Health,Animal Rights,and Ecology
Volume II, No.2, June 1991
With this issue of the newsletter, the Vegetarian Society of Honolulu celebrates its first birthday. We were registered as a non-profit corporation on June 28, 1990, although we actually held our first meeting on May 8th. It was a small beginning in the musty basement meeting room at Makiki District Park. Eleven people were present; we put our chairs in a circle and took turns introducing ourselves.
A year later we have 220 members with an average attendance of 50 at our meetings. Our growth is rewarding to me, but I don't want to forget the ideas we discussed that night at Makiki Park.
First of all, we recognized that people become vegetarians for different reasons. Some do it to improve their health, some out of compassion for animals, and others out of a concern for the environment. We also discussed the fact that there are a number of different vegetarian diets, ranging from a rich, egg and dairy-based meal plan to a strict raw foods regimen. We wanted to form a coalition of the different groups, encouraging tolerance and unity among our members; that unity is essential if we are to accomplish our major goals.
We are first of all an educational organization; we exist to provide information about vegetarianism to individuals and groups. We encourage you to help us disseminate this information! Attend our meetings and talk to new people. Answer their questions, direct them to resource books, or introduce them to members of our board who have special areas of expertise. You will provide a much needed service which is also personally rewarding.
A secondary function of our society is is to provide a social outlet for vegetarian-oriented people. I am delighted with the warm and caring friends I have made in the last year, and I know many of you feel the same. We are now reaching a point where some of you want social functions that are more specific to your needs. Perhaps it's time for a singles group to form and to organize its own activities. Parents with young children may feel the need for a babysitting co-op or for other child-centered activities. Our annual business meeting and members' forum on June 11th will be an excellent time for us to talk about some of these ideas. In addition to giving brief reports by our officers, we want to open the meeting to feedback from our members. Let us know your opinion of our newsletter, choice of speakers and social functions, and general focus. Keep in mind that we are run by volunteers and we have a limited budget. Any expansion of services will be linked with a need for more volunteers. Any idea which costs money will require some type of fund-raising activity. But we do want to continue growing and we want you to be a part of our plans. Thank you for helping to make our first year such a successful and memorable one!
SUMMER 1991 CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES
Sunday, June 2nd
Potluck dinner at the Pearl Harbor Yacht Club. Bring a hot dish serving 4-6 people and containing no meat, poultry or fish. Many members do not eat eggs, dairy products or honey either. Bring a list of ingredients for your dish, and your own utensils. 6:00 P.M. Call 395-1499 for directions to the yacht club.
Mondays, June 10th, 17th and 24th:
Series of three low fat, no cholesterol cooking classes taught by Elaine French. Four course dinner is included each evening. Space is limited; reserve a place by sending payment in full to the Vegetarian Society. $55 for non-members, $50 for members. 6:30 to 9:30 P.M. Call 395-1499 for more information.
Tuesday, June 11th:
Annual membership meeting of the Society. Officers will report on major decisions made over the past year, and input from members is encouraged. 7:00 P.M. at Kaimuki Public Library, 1041 Koko Head Avenue (at Harding).
Thursday, July 4th:
Celebrate Independence Day with a potluck lunch and swimming party. Bring a vegetarian dish serving 4-6 people, a list of your ingredients, and your own utensils. 11:30 A.M. at Koko Isle gazebo, 315 Koko Isle Circle in Hawaii Kai.
Tuesday, July 9th;
Monthly meeting of the Society. Carl Weisbrod Ph.D. speaks on the topic "Dietary Change: Why Do We Resist?" Dr. Weisbrod has been a psychotherapist in private practice for 25 years. 7:00 P.M. at Kaimuki Library.
Wednesday, July 24th:
Special presentation by John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America. His book documents the environmental damage caused by our country's meat centered diet; it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Don't miss this important program, and encourage your friends to attend with you. Sponsored by Down to Earth Natural Foods and the Vegetarian Society of Honolulu. 7:30 P.M. at the MacNeill Auditorium, Punahou School. $5.00 per person.
Sunday, July 28th:
Meet at Country Life Vegetarian Buffet for a casual dinner. No reservations necessary. Bring your Society membership card for a 10% discount. Parking will be partially validated at all Outrigger Hotel parking lots. 6:00 P.M. at 421 Nahua Street.
Tuesday, August 13th:
Monthly meeting of the Society. Alan Titchenal Ph.D. introduces the topic "Animal Rights, Animal Research: In Search of a Balanced View". The films "Hope" and "Unnecessary Fuss" are shown. A representative of Animal Rights Hawaii presents an alternative viewpoint. 7:00 P.M. at Kaimuki Library.
Saturday, August 24th:
Climb Diamond Head and bring food and drink for a picnic lunch afterward. Meet near the restrooms inside the crater at 9:00 A.M. Picnic will be after the hike, approximately 11:00.
