April 2008


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

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1. Join Us for VegFest 2008!
2. Book Club to Discuss The Sexual Politics of Meat
3.CSAs and Farmers’ Markets Provide Options for Local Produce
4. April’s Portland Potluck to Feature Presentation on Global Warming
5. Vancouver Potluck Presentation to Spotlight Food Co-ops
6. April Dine-out to Enjoy Vietnamese Vegan Cuisine
7. Try Vegan Week Set for June 7-14
8. Taking a Bite Out of Global Warming: Environmentalist Mia MacDonald to Speak at VegFest
9. The Daunting Work of Animal Law Lawyers
10. Vegan Bread Packs a Killer Combo of Taste and Nutrition
11. A Chocolate Rabbit Like You Never Knew
12. We are MOGO — and So Can You
13. Intelligence of Animals Highlighted in National Geographic

Discuss these articles on the Northwest VEG bulletin board: http://nwveg.org/PunBB

E-Bits is edited by Charley Korns. If you are interested in writing for future E-Bits editions, please email info@nwveg.org. The next deadline is May 22, 2008.

1. Join Us for VegFest 2008!

Northwest VEG is pleased to invite you to the 4th Annual VegFest: A Compassionate Living Fair. The event will be held in the evening on Friday, May 9, and all day Saturday, May 10, at Benson High School near the Portland’s Lloyd Center at 546 NE 12th Ave. Major sponsors include Blossoming Lotus Café and Vegan World Fusion Cuisine and the Humane Society of the United States.

The event will kick off Friday evening at 7 pm with a keynote lecture by Howard Lyman, author of Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat. Musical entertainment will begin at 6:15 pm. Bo Rinaldi of Blossoming Lotus will introduce Howard. Admission is a sliding scale from $5 to $10.

Saturday’s festival, which is only $5 to attend, runs from 10 am to 6 pm and will include free food samples, cooking demonstrations, Veg 101, dozens of veg-friendly exhibitors, and lectures by:

  • Brenda Davis, R.D. "Cutting Edge Vegetarian Nutrition"
  • Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, Compassionate Cooks "Being a Joyful Vegan in a Non-Vegan World"
  • Mia MacDonald, Executive Director, Brighter Green. "Your Burger or Your Car?" Global Warming and Your Diet
  • Paul Shapiro, Humane Society of the United States. "Advances for Farm Animals: How and Why We're Winning"

For the most updated event information, please visit www.portlandvegfest.org. Meanwhile, we invite the community to participate in one of several ways:

  • Support VegFest as an exhibitor or sponsor. There is still time for veg-friendly businesses to sign up as exhibitors or sponsors. Visit www.portlandvegfest.org for complete information, or contact Jill Schatz at jill@nwveg.org.
  • Contribute to the silent auction. This event has already attracted donations of outstanding items from many businesses and individuals. Donating an item or service to the auction is an exciting way to support Northwest VEG. If you are interested, please contact Barrett at bmcinnisnwveg@gmail.com.
  • Volunteer. Various volunteer opportunities leading up to the Portland VegFest and at the event itself are a great way to meet other Northwest VEG members and inspire the community about the benefits of a veg diet!
    >Early April: Leaflet/distribute VegFest flyers at various locations.
    >May 2: Ten volunteers are needed for the studio audience of AM Northwest show to promote VegFest.
    >May 10: Scores of volunteers are essential to the success of VegFest. Each volunteer shift is 2.5 - 3.0 hrs. and volunteers will receive free admission.

    Set-up: AM
    Clean-up: PM
    Tabling at NW VEG tables
    Assist with Silent Auction
    Cooking/Cleaning Assistants
    Sample Servers
    Auditorium Attendants
    Assist with Kid's Activities

And many more! One special need is for someone to drive a rental truck to pick up our tables Friday afternoon and return them early Sunday morning. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Wendy Gabbe at volunteer@nwveg.org.

2. Book Club to Discuss The Sexual Politics of Meat

Join the Northwest VEG book club on April 16, 2008, at Borders Café downtown (3rd & Yamhill) from 6:00 - 7:30 pm to discuss Carol Adams' The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory. The book "explores a relationship between patriarchal values and meat eating by interweaving the insights of feminism, vegetarianism, animal defense, and literary theory." (www.triroc.com/caroladams/spom2.html). For more information, contact Barrett, bmcinnisnwveg@gmail.com.

