February 2006


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


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A Portland VegFest to Celebrate Spring and New Beginnings
By Carol Merrick, Secretary, Northwest VEG

In many places in the world, the new year begins in the spring. It's a time of new beginnings that might include eating healthier foods and wanting to create less of an impact on Mother Earth. To help everyone achieve these goals and more, Northwest VEG is organizing a VegFest with First Unitarian Church's Community for Earth Group, In Defense of Animals, Natural Awakenings Magazine, and Blossoming Lotus RestaurantVegan World Fusion Cuisine.

The 2nd Annual VegFest: A Compassionate Living Fair will take place on March 18 at the First Unitarian Church, SW 12th Ave. and Main St., Portland, from 10 am to 6 pm. For an admission of $5, visitors can sample delicious food from Turtle Island, Moosewood Foods, Field Roast Grain Meat, Robert's Gourmet, Sun Flour Baking Company, Columbia Gorge Organics, and others. Different local chefs will conduct food demonstrations and prepare entrees, side dishes, and desserts. In addition, five great speakers will include nationally known Howard Lyman, a.k.a. the "Mad Cowboy," registered nutritionist George Eisman (compliments of Farm Sanctuary), and Bo Rinaldi, owner of Blossoming Lotus Restaurant and co-author of Vegan World Fusion Cuisine. The event will also feature several nonprofits in areas that promote safe foods, the environment, and compassion toward all living beings.

For more information, please visit www.nwveg.org/VegFest.htm, call (503) 224-7380 or email info@nwveg.org.

Giving Fur a Good Cause

Wildlife rehabilitators say that fur reduces stress in their animal patients, perhaps reminding them of the comfort of snuggling up to their mothers. So how can we humans help? Now through Earth Day, April 22, 2006, Buffalo Exchange, a vintage clothing chain with two stores in Portland, is partnering with the Humane Society of the United States and their Coats for Cubs program by collecting all kinds of fur, including coats, trim and accessories. The donated fur will be sent to wildlife rehabilitation centers for use as bedding for orphaned or injured wildlife such as raccoons, rabbits, foxes, squirrels and bobcats.

The two locations for Buffalo Exchange in Portland are 1420 SE 37th Ave. (at Hawthorne) and 1036 W Burnside St. Click here for more information at the HSUS website.


Volunteer Corner

Northwest VEG needs over 100 volunteers to make VegFest: A Compassionate Living Fair a success! If you are available to volunteer on Saturday, March 18, for a couple of hours, please
contact Maggie Raczek
at (503) 493-2358 or volunteer@nwveg.org.

February Fun Includes Fair Trade Focus at Potluck and Mexican Food Dine-outs

Join us at the West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 8470 SW Oleson Road in Portland at 5:00 pm on Feb. 19 for our monthly vegetarian potluck. Following the meal, a panel discussion will focus on fair trade food products, including coffee and chocolate. Panel participants will include Alistair Williamson of Equal Exchange, Sarah Cline of People's Co-op, and Northwest VEG member Michael Labhard. Free samples of Equal Exchange products will be available. Please bring a vegan (no animal-derived ingredients) or vegetarian (no meat or seafood) main dish, salad or dessert, 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 donation of $2-5 is requested to help cover the cost of the venue.

Two dine-outs this month will take place at Mexican restaurants in Portland and Vancouver. Join us on Feb. 11 at 6:00 pm for dinner at Iron Horse Restaurant, 6034 SE Milwaukie Ave, Portland. In addition to its standard menu, this cozy Mexican restaurant offers a vegetarian menu upon request. Please RSVP the number in your party (required) to Ardis at roar214@earthlink.net by Feb. 8.

The Vancouver, Washington, dine-out is booked at Casa Grande, a Mexican restaurant located in a charming 100-year-old Victorian house, offers a separate vegetarian menu, including squash enchiladas and spinach tamales. The address is 2014 Main St. in downtown Vancouver. Please RSVP the number in your party (required) to dine-out coordinator Becky at nwveg@comcast.net by Feb. 15.

Web Bulletin Board Connects Veg Community for Rides, Recipes and Rooms

The electronic bulletin board on the Northwest VEG website is a great way to stay connected. If you have a recipe to share (or are looking for something new to try), if you need a ride to a potluck or VegFest in March (or you want to offer one), or if you know about a veg-friendly housing opportunity (or are looking for one), all this and more (including job leads and nutrition forums) are on the bulletin board. Check it out at www.nwveg.org/phpBB2/index.php.

