The Viva Vine: vol #6, no #1: January / February, 1997

cluster of grapes

G . R . A . P . E . V . I . N . E



The VivaVine welcomes your letters. 
Send them to our post office box address . . .or:

Hard to be veg in Indiana:
87 miles for veggies

Dear VivaVegie: It's really hard to be a vegetarian in this area where I live. I wish I could have foods more available. I drive 87 miles to a health-food store or order by catalog.

Vivian Lindly
Centerville, Indiana

High-tech prank

[Now, have you all heard of Web TV? Thislatest technological phenomenon promises to bring the Internet one step closer to the general public by making it available via your own home television set with the help of an electronic box, similar to a cable box.

Web TV is Sony's version of what may these days generically be called a net cruiser; there are other brands. The Web TV box costs around $320 now but is likely to go down even lower in price. And as with cable, you need to subscribe, for a monthly fee, to a service which gets you onto the Internet. With a TV and this box, any couch potato can surf the Internet. In other words, a person no longer needs a computer to surf.

Bear all this in mind, as you read the following message, which was circulated via a number of vegetarian listserves.*]

I was out taking my walk this afternoon and chanced upon a large electronics store where computers are sold. Of course, I decided to traipse into the store and check out the latest Web TV. Hmmm.... How does this darn thing work? I thought.

After some figuring out and some direction from the sales associate (a nice guy from Hungary), I decided to program in some Internet bookmarks.**

As people slowly gathered around me, I began programming the store's machine with vegetarian links that I know by heart. I walked through the process for those looking over my shoulder, settling in on, among others, 101 Reasons I'm a Vegetarian, by Pamela Rice.

As far as I can tell, the 101 Reasons... page was still up on that Web TV demo at the time of closing. It may still be there!

Maynard S. Clark
(Vegetarian Resource Center)

*Being on a listserve is very much like being on a mailing list, except that mail comes in the form of E-mail.

**a bookmark is an Internet address that you set into your machine so you can easily get back to that web page without having to key in the entire address again.

PETA rebuts critics

The following passage was published as an open letter from Paula Moore of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in response to complaints about the group's tactics.

Our main goals are simple: educate the public and inspire people to grassroots action. Unfortunately, this is not always as easy and straightforward a task as it seems.

Unlike our opposition, which is mostly composed of wealthy industries and corporations, PETA cannot afford costly ad campaigns, and thus has to rely on getting free "advertising" through media coverage. That's why we are willing to engage in what some consider controversial or outrageous actions- such as throwing a tofu-creme pie at Iowa's Pork Queen or participating in "I'd Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur" demonstrations. The media thrives on such shenanigans, and we try to do whatever we can to get the word out about animal abuse and exploitation. (Sadly, the simple facts about animal abuse are not usually considered "newsworthy" on their own.) The more media coverage we get, the better our chance of reaching-and educating-the general public.

Dean Ornish, M.D.

Dean Ornish for Surgeon General

Shalom: Maybe the vegetarian/ animal-rights movements should aim higher. Now that Chelsea Clinton is a vegetarian, Hillary Clinton seems very interested in nutrition and other positive lifestyle concerns. Vice President Al Gore is obviously very aware of ecological concerns. In his book Earth in the Balance, he states that saving the global environment should be "the central organizing principle" for society today.

In addition, the very pro vegetarian doctor, Dean Ornish, M.D., has been the nutritional adviser for the White House for some time now. With all of this going for us, perhaps we vegetarians should try to have more impact on the presidential cabinet and other executive branch appointees. It would be great if the wisdom of people like Dr. Dean Ornish, T. Colin Campbell, Ph. D., Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Klaper and/or other experts on the need for vegetarianism today, had an impact on governmental decisions. As indicated in the letter below, now that Bill Clinton does not have to worry about his reelection anymore, perhaps he will be willing to take the steps necessary to end or at least reduce the many problems associated with animal-based diets.

Best wishes,
Richard Schwartz
author, Judaism and Vegetarianism

Forwarded Message Follows
>To: (Pres. Clinton)
From: (Mitch Cohen)
>Subject: (Revised Letter): New Surgeon General--Consider Dr. Ornish

>Dear President Clinton

>Congratulations on your reelection. As you reconsider your cabinet and major staff positions for your second term, please consider Dr. Dean Ornish for the position of surgeon general.

>Elevating his health-conscious lifestyle ideas to such major prominence can be one of your most profound domestic accomplishments. I presume you're aware of the truly dramatic savings in health-care expenditures (major reductions in cardiac and cancer surgery, among others) that would follow from shifting the American diet.

>Furthermore, it is now a most opportune time to make this suggestion, as President Boris Yeltsin is recovering from heart surgery! Such life-threatening, traumatic and expensive situations are much rarer in healthier eaters.

>I was led to write this after reading the following on the Internet, drawn from the "Inside Politics" column in Monday's (October 28, 1996) Washington Times (A7), which carried the headline "Balanced diet."

>>The president has been attending small fund-raising dinners-and the White House advance staff has asked hosts to adhere to the strict low-fat diet created for him by California health guru Dean Ornish, says the American Spectator's "On the Prowl" column.

>Mitch Cohen
>Berkeley, California

Discussing it with everyone

Hi. Someone at work has spread the word about your web page with the article 101 Reasons Why I'm a Vegetarian.

It really got my attention and I have been discussing it with everyone I've talked to over the last two weeks.

The cruelty and cleanliness issues got to me the most. The article was well written and seemed pretty balanced.

Joe Del Monte

101 Reasonsdown under

When I was recently in Cairns, Australia, I saw your list of 101 Reasons I am a Vegetarian. I would love a copy of this.

Enga Lokey
Howard, Colorado

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