Marin Vegetarian Education Group
April 2015

Last month brought the happy news that elephants would be phased out of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus by 2018.  This milestone improvement for performing animals is credited to decades of persistent protests by animal rights activists.  Now let's keep the pressure on aquariums that use dolphins,  state fairs and rodeos that abuse  animals as entertainment, and trendy butchering and restaurants that feature animals as food.  Our actions do make a difference, even when change is slow. (See April 18 item, below, for how you can take a stand against cruelty to animals.)

As Always
Only a few events are listed below. To find additional events in April, be sure to check out and

Saturday, April 4  9am - 5 pm
Conscious Eating Conference, Berkeley
At the David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way; garage parking on Kittredge, around corner) in Berkeley, on Saturday, April 4, speakers from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (I love their tagline: The only law firm whose every client is innocent!), Animal Place, the Factory Farming Awareness Coalition and others will be sharing information about the most compassionate food choices possible. Presenters include Victoria Moran, author of Main Street Vegan and the soon to be released The Good Karma Diet; Mary Finelli from Fish Feel; Brian Burns from Direct Action Everywhere; Kim Sturla from Animal Place and TJ Tumasse from ALDF, and Karen Davis from United Poultry Concerns.  Registration includes a continental breakfast and a full lunch, all for $15.  See the full schedule, speaker bios, and register with a credit card at

Foie Gras Opinions Sought for IJ

April 17 Deadline
Vicki Larson, the lifestyle editor for the Marin Independent Journal, is looking for public comments for publication on the subject of selling foie gras in California. It had been deemed illegal, but a court ruled that the ban itself was not legal. Attorney General Kamala Harris is planning to appeal that decision. Meanwhile, we can now weigh in with a short email (under 250 words) to the IJ.  Make the subject line "Editor's Kitchen - fois gras."  And write a sentence or two or more about what you think about force feeding ducks and geese  and about California banning the sale of fois gras.  It does not matter if you write well! Every email helps other letters get published.  Even if you write just one sentence it can help open people's minds on a subject that  most don't ever think about.  If the birds could write, you can bet they'd be organizing to speak up! Send the email to: before April 17.

Saturday, April 18
Peaceful Protest in Petaluma
"Whole Animal Butcher Shop" Protest
There will be a peaceful protest in front of a "specialty" butcher shop in downtown Petaluma (160 Petaluma Blvd. North) from noon until 2 PM on Saturday, April 18.  This butcher shop boasts that it is a "whole animal" shop, meaning that they receive an entire animal from the slaughterhouse and butcher it on the premises.  Activists will be sending the message that there is no such thing as humane or ethical meat.   Feel free to bring your own sign, although signs and bloody aprons will be available for your use.  There is free two hour street parking in that neighborhood.   For more information, contact Lisa at or by calling 415-215-8747  And to learn more about the butcher shop, visit their web site at

Sunday, April 19
Berkeley Vegan Earth Day
The San Francisco Vegetarian Soceity ( is sponsoring this annual festival of the joy and science of caring for the planet through vegan choices. Guest speakers include Dr. Connie Sanchez, Chris Berry and Carter Dillard from Animal Legal Defense Fund, and Keeegan Kuhn, co-director of Cowspiracy. The event is at the David Brower Center (2150 Allston Way) with garage parking available on Kittredge around the corner. Tickets are $10. Go to

The Myth of High Protein Diets
by Dean Ornish, MD
Marin County's own Dr. Dean Ornish wrote an important op-ed piece that was published in the New York Times on March 23. Here a link to his tell-it-like-it-is article in which he promotes a whole foods, plant based diet. He even mentions the benefits to our planet!  If you know anyone who is on a high protein diet, you may want to share this with her or him.

Vegan Candy in Mill Valley
I limit the candy I eat, as I am cutting way back on sugar and sweetened foods.  But if you wan gummies, caramels or toffee, you ought to check out SweetE Organic store in Strawberry Shopping Center in Mill Valley for vegan versions of these popular candies.  Sweet e organics specializes in nut-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, organic sweets. Not all the candies are vegan, but when you need a sweet something, you will find some vegan treats there.  For more information visit their web site at

Hold the Date- Saturday, May 2- Get Tickets Today
Food Empowerment Project Anniversary Fund Raising Party
If you have been reading these newsletters for a while, you will know that The Food Empowerment Project ( is one of my favorite not for profits.  This focused and effective organization works for human rights, animal rights and the earth's benefit, connecting the dots between each of these inter-connected realms.  From 2:00 until 5:00 on Saturday, May 2, there will be a fun and festive fundraising party at a private home in Ross to benefit the good work of the Food Empowerment Project.  This party celebrates the 8th anniversary of FEP, and will feature a vegan barbeque, live music, silent auction and exciting prizes. Founder lauren Ornelas will be on hand along with Mark Hawthorn (author of Bleating Hearts and Striking at the Roots) and other vegan superstars to answer questions and serve wonderful, vegan food.  The cost to attend is (sliding scale) $25-100 for adults. Kids can come with you for free. To get your ticket, go to

Deadline Extended Until May 8
Write to USDA and Encourage Them
There is still time to submit your comments to the USDA on the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Committee. This committee, for the first time in history, recommends including a consideration of climate change and environmental degradation in their recommendations to the USDA for what Americans should be eating.  It is important that as many people as possible respond to these recommendations and encourage the USDA to adopt this recommendation. Big Agriculture is fighting hard to keep this out of the USDA's final recommendations. But we have science and numbers on our side. To read the report, go to To read comments go to:, to write comments go to: It is easy to do and important. There is a 20 minute time limit to complete the process, so do it when you have 15-20 minutes to complete the task. We can use our voices to affect change that will benefit our own health, animals' lives, and our planet. Please do this today. Thank you!

After filling out the required fields, check the three boxes that say:
-Part A: Executive Summary;
-Chapter D.5: Food Sustainability and Safety;  and
-General Comment/Other

From the report: The major findings regarding sustainable diets were that a diet higher in plant-based foods, such as vegetable, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, and lower in calories and animal based foods is more health promoting and is associated with less environmental impact than is the current U.S. Diet.


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