October 2005


We educate and empower people to make vegetarian choices for a healthy, sustainable,
and compassionate world.


Check out upcoming events

Howard Lyman Says the Time to Change is Now
by Charley Korns, President, Northwest VEG

The 150-plus who came to see a fourth-generation Montana cattle rancher on Sept. 27 at the First Congregational Church chose a whole lot of Lyman over a whole lot of lovin’. You see, just a few blocks away, Robert Plant, lead singer of Led Zeppelin, was performing at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Actually, the crowd attending the Northwest VEG event got the love, too. Howard Lyman’s big heart was evident as he spoke before and after showing a preview of his new film, Mad Cowboy, The Documentary. For years Howard has been committed to inspiring others to go vegan, citing myriad reasons pertaining to health, the environment, and animal suffering.

The new DVD covers the story of Howard’s life. After being raised on a dairy farm and eventually operating a giant feedlot in Montana, his life transformed following a health crisis that required a surgeon to remove a tumor from his spine; doctors predicted that he would probably not walk again, but after recovering from the successful operation, Howard was ready to get busy. He switched from a chemical-heavy farming approach to an organic one. His activism in the following years led him to investigate the human form of mad cow disease, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). The DVD includes Howard’s research into vCJD and interviews with parents in Britain who lost children to the disease.

The Portland crowd responded warmly to Howard, who ended his talk by saying that each one of us can make a difference in the world, each time we spend money. He also said that “now” is the time to start to make a change. To learn more about Mad Cowboy: The Documentary and purchase the DVD, visit Howard's website.


Reserve Now for Compassionate Thanksgiving Celebration

Join Northwest VEG at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 3915 SE Steele St., Portland, for our Second Annual Compassionate Thanksgiving Celebration on Sunday, Nov. 20, starting at 4:30 pm. A festive vegetarian potluck will be followed by Buddha Belly vegan pie (provided) and a concert by local singer/songwriter Anne Weiss. Folk singer Dar Williams says, “Anne’s been an inspiration to me ever since we met. She’s funny, she’s insightful, and the power of her performances brings people together in the best way.”

Please bring a vegan (no animal-derived ingredients) or vegetarian (no meat or seafood) main dish, side dish, or salad, a card listing its ingredients, and plates and utensils for your use. If you come by yourself, figure the amount to serve 4-6; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. A sliding scale donation of $5-10 for individuals and $10-25 for families will be requested at the door. Call (503) 968-5838 or email dlm.6@juno.com to RSVP the number in your party (required).


Volunteer Corner

Volunteers are needed to help set up fall screenings of Peaceable Kingdom at libraries this fall and to assist at other events, including the Earth Summit at PSU on Oct. 8 and the Compassionate Thanksgiving Celebration on Nov. 20. And of course, every potluck needs volunteers! If you can help out, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator at (503) 493-2358 or email volunteer@nwveg.org. If you are not already a member, you might want to consider a volunteer membership. Contact the same email and phone for more information.

Erik Marcus Brings Dismantlement Message to Portland
by Charley Korns, President, Northwest VEG

On a late September evening at Powell’s flagship bookstore, more than 100 people turned out to see Erik Marcus speak about his new book, Meat Market: Animals, Ethics and Money (Brio Press, 2005). The event, co-sponsored by Powell’s and Northwest VEG, sparked a sell-out of all the copies of Erik’s new book that Powell’s had on hand. Meat Market is Erik’s second book, following Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating (McBooks Press, 1998).

Meat Market includes an overview of the heinous conditions in which animals are housed and killed in factory farms. Erik’s message expands to examine the history of the vegetarian and animals rights movements. He stresses that little concrete progress has been made. Each year the number of animals slaughtered in the United States increases, now exceeding 10 billion annually. Americans are consuming more meat; in 2002 meat and poultry consumption hit an all-time high of 219 pounds per person. And the percentage of vegetarians is holding steady (although more and more vegetarians are turning vegan). Of the many arguments vegetarian educators have used over the years, the only ones that are irrefutable are those concerning the problems with animal agriculture, especially the accompanying ethos that perceives farmed animals as commodities. Erik proposes a new movement of dismantlement, built upon “an audacious premise that activists are capable of banding together to undercut and ultimately eliminate the industry of animal agriculture.”

