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Update on my unprecedented campaign to promote veganism and the urgency of working to reduce climate threats

This is an update on the many recent occurrences re my campaign to build a possibly unprecedented, potentially transformative campaign, in conjunction with my soon-to-be-published book, “Vegan Revolution: Saving the World, Revitalizing Judaism,” to get veganism and the urgency of working to avert a climate catastrophe onto the Jewish agenda and beyond. Suggestions always VERY welcome.

1. My co-authored (with Professor Dan Brook) article, “Climate Change: “An Existential Threat to Humanity and How We Can Survive,“ will be the cover story in the next issue of the Jerusalem Report, due out around September 25. It stresses how shifts toward vegan diets can help avert a climate catastrophe.

2. I am scheduled to give four talks (on three different topics) by Zoom next week as part of a “Veganism and Global Transformation” track of an 11 day program on “Unity and Peace Convergence.”

My topics are (times are US east coast times):

“Should Jews (and Everyone Else) be Vegetarians, and even Vegans” from 10am – 11am on Monday, September 14.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83320122058

Jewish and other religions’ teachings on preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, helping hungry people, and pursuing peace point to vegetarianism and even more so veganism as the ideal diets for Jews and others. Dietary shifts are especially urgent today in order to avert a climate catastrophe and other environmental threats and to end the present epidemic of life-threatening diseases.

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“Applying Religious Values to Help Heal our Imperiled Planet” is on Tuesday, September 15 from 9 to 9:50 AM

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86319012727

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“Vegan Revolution: Saving the World, Revitalizing Judaism” is on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 3pm – 3:30pm.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83320122058

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“Applying Religious Values to Help Heal our Imperiled Planet” is on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 9:30am – 10am.

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83320122058

The key points I plan to stress in these talks include:

* the world is rapidly approaching a climate catastrophe;

* because of self-reinforcing positive feedback loops (vicious cycles), the world may soon reach irreversible tipping points, when climate change spins out of control with disastrous consequences;

* shifts toward vegan diets are essential to efforts to avert such a catastrophe

  • animal-based diets and agriculture are inconsistent with basic Jewish teachings on preserving human health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environmnent, conserving natural resources, and helping hungry people; 
  • animal-based diets contribute significantly to the current epidemic of heart disease, cancer, and other life threatening diseases;
  • according to military experts, chances for instability, terrorism, and war greatly increase as tens of millions of disparate refugees flee from droughts, wildfires, storms, floods, and other effects of climate change;
  • animal-based agriculture involves the very wasteful use of land, energy, water, and other valuable resources;
  • it is scandalous that about 70% of the grain produced in the US and over a third produced worldwide is used to fatten farmed animals, while millions of people worldwide die annually of hunger and its effects;
  • there has recently been a major increase in nutritious, delicious plant-based meat, dairy, and eggs;
  • It is essential that these issues become a major focus in the Jewish community and other communities.

I also plan to be at the associated book launch for “Animal Agriculture is Immoral,: in which I have an article, on Monday, Sep 14, at 12noon – 1pm:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83320122058

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I am scheduled for several radio or podcast interviews and expect many more soon.

Scheduled interviewers include:

Judy Carmen and Lisa Levinson

Bhavani Jaroff

Aryeh Gallin, director of Root and Branch in Israel

Other potential interviewers incklude:

Caryn Hartglass

Chef AJ

Lori Kirshner, Animals Today

I plan to search for more possibilities soon.

The issues I plan to stress are the ones listed above for my Zoom talks.

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Many book review are possible, ,based on review copies sent out, with several commitments already received. Publications  include:

The Jerusalem Post

The Jerusalem Report

Tikkun magazine

The Vegetarian Journal

The Vegetarian Voice

The Ahimsa magazine

The Peaceable Table

Based on my 40 years of activism, I have been involved with many veg, animal rights, and environmental groups in the US, Israel, and the UK, and I expect many of them to promote Vegetarian Revolution to their membership lists.

I plan to try to schedule many Zoom events during which I make presentations to or take part in discussions with various congregations. I also would be happy to engage in dialogues/debates with rabbis on, “Should Jews be Vegetarians, or Even Vegans?”

Please join this initiative.

Help spread the message about Vegan Revolution.

Suggestions VERY welcome.

MANY thanks,

Richard

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Recent supporting statements include:

Yishar koach on all of your good work over the years!

Your book – Judaism and Vegetarianism – helped inspire me to become a vegetarian decades ago. And I have raised my four kids as vegetarian.

I would welcome you to address members of my congregation and community on Zoom on the topic of your book. Maybe several synagogues – and the JCC – could co-sponsor your Zoom visit. 

Thank you!

Rabbi Ron Muroff

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Dear Richard,

As a Vegetarian I am well acquainted with your work and your efforts to make the world a better place. My mission is similar to yours, although I have largely stayed away from preaching vegetarianism, but as I learn more about the impact of animal farming on the environment, I have been speaking more about the subject and my congregation are well aware that I am a Vegetarian…..I would be most happy to write a review of your book or give a sermon or both, and I certainly would like to commend you on your passion and dedication to this cause.

Shalom

Rabbi Colin Brodie

Congregation B’nai Torah

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This sounds wonderful, please add JVS [UK Jewish Vegetarian Society]to the list of supporting organisations. I will write a review to help promote the book and we will help promote it widely via our channels.

With thanks,

Lara Balsam, director of the UK-based Jewish Vegetarian Society

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I would be happy to write a review in October after the holidays 

Kol Tuv. 

Rabbi Gabriel Coussens

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happy to help. you are a one-man fighter for good….

🙂

please send a relative link to Hannah and she’ll put it on the hazon website and a future email to our list.

my address is 372 Central Park West, apt 17d, New York, NY 10025 – happy to read a copy.

shana tova, all best wishes

nigel

Nigel S. Savage

President & CEO

Hazon: The Jewish Lab for Sustainability

We work to create a healthier and more sustainable Jewish community, 

and a healthier and more sustainable world for all. happy to help. you are a one-man fighter for good….

🙂

please send a relative link to hannah and she’ll put it on the hazon website and a future email to our list.

shana tova, all best wishes

nigel

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Hi Richard,

Nice to hear from you. I hope this email finds you and your family all well and navigating the pandemic crisis with grace.

It is certainly challenging times.

I’d be happy to interview you again, after the book comes out. When will that be? End of September?

I could book you at the end of October. I have openings the 22nd or 29th.

Let me know.

I’d love a copy of your book. Thank you.

Bhavani Jaroff, M.Ed.

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Dear Richard,

I first read your book Judaism and Vegetarianism over 20 years ago, and I am very excited that you are going the next necessary step and advocating for veganism. I would love to use this book with my shul’s book club, use it in a sermon, and would certainly put it on all of my social media. I am afraid that I cannot put more thought than that into it until after Yom Kippur, but will do more then.

Kol tov,

Hazzan Sarah 

Sarah Alexander

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Alex

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