3. CSAs and Farmers’ Markets Provide Options for Local Produce
by Don Merrick, Vice President, Northwest VEG

For several successive years in the early spring of the year, I've been encouraging people to engage with local farms during the growing season. Purchases from local growers through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms, farmers' markets, and grocery outlets that contract with these sources provide fresh produce and keep your purchasing dollars in the community. See www.pacsac.org for local farms, and take into consideration that organic products are better for you and the environment. The farms listed here include eight in southwest Washington. For another source for CSAs, farm stands, or those farms that sell at local farmers' markets, see www.tricountyfarm.org where “tri-county” refers to Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. For a listing of farmers' markets outside the tri-county area, see www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets. For a comprehensive list of useful links associated with farm food purchases, see www.tilth.org and click on resources. Those of us living in the lower Willamette Valley and southwest Washington are fortunate to have an abundance of farms and convenient places to make purchases. Supporting these farms helps them thrive.

4. April’s Portland Potluck to Feature Presentation on Global Warming

Join Northwest VEG for our monthly potluck on the west side at the West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 8470 SW Oleson Road, on Sunday, April 20, starting at 5 pm. Please bring a vegan or vegetarian main dish, salad or dessert, a card listing its ingredients, and plates and utensils for your use. If you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4-6; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events and we start eating about 5:15 pm.

Even if you can’t make the potluck, please come later (6:30 pm) to hear our talk recognizing the significance of Earth Day. Suzanne Veaudry Casaus, Outreach Coordinator for the Oregon Environmental Council, will talk about global warming. She has teamed up with Secretary of State Bill Bradbury in delivering his presentation about global warming, shown for the 100th time at Focus The Nation in late January. Suzanne has a diverse environmental background showing a passion for reversing the many injustices to our environment. For more information call (503) 224-7380 or email info@nwveg.org. If you can volunteer to help at the potluck, please contact volunteer@nwveg.org or call (503) 224-7380. A donation of $2-5 per person is suggested to help cover the cost of the room rental.

5. Vancouver Potluck Presentation to Spotlight Food Co-ops

The next Northwest VEG potluck in Vancouver is on Thursday, April 24, at the Marshall Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin, starting at 6:30 pm. Note that this is a new location. Please bring a vegan or vegetarian main dish, salad or dessert, a card listing its ingredients, and plates and utensils for your use. If you come alone, figure the amount to serve 4-6; increase the amount 4 servings for each additional person in your party/family. Northwest VEG potlucks are alcohol-free events. To get there, exit from I-5 north at the East Mill Plain Blvd Exit, head east 0.1 miles, turn left on Fort Vancouver Way, an then left on E. McLoughlin. [See map]

After the meal (about 7:30 pm), we will have a discussion of food co-ops and the services that they provide. Join Sarah Cline of Portland's People's Food Co-op and Sunrise O'Mahoney of the proposed Vancouver Food Co-op for a good discussion.

6. April Dine-out to Enjoy Vietnamese Vegan Cuisine

Join the Northwest VEG gang at Portland’s newest vegan Vietnamese restaurant, Nhut Quang. Over 80 vegan dishes fill their menu, with plenty of noodle and rice meals with tofu or faux meats. Yummy appetizers, too! And wait until you taste the coconut drinks! We’ll be meeting at 1:30 pm on Saturday, April 19, at 3438 NE 82nd Ave. The restaurant sits next to the Shell gas station on the corner. Park there or around the corner – or take Tri-met. If you’re interested in the festivities, email Cat at monroycathy@hotmail.com by April 16. Please contact her if your plans change, as she always extends the invite if there are folks on a waiting list. Payment is by individual party, as always. See you then!

7. Try Vegan Week Set for June 7-14

Try Vegan Week is shaping up to be a large outreach event to support hundreds of people in our area who are interested in making a change in their diet. There will be mentorship partnerships arranged, lectures, dine-outs, store tours, a guide book, and even a vegan prom. For those friends of yours you think may be interested in trying out a vegan diet, this will be a great time to get them started. Northwest VEG is one of the co-sponsors of Try Vegan Week. For more information, check out www.tryveganpdx.com or email info@tryveganpdx.com.

