Northwest VEG E-Bits — April 2005

Check out upcoming events

April Potluck to Feature Presentation on Factory Farming: The Problems with the Industrial Agricultural Model
by Don Merrick, Vice President, Northwest VEG

Join us on Sunday, April 17, at 5:00 pm when we meet at the West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 8470 SW Oleson Road in Portland. Please bring a vegetarian (no meat or fish) or vegan (no animal-derived ingredients) dish to serve 4-6 and a small card listing ingredients. Also, bring a plate and utensils for your use. For more information, contact or call (503) 224-7380.

Our speaker, Kendra Kimbirauskas, grew up farming with her dad on the family’s farm in Stockbridge, Michigan. After college, Kimbirauskas went to work as a Legislative Aid for a Michigan State Senator who sat on the State’s Agriculture Committee. During that time Kimbirauskas realized that not all farms were sustainable farms like her father’s, and shortly after she went to work for the Sierra Club, helping farm communities fight corporate factory farms while promoting traditional agriculture. Kimbirauskas has worked closely with the WaterKeeper Alliance, Keep Antibiotics Working Coalition, Public Citizen, National Farmers Union, GRACE Factory Farm Project and the Animal Welfare Institute. Kendra says, “Consumers take note about the factory farm alarm.” Today, the vast majority of our meat, milk and eggs no longer come from Old MacDonald’s Farm. In the last 30 years, agriculture has become industrialized and the animals removed from the land and placed into factory-like buildings where they have become simple production units in a standardized system driven by the bottom-line. Kimbirauskas will address the problems associated with the industrial agricultural model, its effects on the environment and public health, and how it’s up to consumers to make a difference.


At the April 17 potluck, Kendra Kimbirauskas will speak on the environmental damage created by factory farming. No word yet whether her hog friend will join her.

  Northwest VEG Website Features Bulletin Board for Veg Community

If you haven’t already discovered it, a bulletin board is available on the Northwest VEG website where you can post messages. Topics include housing, employment, carpooling, fun & friends, nutrition, and recipes. All you need to do is register as a guest and log on. Check it out at
Other recent additions to our site include a page for global events and veg destinations in other Northwest cities. Currently, only Corvallis and Eugene are listed, but others will be added. If you can volunteer to provide and update information about a particular city in Oregon or Washington, please contact Charley Korns:

  Volunteers Needed for Earth Day Events!

Northwest VEG will be participating in various events in April to recognize Earth Day, April 22. If you are interested in volunteering at our information table during that time, please contact Maggie Raczek, Volunteer Coordinator, at or call
(503) 493-2358.

Compassionate Living Fair Attracts Hundreds on March 19
by Charley Korns, president, Northwest VEG

Northwest VEG organized its first Compassionate Living Fair as part of its March activities inspired by the Great American Meatout, the world’s largest grass roots diet education campaign. On March 19, nearly 300 people visited the fair, which included speakers, films, chef demonstrations and the sampling of a variety of vegan foods. Thanks to our volunteers and co-sponsors In Defense of Animals and Natural Awakenings Magazine, the event was a great success. Volunteers heard positive feedback all day, along the lines of “thanks for doing this, it’s a needed event.” Check out photos from the day at

The event would not have been possible without the efforts of event coordinator Marsha Rakestraw and volunteer coordinator Maggie Raczek, both of whom serve on the Northwest VEG board. Other key volunteers included Nicole Bowmer, Janet Christ, Connie Durkee, Maitri and Ole Ersson, Cindy Koczy, Don & Carol Merrick, Kevin Mieras, Linda Sant'Angelo, and Peter Spendelow. Thanks to Chuck Schietinger and Connie Holz, who crafted and donated an A-frame sidewalk sign that will be reused at future events.

The food offered as samples was either donated or purchased at cost from the following businesses: Amy’s Kitchen, Edward & Sons Trading Company, Field Roast, Food Fight, Kettle Foods, Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods, Mirador Community Store, NatureBake, Road’s End Organics, Sunflour Baking Company, Tazo Tea, Turtle Island, and Turtle Mountain.

Northwest VEG is grateful to all the presenters for generously volunteering their time. Marsha Rakestraw gave a presentation entitled “The Power of Choice: Journeying Toward a More Humane Life.” Ariel Policano, N.D., spoke on “Optimum nutrition for the vegan lifestyle: A naturopathic perspective.” Dr. Policano can be contacted at (503) 249-0320.

Tammy Russell, R.D., delivered a presentation on “Fostering Health & Harmony in Your Children.” Chef Al Chase & Donna Benjamin, of the Institute for Culinary Awakening, gave a demonstration called “Organic, Plant-Based Cuisine: Compassionate Nourishment for the New Millennium.” Al and Donna operate Culinary Awakenings, offering custom programs in vegan culinary arts. They can be reached at
Linda Sant’Angelo demonstrated how to make apple kuchen and coffee cake. David Langton showed how to make several dairy-free alternatives, including almond “cream cheese.” Stuart Reiter, head chef at Blossoming Lotus vegan restaurant, demonstrated nut paté and dehydrated flax crackers (a live food offering). Blossoming Lotus, at 925 NW Davis St. in Portland, is open weekdays from 7:30 am - 7 pm, and on weekends from 8 am–6 pm.


Scenes from the Fair
photos by Charley Korns
See more photos by Charley and Kevin Mieras:

Stuart Reiter, head chef at Blossoming Lotus vegan café, prepares cashew hummus, which those attending later sampled.

Volunteer Janet Christ, right, prepares samples while fair attendees fill small plates with vegan taste treats.

Volunteer Coordinator Maggie Raczek, left, and Event Coordinator Marsha Rakestraw helped ensure a successful event from start to finish — and before and after, as well.
Physicians for Social Responsibility Pursues Goals to Attain Safer Food

In October 2003, Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) launched the Campaign for Safe Food that proposed two ambitious goals. The first goal was to “discontinue the production of any dairy products in Oregon from cows treated with rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone).” The second goal was to “ensure there is no risk of human or environmental contamination by biopharmaceutical crops by passing a bill in the 2005 Oregon legislature.”

To read about these goals and the current progress toward them, please visit PSR at

Earth Day Sheds Light on Environmental Impact of Our Food Choices
by Nicole Bowmer, E-Bits Editor

With April 22, 2005, marking the 35th Anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration, we’re taking a look back at the ironic origins and the essential bits of wisdom learned along the way.

Ironic Origins

Elected to political office in 1958, Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) is credited as the Founder of Earth Day. For most of his first decade in public service, Nelson was deeply troubled by the fact that the deteriorating state of the environment was on neither the front nor the back burner of American politics.

In the early 1960s, he took his concerns straight to President Kennedy, suggesting a national conservation tour to shine the political limelight on the environment. Kennedy liked the idea and in September 1963 participated in a five-day, eleven-state conservation tour. As Senator Nelson later told the Wilderness Society, “For many reasons the tour did not succeed in putting the issue onto the national political agenda. However, it was the germ of the idea that ultimately flowered into Earth Day.”

Read the full article: