|Enewsletter • March 14, 2003|
Updates and Events
Vegan Outreach Office to Be Closed
March 26 - April 2.
Deadline for Leaflet Your School Day
Good Luck! Great American Meatout and Distribute Your Old Why Vegans!
March 20, 2003.
Viva! to Protest the Factory Farming of Ducks at Whole Foods Shareholders' Meeting and Regional Offices
On Monday, March 31, Viva! is calling on activists to join them at Whole Foods Shareholders’ meeting in Santa Monica OR participate in outreach events at their regional offices. See this page for more info, including contacts.
Catch Jack Norris, RD of Vegan Outreach at the Vegetarian Fest in San Francisco, April 5, from noon to 4 pm, at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco Church. The Fest will have food samples, cooking demonstrations, children's games, and other speakers. For more information, contact Mary Margaret Earl, firstname.lastname@example.org, (415) 776-4580, ext. 192. For directions, see the UUSF website.
Michael Greger, MD
As mentioned last week, Michael Greger, MD, continues his national tour. Now, you can listen online to Dr Greger's talk, "Optimum Vegetarian Nutrition."
For future places and dates, see his schedule!
"Polluters can't be trusted to write their own permits," said NRDC attorney Melanie Shepherdson. "It is like asking high school kids to write their own tests. They will make it too easy to comply and they will not protect public health."
"But the study also revealed that completely avoiding meat does not make for the healthiest diet: within the group, for every 100 deaths among vegans, there were 66 among vegetarians and 60 among occasional meat eaters.
"'Essentially, the key issue here is having a properly balanced diet,' said Jenny Chang-Claude from the DKFZ."
To the best of our knowledge, this study has not been published yet. From an earlier paper (1), we know that there were only about 120 vegans when the study began. Such a small number of vegans means that these results could be due to random chance (we have written the researcher to find out the details, but have not heard back).
In any case, this finding – vegans having a trend towards higher death rates than lacto-ovo vegetarians and occasional meat eaters – is not unusual (see this summary). These studies show that the claim that animal products are all deadly poison does not hold much weight. More importantly, it stresses that vegans need to be proactive in making sure we are getting the appropriate nutrition.
One aspect of this is no doubt vitamin B12. On an almost weekly basis, we read in pro-vegan publications that vegans “rarely” show signs of vitamin B12 deficiency. This simply is not true. We regularly come across vegans who have suffered from it. Yet, it is a very simple problem to solve, and vegans could have even better vitamin B12 status than non-vegans who don’t pay attention to their B12 status.
Omega-3 fatty acids are probably next in importance in terms of mortality rates. (Recently there has been some talk that omega-3s cause cancer. The evidence does not support this theory.)
(Vitamin D is also likely an issue for many vegans. The next Vegan Spam will have an update on vitamin D research.)
If you haven’t read "Staying a Health Vegan," please take the time to do so.
In Vegan Spam of February 14, we announced a new program to reach college students through mass mailings of Why Vegan. We sent the first mailing to 2400 undergraduate students at Yale University in New Haven, CT. So far, we received one order for a Vegan Starter Pack and one email response:
Now we’d like to know if any other Yale students received the Why Vegan or if they heard any talk about getting it. Contact Jack with any information.
The Humane Research Council, a nonprofit organization providing consumer and market research expertise to animal advocacy groups, has offered to fund a follow-up survey with a large percentage of the Yale students. We should have details by the end of May. In the meantime, we’d like to try some mailings to non-Ivy League schools to see how the responses compare.
Contact us (if you haven’t
already) if you’re interested in sponsoring a mailing to a college.
I just wanted to let you know that your booklets have
provided a way for me to reach a lot of people and introduce them to the vegetarian
lifestyle. I’ve gotten great responses!
I received your packet in the mail and I was shocked
at what I saw. I got nauseous, I vomited, I cried, I got angry, I can't believe
how these animals are mistreated. Please send me more booklets to hand out!
Enclosed, you will find a donation from our Animal
Activists of Alachua, a huge thank-you for the enormous amount of literature
you have donated to us in the past year.
You are the best animal advocacy group that I know.
Your clear, educational and 'unimpassioned' way of presenting the facts and
at the same time caring for and helping out animals in their horrible plight
has me in awe. I haven't been able to reach many people close to me, because
I find people are so willing and ready to argue. I get hooked right in, and
feel how it didn't help them or me afterwards. In fact, I feel so terrible
when a simple discussion turns into a heated debate, I shy away from discussions,
and keep my answers very low-key and minimal. Instead, I give people your
pamphlet Why Vegan. It says it all succinctly and profoundly.
I have been vegan for a little over a year now, and
a veggie for about six months before that. During this entire time, my fellow
vegan and veggie friends have continuously handed out Why Vegans
and other vegan fliers, and talked to single people or large groups about
veganism and animal rights. Of course there are always the people that do
not want to hear it or just simply don't care. After reading the article about
the Tyson Food Corporation and KFC chains, I printed out copies and gave them
to these people, and somehow got them to read it. Now some of these people
that never wanted to hear it stopped eating meat. I just wanted to say thank
you for that article and all of the other hard work you do for these helpless
animals. It is horrible, but I have seen that sometimes the only way to get
this message across to people is to print something that graphic, and hope
that they will see. Thank you.