April 2011
Marin Vegetarian Education Group

Forget about new year resolutions! Spring is truly the time for new beginnings. Just look at the green hills, the profusion of wild flowers, the seasonal streams and budding trees. So, if you want a fresh chance to discover new ideas, meet interesting people, or enjoy new foods, we offer many opportunities this month.

Two Dining Events -  RSVP Needed for Both
Abundant thanks to Alicia R. for organizing these two social gatherings in April.  If you are not yet a member of meetup.com/marin-vegan/, now is the best time to join. It's free, it's easy, and it will connect you with wonderful people in your community.

Pizza Dinner
Wednesday, April 4
6:30 PM
Amici's East Coast Pizzeria
1242 Fourth Street, San Rafael
Join with others to enjoy vegan pizza (made with Daiya cheese) at this popular,  local pizzeria. RSVP required. Go to http://www.meetup.com/marin-vegan/  to join this meetup and say you are coming (or call  259-9009). Everyone pays his own way

Potluck Dinner
Sunday, April 8
5:00 - 7:00
Spring Has Sprung Potluck Dinner & Food Bank Collection
Alicia's house: 59 Driftwood Court, San Rafael
Alicia R. invites us to her lovely hilltop home in San Rafael for a culinary celebration of the season.  Be sure to bring a vegan dish to share with 10 others - with a list of ingredients - plus your own plate, flatware, serving utensil, napkin and cans for the food bank.  RSVP is mandatory! Contact  http://www.meetup.com/marin-vegan/  or call  259 9009.  Park on the street and walk up the steep driveway  to the house (unless you are unable). Bonus: Gene Kelley has offered an organic, fair trade vegan chocolate bar to whoever brings the most items for the Marin Food Bank. Please bring at least one can and as  many as you can to help supply the Food Bank.

Book Discussion Group
Monday, April 9
At 6:30 at the Novato Whole Foods (790 DeLong Ave.) a group will meet in the upstairs dining area to discuss the Introduction and Chapter One of the book Just Food: How Locavores Get It Wrong, and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly by James E. McWilliams. I am half way through this wonderful book, and  predict that these discussions will be lively and interesting.  If you think you know all you need to know about eating locally, eating organically and eating non GMO foods, this book is must reading.  For this meeting, you are asked to have read the introduction and  Chapter One.  Special thanks to Karen M. for organizing this book discussion group. Once again, you can sign up at http://www.meetup.com/marin-vegan/

Peter Singer Speaking in Berkeley
Tuesday, April 17
The author of Animal Liberation, and the father of the animal rights movement, Peter Singer will be giving a lecture at 4 PM on Tuesday,  April 17 in the Toll Room of the Alumni House on the Berkeley campus (1 Alumni House is the address.)  The subject of the talk is Happiness and Ultimate Good. Peter Singer is a professor of bioethics at Princenton  University.  For more information, visit 

Marin VEG at Earth Day Celebration
Saturday, April 21

We will be tabling at the free Earth Day celebration near the the lagoon at the Civic Center in San Rafael from  11:00 AM until 5PM. Please stop by to say hello!  Thanks to Lois, Alicia, Patricia, Karen, Charlotte, Jeremy, Elizabeth and Linda for signing up to help us talk to people and hand out information that day.  It's not too late to join us. Just let me know before April 14.   We will be distributing literature about the link between climate change and animal agriculture and about the tremendous pollution, deforestation and land degradation caused by raising animals as food.  This event is decidedly NOT a vegetarian event, although it ought to be. Our presence and that of In Defense of Animals will at least offer a wise perspective.  For more information visit http://earthdaymarin.org/seeheardo.html

Berkeley Vegan Earth Day
Sunday, April 22
Unlike the Marin Earth Day celebration, Berkeley's event will be totally vegan. From 10 AM until 6 PM in Wurster Hall Room 112 on the Berkeley Campus there will be an extravaganza of films, workshops, panel discussions, an eco art village and a great line up of speakers inclduding Dr. John McDougall, Dr. Michael Klaper, Hope Bohanec, Miyoko Schinner,  and Bryan Au.  The cost is$15 ($10 for students with ID). Tickets are available at BrownPaperTikets.com or at the door, and 10% of proceeds will go to  Save Japan Dolphins. 

Hens Need Our Help
It is time to contact Lynn Woolsey to oppose H.R.3798. This bill  was created through private negotiations between The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the egg industry, but it is not great for hens.  If passed H.R. 3798 would provide "enriched cages" for laying hens in return for a promise to never again conduct undercover investigations at egg laying facilities. The deal would start in 18 years. And because it would be a federal law, it would stop every state from enacting even better laws for birds. To read a more detailed explanation by Ed Duvin of why this is bad legislation, go to http://www.cjournal.info/2012/02/09/broken-movement/   And yet another perspective from Michele Simon, on why local ballot measures would have been more effective, and how this stops them in their tracks, can be found at http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/07/who-really-benefits-from-the-egg-industry-deal/

 To contact Lynn Woolsey, you can call her Marin office at 507-9554 or send a fax to: 507-9601.  To reach her by email (not as effective) go to http://woolsey.house.gov/index.cfm?sectionid=115&sectiontree=115  I just called and left a message with a staff member. It is easy: just ask that Lynn Woolsey oppose H.R. 3798.

