Subject: Marin VEG December News
From: Patti Breitman <>
Date: 2020-12-01, 8:43 AM
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

December 2020
Marin VEG

This week I saw new, green grass growing on the sides of a trail after just the little bit of rain we had in November. New grass would indicate spring in other places, but our trees are turning to magnificent colors and our mornings bring frost.  So, while the days don't seem to change much from one to the next in this challenging year, the seasons remind me that indeed, time is moving forward at its usual pace. The days will start getting longer in less than three weeks, which I find both surprising and reassuring.   Whatever and however you celebrate this time of change, I wish you ease, good health, and a long gratitude list.

Vegans and Bone Health
A new study from the UK reports that vegans have a higher risk for bone fractures than non-vegans. News of this study showed up in many publications in November, and here is just one article:  I wanted to understand it as best I could, so I consulted my most trustworthy source for nutrition advice, Virginia Messina. Ginny is a  longtime, vegan registered dietician who also has a masters degree in public health, and is my co-author on two books. (  Here's what she says. (I'm adding peanut butter to my breakfast now.)

Holiday Gift Giving
A Well Fed World
At this time of year Heifer International encourages people to buy goats and other animals as gifts to impoverished families around the world.  As this short essay from Peta explains, giving animals as gifts is not a good idea.  It's bad for the humans, the animals, and the earth.
On the other hand, A Well Fed World is a well respected, international hunger relief and food security organization advancing plant-based foods and farming to create a safe, nourished, and climate-friendly future.   I encourage you to explore their entire website to see how effective and humane their many programs are. Plants-4-Hunger is their direct response to Heifer, but every one of their initiatives is worth supporting. You can give in honor of or in tribute to anyone on your list, and the recipient will receive a note explaining your gift.  Save wrapping paper, promote kindness, educate your loved ones, feed hungry children, and feel good about your holiday giving.

Other Not For Profits to Support
I also love and support these organizations whose work promotes veganism (animals, people, our planet).  These groups do not garner as much media attention nor have the large budgets of better known institutions.   This year, with events postponed and donations reduced, your gift is especially valuable. Read more about the good work from these good institutions and follow your heart. (Food Empowerment Project) (Factory Farming Awareness Coalition; see their website for special event this Thursday) (Compassionate Living) (United Poultry Concerns)
There are also dozens of wonderful, small animal sanctuaries to support, including Rancho Compasion (, Goatlandia  ( and Animal Place (

Archer Daniels Midland Developing Vegan Turkey
VegNews reports that ADM is developing vegan turkey lunch meat.  I'd heard their name over the years, but wasn't sure what that company did.  Here's what I learned.

New Book from VegNews
Jasmin Singer and VegNews Magazine just published a new book called The VegNews Guide to Being a Fabulous Vegan: Look Good, Feel Good & Do Good in 30 Days. Available in audio or paperback wherever books are sold.

A Poem that Touched Me

Thanks & blessings be
to the Sun & the Earth
for this bread & this wine,
this fruit, this meat, this salt,
this food;
thanks be & blessing to them
who prepare it, who serve it;
thanks & blessings to them
who share it
(& also the absent & the dead).
Thanks & Blessing to them who bring it
(may they not want),
to them who plant & tend it,
harvest & gather it
(may they not want);
thanks & blessing to them who work
& blessing to them who cannot;
may they not want - for their hunger
sours the wine & robs
the taste from the salt.
Thanks be for the sustenance & strength
for our dance & work of justice, of peace.
~ Rafael Jesus Gonzalez ~

The Word "Meat"
If the word "meat" surprised you in that poem,  you may want to listen to this 18 minute episode about the history of the word "meat" from Colleen Patrick Goudreau's  excellent podcast An-i-mal-o-gy. I learned a lot here

Peace on Earth
As is my tradition, I like to share this short essay every year.  I look forward to a time when it is no longer relevant, but we're not there yet.

Peace on Earth

            Isn’t man an amazing Animal? He kills wildlife—birds, kangaroos, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice, foxes, and dingoes—by the million in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed.

            Then he kills domestic animals by the billion and eats them. This in turn kills man by the million, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative—and fatal—health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer.

            So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases.

Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals.

            Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year sends out cards praying for “Peace on Earth.”

from Old MacDonald’s Factory Farm by C. David Coats


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