December 2006


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

(503) 224-7380

1. Northwest VEG Annual Report Posted to Website
2. Bird Flu Expert to Present Two Free Talks in December

3. Vegan Cooking Class Aims to Solve a Few Mysteries
4. Vegan Holiday Festival Draws 1,000 to See Speakers, Chefs and Exhibitions
5. Second Edition of Dining & Shopping Guide Hits the Streets
6. Volunteer for the December Potluck and the Spring VegFest!
7. Pirates Tavern Dine-out Draws Largest Turnout Ever
8. Dr. Neal Barnard to Address Diabetes at January Talk
9. Fast Food Nation is Now An Eye-Opening Movie
10. Photography Business Directs Fees to Customers’ Chosen Animal Charities
11. Schumacher Furs in Downtown Portland Announces Closure
12. Civil War Era Novel Delves Into Themes Relevant to Animal Activism
13. Vegan Actor Speaks Out Against Holiday Turkey Consumption

Northwest VEG Annual Report Posted to Website

It has been a very successful year for Northwest VEG, and you can read all about it in our just-released annual report, available in PDF format.

In our third fiscal year, which ended June 30, 2006, Northwest VEG doubled its membership and treasury over the previous fiscal year. These gains can be partially attributed to our March 2006 VegFest: A Compassionate Living Festival where 1,000 people participated. In addition, VegNews Magazine, a VegFest sponsor, gave us an incredible limited-time offer that gives every new member of Northwest VEG a one-year subscription to VegNews, worth $20. If you are not a Northwest VEG member and are not a current VegNews subscriber, please consider this generous offer, which is valid until March 2007.

If you are already a member, you might want to purchase gift-memberships for family and friends for the holidays. Contact Jill Schatz, Membership Director: or (503) 297-8435. You can also contact Jill if you would like to have the annual report mailed to you.

Bird Flu Expert to Present Two Free Talks in December
By Don Merrick, Vice President, Northwest VEG

In Michael Greger’s latest book, Bird Flu: A Virus Of Our Own Hatching, he poses the question in the introduction: Why should we be concerned about a flu pandemic? His short answer will get your attention. “Because it’s happened before. Because an influenza pandemic in 1918 became the deadliest plague in human history, killing up to 100 million people around the world. Because the 1918 flu virus was likely a bird flu virus. Because that virus made more than a quarter of all Americans ill and killed more people in 25 weeks than AIDS has killed in 25 years—yet in 1918, the case mortality rate was less than 5%. H5N1 (the current virus), on the other hand, has officially killed half of its human victims. “

Professor Emeritus Kennedy Shortridge, who discovered the H1N1 virus, provides a convincing forward to Greger’s book.

Michael Greger, M.D., is Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States. An internationally recognized lecturer, he has presented at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the Bird Flu Summit, among many other symposia and institutions, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Greger is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine.

Greger is a tremendously entertaining medical speaker with an encyclopedic understanding of animal-to-human diseases. He will be in Portland in December for two showings of his engaging multimedia presentation, "Surviving the Next Pandemic: Bird Flu and Other Emerging Infectious Diseases," both hosted by Northwest VEG.

Saturday, December 16, 2:00-3:30 p.m. (free event)
Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital Community Conference Room
1040 NW 22nd Avenue, Portland

Sunday, December 17, 5:00 p.m. potluck, 6:30 p.m. presentation (free event)
West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
8470 SW Oleson Road, Portland

Following each presentation, Dr. Greger's new book will be available for purchase and signing. The text of the book is available at All of the proceeds Dr. Greger receives from his books and speaking engagements are donated to charity.

Vegan Cooking Class Aims to Solve a Few Mysteries

What is quinoa? Not sure what tempeh is? Do you like grilled veggies, vegan cheese? All in an organic wrap? How about a lentil-orzo casserole… and a luscious desert... hemp protein fruit smoothie? Mouth-watering already? Just wait, that’s not all!

Come join Connie and Cindy in the kitchen and learn how to prepare healthy, tasty veg dishes. The class is intended for beginners and takes place on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2006, prior to the westside potluck, and will be your potluck food contribution. The class is free, but participants are expected to pay for the cost of the ingredients.

Space in this class is limited to the first 10 callers. Don’t procrastinate! Contact Cindy to RSVP and for more information: (503) 640-6016.

