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Health,Animal Rights,and Ecology

Volume II, No.3, Sept. 1991



Aloha friends,

I hope you all enjoyed the Hawaiian summer and are ready for our fall activities. Personally, I am still basking in the glow of enthusiasm and support I gained from attending the American Vegan Society convention in Denver last month. Board members of our society played quite a visible role at the conference. Yours truly gave a two hour cooking demonstration in which I taught participants to make six different low fat sauces. Bill Harris MD delivered several erudite discourses on fat, cholesterol and protein. We especially liked Bill's appearance in the "Fashion with Compassion" show, where he and Georgie Yap modeled their VSH T-shirts. As we had anticipated, people were trying to buy the shirt off his back, so we took orders to fill on our return. Ruth Heidrich gave a talk on sports nutrition to a standing room only crowd; she also got to rub shoulders with Neal Barnard MD at the book signing session. Dr. Barnard is the President of the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine and founder of the "revised" four food groups concept. He was so impressed by Ruth's motivation and knowledge that he invited her to be a part of his next media crusade, which will be designed to educate the public about diet and breast cancer.

The most encouraging message of the conference came from Michael Klaper MD, whom we can claim as a local vegetarian since his recent move from Los Angeles to Maui. His attempts to get Hollywood writers to portray vegetarians in a more positive light seem to be paying off. The producers of "Doogie Howser MD" just called him with the news that they plan to have Doogie become a vegetarian in future episodes. Dr. Klaper will provide technical support in writing the dialogue for this change.

In closing, Dr. Klaper compared the rapidly growing vegetarian movement to a freight train coming at you head on down the track. Although at first it is so far away it does not appear to be moving, in a short time it is on top of you with tremendous force. In Hawaii, many people seem apathetic and resistant to new ideas. But the change is coming here just as it is on the mainland, because it is inevitable. Our job is to provide information and assistance as people move away from animal foods. The results will be uniformly positive. The health of individuals will improve, animals will no longer suffer and be killed at the hands of humans, and our beautiful planet will gain a new lease on life.

Best wishes,

-Elaine French

There is a possibility that we may no longer use the public libraries for our monthly meetings. We suggest you read your newsletter for information on meeting locations, and then double check on the day of each meeting by calling us.

Beginning with this issue, our newsletter is being printed on recycled paper, which many of you have requested. As you probably know, this is an added expense for us, but one we know you will agree is important.

Speaking of expenses associated with the newsletter, copying costs are a very large part of our budget. If any member runs his or her own business or has a personal copy machine which produces high-quality copies , we would love to hear from you. As a non-profit organization, we handle our money very carefully and appreciate any help our members give us in keeping our costs low.

For those of you who have not yet seen the outstanding KCET documentary "Diet for a New America", we do still have several copies of the video available. You may purchase one from us at any of our meetings for $20.00, or we can mail it to you for an additional 2.50 postage.

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.

Country Life has extended their 10% discount to our members for another three months. From now through November, just show your valid membership card at the cash register when paying for your meal.



Mondays, September 9th, 16th and 23rd:

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, September 10th:

Monthly meeting of the Society. Ruth Heidrich, world class triathlete and author of A Race for Life: from Cancer to the Ironman, speaks on the topic "The Antiaging Lifestyle". 7:00 P.M. at the Kaimuki Library, 1041 Koko Head Avenue (at Harding).

Sunday, September 29th:

Potluck lunch and beach party. Bring a hot dish serving 4-6 people and containing no flesh, fish or fowl. Many members are vegans who do not use eggs, dairy products or honey either. Also bring your own utensils and a list of ingredients for your dish. 12:00 noon at the clubhouse of the Hawaiian Trail and Mountain Club, 41-023 Puuone Street in Waimanalo. $1.00 donation per person for the use of the facility.

Tuesday, October 8th:

Monthly meeting of the Society. Eliot Rosen MSW speaks on the topic "The Unhealthy School Lunch Program: What You Can Do about It". Mr. Rosen is a mental health counselor, nutrition educator and health writer. 7:00 P.M. at the Lunalilo School cafetorium, 810 Pumehana St. Entrance to the cafetorium is on Hauoli Street.

Monday, October 28th:

Meet at Country Life Vegetarian Buffet for a casual dinner. No reservations necessary. Bring your Society membership card for a 10% discount. 6:00 P.M. at 421 Nahua Street in Waikiki. Parking will be partially validated at any Outrigger parking lot.

