Subject: Marin VEG April News
From: Patti Breitman <>
Date: 2020-03-30, 4:53 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

April, 2020
Marin VEG

 What a strange way to enter April!  This virus is forcing us to recognize life’s fragility, unpredictability, and its forever changing nature. At least we’re all in this together. That's another thing we are forced to see now; we are, indeed, interconnected.

 I hope that you and your loved ones are well and safe.

At the end of this email is a short essay I wrote last week, when we were three days in for sheltering in place.  It's called The New Normal. It pretty much sums up my feelings about keeping perspective, even in the midst of a frightening pandemic.

As to vegan news, I'm saving a lot until we can shop and dine out again.  Here are a few things to do and  read at home:

Tuesday, April 14 through Saturday, April
Climate Diet Summit
Free, On-Line
If, like me, you are frustrated that so many experts ignore the role of animal agriculture in discussions about climate change, this free, on-line summit should bring a smile to your face.  Allison Rivers Samson and Sarina Farb join with Miyoko Schinner, lauren Ornelas, Dr. Milton Mills, Dr. Michael Klaper, Dr. Will Tuttle, Hope Bohanec, and other vegan luminaries to share information and hope in the effort to use diet change to fight climate change.  Sixteen experts in science, public health, the environment and medicine will be speaking over the course of the summit.  Learn more and register at

Event Cancelled, Contributions Needed
Rancho Compasion has had to cancel the Mindful Eating Film Festival, but the animal sanctuary still needs to feed and care for its residents.  See what they're up to and help the animals there at

The Source of This Corona Virus
Many articles have been written about the source of this virus and calling for an end to animal agriculture as we know it (factory farms and more). Here are two that I know about thanks to DawnWatch.  The first is from National Review, and the second from Scientific American. Please sign up to receive alerts (free) and support DawnWatch with a contribution if you can. They keep us abreast of media coverage of all animal issues, and encourage us to write respectfully to the media in thanks for the coverage.  I am a long time fan and supporter of DawnWatch.

One more excellent piece on the subject comes from Free From Harm, another terrific organization worthy of our support.
Conscious Eating Conference Videos Now On Line
This year's Conscious Eating Conference from United Poultry Concerns was different from any other animal rights or vegan conference I've attended.  With a theme of Making Connections: Overlapping Oppressions, it taught me a great deal and widened my perspective. I hope you will take the time to watch some of these superb presentations.

Dairy Industry Fighting Back

I enjoyed reading this article about marketing cows' milk and non-dairy milk.

Ethical Vegan Who Was Fired
The man who sued to get ethical veganism to be a protected class in England has settled with his former employer.  Three cheers for the courage he showed in speaking up to show his company's hypocrisy.  Here's more:

How Plant Based Meat is Created
Here's another interesting article from the New York Times about how plant based meat is made to mimic animal based meat.

Major Sea Food Company to Offer Vegan Alternative/ Fish Feel Speaks for All Sea Creatures
Bumble Bee tuna is jumping into vegan territory.  Unfortunately, it will also continue to sell fish. But like many purveyors of animal flesh, Bumble Bee wants in on the fastest growing segment of the food industry.  Here's the story:
One of the most underfunded groups helping one of the most exploited animals is the wonderful   Get to know this unique organization and support them however you can.

Cactus into Leather
Thanks to Linda R. for pointing out this new source of  vegan leather that's making news. A 3 minute video in the link is worth watching.

New Vegan Cheese Brand Launching
I'm not sure if they're on schedule, given our stay at home mandate, but a maker of a popular sauerkraut, Wildbrine, is planning to launch a new, vegan cheese line in April. Based in Santa Rosa, the cheeses will include Neo Classic Brie Alternative along with cream cheese, butter, and dips.  Learn more at

Verbatim, from Colleen Holland, publisher of VegNews:

(If the links do not work, go to this address and scroll down:

The feel-good stories I’m loving this week

We’re overwhelmed with negative news, so to preserve my sanity, I need to fill up on good news as much as possible. Here are the stories I’m loving most …

1. Starbucks Responds to Demand to Drop Vegan Milk Tax read story here

2. There Are Now 1,000 Vegan Restaurants in Japan read story here

3. Snickers Cuts Ties with SeaWorld read story here

4. Nearly 50 Percent of Americans Plan to Drink Plant-Based Milk Regularly read story here

5. Amid Coronavirus, Vegan Restaurants Launch Eat-at-Home Menus read story here

6. Martha Stewart Partners with Beyond Meat to Fight Climate Change read story here

7. Subway Launches Vegan Cheese-Filled Sandwich Across Brazil read story here

8. Scientists Side-Step Animal Testing to Fast-Track Coronavirus Vaccine read story here

9. 10 Vegan Activities to Stay Happy and Healthy read story here

10. 9 Easy Ways to Jazz Up Trader Joe's Vegan Mac and Cheese read story here

The New Normal

We are decidedly not gathered together, but holed up alone or standing six feet apart as we mourn the loss of normal. 

This strange time is now the new normal, just as 55 is the new “elderly” and suddenly included in the high risk group.

The new normal is checking the pantry before every meal and hoping we have enough lentils.

The new normal is washing our hands after taking in the mail or taking out the compost.

The new normal is not flying east to visit your mom who, for the first time in 75 years of weekly pilgrimage, is no longer going to the beauty parlor. At 91 she says, “Who’s going to see me, anyway?”

Or a friend not being allowed to visit his mom, across town, who is confined to and getting meals brought to her room in an assisted living home.

The new normal has its benefits: Neighbors offer to shop for us, old friends call us, we call them. This is the new normal as well.

And the old normal isn’t totally gone.  If we pay attention, we can see that there is more going on than the fear of contagion that isolates us.

Branches that last week were in full flower now share their space with new leaves. This is the delightful, old normal.

Birds now wake us at first light.

Poppies, buttercups, hounds’ tongues and mission bells adorn the woods. Irises are coming. These, too, are the welcome, old normal.

Good writing still entertains us.  Good tv shows still captivate. Cleaning out a drawer or medicine cabinet still satisfies.  Naps are still delicious.

May we all find ease in the new and joy in the old normal.  


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