Visitor:

Practical - Index > To Do - Index > Activism

Ten Way to Create a Vegetarian World

From: RSchw12345@aol.com
To:
adam@wetlands-preserve.org, garc@lists.riseup.net
30 May 2005

Hi Adam and other GARC leaders,

In view of these unjustified attacks on the animal rights and vegetarian movements, I think that it is time that we take the offensive. My article below presents ten strategy ideas that I presented at the GARC conference, am scheduled to present at the NAVS Summerfest this summer and will be discussed in my articles and letters in several vegetarian and animal rights publications soon.

It is time to turn the tables on those who are attacking animal rights and environmental groups and point out where most of the violence and threats are from. we have truth, morality, and justice on our side, and our opponents can only win by ignoring our main arguments, trying to cause divisions in our ranks, and trying to continue to mislead most people.

I plan to send a letter to the editor pointing some of these things out.

I urge GARC to present a position paper and a press release indicating that you are starting a campaign to awaken people to the great threats to humanity that animal-based diets and agriculture present. Please feel free to use any of the material in my article below, and, of course, to add any additional points that you feel will be helpful. I would hope that such a campaign will initiate a unified approach within the animal rights and related communities. I think that this is the best service that GARC can perform.

Please let me know what you think.

Best wishes and regards,
Richard (Schwartz)


TEN WAYS TO CREATE A VEGETARIAN WORLD
Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.


In spite of the increasing need for a shift toward vegetarianism to counteract the present epidemic of diseases and the many environmental threats caused by the production and consumption of animal products, progress has been relatively slow. it is time for a consideration of new strategies to promote vegetarianism more effectively. The ten ideas suggested below are designed to start a dialogue that will lead to positive changes. It is my hope that this article will elicit additional suggestions and effective initiatives.

1. Set a Goal and a Time Table Toward a Vegetarian Conscious World

We should not be satisfied with the relatively slow progress currently being made toward vegetarianism, especially in the face of all the recent disturbing reports of environmental catastrophes ahead. One possibility is to declare a goal, such as "A Vegetarian-conscious world by 2010." This could inspire our efforts by providing something to work toward. Note the term "vegetarian conscious." We can�t hope that every person will be a vegetarian by 2010, or any other time, and we should not argue that each person must be a vegetarian. However, we can work, with a heightened sense of urgency, to see that everyone is at least aware of the many reasons for becoming a vegetarian, with the hope that many will act based on that knowledge.

2. Make People Aware That a Shift Toward Vegetarianism is Beneficial for People as Well as Animals

Many people resist vegetarian arguments, asserting that they can�t be concerned about animals when people face so many problems. We should stress that a shift to vegetarianism would be very beneficial to people as well as animals. Among the arguments we should use are: Animal-based diets increase risk factors for many life-threatening diseases, including heart disease, several types of cancer, and stroke.  Animal-based agriculture contributes significantly to many environmental threats to humanity.
The feeding of 70 percent of the grain produced in the United States (and almost 40 percent of the grain produced worldwide) to farmed animals contributes to an estimated 20 million of the world�s people dying annually from hunger and its effects.

3. Make People Aware That a Shift Toward Vegetarianism is a Societal Imperative Today

Humanity is arguably threatened as perhaps never before from global warming, widening water shortages, rapid species extinction, destruction of tropical rain forests and other valuable habitats, and many other problems. We should make people aware that all of these threats and many more are significantly worsened by the following: we are raising 50 billion farmed animals for slaughter annually worldwide; almost 40 percent of the world�s grain is used to fatten farmed animals; it takes 14 times as much water, ten times as much energy, and over 20 times as much land for an animal-based diet than it does for a vegan diet; animal-based agriculture contributes significantly to emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases; and much more. We should also stress that diseases caused by the consumption of animal product results in soaring medical expenditures which are contributing to record budget deficits and the perceived need to cut basic social services.