Friday, November 1st:

We begin taking reservations for Thanksgiving dinner. Space is limited, so get your check to us early to avoid disappointment! See details under November 28th.

Monday, November 4th:

Special presentation by Peter Burwash, author of several books on diet and fitness and President of the largest tennis management firm in the world. He speaks on the topic "A Practical Understanding of Exercise and Nutrition". Don't miss this dynamic and entertaining speaker, and be sure to bring a non-vegetarian friend with you. Seating is limited; advance tickets are available by sending $5.00 to the Vegetarian Society. 7:00 P.M. at the Garden Lanai Room of the Ala Moana Hotel, 410 Atkinson Drive.

Tuesday, November 12th:

Monthly meeting of the Society. Rick Reed, Hawaii State Senator from the 5th District and 15 year vegetarian, is the speaker. His topic is "Vegetarianism and Political Activism: How They Affect Our Environment". He will also show a video entitled "Mount Olomana". 7:00 P.M. at the Lunalilo School cafetorium, 810 Pumehana Street.

Thursday, November 28th:

Second Annual Vegetarian Society Thanksgiving Dinner at Country Life Vegetarian Buffet. Reservations taken beginning November 1st. Make your check out to Country Life but send it to the Vegetarian Society, along with the name of each person in your party. $15 for members, $17 for non-members, $7.50 for children under 12. 5:00 P.M. at 421 Nahua Street in Waikiki.

Related events:

Tuesday, October 1st:

World Vegetarian Day. Invite some friends over for a vegetarian dinner and show them the video "Diet for a New America" afterward.

Wednesday, October 2nd:

Gandhi's birthday and World Farm Animals' Day. Take another step toward promoting peace and reducing violence in the world. Eliminate all animal foods from your diet, use cruelty-free cosmetics, or buy non-leather shoes and accessories.

Singles Activities Planned


In response to numerous suggestions that the Vegetarian Society plan activities for our single members and friends, the following Saturday events have been scheduled:

September 28th: A vegetarian comedian will entertain us at the Pearl Harbor Yacht Club on the Naval Base. Please arrive by 7:30 P.M., when dessert will be served. There is no charge for this event. For directions, call Patrick Moore at 595-3606.

October 26th:

A Halloween costume party and dance will be held from 6:30 to 10:00 P.M., at Carmello's Dance Studio, 1418 Kapiolani Blvd. The studio is on the 2nd floor of Kenrock Building A, across from the Ala Moana Center, ewa of Keeaumoku Street. A vegetarian dinner will be catered. The cost per person for the evening is $10.00. For reservations, please send a check to Alida Labrie at 1824-B Citron Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96826.

November 30th:

A potluck beach picnic will be held at Sherwood Forest in Waimanalo from 12:00 noon to 4:00 P.M. Please bring utensils, a dish containing no meat, fowl, or fish, and a 3 x 5 card listing all ingredients. Paper products will be provided; we suggest, however, that you bring your own reusable plates and cups. In case of questionable weather, call Patrick Moore at 595-3606.

Volunteers will be needed to assist with planning menus, preparing and transporting beverages, transporting food from selected restaurants, picking up a lei, setting up, directing traffic, passing out name tags, replenishing the buffet, and of course, cleaning up. If you are interested in helping out, please call Alida Labrie at 955-9572.


First, vegetarians were claimed to be protein deficient, then calcium deficient, but both allegations were found incorrect. Now it's iron. Ruth Heidrich turned up the following quote from a prominent New Zealand athlete and sports writer:

"Lean red meat contains iron which is much more easily absorbed in the stomach." The writer went on to imply that vegetarians might become anemic if they depended on spinach for their iron. Then he listed the usual caveats omnivores must heed if they wish to avoid getting too much fat and cholesterol.

Well, yes and no. First of all, nothing is absorbed in the stomach. Heme iron from meat is absorbed in the small intestine twice as readily as iron from spinach (1), but the flip side is that spinach has a higher iron content than the highest meat (pork liver), 93 vegetables averaged about twice as much iron per Calorie as 27 averaged meats, and parsley tops them all (2).