Every Sunday from 7:00 to 9:00 P.M., K108 radio presents "Nutrition and You" with Dr. Terry Shintani and Ruth Heidrich. Events of the Vegetarian Society will be announced on this program.
"Health Talk" with Hesh is also found on K108 Thursdays from 3:00 to 4:00 P.M.
Vegetarian Summerfest will be held at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania July 3-7. For more information, write to the North American Vegetarian Society; P.O. Box 72; Dolgeville, NY 13329.
The annual convention of the American Vegan Society will be held at Regis University in Denver, Colorado August 7-11. Bill Harris M.D. and Elaine French will both be speakers at the convention. For more information, write to the American Vegan Society; 501 Old Harding Hwy; Malaga, NJ 08328.
Country Life Vegetarian Buffet is offering a summer special to our members. From now through August, you are entitled to a 10% discount on their delicious vegetarian meals. Just show your valid membership card when you pay for your food. Bon appetit!
REGAN VISITS HAWAII
"Animals don't play the stock market and they know nothing about the Peloponnesian Wars, but they're 'somebodies' in the world, not 'somethings'." Thus spake Tom Regan, Ph.D., a professor of moral philosophy at North Carolina State University. The author of 20 some books in his field of expertise as well as "The Case for Animal Rights," Tom was on the way home from an international conference in South Korea, but The Hawaiian Humane Society, Animal Rights Hawaii, Vegetarian Society of Honolulu, Earth Day Hawaii, the UH Department of Philosophy, and the UH Laboratory Animal Services short-stopped him for a series of edifying lectures. Dr. Regan spoke with ease, persuasion, and a mild southern drawl; the overflow turnout on 5/3/91 at the AAUW house at the top of Keeamoku was a landmark audience of polite, informed, and concerned citizens from both sides of the issue. Regan noted that the notion of animal consciousness is not only intuitively obvious but well supported by science and Darwinian evolutionary considerations. The psychological complexity of humans is greater than that of animals, but they still may experience the same fears, pleasures, basic drives, and yearnings as we.
Regan said that no philosopher, minister, rabbi, or priest still defends the veal crate and the only apologists for the misery inflicted by the animal food industry are those who profit from the misery. Tradition and prejudice support the continued exploitation of animals; the parallels between the present treatment of animals and previous mistreatment of blacks and women are too obvious to miss and were mentioned several times.
During the discussion period Tom fielded several difficult and complex questions from animal researchers and some comments from our side as well. Dr. Regan does not suggest that animals be given the right to vote or enroll at UH under affirmative action programs, but he feels they do have a right to exist, and without harasssment from us.
A late dinner at Keo's Thai restaurant on Kapahulu followed the meeting and we had a chance to ask a few more questions. Where do you draw the line? Are clams and oysters conscious? "Draw the line with a pencil," said Tom, "and if there's a question they are, don't eat 'em just in case."
It seems academic philosophers are now aware that the animal abuse problem can no longer be swept under the rug à la Descartes, Aristotle, and Aquinas. We suspect much of this new found awareness is due to the exceptionally lucid arguments posed by Tom Regan in his widely read books.
-Bill Harris, M.D.
MEET THE MEMBERS
Ian Kaike Yee and Emes Kanoa Doblin are two of our youngest members.They're great pals and you can usually hear, not see, them because they're the source of the shuffles, giggles, and thumps coming from the back of our VSH meetings while the adults are up there talking about all those dull things adults talk about.
Both kids were born to vegan mothers and both have been almost vegan since birth. Almost? Well, they're both now 35 months old and the only animal food they've had so far is their own mother's milk.
Some authorities still advise against raising kids on a vegan diet since rickets, B12 deficiency, anemia, and poor growth have been reported in sectarian groups who incidentally use a poor selection of vegan foods. We decided to check this pair out and did brief physical exams. Both of them were right on the 50 percentile for height, weight, and head circumference, as plotted by the National Center for Health Statistics. That means they're average size three year olds and developing nicely. There were no unusual physical findings except for unblemished skin, and perfect teeth.
Two swallows do not a summer make, nor do two healthy vegan boys prove anything more than this: pragmatic, informed vegan mothers can raise healthy vegan children. Cynthia Smith and Leatrice Wolfe-Doblin are still breast feeding their kids in addition to providing a varied menu of plant food. Neither child is farmed out to the care of strangers. Leatrice describes herself as a full time mom, and when Cynthia's not taking care of Ian, his father, Tony Yee, is.
Emes likes to wear his "Love Animals Don't Eat Them" shirt, go to the beach, and dance. He's very friendly. Ian's a hide-and-go-seek buff and gives a smile and a wave to folks he thinks he may have seen before. He's a budding surfer.