For more information about Erik Marcus and his new book, visit his website: http://www.vegan.com.


Exchange Veg Recipes at Holiday Recipe Swap

Looking for a tasty new holiday recipe? Never know what to fix for your veggie or carnivorous friends visiting for the holidays? Tired of traditional Thanksgiving fare? Save your spot now for Northwest VEG’s first Holiday Recipe Swap on Saturday, Nov. 5, at 6:00 pm! The location will be Cascadia Commons Co-housing Community Common House, SW 94th, Portland.
It's simple: bring a vegetarian (preferably vegan) dish that has been a success at a past winter holiday meal. It should yield at least 30 small sample size-portions. In addition, bring 30 copies of the recipe. Then you'll sample all the delicious dishes and take home copies of the recipes you especially liked to add to your cadre of yummy holiday ideas. Drinks provided. For more information, and/or to RSVP (required - spaces limited!), contact Marsha, Education/Outreach Coordinator, at marsha@nwveg.org or (503) 296-0640.


And the Squids Rejoice

Thanks to Senate Bill (SB) 283 recently signed into law, Oregon joined a handful of states that have passed a student choice dissection law. The law requires teachers to notify K-12 students of their option to decline involvement with dissection and use comparable alternative methods instead. “Many students have an ethical or aesthetic distaste for animal dissection,” said Sen. Ryan Deckert (D-Beaverton). “Given that we have academically suitable alternatives that do not involve the use of animals, it is clear that state policy should provide for a choice for students.”


Get Your Northwest VEG T-Shirts — in Organic Cotton!

Northwest VEG T-shirts are available for purchase. Made by SOS from Texas, these organic cotton shirts come in traditional T-style, women's scoop neck and long-sleeve. The long sleeve shirts are $20, and others are $15. We also have a children’s size for $12. The front of the shirt features the Northwest VEG logo; the back shows our website and includes the words, “Rockin' in the Beet World.” Find them for sale at the October 16 potluck and the Nov. 20 Compassionate Thanksgiving Celebration. You may also contact Charley Korns to buy a shirt if you can’t make it to any of our upcoming events: charley@nwveg.org.


Northwest VEG Member Lends a Hand to Help Displaced Animals in Louisiana

Laura Guimond, a Northwest VEG member and Mercy Corps employee traveled to Louisiana to assist with the Portland-based nonprofit's Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. She spent some time between her humanitarian relief tasks to assist in the efforts of Alley Cat Allies to care for displaced animals. She met many cats and dogs, but also encountered horses and a goat. Alley Cat Allies’ hurricane-relief base camp near Bogalusa, LA, has been up and running under extraordinarily difficult conditions for the staff and volunteers, and for the animals rescued or still stranded after the hurricane. ACA staff and volunteers have rescued over 50 animals. Laura said she is considering bringing a couple of cats to Portland, but it would be very hard to choose because they're all so special.

Nutritionist Details Benefits of Faux Meat Over Real Meat, Points to Whole Foods as Optimal Diet
by Nicole Bowmer, E-Bits Editor

At our September potluck, Sue Aberle, M.S., R.D., offered an information-packed presentation of “Faux Meats & Dairy & Veggie Snack Foods – health food or junk food?” For anyone who has ever enjoyed a Boca burger or a Tofutti frozen dessert, Sue offered nutritional comparisons between faux options and real meat and dairy products. While the alternative products overall are healthier than their standard counterparts, they do contain ingredients that some of us may want to, or need to, avoid. For instance, anyone with a soy or wheat allergy will need to avoid most meat analogues.