A survey of the scientific literature (3) fails to show a higher incidence of anemia in vegans and vegetarians. The World Health Organization keeps tabs on the death rate from anemias (4), of which the commonest is iron deficiency anemia. Plotted against FAO intake data (5) it looks like this:

This graph indicates that there is a slight inverse correlation (R= -.14) between anemia and total iron consumption (from both plant and animal source foods) but the p-value of .34 is too high for statistical significance. Likewise, the correlations between anemia and both plant and animal source iron considered separately is slightly inverse but non-significant. Anemia does occur in vegetarians but there's little evidence they have more of it than meateaters. Furthermore, this graph does not suggest that low iron intake is a major player in the cause of anemia.

Lastly, it's helpful to observe that neither animals nor plants synthesize iron. The iron in our blood cells was synthesized in nuclear fusion reactions that occurred in stars that blew up at least five billion years ago.

-Bill Harris, M.D.


1.Linder M. Nutritional Biochemistry and Metabolism. Elsevier New York, 1985.

ISBN 0-444-01241-9. p 156

2. N-Squared Computing. Nutritionist III, v4.5. Salem OR, 1988

3. Langley G. Vegan Nutrition, a Survey of Research. The Vegan Society. Oxford, 1988.

ISBN 0-907337-15-5. p 82

4. World Health Organization. World Health Statistics Annual. WHO Geneva 1996.

ISBN 92 4 067960 X. Table B1 pp. B108-B687. UH Hamilton Library Gov't docs.

(Note: this chart was originally published using 1989 WHO data).

5. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Fao Production Yearbook.

Rome, 1987


Janine LeGrand teaches Biological Sciences and Marine Biology at Sacred Hearts Academy, a Catholic girls' school in Kaimuki. She's been a lacto-vegetarian for 1-1/2 years and feels her health, never bad, is now better, and she's shed 15 unwanted pounds. Janine always admired vegetarian ethics but felt it would be impossible to be a vegetarian. Now that she is one, it's easy.

Too busy to help VSH during the school year, Janine pitched in for the recent John Robbins lecture at Punahou on July 24th. As a result of her PR efforts, with 35 media contacts and 300 direct mailings, the lecture filled 470 seats with 15 standing. After expenses, Down to Earth and VSH cleared about $100 apiece, which isn't much but beats going in the red.

In her biology classes Janine uses about sixty animals: a rabbit, 3 guinea pigs, a turtle, fish, snails, worms, parakeets, and a battalion of mice. Many of her sophomore students have had no contact with animals and their reactions may begin with "It's icky, let's kill it." However, observation and non-stressful behavior study is Janine's approach, and after a few weeks of teaching mice to solve mazes for food rewards rather than punishment, the kids start running to class. The first one there gets to have the rabbit on her desk while teacher lectures about animal physiology.

Some of the animals spend summer vacation at the home Janine shares with her father, a recent heart attack victim who subsequently went vegetarian and dropped his serum cholesterol to 170 mg/dL. Only in unusual situations (injury or severe illness) are any of the classroom animals euthanized, and Janine teaches no dissection. The kids learn to appreciate the complexity and wonder of life, and develop a respect for the animals to which they relate.

Some of the kids try out the vegetarian diet or ask what teacher eats at Thanksgiving. Janine would like to cut out dairy foods in her diet but thinks vegan meals are hard to plan.

Besides her non-invasive use of animals Janine also is concerned with environmental issues. She coordinates the school's can and paper recycling system.


"Cucumbers are worthless," said the diner at the next table. "They're all water; they've got no nutritional value." We were dining at Prince Bill's at the top of the Westin Kauai, and hearing this pronouncement we knew we were in the presence of someone carefully schooled in "The Basic Four Food Groups".

Why? Well, to make a pitch for animal food (which is what the Basic Four is all about) you have to sort foods by nutrient/weight ratio. If you sort by calcium/Calorie ratio the dairy foods trail a dozen leafy green vegetables, and in a protein/Calorie sort the meats only have a slim lead over vegetables. Cucumbers look bad in any nutrient/weight sort because they are mostly water and water is denser than fat, a major component in animal food. But water doesn't count. A bowl of soup has the same nutritional value as its dry ingredients.

We asked sous chef Glen Hayakawa for the ingredients of a typical steak dinner. Glen, like the maître d' and our waitress, was friendly and courteous, and he took a good deal of time to discuss the restaurant and the food.

Our meal was a baked potato and one ounce each of steamed asparagus, yellow squash, red pepper, mushrooms and cauliflower. The vegetable plate was artfully arranged, flawlessly prepared, and our twilight view of Nawilili bay was spectacular.