4. Inform People That a Shift Toward Vegetarianism is a Religious Imperative Today

Most people profess to be religious today and many claim to base their lives on moral values related to their religions. We should respectfully discuss with such people how animal-based diets and agriculture contradict basic religious mandates to preserve our health, treat animals compassionately, preserve the environment, conserve natural resources, help hungry people, and seek and pursue peace. We should stress such biblical teachings as "God�s mercies are over all of his creatures" (Psalms 145:9), "the righteous person considers the lives of his or her animals" (Proverbs 12:10), that animals as well as people are to be permitted to rest on the Sabbath day (part of the Ten Commandments), and similar teachings from other holy books and teachers.

5. Relate Vegetarianism to Current News Items

Vegetarianism touches on almost all phases of life � health, nutrition, animals, the environment, energy, water and other resources, economics, politics, family life, and many more � and we should make people aware of connections. When there are news reports re global warming and its effects, we should point out that animal-based diets contribute significantly to emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases. When there are articles re taxes, budget deficits, and other economic issues, we should indicate that health costs are soaring in efforts to cure the many diseases that have been conclusively connected to animal-centered diets. When there are articles about water shortages and droughts, we should help make people aware that animal-based agriculture requires far more water and other resources than plant-based agriculture.
Many additional examples can be given.

6. Start a Letter Writing Campaign

As a follow-up to the discussion in item #5, there should be a major campaign to get letters to editors on connections between various issues and vegetarianism. If only a small percentage of the people concerned about vegetarianism and related issues wrote a letter just once a month, it could have a major impact. A web site should be set up that gives talking points daily for letters based on current issues as well as sample letters.

As a related approach, since many people listen daily to talk radio shows, there should also be a concerted effort to get people to call such shows with vegetarian messages. While radio talk show hosts are generally very well informed on a wide variety of issues, I have found that many have major misconceptions re health, nutrition, and other vegetarian-related issues.

7. Make a Shift to Vegetarianism a Priority for the Animal Rights Movement

The vast majority of cases of animal abuses occur on factory farms. Yet, many, perhaps most, animal rights activists are working on other issues, such as circuses, rodeos, fur, pets, and animal experimentation. These are all important issues and it is essential to end all cases of animal abuse. But, animal-based diets and agriculture threaten most individuals� personal health and the well being of humanity. If most animal rights advocates worked on promoting vegetarianism and veganism, even for a limited time, in addition to their other animal rights efforts, it could have a very powerful impact.

8. Challenge the Medical Establishment

Every person is concerned about his or her health and the health of loved ones. There is very strong evidence that incidents of heart disease, various types of cancer, strokes, and other chronic degenerative diseases can be sharply reduced by a shift to vegetarian and vegan diets, along with other positive lifestyle changes. Yet, the medical establishment, including most nutritionists, are ignoring this information, and are not making patients and the general public aware that many diseases can be prevented, and sometimes reversed, through dietary changes. It might even be called medical malpractice. I recently visited a cousin in a rehabilitation center, and was astounded at reading the daily menus, which had animal products at every meal. It is essential that we challenge medical practitioners and respectfully urge them to help educate people about healthy diets.

As indicated in point #10, others, such as educators, politicians, religious leaders, and reporters, should also be challenged to increase awareness of the health and many other benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets.

9. Form Alliances With Other Groups

Since vegetarianism has connections with many societal issues, we should try to build strong alliances with many other groups that are working for positive changes. For example, we should seek alliances with environmental groups, and inform them that the raising of 50 billion animals for slaughter annually, primarily on "factory farms," contributes to many environmental threats; we should seek alliances with groups concerned about hunger, poverty, water and energy shortages, global warming, and related issues, and inform them about how the production of animal products contributes to many environmental threats and is extremely wasteful of resources.