8. Taking a Bite Out of Global Warming: Environmentalist Mia MacDonald to Speak at VegFest
by Peter Spendelow, President, Northwest VEG

Which is more destructive to the environment—what you eat or what you drive? The answer may surprise you. International public policy expert Mia MacDonald (pictured), executive director of New York-based “action tank” Brighter Green, will speak at VegFest and provide fascinating and compelling evidence on how animal agriculture is at the root of a host of environmental problems, including deforestation in the Amazon, desertification, and climate change. She will also tell us how meat consumption is soaring as McDonald’s, KFC, and Burger King and huge “protein producers” like Tyson and Cargill expand into Asian and Latin American markets. It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Just as we can develop alternatives to fossil fuels, we can also change our agricultural practices and eating habits. It all comes down to recognizing the true costs of our lifestyles and adjusting policies and practices accordingly. You may have seen Mia's editorial on these issues in the Oregonian on Dec. 30, 2007. Here is the link to the editorial.

Besides being Executive Director of Brighter Green, Mia is also a Senior Fellow of the Worldwatch Institute and on the Executive Committee of the New York City group of the Sierra Club. The Brighter Green website is full of great information and links on subjects of animal agriculture and factory farming. Check out the “resources" link at www.brightergreen.org and come hear Mia MacDonald at VegFest at 3 pm on Saturday, May 10 at the Benson High School, 546 NE 12th Avenue in Portland.

9. The Daunting Work of Animal Law Lawyers
by Carol Merrick, Northwest VEG Board Member

Jeff Petersen, an attorney fellow at the Animal Law Clinic at Lewis and Clark Law School, spoke at the March 16 Northwest VEG potluck about the trends and current situations in international animal law. Lewis and Clark Law School, located in southwest Portland, is the leading educational institution concerning animal law in the U.S. and this October will be hosting the 16th Annual National Law Conference (www.lclark.edu/org/saldf/conference.html).

Few lawyers are able to earn a living practicing animal law exclusively, though opportunities are increasing steadily. Animal law cases may encompass contracts, torts, constitutional law, family law (custody of animal companions), criminal law, administrative law (such as farm animals’ transportation), appeals of government agency decisions, and the new and growing area of wills and trusts for people who want to take care of their animals that outlive them. Many animal law lawyers work pro bono for nonprofit organizations while they work for a large firm that deals with other matters.

The Animal Law Clinic where Jeff works and interacts with law students focuses on civil litigation practice, regulation, research, and legislative concerns. The Humane Society of the United States has 15 staff lawyers, the most of any animal protection organization; additionally, large firm lawyers donated more than $2.5 million of services to HSUS in 2007.

In most states, the laws governing farmed animals are vague, nonexistent, or rarely enforced. In February 2008, HSUS released a video of California downer cows being pushed by a fork-lift and beaten because the cows couldn’t stand. The public outcry after seeing the video created the largest recall of beef in U.S. history because of the obvious cruelty and because it is illegal to put downer cow meat into the human food supply.

Many strategies are being used to protect farmed animals and to adopt new legislation, including approaching it from a consumer protection angle. During the evening we briefly discussed the difference between animal protection and animal welfare concerning farmed animals: One approach seeks to eliminate the consumption of animal products, and the other approach seeks to make life better for the farmed animals that eventually will be consumed.

Sweden has improved the life of farm animals by passing the Animal Welfare Act. Many animal welfare activists are using Swedish standards as a model of where to begin legislation. See www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/574/a/90310. Switzerland also has an excellent and comprehensive animal protection law, which you can review at www.animallaw.info/nonus/statutes/stchapa1978.htm.

The information and discussion were thought provoking. From my viewpoint, we are still on an uphill battle concerning the care of farmed animals, and we need all the resources we can access: animal Law lawyers, animal rights activists, vegetarian activists, environmental activists, and informed consumers. More information can be found through the Animal Legal Defense Fund (www.aldf.org) and Lewis and Clark’s Animal Law Program at www.lclark.edu/org/ncal.

10. Vegan Bread Packs a Killer Combo of Taste and Nutrition
by Megan Fabulous, Contributing Writer

I’ve always been a lover of bread, but I was never picky about it until the day I grabbed a loaf of Dave’s Killer Bread to accompany me on my trip to Burning Man. It was on that trip I fell in love, down to the last heel of every loaf. From Seventh Day Adventist, to doper, to ex-con, to incredible baker, Dave Dahl reinvents himself through the reinvention of the loaf of bread.

Megan: I understand your brother runs Nature Bake. How much did his business impact your decision to pursue your business?
Dave: My father bought a neighborhood bakery in SE Portland. He and my mother started working the bakery in 1955. He started specializing with whole grains, vegetable shortenings and stuff nobody was using back then because my parents were Seventh Day Adventists. He was a pioneer with whole grains and non-animal fats. He was also one of the first people to make sprouted wheat breads.