Vegan Holiday Festival Draws 1,000 to See Speakers, Chefs and Exhibitions
By Charley Korns, E-Bits Editor

The buzz surrounding the Vegan Holiday Festival intensified as October turned to November and more and more businesses and nonprofits hopped on board. The coordinator, Robert Cheeke, had envisioned a motivational and uplifting event to illustrate alternative food choices for the holidays. Those who doubted his ability to pull together a major event in two months did not know Robert very well. On November 18, when 1,000 people showed up to check out 70 exhibitors and various chefs and speakers, the naysayers understood not to underestimate the power of this vegan bodybuilder who moved from Corvallis to Portland earlier this year.

A huge publicity boost for the Festival reached thousands on Nov. 14 when the Portland Tribune published a feature article on vegan lifestyle in its Sustainable Life section that included photos of Robert Cheeke, chefs at Blossoming Lotus Café, and a vegan family shopping at Food Fight, Oregon’s only vegan grocery. The extremely positive article mentioned numerous veg-focused local businesses and nonprofits, including Northwest VEG. It also highlighted the Festival, which was held at Lincoln High School on Nov. 18.

After a couple of hours of staffing the Northwest VEG information table, I opted to see an excellent chef demonstration and discussion by led by Blossoming Lotus, a powerful talk by Howard Lyman, and a mostly health-focused panel featuring all the Festival’s presenters, led by Bo Rinaldi, owner of Blossoming Lotus. Memorable quotes included a remark of Howard’s emphasizing his commitment to a vegan diet, “No animal has to die for me to live.” And Bo’s comment at the end of the panel discussion when he encouraged the audience to become vegan entrepreneurs, “The fun stuff is making change happen.”

See photos from the Festival. Read the Portland Tribune article, A Vegan Village in the Big City.

Second Edition of Dining & Shopping Guide Hits the Streets

The second edition of the Northwest VEG Dining & Shopping Guide to Portland and Vancouver was printed in November. The guide lists 3 vegan, 20 vegetarian, and 33 veg-friendly restaurants, including addresses, phone numbers and hours. One vegan, 2 vegetarian, and 6 veg-friendly markets are included, along with 6 sources for vegan baked goods and 3 outlets for vegan supplies, cookbooks, classes and clothing.

The guide also mentions key reasons to become vegetarian: for the animals, the planet and health. The guides will be mailed to all current Northwest VEG members this month and are also available at Northwest VEG potlucks. The restaurants included in the guide are also listed on the web, where the guide is available in PDF format, suitable for double-sided printing to legal-sized paper.

Additionally, the guides can be requested by contacting or (503) 288-1503. Charley can arrange for pickup or delivery of quantities of 25 or greater. For smaller quantities, please send your request with a small donation to cover postage to: Charley Korns, 1323 NE 77th Ave., Portland, OR 97213.

Volunteer for the December Potluck and the Spring VegFest!

If you can attend our Dec. 17 vegetarian potluck, please consider volunteering to help out with setup, cleanup, the welcome table, or food coordination. This potluck is expected to be very popular, thanks to the large number of new additions to our friends’ list from the Vegan Holiday Festival and our featured presentation (see article on Bird Flu Expert).

Looking ahead further, planning is under way for Portland VEG VegFest 2007, and you can be part of the process to make next year’s event bigger and better than VegFest 2006. All kinds of opportunities will be available for this event, which will need well over 100 volunteers.

To volunteer for the potluck or the VegFest, please contact Maggie Raczek at or (503) 493-2358.

Pirates Tavern Dine-out Draws Largest Turnout Ever
By Ardis Karr-Robak, Northwest VEG Dine-out Coordinator

Our November 2006 dineout at Pirates Tavern generated the most excitement and largest turnout to date. The restaurant is an ambitious and creative endeavor in the unexpected Northwest Portland industrial district. The impressive "all vegan mostly organic" menu aims to please small and large appetites with soups, sandwiches and entrees. Thirty main courses are divided into N, S, E and W with 7-9 dishes representing each region of the globe, averaging $12. The soups, mock meats and sauces are first rate. Organic beer is served in massive tankards, and there is a cavernous stage for live music above the bar. PT's grand opening happened Nov 1, and with any new venture there are wrinkles to be ironed out. Service is slow and consistency of quality and flavor isn't completely established yet. This eatery is unique and has great potential. It is a good place to enjoy the textures of meaty items and creamy sauces you may be missing as a vegetarian or vegan.

Visit Pirates Tavern at 2839 NW St Helens Rd. in Portland. Hours are Sun-Thurs, 4pm – 11pm; Fri-Sat, 4pm – 1am.

