January, 2015
Marin Vegetarian Education Group

Welcome to 2015! Sounds so strange, doesn't it? Whether the year brings more rain or drought, delight or drama, I wish you health, joy and equanimity throughout the coming months. 

A Short History of Medicine
The Sun is my favorite magazine, and I read it from cover to cover every month. (visit TheSunMagazine.org to see sample writing and to subscribe). It accepts no advertising, so the stories, poems, essays and photographs often cover topics that mainstream magazines avoid. The Sun focuses on good writing, and most of its pieces are about "the splendor and heartache of being human."  The following quotation was in the "Sunbeams" column of the December issue.  Its author is Anonymous.  I don't want to disparage the effectiveness of antibiotics when they are used properly, but still, this made me smile.

A Short History of Medicine

2000 BC:           "Here, eat this root."

1000 BC:          "That root is heathen, say this prayer."

1850 AD:         "That prayer is superstition, drink this potion."

1940 AD:        "That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.

1985 AD:        "That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic."

2000 AD:        "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root."

Events in December
Given that both the MeetUp and Bay Area Veg web sites are updated frequently, I encourage you to visit them to find vegan events this month.  Bay Area Vegetarians has more than events at their site. They post a restaurant guide to all veg-friendly Bay Area restaurants, a resource list of groups that support a veg diet, a  newsletter and a blog. Their web site is www.bayareaveg.org   And you can sign up to receive news from them in your email.   The web site for our local veg MeetUp is www.Meetup.com/marin-vegan. They are hosting a lunch at Chaat Lotus on January 18;  Vegan Drinks at the Nickel Rose Bar on January 21,  and a dinner at Radiance on January 28.  RSVPs are necessary. See the site for details.  If you are willing to leave Marin County, there are other veg friendly meetup groups in the East Bay, San Francisco and beyond.  We are fortunate to have so many opportunities to gather with others and enjoy good vegan food at the table. Enjoy!

Turmeric and Its Benefits
Turmeric is a spice, a root like ginger. (Here, eat this root!) Most of us buy it powdered so we can add it by the teaspoon to our food, but you can grate it fresh as you would  grate fresh ginger. It has been known to have many valuable health promoting benefits, such as reducing headaches and regulating blood sugar.   It is anti-inflammatory and  antioxidant.   I like to add turmeric to red lentil soups and to my green smoothies.  It is one of the most often studied of all foods and its benefits continue to be discovered.  You can pronounce it with the emphasis on the first syllable (TURmeric) or the second (TuMERic).

Thanks to Ocean Robbins for sending the following article about the powerful effects of this spice.  There is a link in the article to a video by GreenMedInfo.com that highlights many of these studies and explains why "science" does not promote turmeric despite its history of safe use and effective results. I will be visiting GreenMedInfo.com from time to time in the coming weeks to see what else they are posting.

Patti on YouTube
The Vegetarian Society of Hawaii (VSH.org) is a vibrant, large group of kind and dynamic people.  I spoke to the Vegetarian Society of Hawaii on Oahu and on Maui in December about how and why to make the switch to a vegan diet.  You can watch the 59 minute talk  called Never Too Late to Go Vegan at VSH.org (where many other good talks are posted as well) or click this link:

Vegan NY Style Deli Coming to Berkeley
There are fewer and fewer excuses for not going vegan.  First we got Miyoko's Kitchen vegan cheeses. And some time early in 2015, probably February or March, there will be a new vegan New York Style Deli coming to Berkeley.  According to Modern Farmer, this is not even the first vegan deli; there will also be a vegan deli in Minneapolis, and there is already one in Toronto.  Our local deli will be called The Butcher's Son.  Owner-siblings Peter Fikaris and Christina Stobin "plan to sell everything from vegan salami, sausage, and meats to cheeses and sandwiches. Everything will be made in-house."  Read the whole story at:

Now Available: New Edition of The 30-Day Vegan Challenge
by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
One of the very best books by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau  is now available in a beautiful, new, updated hardcover edition.  If you or anyone you know needs a guiding, supportive hand in the journey toward veganism, this is the book made to order.  With advice on shopping, cooking, strategies for success, myth busting information, recipes,  and answers to  questions that most new vegans ask, The 30-Day Vegan Challenge is a life saving instruction manual for new and aspiring vegans.

Win a free copy
I happen to have two extra copies of this long awaited book.  And I will send one to you if  you are the first to write to me (reply to this email) with a good reason why you should receive a free copy of the book. Is someone you love trying to go vegan? Are you? Tell me about it in a short email, and if you're the first or second person to respond with a compelling story, a copy of this invaluable book will be yours.  Please write "30-Day Vegan Challenge" in your subject line.   If you are not first or second to write, you can order the book and watch a terrific 4 minute video about it at www.joyfulvegan.com

New Collaboration to Support Physicians
In Prescribing Vegan Diets
Dr. Michael Klaper reports that a collaboration between vegan physicians and a well known, on-line cooking school is looking for funding to learn how to expose more doctors to the power of plant based diets in healing.   To learn more and to support this worthy project, go to https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/20261-culinaryrx-plant-prescription 
And to receive Dr. Klaper's "Medicine Capsules"  which are short, informative email bulletins a few times a month,  send an email  to healthy-news@DoctorKlaper.com

Bull Hooks Banned in Oakland
Thanks to hundreds of persistent activists, the city of Oakland voted to ban bull hooks in their city. This means that the Ringling Bros. Circus will no longer be welcome there, because Ringling Bros. uses the bull hook to train their elephants.  It is a cruel and painful device, and the city of Oakland is to be lauded for taking this compassionate action on behalf of elephants and to the delight of animal lovers everywhere.

A Woman Ahead of Her Time
The Vegetarian Resource Group published an interesting article about a Renaissance poet who was ahead of her time: Margaret Cavendish. You can read about this woman who used her writing to speak up for non-human animals when this was far from the norm. The short essay is available here:

Mayo Law Suit Dropped
Perhaps because they realized that their law suit way giving tremendous free publicity to Hampton Creek Foods, Unilever, the company that owns Best Mayonnaise, dropped their law suit against the owner of Just Mayo.  Just Mayo is an egg-free mayonnaise that has been encroaching on the market share of Best Mayonnaise as more people opt for egg free (cholesterol and cruelty free) foods.  This abandoned legal maneuver illustrates that the demand for vegan versions of favorite foods cannot be stopped.  For a larger perspective on this trend toward legal challenges to vegan versions of non-vegan foods, read Michele Simon's excellent article, Big Food Confronts High-Tech Challengers: http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/11/hi-tech-food-animalfree.html 





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