With the faux meats, Sue pointed out that some common ingredients include wheat gluten, canola oil, egg whites and whey protein, of which the latter two are not vegan. Of course, eating the real meat counterparts would mean digesting hormones, antibiotics and sometimes “parts of the animal that you’d prefer not to see on your dinner plate.” Faux meats also offer more fiber than the real options simply because animal products don’t contain fiber.

With dairy, Sue explained that finding the ingredients for many ice cream brands can be difficult because of a national standard of identity for ice cream. This standard states that the product must contain milk and cream, and the ingredients only need to be listed if they divert from the standard. That’s why soy and rice alternatives can’t have the words “ice cream” on their labels. Sue warned against consuming any dairy product that contains casein, a milk protein. Casein has been linked with cancer, recently documented in Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book The China Study (Benbella Books, 2005).

Overall, Sue stated that plant-based substitutes are better nutritionally than animal-based products, yet – especially as a convert to a raw foods diet – she suggested using faux products for transitioning only and then moving toward whole food options in less processed forms.

The Future of Food Documentary Plays at Cinema 21

The award-winning documentary The Future of Food opens Friday, October 7, at Portland’s Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave. Opening night will feature Rick North, director of the Campaign For Safe Food, a project of the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility. North will answer questions relating to the film and discuss the issues of genetically modified organisms as they relate to Oregon. The Campaign For Safe Food aims to advance an agriculture and food system in Oregon that does not use GMOs. See http://www.oregonpsr.org.

This insightful film investigates the alarming changes happening in our food system, revealing the truth behind the unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled store shelves for the past decade. The hit indy film has been selling out theaters and garnering favorable reviews across the country. Click here for more information and to download posters.
J. Crew: Spinning Lies and Sewing Fur

The folks in the headquarters of J. Crew must be suffering from amnesia. Just last year the company claimed that it “does not currently include fur in its collections nor does it plan to.” Then out comes its fall 2005 line with (you guessed it) fur! Moreover, Sir Paul McCartney’s wife Heather Mills McCartney is urging consumers to boycott J. Crew stores in America after discovering the company buys fur from China, where animals are skinned alive.

Take a moment to let J. Crew know that broken promises are bad for business and supporting the violent industry of skinning animals for their fur is far worse. Whether or not you shop at the store, let them know that you won’t be a customer as long as they continue to sell fur. Calling (800) 562-0258 will connect you with customer service. To make a greater impact, contact executives at J. Crew.
Calling All Veg Writers

As publishers of books on animal advocacy, vegetarianism and environmentalism, Lantern Books is holding an essay competition with the aim being to “allow new thinking to emerge on the key subjects of Lantern's publishing program and to encourage new voices to step forward to shape the debate of the future.” With a $1000 first prize, $500 second prize and $250 third prize awards, judges will be looking for originality of vision, knowledge of the subject, skill in presenting an argument and literary merit. The deadline is midnight on December 31, 2005. For more information, visit Lantern Books.
A Call to Mercy for Animals from Ex- Speechwriter for Bush

Matthew Scully, a former speechwriter for George W. Bush, has entered the debate on the humane treatment of animals. His essay, “Fear Factories: The Case for Compassionate Conservatism – for Animals” was published recently in The American Conservative. Newsweek also published a story on Scully, referring to him as “the most interesting conservative you have never heard of.”
The questions asked by Scully are not new to animal rights advocates. Vegetarians and vegans question the so-called differences between cruel treatment of a single puppy and cruel treatment of billions of cows. Commenting on the hypocrisy, Scully says, “If reason and morality are what set humans apart from animals, then reason and morality must always guide us in how we treat them.”
It’s important to note that Scully does not advocate a vegetarian or vegan diet. Instead he advocates a give-and-take relationship. While his mantra of, “We owe them a merciful death, and we owe them a merciful life” may not be humane enough for vegetarians and vegans, it’s an important step in the conservative political terrain. For more information, you can read his book, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy (St. Martin’s Press, 2002).