Upcoming Dine-outs
Dec. 9 (Saturday), 1 pm - 2:30 pm: Laughing Veg Dine-out
Each month, Northwest VEG members and friends enjoy vegetarian cuisine at a restaurant that offers tasty veg options. This month we'll meet at the North Portland location of Laughing Planet, 3765 N Mississippi Ave. Creative burritos, along with vegan soups (three choices daily) and cookies. Fresh juices and smoothies round out the choices. Please RSVP the number in your party (required) to Ardis at or call (503) 224-7380 by Dec. 6. If your plans change after you RSVP, please let Ardis know before Dec. 9.

Jan. 13 (Saturday), 6 pm: Breezy Veg Dine-out
Each month, Northwest VEG members and friends enjoy vegetarian cuisine at a restaurant that offers tasty veg options. This month we'll meet at Arabian Breeze, 3223 NE Broadway. The menu includes authentic Middle Eastern recipes served village style. Please RSVP the number in your party (required) to Ardis at or call (503) 224-7380 by Jan 10. If your plans change after you RSVP, please let Ardis know before Jan 13.

Dr. Neal Barnard to Address Diabetes at January Talk

Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, will return to Portland on Tuesday evening, January 23, 2007, to talk about his latest book, Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs (Rodale, January 2006). The book outlines a completely new dietary approach to preventing, controlling, and even reversing diabetes. The program is based on a series of research studies Dr. Barnard and his colleagues have conducted over the years, the latest funded by the National Institutes of Health. Published in the August 2006 issue of Diabetes Care, that study found Dr. Barnard’s program to be three times more effective than the American Diabetes Association Diet at controlling blood sugar.

The studies also show that by adopting a low-fat vegetarian diet—free of all animal products and added vegetable oils—individuals can lower their cholesterol, reduce their blood pressure, and lose weight. Best of all, the diet doesn’t demand one count calories, cut portion sizes, or give up all carbohydrates. On the contrary, you can eat as much as you want.

The book explains how the diet actually alters what goes on in an individual’s cells. Rather than just compensate for malfunctioning insulin, like other treatment plans, Dr. Barnard’s program helps repair how the body uses insulin. It also includes helpful tips on adopting a plant-based diet and more than 50 delicious and easy-to-make recipes.
Dr. Barnard will speak at the Adventist Medical Center, 10123 SE Market Street in Portland. The talk is free. More information will be provided in next month's newsletter. More info.

Fast Food Nation is Now An Eye-Opening Movie
By Charley Korns, E-Bits Editor

The movie version of Eric Schlosser’s, Fast Food Nation, which sold over 1.4 million copies, is now playing in theaters. Although Schlosser initially explored a documentary based on the book, he decided he would not have enough control to ensure the quality of such a project. “I spent about a year trying to pull it together and none of the options felt right,” said the investigative reporter in a recent Grist interview. “Most of the filmmakers were working with networks, and all of these networks, one way or another, had a relationship with the fast-food industry. Even PBS — you know McDonald's is a big sponsor of Sesame Street. So I felt uneasy.” (Read the Grist interview.)

Director Richard Linklater (School of Rock, Waking Life, Tape) has fashioned the book about the tentacles of the fast-food industry into a “morality play about the vicious circle of consumption that puts the worker in the maw of the corporation,” comments Boston Globe critic Wesley Morris. “Where Schlosser traveled the world, Linklater settles in Colorado and the American Southwest, his class-sensitive material reaching for the scornful heights of Sinclair Lewis. We're taken from the cattle ranches to the slaughterhouse where the meat is ground, pressed, frozen, and stacked like enormous pink poker chips, to the homes of the disaffected kids who flip those patties even after they've dropped them on the floor. (The sound of impact evokes an air hockey match).”

An interview with Linklater in the Oregonian (11/19/06) revealed that, unlike Schlosser, he is a vegetarian. (Read the interview.) Schlosser, despite his numerous visits to slaughterhouses, avoids most fast food dining but eats various meats and promotes Burgerville and other restaurants that obtain meat from hormone-free, grass-fed sources. Regardless, there is no denying that his landmark 2001 book opened the eyes of millions to the problems with the industries behind fast food and the associated cruelty dished out to rank-and-file workers and animals.

Photography Business Directs Fees for Service to Customers’ Chosen Animal Charities

Imagine having your companion animals professionally photographed for an affordable price and then being able to direct what you just paid the photographer to the animal-related charity of your choice. This is actually a real and extraordinary opportunity in the Portland area. Erika Flint of Jack Nose Photography launched her business this year to offer a unique service she enjoys and a means of giving back to organizations that are protecting animals or raising awareness about the benefits of not eating them. Erika is also a professional website developer who recently volunteered to take over the management of the Northwest VEG site. Thanks, Erika!