THE THREE DOT VEGETARIAN
It was a busy month for Animal Rights Hawaii. In addition to setting up the Tom Regan talks, ARH was visible at the recent Pet Expo at Blaisdell center 5/11-12/91... Right across from the ARH booth was an outfit offering buffalo jerky for dogs, and the Hawaii All Breed Rabbit Club was selling pet bunnies along with rabbit cookbooks in case incompatibility surfaced. Another booth gave away goldfish to anyone who could hit the fish with a ping pong ball.
Pet Expo? "Curiouser and curiouser", said Alice. Anyway the scene would have made even less sense without ARH, whose members were at pains to suggest to the management that people shouldn't eat their pets, or swing them around in plastic bags full of water.
Cathy Goeggel of ARH urges support of HR330, the Refuge Wildlife Protection Act of 1991, sponsored by Rep. Green of New York. The bill aims to limit the killing of wildlife in the National Wildlife Protection System... ARH is also asking the EPA to recertify Ornitrol, a pigeon "birth control" chemical as an alternate to Avitrol, which handles the pigeon problem by killing them...A call to 1-800-922-FROG will get you a free student handbook, "Objecting to Dissection", a step-by-step plan to help you say "no" to classroom dissection. This is handled by the Animal Legal Defense Fund in San Rafael, California. Legal help is available if necessary...
Earth Week was a busy time for both Pat Shields of ARH and Cynthia Smith of The Vegetarian Society, who held down adjacent booths at the Earth Week display at the UH student center from 4/22-26/91... Bill Harris M.D. lectured the last day on "Vegetarianism: Scientific and Ecological" and repeated at Windward Community College 5/1/91...VSH also showed up for the "Go to Health" Fair at Leeward Community College 4/17/91...
A recent Star-Bulletin headline, "Vegetarians put beef industry on the defensive", had a sub-caption stating, "there are now 15 million vegetarians in the US and the meat industry is
fighting for its life on three fronts: ecology, health, and ethics." Such writings generate political spinoff.
Colorado just missed passage of a law which would have targeted for civil suit anyone who made "reckless statements against any kind of produce such as vegetables, fruit, meat, dairy products, etc." The bill was sponsored by a Colorado apple grower but the beef industry was pleased with the idea too, since "beef consumption is off 25% in 15 years due to unfair attacks." Gov. Romer recognized the legislation for what it was, an assault on the US Constitution, and vetoed it...
Locally, the UH Earth Week put the accent on ecology and Ruth Heidrich's talk on 5/26 was headlined in Ka Leo, the student newspaper, "Meateaters are harmful to Planet Earth's health."
One UH Animal Scientist had already written to the editor that vegetarians are using distorted information from John Robbin's Diet for a New America to destroy US animal agriculture, adding that the cattle industry in Hawaii sold $60 million in beef and dairy in 1988. ARH member Gailynn Williamson, a Ph.D in philosophy, responded in a letter stating that money should not take precedence over ethics. The animal scientists then stated that Animal Rights people are terrorists. One likened Williamson to Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussein, after her description of the Animal Liberation Front's action in stealing cats from a Texas research center whose eyelids had been sewn open for sleep deprivation experiments...
We can expect more media attention to such issues. A handful of brilliant cartoonists (Breathed, Larson, Park, Trudeau, Watterson..) have put in caricature what we can barely put in words...
A spot script on KTUH, the University radio, recently featured vegetarian Rob Quigley, an instructor in the UH Food Science and Human Nutrition Department...
John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America (see Calendar), will be at Down to Earth Natural Foods,10:00AM, Thursday, July 25th for an autographing session.
500 Ala Moana Blvd #5-D
(Restaurant Row, Koko Head
Hours: 11:00 AM-11:00 PM
seven days a week.
Parking free after 5:00 PM,
validated before then.
"Our black beans contain no lards, oils, or animal fats. No preservatives."
That sounded like a good start so we talked it over with Xavier Madrigal, general manager. He turned out to be an interesting guy: martial arts practitioner, European trained chef born in Mexico City, entrepreneur, and devout carnivore but with the belief: "Vegetarians should have the right to eat out, too." Besides that, Xavier's allergic to lard, oil, animal fat, and preservatives himself.
The menu includes Taco Vegetarian, Tofu Taco (Xavier's invention), Tofu Burrito, Burrito Grande (that's about a week's supply of burrito on one plate), Black Bean and Cheese Burrito, Black Beans and Mexican Rice, and Grilled Tofu Fajitas. The restaurant goes through eight boxes of select tomatoes daily, and makes its own corn tortillas twice a day.
The tortilla chips are fried in peanut oil and the flour tortillas have margarine. Baked chips take too long and flour tortillas need something to hold them together. The margarine is free of animal products according to Xavier and our taste buds found nothing to suggest the contrary. The dried black beans are soaked twelve hours, boiled, and served as is without refrying.
