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OPEN LETTER TO THE VEGETARIAN COMMUNITY
Dear fellow vegetarians,
The world is imperiled as possibly never before by global warming and many other environmental threats, and a shift toward vegetarian diets is an essential part of the necessary response.
However, our leaders are avoiding this "inconvenient truth." The future of humanity may depend on our ability to alert the public that a plant-based diet is perhaps THE most essential measure available to shift the world to a sustainable path.
Are we ready to take on this task?
Are we ready to:
o Challenge individual members of society to take personal responsibility for their part in helping to save planet earth?
o Argue that animal-based diets and agriculture are madness and sheer insanity since they contribute so significantly to so many current threats and since healthier, more humane and environmentally sustainable
alternatives are available?
o Work with vegetarian, animal rights, environmental and other groups from all over the world to endorse a call to get vegetarianism onto society's agenda and work cooperatively on a wide variety of projects to accomplish this?
o Declare that medical practice today is often "malpractice," because of the failure to inform patients about dietary approaches to prevent and, in many cases, reverse diseases?
o Stress that one can be a far more effective environmentalist today as a vegetarian, and preferably a vegan?
o Challenge religious leaders and followers to recognize that the production and consumption of meat and other animal products violate religious teachings about treating animals with compassion, protecting human health, preserving the environment, conserving natural resources and helping hungry people?
o Challenge the media, educators, politicians and others re the need to put the survival of humanity, and the urgency of taking steps such as dietary changes in response, at the top of their agendas?
o Help people understand that it is scandalous to continue animal-centered diets that:
* involve the raising of over 50 billion farmed animals worldwide annually, most under very cruel conditions on factory farms;
* require up to 14 times as much water per person as plant-centered diets, when it is estimated that over half of the world's people will live in areas chronically short of water by the middle of this century;
* involve over 70 percent of the grain produced in the United States and over 40 percent of the grain produced worldwide to be fed to farmed animals while an estimated 20 million of the world's people die of hunger and its effects annually?
Are we ready to work together on effective strategies that will lead to a vegetarian-conscious world as soon as possible? Ten suggested strategies can be found at http://www.evana.org/index.php?id=22119&lang=en
We need creative ways to get our messages effectively out there. So, please consider this and let me know what you think. As indicated, the fate of humanity may rest on the success of our efforts.
Background information on the threats and the importance of a shift toward vegetarianism can be found at:
and at http://www.ivu.org/vuna/globalwarming/index.html
Thank you for all that you are doing to help create a more humane, just, healthy and environmentally sustainable world. I hope this letter has provided information and motivation that will help in your important efforts to prevent global warming one bite at a time.
Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) and
Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV)
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