In the YouTube documentary you mention you became a drafter, drawing sketches and plans, in prison, which led you to your current profession. How did drafting in prison lead you to “drafting bread”?
D: I realized when I was drafting, I could do anything. You design your life, you make things fit, you find things that work and you find things that don’t work. I’m a very focused person. It opened up my world. I realized that the world was out there and it was waiting for me to come and get it.

Were you interested in your family’s bread business prior to your drafting experience?
D: I didn’t have an interest in anything. I had an interest in dope. When I went to prison I would think, “At least I’m not a baker; at least I’m not doing what my family does. That’s the ironic thing. I thought, at least I had gotten away. I’m independent of my family, the bakery crap. Then, my dad died when I was in prison the last time. I’m not sure if that had a lot to do with it, but it certainly didn’t hurt.

Describe the events that lead up to starting Dave's Killer Bread.
D: My brother and I talked about me going back and doing business as Nature Bake. Glenn was hoping I could bring something with a little bit more pizzazz and of course I was into that. It started out with me creating four varieties of bread and we decided we would introduce it to the Portland Farmers Market. It wasn’t going to be Dave’s Killer Bread necessarily. My brother had the idea of calling it Dave’s Bread. I would have never called it that, but once it was Dave’s bread, it became something that I got behind. I’d already designed this bread and I was feeling like something was happening. We talked to a copyright attorney because we started seeing that we had a good product and wanted to know how we could make it ours. I drew this loaf of bread one day and I called it “Killer Bread.” I took it down to these marketing guys and somebody said, “You’ve got to use that name, that is a great name!” Some people didn’t like it, but once we started saying “Dave’s Killer Bread” it just started rolling. I thought, why not take a chance? Why not just go with the instinct?

The bread packaging states that you were in prison for 15 years. Do you openly discuss this time of your life?
D: I have nothing to hide. I am an open book. The path I am on now sort of makes it all make sense now. It is good for me because I am so embarrassed. I used to worry about what I had done, but I am always doing better and better. I haven’t done anything in my life that killed me or anyone else, or hurt anyone other than myself. I was a burglar, armed robber, drug dealer. I was a knucklehead, but now I am better.

Many folks, myself included, feel they would never normally spend $4 - $5 on a loaf of bread, but they absolutely have no problem buying your bread. How does it make you feel that people are so willing to step outside of their norm, and in some cases beyond their budget, to buy your bread?
D: It makes me feel like I’ve done something, contributed something original.

Which bread is the most popular?
D: Good Seed is number 1, and Blues Bread and 21 Grain are number 2.

What’s your favorite?
D: Good Seed

Where is DKB sold?
D: All the way up to Bellingham (Washington) and down to Klamath Falls. We’ve had a lot of interest from California but distribution right now is complicated. I think there will come a time when we will decide we want to just go ahead and branch out, but we have to take baby steps.

Your website mentions you are moving to a new facility in Milwaukie later this month. What are some reasons you are moving?
D: It is three times larger. We’ll be growing from 15,000 square feet to 50,000. It is the old Bob’s Red Mill facility. We will have the ability to produce two times as much as we are now.

Have your breads always been animal free?
D: Yes, all of DKB are animal free. I like the idea of veganism, and tried it myself for a year. I finally gave it up. I was a vegetarian who hated vegetables. I decided I needed to learn how to eat veggies before I gave up meat. I figure the least I can do is commit to making my bread without hurting anybody or anything.

Megan runs the popular website www.veganfabulous.com, which features reviews of restaurants and the many entertaining and informative comments of site visitors.

11. A Chocolate Rabbit Like You Never Knew
by Maren Souders, Contributing Writer

Rhea DuMont and Josephine Corby are The Chocolate Rabbit, a Portland-based vegan/raw chocolate company. Having sampled their wares recently at People’s Food Co-op, I wanted to learn more about the company, and share it with the readers of E-Bits.

Maren: When did you open for business?
Rhea and Josephine: Chocolate started to synthesize the second we met in August of 2007. Magically two months (and a lot of hard work) later we have a raw chocolate truffle business called The Chocolate Rabbit!