Local Writer’s VegNews Article Spotlights Veg Restaurant in Scotland

Congratulations to Northwest VEG member and E-Bits researcher extraordinaire, Laura Guimond, whose review of David Bann Vegetarian Restaurant & Bar appeared in the Jan/Feb 2006 issue of VegNews Magazine. Located in Edinburgh, Scotland, the restaurant played an important nourishment role for Laura at last year’s G8 Summit where as a representative of Mercy Corps she joined activists in calling for increased foreign aid, trade reform and debt cancellation. Read the article (the PDF file takes a while to load). Congratulations, Laura!

New Portland Veg Destinations Include a Few Surprises
By Charley Korns, President, Northwest VEG

Shoppers at Daily Grind, a vegetarian grocery, can now snack on more than the DG cookies and vegan scones, merely by crossing the road. Earthbound Vegan Cuisine has wheeled its culinary cart to a new location at SE 41st Ave. & Hawthorne Blvd. Todd, the owner, serves up portable delights including cold and grilled sandwiches, soup, salad — and chewy chocolate chip cookies. Hours are Sat & Sun, 1pm - 9pm; Mon, Thurs, Fri, 8am - 3pm; closed Tues & Wed. You can call ahead to order: (971) 221-4598.

Bay Leaf, a vegetarian Chinese restaurant at 4768 SE Division Street, is on the verge of opening. I was unable to confirm the opening date, so keep an eye on our dine-out page for more details — or visit the location.

La Villa at 719 SE Morrison offers Brazilian and Lebanese cuisine. “They have exceptional food,” reports Northwest VEG member Scott Runkel. “We have taken many meat-eaters there and almost everyone has ordered entirely veg meals and loved them!” La Villa has a separate vegetarian (mostly vegan) menu, upon request. Scott says they have “some of the best falafel sandwiches I've had (possibly the best)” — and vegan baklava for dessert. Hours are Mon-Thurs, 11 am - 9 pm; Fri-Sat, 11 am - 10 pm.

The Pearl District isn’t the first part of Portland that comes to mind when heading out for a veg meal, with the notable exception of the vegan Blossoming Lotus Restaurant. However, two other restaurants cater admirably to vegetarians. P.F. Chang’s at 1139 NW Couch St. offers 12 Chinese vegetarian items clearly marked on the menu and will customize any dish for vegetarians and vegans. Other locations include Hillsboro and Tigard. Another gem in the Pearl is Oba!, reports Northwest VEG member Laura Guimond. The Nuevo Latino restaurant offers a "Healthy Alternatives" menu featuring vegetarian (and vegan or easily adaptable to vegan) options.

  Award-winning VegWeb.com Shines as Active, Relevant Resource
By Joel Simon, Contributing Writer

The 2005 winner of VegNews Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award is www.VegWeb.com — and for good reason. The well-designed, easily-navigated site offers a user-friendly homepage with a new recipe each day, news relevant to both vegetarians and vegans, and hundreds of links to other resources from soup to nuts (i.e., cruelty-free apparel, ethics, travel).

Each week the homepage reviews new vegetarian products and asks for reader input. Users are invited to submit their comments relating to new products and recipes, and even share their own favorites. Online chat is available for anything related to the site’s mission of teaching and supporting the vegetarian lifestyle, including meeting other like-minded individuals.

A personal profile assistant allows a user to design a recipe box. Building from that, she/he may take notes from new products and add favorites from the past to make a personalized grocery list and meal planner.

Another great tool to be found at VegWeb.com is the nonscientific but conclusive surveys in which readers are asked their opinions on everything from relationships (is your partner vegan, for instance) to their favorite vegan burger.

Printable coupons are offered, some with hefty rebates on Internet purchases for food and products, and each coupon has a link for comments and user reviews.

Throughout the year, VegNews Magazine editors claimed to have kept their eyes peeled for the “freshest, most innovative people, products and services” to share with its readers, and named VegWeb.com the “Tastiest Destination in Cyberspace.” As VegNews stated in their summation, innovative sites such as VegWeb.com “confirm what we’ve known all along: that the veg life is indeed the good life.”

The World Peace Diet - Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony,
by Will Tuttle, Ph.D.

A book review by Donna Nikzi, Contributing Writer

I chose to commit to a vegetarian diet when I was 12. I’ve had a lifetime to ponder the reasons and to experience the consequences, implications, and blessings of my eating choices. I feel deeply grateful for the set of circumstances, the people, the books, and my inner being that made it possible for me to embrace and completely resonate with compassionate eating. What has been challenging for me is my lifelong desire to be a positive influence for others. I explain the reasons for my eating choices and can often feel a “wall of resistance” from others. And this is really the reason I was “gifted” with hearing about “The World Peace Diet.”

