.    

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