What inspired you to start the business?
We have both been vegan for quite some time and we have a particular passion for raw food. We feel that raw vegan food is a healthy and conscious choice that promotes sustainability and wellbeing. Our love and passion for food combined with our desire to support sustainability and a conscious way of living inspired us to create our raw chocolate truffles. We strive to be a radical local community business that makes possible incredibly delicious raw vegan food that doesn't support or promote oppressive practices.

What's the origin of the Chocolate Rabbit name?
Miss Josephine dreams of chocolate rabbits.

What excites you most about the business?
It’s great doing business in Portland. There is so much opportunity to connect with many other people who are passionate about food and the energy that is put into it. This is incredible and inspiring! The creativity involved also continues to be a great source of excitement. The possibilities of what to do next are endless and we have lots of yummy ideas hiding out in the rabbit hole!

What kind of feedback have you had from customers so far?
We have been really grateful for the wonderful feedback that we have received from our customers. They are happy to have more vegan chocolate options, and raw food enthusiasts have been super excited to learn that they can enjoy our chocolate too – and super shocked once they taste it! You would never guess it’s raw! [Writer’s note: Totally true!!]

What are some of your challenges with the business?
Starting a business is an intimidating and challenging venture. Learning how to navigate business and friendship has been a beautiful journey. We have learned much about ourselves, each other, and open and honest communication.

What are your plans for the future, expansion, etc?
We hope to expand our offerings beyond the world of chocolate. We are currently working on getting our raw caramel on the shelf, then perhaps crackers and spreads. We are also toying with the idea of doing vegan and raw catering. And if you want us to make you a fabulous dinner – give us a call!

Where can people find your products?
Currently you can find The Chocolate Rabbit at Peoples Food Co-op, Food Fight Vegan Grocery, Food Front Cooperative, and Proper Eats. We hope to be back at The Red and Black in the near future, as well as a few other cafés around town. All this info can be found on our blog http://thechocolaterabbit.blogspot.com and in the very near future our own website www.thechocolaterabbit.org.

Do you work with any other local veg businesses?
We currently sell at vegetarian and vegan establishments and we are always interested in collaborating with other small local veg businesses.

12. We are MOGO — and So Can You

The concept is easy: the choices we make every day can support a compassionate, sustainable, and just world...or not. But it can be a challenging task to turn simple choices into an integral part of our lives to ensure that they are joyful, balanced, and reflective of our deepest value. Trying to make a positive difference can sometimes feel overwhelming and hopeless, especially in a world that seems to favor individualism, greed, and materialism.

The informal group MOGO (Most Good) group, started this year by humane educator Marsha Rakestraw, is dedicated to promoting humane living choices that recognize and respect the interconnectedness of all of us. The group is for people who care about all global justice issues (human rights, animal protection, environmental preservation, media and culture) and who are interested in making positive changes in their own lives, as well as helping transforming their community. Currently, the group meets twice a month, once for discussion/gathering in Southwest Portland and once for a volunteer/outreach activity. They also have special outreach and social events. Stay tuned for their forthcoming website.

If you are interested in joining the MOGO group or have questions, please email Marsha at pdxmogo@gmail.com.
Help create the world you want to see: join MOGO!

Intelligence of Animals Highlighted in National Geographic
by Peter Spendelow, President, Northwest VEG

Those of us with dogs or cats know they have personalities and intelligence, but what about other animals? How many of us have heard that chickens and other birds are stupid, and that everything they do is by instinct and they can't really think. Turns out that when you actually look for the ability to think and learn, you will often find it, even in birds.

For great documentation of this, check out the March 2008 National Geographic article "Minds of Their Own. Animals Are Smarter Than You Think," written by Oregon author Virginia Morell, available online at

In this article you will learn about Alex, the African Gray Parrot, who not only learned to repeat English words but clearly knew what they meant and would use those words to answer questions and make statements. Alex, who died last September at age 31, spoke and understood nearly 100 words, including colors, shapes, materials, and numbers. When presented with a green key and a green cup and asked “what same,” Alex would immediately answer “color.” When asked “what different,” he would answer “shape.” He would also tell you what he wanted, be it a specific food or to go to a particular place in the building where Dr. Irene Pepperberg had worked with him for 30 years.

You will also learn about New Caledonian crows that learn to make and use "tools", and our own native scrub jays who learn to hide material (food) well, moving it to a new hiding place when they know they have been seen by other jays, and knowing the “shelf life” of the food items, so they will retrieve it before it rots. You will also learn about wondrous thinking and understanding in dogs, lemurs, and other animals. Check out the article, either in print or online, and prepare to be amazed.

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