Forks Over Knives
If you want to arrange a screening of the marvelous documentary film  Forks Over Knives, I have a supply of them on DVD. These are for you at no cost if you will host at least 10 people at your home or at a local library or anywhere else for a free showing. Just let me know what you're planning. Ideally, this would be a screening for non-vegetarians: your neighbors, co-workers, friends and family. Or, if it's a public place, the general public. Of course many vegetarians will want to see the movie as well, but its power is with how it shows not-yet vegetarians what we already know: the power of our food choices to avoid the most common and most expensive to treat diseases.  Many people have been moved to change their way of eating after seeing the film. Roger Ebert calls it "A film that can save your life," and Dr. Oz said, "I loved it and I need all of you to see it."  Thanks to Elizabeth Heitner for organizing a screening in her home for co-workers and to Ann Wheat for arranging a showing at the Tiburon-Belevedere library in June.  Now it's your turn! Contact me (Patti) at eatplants@earthlink.net or call 459 1666.

New Vegetarian Restaurant in Vallejo
Vaishnu Express Cafe has opened in a strip shopping mall in Vallejo near highway 29 off 37 in Vallejo. I haven't been there yet, but Bay Area Vegetarians (BayAreaVeg.org) reports that this Indian restaurant offers a weekday lunch special for $4.99. It is believed to be the first ever vegetarian restaurant in Vallejo.  The address is 4380 Sonoma Blvd., Vallejo, #135. There is only a banner, no permanent sign yet.  It is open from 11:30 AM until 7:30 PM.  If you are near Vallejo, give it a try. Then you may want to rate it for the Ultimate Guide, on line, from BayAreaVeg.org.

Melanie Joy's Talk and Slide Show Now on YouTube
Abundant thanks to Dr. John McDougall who invited Melanie Joy to his Advanced Study Weekend last month and posted her excellent talk and slide show on YouTube.  If you have read Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs and Wear Cows by Melanie Joy, Ph.D. you already know about carnism. Carnism is the belief system (ideology) that allows people to think it's okay to eat certain animals, but not others.  Now you can watch Melanie Joy present her powerful slide show and brilliant talk at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCojVjwJP7o&feature=youtu.be  This presentation is an hour long, and one of the most intelligent and powerful talks you will ever hear.

Another Priceless Video: Vegan Chicken
Erik Marcus runs the invaluable web site and blog Vegan.com. Recently he posted a piece about Mark Bittman of the NY Times who was fooled not once, but twice, by a vegan product that simulates chicken flesh.  Read the post and link to a remarkable, short video about Bittman's adventure with mock chicken at http://vegan.com/blog/2012/03/09/ethan-browns-vegan-chicken/  Thanks to Erik for publishing this blog, and thanks to Jack Norris (JackNorrisRD.com) for pointing me to it.

Animal Rights Activist Explains Eco-Feminism

As long as we are watching good videos, here is a link to an interview with a wise woman named Fireweed. If you never understood what an eco-feminist was, and what eco-feminism has to do with animal rights,  this inspiring, uplifting interview will open your heart and mind.  Thanks to Patricia Joanides for sharing it with me.
Go to  http://newscliptv.com/shows/eco-feminist_and_animal_rights_activist_fireweed.html

Last month I gave the wrong title for Linda Riebel's terrific new book. The correct title is The Green Foodprint: Food Choices for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet.  John Robbins wrote the foreword, and Melanie Joy endorses the book, pointing out that it focuses on "good news solutions that are already well established and that are practical and often simple."

Chocolate and Slavery
The Food Empowerment Project  publishes a list of companies that sell vegan chocolate and whose cacao beans do not come from the slave trade in West Africa.  Surprisingly, Clif Bar is one of the companies that will not disclose the  country of origin of its cacao. FEP is not asking for the name of the growers nor the full supply chain - only the countries of origin of the cacao.  FEP encourages us to urge the Clif Bar company to share this information. Consumers deserve to know where our chocolate comes from. What is Clif hiding?  Visit http://www.foodispower.org/slavery_chocolate.htm to read more about this issue, and then write to the Cliff Bar company at http://www.cust-service.org/clf/clifcomment.aspx

Or you can call them at -800-254-3227 or send a note to:
Clif Bar & Company
1451 66th Street
Emeryville, CA 94608-1004

To see the list of vegan chocolates recommended by FEP, go to http://www.foodispower.org/chocolatelist.htm

John Robbins Has a New Book
No Happy Cows: Dispatches From the Front Lines of The Food Revolution has just been published. This collection of wise essays covers topics ranging from  marketing junk food to children, vitamin water, and  to how to be an effective activist and not a nag. To order the book now, go to http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Cows-Dispatches-Frontlines-Revolution/dp/1573245755?tag=wwwhealthyat1-20  

PCRM Not Right This Time
As you may know, I have been a long time supporter of Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine. They promote prevention over treatment, compassion in science, and vegan diets.  They have helped shut down animal labs in medical schools, moved the USDA to a more veg friendly food policy, and worked on countless studies showing the powerful effect of food choices on health and disease.  Yet now, for the second time in a year, they are using an advertising campaign that shames people for their body size. This seems dead wrong to me.  Thanks to Ginny Messina for writing so beautifully about why this is a misguided policy and why she resigned from their advisory board.  You can read Ginny's piece at http://www.theveganrd.com/2012/04/body-shaming-fails-vegans-and-vegan-advocacy.html   And you can contact PCRM to express your view at pcrm@pcrm.org or call 202-686-2210.


Founded in 1991 as Vegetarians In Marin, Marin VEG is now a project of the VegNews Network, and a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.  With any gift of $20 or more you will receive – along with our gratitude – a one year subscription to VegNews magazine (or a one year renewal of your current subscription). To receive a monthly e-newsletter from MarinVEG, please send an email to Eatplants@Earthlink.net with the word Newsletter in the subject line. To unsubscribe, please write Unsubscribe in the subject line.