The food is really first rate and the staff we've met so far, namely David and Heather, and chef Tomas, are all friendly and helpful to the max. After you explain you're a vegetarian, you can specify all of the above with or without cheese or guacamole. Alcohol is served on the premises, and there's Mexican music in the air. Last time we were there we got the Disco/Mariachi version of Beethoven's Ninth.
If you'd like to combine a fine dining experience with removal of your tonsils and adenoids, try the hot salsa made from tomatoes, onions, and ninety proof chile de arbol. For the faint of heart there's a salsa bar featuring five other salsas made fresh on the premises including mild (Gringo) salsa, some intermediate strengths, and a couple of blended and baked salsas, all free of animal material. There's always fresh cilantro to go on top.
Xavier has opened another branch of LaSalsa (there are thirteen on the mainland) out by MacDonald's in Kahala. We wish him and his staff well. If you go, drop off one of our little VSH comment cards.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
What's the skinny on Mexican food? To find out we picked a vegan recipe, similar to what you could order at LaSalsa. Like most ethnic cuisine this traditional food has made it through a kind of Darwinian selection process. Those foods which support health in relatively poor populations become the survivor foods and they usually combine nutrients in an effective, though intuitive way.
Jerry Smith's Burritos
2 packages tortillas or chapatis, whole wheat
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
28 ozs fresh or canned tomatoes
2-15 oz cans black beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn
8 oz package 5-grain tempeh, crumbled or diced 1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 head shredded lettuce
Saute onions and garlic in 1/2 cup water until soft. Add tomatoes, beans, corn, tempeh, and seasonings. Cook, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread a line of this mixture down the center of a whole wheat tortilla, pile on the lettuce, tuck in the side edges and roll it up. Add salsa if desired.
The nutrient indices below are for a man age 25+. (e.g. the recipe contains 2.3 times the protein, 1.5 times the calcium, and .9 times the zinc needed per Calorie in the overall diet). There's vitamin B12 in this vegan recipe, contributed by the tempeh, according to Nutritionist III, our resident computer. (Victor Herbert M.D. maintains the B12 in tempeh is an inactive analogue of true cobalamin).
|Fat (Gm)-(VSH Rec)
I took my new manuscript to Nathan Bookbinder the other day. Nate's the publisher of Eat Fat and Grow Thin, and Weight Loss Without Willpower. For those who fail, there's The Fat is Beautiful, Self-Esteem Support System, by John Doublespeak Ph.D, and Fat Pride by the French obesity activist, Marcel Avoirdupois.
Over the years Nate's made fifteen quadrillion dollars on diet books.
"What's on your mind, Doc?" asked Nate as I came through the door. "It's a busy day; we're doing the proofs on Sweet Leilani's 'Gluttons in Paradise' Hawaiian Weight Watchers Diet." I tossed my book on the table and Nate read the title: Kahuna's Guaranteed Get Slim, Stay Slim, Vegan Food Plan.
He opened the cover and read:
1 Eat no foods of animal origin.
2. Use no processed, fried or refined foods.
3. Pig out on what's left: fruits, vegetables, grains, and starchy tubers.
4. Exercise a little bit.
"That's all?" asked Nate, thumbing through the rest. "I don't get it, one 4 line paragraph and 299 empty pages? The title's longer than the book. "
"I knew you'd never publish a one page book," I said. "They can doodle in the blanks or write to their friends. The pages get smaller toward the end so you can record daily weight."
"No pizazz," said Nate. "Where's the gimmick? No vitamins, no tee shirts, no supplements. No movie stars!"
"A million copies the first year, then nobody ever does another diet book," I said.
"How am I going to make money?"
"Be honest," I said. "Sell pencils in the streets."
"How do I know it works?" asked Nate, his eyes narrowing.
"There aren't any fat vegans," I said. "A few who might blow away in a breeze but no fat ones."
"The dieticians are already on my back for the stuff I've published before," wailed Nate.
"They should be," I said. "Your diets get old and the obese know it; that's why they're always looking for a new one. They also know the bottom line: if you absorb fewer Calories than you burn, you lose weight. Period. Vegans fill their stomachs and get all their nutrients before they absorb their Calorie requirements. Problem is, the obese would rather be boiled in snake oil than go vegan."
"That's it!" exulted Nate. "They'll never do it. They'll never do it, snake oil first. I'll never go out of business, they'll never lose weight, at least not permanently, I'll have a new diet for 'em every year...Doc, I'll buy your manuscript and I'll give you fifty bucks."
"Sold," I said. "When does it hit the bookstores?"
"Who's talking about bookstores?" said Nate. "I'm gonna lock it in my safe."
-Bill Harris, M.D.
"Vivisection is the killing of animals to find cures for the diseases caused by eating animals."