The chap who didn't like cucumbers had 10 oz of New York steak, 4 oz scalloped potatoes, &Mac189; slice of tomato, 2 oz salad, and a slice of cheesecake. When we got back to Honolulu, we computed nutrient indices on the food and here's what turned up:

The indices below are for a man age 25+. (e.g. the cucumber contains 1.9 times the protein, 3.9 times the calcium, and 3.4 times the zinc needed per Calorie in the overall diet).


RDA Steak Dinner Vegplate Cucumber
Calories 2900
Protein(Gm) 63 4.2 1.2 1.9
Fat (Gm)-(VSH Rec.) 32 4.6 1.0 0.9
Cholesterol(Mg) 0 728 0 0
Iron(Mg) 10 3.3 4.9 6.3
Zinc(Mg) 15 3.6 0.8 3.4
Vitamin C(Mg) 60 3.1 15.0 17.6
Thiamin(Mg) 1.5 1.0 2.1 4.5
Riboflavin(Mg) 1.7 1.9 1.4 2.6
Vitamin B6(Mg) 2 2.3 4.6 5.8
Folacin(Ug) 200 1.8 5.1 15.5
Vitamin B12(Ug) 2 11.9 0.0 0.0
Panto. Acid(Mg) 5.5 1.2 2.3 10.2
Calcium(Mg) 800 0.6 1.0 3.9

Our meal cost $20 (Prince Bill's is a tad pricey), the steak eater paid $25 for what was basically an O.D. on fat, cholesterol, and protein, and you can pick up a cucumber for about $.70. In case the guy reads this he might find it interesting that he also paid $100 greens fees and burned off 170 Calories/hr. playing golf. We swam a mile out to the Nawiliwili pier and burned 639 Calories/hr. for free.

-Bill Harris, M.D.


Split Pea Soup

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 2 cups green split peas
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 2/3 cups diced celery
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp savory
  • 1/4 cup brown rice miso ( or other miso)
  • 1 tsp thyme

Combine water, split peas, onion, garlic and seasonings in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until peas are almost tender. Add more water if necessary. Add carrots, celery and parsley and cook until vegetables are tender. Combine miso with 1/2 cup hot water to make a smooth sauce. Add to soup, heat through and serve.


  • 2 pkgs corn tortillas
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 4-ounce jar pimientos
  • 1/4 cup flaked yeast
  • 2 Tbsp arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew pieces
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Thaw tortillas and cut each one into 8 triangles. Spread them in a single layer on non-stick baking sheets. Bake at 350° until crisp and lightly browned. Check them every few minutes, because they will burn! Combine all other ingredients in the blender and spin on high for one minute, until smoothly blended. Pour into a saucepan. Rinse the blender with 1 1/2 cups boiling water and add it to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens. Immediately remove from heat. Spread tortilla chips in a single layer on a large platter and pour the "cheese" over them. You may garnish them with chopped jalapenos, sliced olives or green onions if you like. This makes quite a few nachos, so you may want to cut the recipe in half.


Chicken Salmonella: sounds like a recipe, doesn't it? "I'll have some Chicken Salmonella with a side order of porkersauce and potatoes"...the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine rattled a few cages: PCRM's "New Four Food Groups" hoists the old Basic Four on their own petard. There's nothing magic about the number four, but after 50 years of food industry hype, Americans believe it like apple pie and motherhood. Point is, the New Basic Four leaves out meat and dairy...Some interesting folks at AVS convention in Denver (see the pres-mes): Sam Kaplan, who once set a speed record taking the meat off a beef shank in a Denver slaughterhouse: now a vegetarian. Eldon Kienholz Ph.D., who spent his entire career in animal science, figuring ways to get more beef for the buck: now a vegetarian. An Abe Lincoln look-alike, Eldon stumps the country advocating a peaceful transition to a bloodless agriculture, and pointing out to his colleagues the inevitable comparisons of 19th century human slavery and 20th century animal slavery... Animal Rights Hawaii plans a lei ceremony at Gandhi's statue at the zoo on his birthday 10/2/91. Their fall newsletter will include a Compassionate Consumer's Guide and Cathy Goeggel of ARH will attend a seminar, "Killing the Crisis, Not the Animal" in Washington D.C. Sept 20. Call Cathy at 261-6192 for details...The Humane Farming Association has done a big media exposé of the veal biz and plans a national TV ad campaign showing all the gory details. That should gross out somebody...


"Basically, the United States has been consuming environmental capital...and calling it growth."

-Paul and Ann Ehrlich

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