10. Challenge the Media, Politicians, Educators, and Other Members of the Establishment

Since, as indicated above humanity is threatened as perhaps never before, and a switch toward vegetarianism is a societal imperative, and there are vegetarian connections to many current issues, we should try to meet with influential members of society and urge them to take a stand re vegetarianism, or at least to put the issues on their agendas. We should urge educators to see that children learn about proper nutrition and are provided with tasty, nutritious options at every meal. We should exhort reporters and editors to make people aware of the many negative effects of animal-based diets and the many benefits of vegetarian and vegan diets.
-------------------------
This is just an outline of some steps that I think would be helpful in moving toward a vegetarian world. I am sure that the many dedicated people in the vegetarian and related movements can add to my points and come up with additional suggestions. The important thing is that we become increasingly involved, for our sakes, for the animals, and for our precious, but imperiled, planet.
======================
Sample Letter to the editor of a pro-vegetarian group:

Dear Editor:

I want to commend you for your important efforts to educate people on the need to shift toward plant-based diets. However, in spite of the increasing need for a shift toward vegetarianism to counteract the present epidemic of diseases and the many environmental threats caused by the production and consumption of animal products, progress has been relatively slow. I believe that it is time for a consideration of strategies to promote vegetarianism more effectively. Here are ten suggestions designed to start a dialogue that will lead to positive changes:

1. Set a goal such as "A Vegetarian-conscious World by 2010."

2. Make people aware that a shift toward vegetarianism is beneficial for people as well as animals.

3. Argue that a shift toward vegetarianism is a societal imperative today because of the many negative health and environmental effects of animal-based diets.

4. Argue that a shift toward vegetarianism is a religious imperative today because animal-centered diets violate many religious mandates.

5. Relate vegetarianism to current news items.

6. Start a letter writing campaign and a campaign of responses to radio talk shows.

7. Make a Shift to Vegetarianism a Priority for the Animal Rights Movement.

8. Challenge the medical establishment to inform people that many diseases can be prevented and sometimes reversed through a shift to vegan diets and other positive lifestyle changes.

9. Form alliances with environmental, health, animal rights, social justice, and other groups.

10. Urge the media, politicians, educators, and others to help make people aware of the many benefits of vegetarian diets.

This is just an outline of some steps that I think would be helpful in moving toward a vegetarian world. I am sure that the many dedicated people in the vegetarian and related movements can come up with additional suggestions. The important thing is that we become increasingly involved, for our sakes, for the animals, and for our precious, but imperiled, planet.


In a message dated 5/29/05 8:57:38 PM, adam@wetlands-preserve.org writes:

Among other insane assertions, this article implies that GARC was a public ALF meeting and the ALF or ELF might bomb a chemical or a nuclear plant.

You can send replies to
opinion@tribweb.com (tribweb.com)

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/tribune-review/opinion/columnists/datelinedc/s_33
7917.html


Ignoring the ecoterrorist threat

Sunday, May 29, 2005

WASHINGTON -- We are all proud of the exceptional men and women who are members of the U.S. Senate. Outside the Beltway and their home states, senators often are treated with a deference that could cause revolution or rioting in some countries.

They usually travel with an entourage of sycophantic staff. And those of the Democrat persuasion would wear Roman togas if they thought these ensured their re-election.

This month, the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works met to quiz and harass John Lewis, the FBI's counterterrorism deputy assistant director.

This committee has them all. Chairman James Inhofe of Oklahoma has to contend with the Vermont party-switcher Jim Jeffords, self-proclaimed tree hugger Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, probable Republican Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Barbara Boxer of California, Joe Lieberman of Connecticut and Hillary Clinton of New York.

Little wonder that Lewis and his colleagues encountered problems in having the committee believe that environmental and animal-welfare militants are now the biggest terrorist threat in the United States. These militants increasingly use explosive and incendiary devices on targets ranging from housing developments and research laboratories to car dealerships.

The committee members, obsessed with al-Qaida, were reluctant to believe that the FBI had 150 ongoing investigations and that 1,200 crimes by tree-and-bunny huggers were reported during the past decade. Their cost to us -- $110 million. The cost to them -- minimal.

What is most disturbing is that the criminals involved are mostly members of groups like the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), which hold open and well-publicized meetings. They are well- if not over-educated, mostly middle-class people from conventional homes who grew up with everything needed to be happy, and have a hatred for the American system.

If senators, the FBI, our readers and reporters wanted to attend their general meetings, all would be welcome. Track their money? It comes from our relatives and from clever mergers and acquisitions among environmental, animal and related rights groups.