You may wonder exactly how the Jack Nose service works. First they discuss what types of photographs the customer is interested in, and where they should be taken. Some suggestions include a local park (Forest Park or Mt. Tabor for example), the waterfront, or the backyard. Once the shoot is scheduled, Jack Nose meets the customer and spends a few moments getting to know them and their animals so they feel comfortable with the photographer. Then the photography begins: lots and lots of fun pictures. Jack Nose reviews the photographs with the customer before leaving. At that time photographs can be selected for purchase. The photos are also posted to the web for review at a later time. The photos and, if requested, CDs/DVDs, are delivered within 2 weeks.

Jack Nose is currently offering deeply discounted rates as it develops its clientele. To learn more, visit or call (503) 975-1141.

Schumacher Furs in Downtown Portland Announces Closure

Since November 2005, dozens of demonstrators have assembled in front of Schumacher Furs at SW 8th Ave. & Morrison St. in Portland every Saturday afternoon, organized by In Defense of Animals. Four days after an IDA-led Fur Free Friday rally and march (Nov. 24) attended by more than 200, the fur shop announced it will be closing, pulling out of Portland after 111 years.

The closure fulfills the IDA goal of shutting down the store, according to Matt Rossell, Northwest outreach coordinator of the national animal rights organization. “Portland is a city with a love of animals. It has no business having a full-scale fur salon here,” Matt said in the Portland Tribune last March.

The fur industry is one of many government-sanctioned enterprises that abuse and cruelly slaughter helpless animals. To kill the animals without damaging their fur, trappers usually strangle, beat, or stomp them to death. Animals on fur farms may be gassed, electrocuted, poisoned with strychnine, or have their necks snapped. These methods are not always effective and some animals remain alive while being skinned. Read more about how animals are used in the fur trade.

Civil War Era Novel Delves Into Themes Relevant to Animal Activism
By Betsy Wosko, Contributing Writer

March, by Geraldine Brooks (Viking Adult, 2005), is a well-researched novel about Mr. March, the husband of Louisa May Alcott's heroine in Little Women, in which Mr. March, an idealistic cleric, went to (the American Civil) war. This book develops his character. As described on, “March becomes a Union chaplain and later finds himself assigned to be a teacher on a cotton plantation that employs freed slaves, or ‘contraband.’ His narrative begins with cheerful letters home, but March gradually reveals to the reader what he does not to his family: the cruelty and racism of Northern and Southern soldiers, the violence and suffering he is powerless to prevent and his reunion with Grace, a beautiful, educated slave whom he met years earlier as a Connecticut peddler to the plantations.”

I found this book interesting, from an animal rights perspective, because the protagonist is a vigorous idealist and abolitionist — and a vegetarian. By going off to war, as a chaplain, he sees violence, misery, and suffering firsthand, all of which challenge his idealism and force compromises. He then must reconcile his idealism with his profound guilt at not having done enough.

As an ethical vegan, I feel a burning desire for a more compassionate world, a sense of hopelessness at the psychological numbness of most humans toward animals, and guilt at not doing enough for animals. I found March important because Ms. Brooks eloquently describes these feelings, and in so doing, gave me license to accept my own feelings, so they aren't so paralyzing. I found the book helpful, and felt stronger for having read it: more desirous to know the truth, however difficult and haunting it may be; more fired up about activism; and wanting to be happy — all at the same time. I would call this book an aid to a healthy, or healthier, worldview. It is strengthening for activists and illuminating for anyone who is curious about any of these themes. Learn more and purchase.

Vegan Actor Speaks Out Against Holiday Turkey Consumption

Joaquin Phoenix, lifelong vegan and Academy Award-nominated actor, has taken his stand of nonviolence to the mainstream. In a 30-second holiday public service announcement, Phoenix declares, "Holidays can be murder on turkeys. Let's make this one for the birds.” View the commercial.

Between 260 and 300 million turkeys are slaughtered annually in the United States. Of these, approximately 45 million are killed for Thanksgiving, and 22 million are killed for Christmas. Per capita turkey consumption, which has increased steadily in the United States, averages just below 18 pounds per person. In 1970, turkey consumption per person averaged just 6.4 pounds.

Phoenix maintains his convictions on movie sets, rejecting any attire made of animal products. Of related interest is an interview with him, in which he recalls a childhood fishing trip that changed his life. Joaquin’s older brother, River, was an actor, animal rights activist, environmentalist, and vegan who died of a drug overdose in 1993 at the age of 23.

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 Charley Korns, Editor, at