By Martha Rosenberg
Chicago, IL -- The life expectancy of National Football
League players might have as much to do with teaching art as the factory
farming fired middle school teacher Dave Warwak is accused of teaching.
But it formed the backbone of Cornell University
Professor Emeritus Dr. T. Colin Campbell's testimony at the Board of
Education hearing into the middle school teacher's dismissal in Fox
River Grove, IL, population 5,000, in April.
NFL players are only expected to live to 56 because
"they are dying of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and diet related
illnesses," testified Campbell in defense of Warwak's classroom charge
that animal foods will shorten lives.
Campbell, Professor Emeritus of Nutritional
Biochemistry, is author, with son Thomas M. Campbell II, of the 2005
nutrition bestseller, The China Study, which links premature death and
many diseases to diet and was called the "Grand Prix of Epidemiology" by
the New York Times.
After reading The China Study, the Kansas City Chiefs'
Tony Gonzalez dropped animal products from his diet. testified Campbell,
and "this past season he broke the all-time record for the most catches,
the most touchdown passes and the most yards gained of any NFL tight end
in the history of the National Football League."
The China Study also converted Minnesota Twins pitcher
Pat Neshek to an animal free diet says a June ESPN report which also
cites vegan diets of Detroit Lion Desmond Howard, Miami Dolphin Ricky
Williams, former St. Louis Ram D'Marco Farr, Milwaukee Brewer Prince
Fielder and Atlanta Hawk Salim Stoudamire.
Forty-five year old middle school art teacher Dave
Warwak was dismissed last fall from the District 3 school system where
he had taught for eight years for, "turning his classroom into a forum
on veganism," abandoning the art curriculum and asking students to keep
it a secret from their parents according to school board documents.
What began as a simple be-kind-to-animals project
approved by administrators who even participated--marshmallow Easter
"Peeps" were made into "pets" to be cared for--got out of hand when
Warwak put the "pets" in cages, pots and pans and between slices of
"The problem was when it turned into a PETA
advertisement and it was against the school lunch program," testified
Fox River Grove Middle School Principal Tim Mahaffy at the Illinois
Board of Education's three day closed hearings into Warwak's dismissal
conducted at the Fox River Grove City Hall in April.
Despite hearing officer Barry Simon's repeated
admonishments that the case was not about whether veganism, "is right or
wrong or good or bad," feeding children animal products was the 300
pound Peep in the room as Warwak, acting pro se, questioned Mahaffy.
Q: Would you say the school lunch goes against humane
A: I disagree. I don't see the connection.
Q: The humane education says be nice to all things; the
school lunch says, well, not animals?
Robert E. Riley (counsel for District 3): Objection.
Arguing with the witness.
Q: Does the school promote meat and dairy one-sided or
do they allow other viewpoints on it?
A: The school is committed to following both the State
and federal guidelines for serving school lunches.
Of course Fox River Grove Middle School is paid to be
Like 45,000 other public middle and high schools in the
US and 60,000 elementary schools, it only receives reimbursement from
the National School Lunch Program when it pushes milk and life-size Milk
Mustache and "Body By Milk" posters adorn lunchroom walls.
This is the program that served children downer dairy
cows, at risk for mad cow disease, until the January recall of Hallmark
beef, observes Warwak in a recent memoir about his termination, Peep
Show For Children Only, found on lulu.com.
Yet the pro dairy message on the school posters--which
feature sports figures and popular musicians and arrive unsolicited from
the National Dairy Council--is misleading and harmful testified Dr. T.
Colin Campbell on the basis of decades of his National Institutes of
"The consumption of dairy, especially at the younger
ages, is a problem," said Campbell which includes health consequences
like higher risks of prostate, uterine, breast and endometrial cancers,
osteoporosis and a "threefold higher risk of colon cancer."
The health promises about strong bones and healthy
bodies on the posters are written by a USDA dietary committee, said
Campbell, whose members were found by a court to have conflicts of
interests after refusing a Freedom of Information request.
"Six of the eleven members of the committee including
the chair had an association with the dairy industry," said Campbell.
"And the chair himself had taken more money without telling the public
about it than he was allowed under the law."
The animal rich diet the Fox River Grove's District 3
defends to the point of firing a tenured teacher might mean kids won't
live longer than the sports heroes they admire, summarized Campbell.
Arbitrator Simon has yet to make a ruling about Warwak--or
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