Over the April 1 weekend there was a gathering of about 400 activists in New York City from 26 states and Canada. It was called the Grassroots Animal Rights Conference (GARC) at the Holyrood Episcopal Church in the Bronx. Those attending were lured by statements such as "Some of the most experienced activists and teachers in activist movements will converge at GARC with the goal of strengthening the grass roots."

The GARC had experienced organizers for the conference. One of the speakers was Ramona Africa, from the Philadelphia group MOVE, who now "peacefully" protests at zoos and at circus performances. Ramona, the only surviving adult from the original MOVE, also has served seven years in jail for conspiracy and rioting.

One pamphlet distributed by Win Animal Rights (WAR) promised actions in May against "pharmaceutical and vivisection industries, their customers, suppliers and employees." Relying on the use of members' cell phones and the Internet, WAR's instruction -- "Be prepared to travel from one location to another taking the fight to both the business and home address of those that allow animal exploitation to continue!" -- creates a new level of fear.

Those attending the conference and the Senate hearing became aware that the direct-action phase of the animal and Earth liberation movements is, in 2005, about to enter a new and much more violent phase. "Our kids," totally oblivious of the new laws to suppress violence and terrorism and led by seasoned criminals, are preparing to vandalize and maim.

The Senate Committee does not seem to agree. Sen. Lautenberg said the Department of Homeland Security spent $40 billion a year to protect the home front but that groups based in Europe successfully had their American members attacking the homes, boats and cars of pharmaceutical executives in New Jersey and New York.

Sen. Jeffords said "nothing much could be done about individual extremists committing crimes." He continued: "ALF and ELF may threaten dozens of people, but an incident at a chemical, nuclear or wastewater facility would threaten tens of thousands."

For a senator that was quite smart. However, did the senator consider that it could be an ALF or ELF crazy bombing a chemical or a nuclear plant?

These are zealots with money, education and training. And, as of now, there is no federal agency that can guarantee protection against our homegrown idealist terrorists.

Dateline D.C. is written by a Washington-based British journalist and political observer.

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10314
Author of Judaism and Vegetarianism, Judaism and Global Survival, and Mathematics and Global Survival, and over 100 articles at
JewishVeg.com/schwartz.
President of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)
Phone: (718) 761-5876 Fax: (718) 982-3631 E-mail:
rschw12345@aol.com

 

From: RSchw12345@aol.com
To:
adam@wetlands-preserve.org, garc@lists.riseup.net
Subject: Re: [garc] Absurd Article on GARC/2
Date: Mon, 30 May 2005 09:19:55 EDT

Hi again GARC activists,

Below is a very quick first draft of a letter to the editor. It is meant to be consistent with my attempt to take the offensive re our critics in a positive way that all animal rights activists and vegetarians can support.

Your comments and suggestions are very welcome before I send it in.

Many thanks,
Richard


May 30, 2005

opinion@tribweb.com (triweb.com)

Dear Editor:

As president of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), I am completely opposed to acts of violence by animal rights and environmental activists ("Ignoring the ecoterrorist threat"). I am happy to report that in my over 25 years working with animal rights, vegetarian, and environmental groups and attending many conferences, I have not personally come across any people who advocated violence or terrorism.

What the article completely ignores is the violence and great harm caused by the production and consumption of animal products: the 50 billion farmed animals slaughtered annually worldwide after being raised generally under horrible factory farm conditions; the over a million Americans who die annually from heart disease, various types of cancer, and the many other diseases that have been conclusively linked to the consumption of animal products; the many environmental threats that animal-based agriculture significantly contributes to, including global warming, rapid species extinction, destruction of tropical rain forests and other valuable habitats, and widespread water shortages; the deaths of an estimated 20 million people worldwide annually worldwide, while 70% of the grain produced in the U.S. and almost 40 percent produced worldwide is fed to animals destined for slaughter.

I believe that the answer to these and other threats of animal-centered diets and agriculture is not violence, but neither is it ignoring the issues while properly trying to reduce violence. I also believe that an effective approach to reducing potential violence from environmental and animal rights groups is to work to end the many horrible current abuses of animals and the many current environmental threats using the tools that our democratic society has provided.

Very truly yours,

Richard H. Schwartz
 

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin, annxtberlin@gmail.com