A friend in Austin, with whom I had spoken often of my convictions around eating, wrote me an e-mail saying that she knew I’d be happy to learn she was finally able to commit to being a vegetarian because a man named Will Tuttle had spoken at her church. She said he had written a book about his research and philosophy. I immediately ordered a copy.

I cannot begin to express all that I learned and gleaned from this beautifully written personal story of a man’s journey of discovery and his deep conviction that world peace IS possible. If ever anyone has attempted and succeeded to delve deeply and completely into the core of the issue of suffering, surrendered to the process, and emerged as a bearer of a message for humanity and a passion to share the message with the world, Dr. Will Tuttle is that individual. I would like to share just one paragraph, one little pearl in a book filled with pearls of wisdom, hope, and inspiration:

"We are in the midst of a profound cultural transformation. It is becoming increasingly obvious that the old mythos underlying our culture is collapsing. We are realizing that its core assumptions are obsolete and, if followed further, will result not only in the ecological devastation of our planet’s intricate and delicate systems, but in our self-destruction as well. A new mythos, affirming cooperation, freedom, peace, life, and unity is struggling to be born to replace the old mythos based on competition, separateness, war, exclusion, and the idea that might makes right. Food is a critical key to this birth, because our food habits condition our mentality profoundly — and because meals are the primary way our culture replicates and promulgates its value system through us. Whether this birth of a new mythos and more evolved spirituality and consciousness is successful will depend on whether we can transform our understanding and practice of food."

The World Peace Diet is a compilation of vast research on humanity’s relationship with the world. It calls to us eloquently and urgently to wake up. This is both an opportunity and a responsibility for each one of us. There is a path that leads to peace, love, and higher consciousness — and Will Tuttle has opened the door.

Note: Donna Nikzi is a Northwest VEG member and a finalist in the Blossoming Lotus essay contest, which took place last year. Donna’s essay responded to the topic, “A Vegan World is Possible.” It was reprinted in the December 2005 E-Bits and can be accessed at http://www.nwveg.org/E-bits_1205.htm.

The Great Escape in Great Falls

One of the most amazing stories to come out of the animal kingdom in recent years occurred on January 9, 2006, in Great Falls, Montana. That morning the industrial gears of “progress” began churning at Mickey’s Packing Plant, a Disney-like whimsical term for a slaughterhouse. However, the industrial gears stopped churning when one of the cows, later named Molly, broke out of the pack.

Molly, weighing in at 1,200 pounds, jumped a slaughterhouse gate at around 5 a.m. She wandered through residential streets until 9:30 a.m. when police received reports that she was in the middle of a busy intersection. Officers were able to corner her between a stock trailer and a fence, but she plowed through the fence, nearly being hit by an SUV. She continued across railroad tracks narrowly missing an oncoming train — and a semi tractor-trailer.

"By then it was a madhouse," said police officer Corey Reeves. "People were coming out of the woodwork to see." And what they saw was well worth the freezing morning chill. With police, animal control officers and slaughterhouse workers surrounding her at a park on the banks of the Missouri River, Molly decided to take the plunge and jump into the icy water. With the rapids carrying her downstream and Molly sinking lower into the water, the manager of the slaughterhouse, Del Morris, looked on in awe. "I've been around cattle all my life, and it's just totally amazing," Morris said, adding that it is a rare cow that escapes slaughter. "I watched her do things that are just not possible for a cow."

Fortunately, the banks of the Missouri deemed her journey possible because they offered Molly a sandbar downstream and she walked to shore. Authorities caught up to her again and shot her with a tranquilizer gun once. She stood firm. Twice. She stood firm. After the third shot at 11:45 a.m., slaughterhouse workers were able to corral her into a makeshift pen with metal panels that led to a stock trailer.

Once back at the slaughterhouse, employees put Molly in a pen with a stronger fence and voted 10-1 to let her live. “At this point, I have no desire to slaughter her,” Morris added. “If the owner insists, I’ll have to tell him to take her somewhere else.”
After Molly landed on news reports across the country, calls from individuals offering to buy her poured in. The Great Escape in Great Falls ends on a happy note as the owner decided to let her live thanks in large part to the wave of popular support. Molly will live on a range under the big Montana sky.

The Northwest VEG E-Bits is published via email around the first of every even-numbered month. If you would like to contribute to E-bits, or if you have any feedback, please contact Nicole Bowmer, Editor, at nicker_bits@yahoo.com.