Date: April 28th, 2007

There have been so many breakthroughs of late in the pubic fight against factory farming, and in the move of plant-based eating into the mainstream, it is becoming wonderfully hard to keep up!

Recently we saw Gourmet Magazine (not the Vegetarian Times!) discuss the need to cut back on meat consumption. Now we see, in the May edition of Elle Magazine, an article headed, "The Carnivore's Dilemma" and sub-headed, "It's tempting to dismiss veganism as just another eating disorder, so Marisa Meltzer and Kara Jesella veg out and find the surprising benefits of eating conscientiously." (p 234)

The authors write that they love food but had become increasingly concerned about whether the food they had always loved was good for them. They write,
"We'd grown paranoid about allergies, antibiotic-laced milk, and FDA reports on salmonella outbreaks. Not to mention the cruelty of factory farming and the environmental impact of our eating habits. Kara alternated between patting herself on the back for eating more fish -- touted by nutritionists for its brain-building omega-3 fats -- and worrying about how much methylmercury she was ingesting. Marisa's fondness for steak frites waned every time she turned on the TV and saw yet another image of cows mooing mournfully in overcrowded feedlots.

"Though we both dismissed veganism as a hippie-dippy, self-righteous lifestyle, a slew of new books made us reconsider. In 'The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter,' ethicists Peter Singer and Jim Mason say that veganism is the best answer to the ethical quandaries posed by eating animal products."

(Note: You can learn more about that book and/or purchase it at )

They mention Michael Pollan's "The Omnivores Dilemma" and Anna Lappe's and Bryant Terry's "Grub." And they comment, "We've known since 1971, when Lappe's mother Francis Moore Lappe, published 'Diet for a Small Planet' that if the Western world were to eat lower on the food chain, it would free up grain that is currently fed to livestock for human consumption, effectively ending world hunger. And by not eating animal products, there is no more worry about whether the chicken or cow on your plate has been forced to feed on the feces of other animals before being cruelly killed in a slaughterhouse."

They note veganism's high profile devotees: Natalie Portman, Russell Simmons, Moby and other celebrities. And they rave about the stylish vegan restaurant, Candle 79, on the New York's upper East side. They also have Alicia Silverstone as a private vegan coach of sorts.

The authors mention that most Americans get about twice as much protein as they need, and they quote NYU professor of nutrition Marion Nestle who explains, "You don't need as much calcium if you are vegan. One reason our calcium recommendations are so high is because a lot of animal foods cause calcium to be excreted."

They remind us, however, that vegans should take a B12 supplement.

The women find they enjoy the challenge of dining out and being "connoisseurs of a new cuisine." And they note, "The transition is made even easier by our roomier jeans."

We learn that the women eventually "succumbed to the omnivorous lifestyle," but they end their article with:
"We're a lot more interested in where our food comes from and eat less meat and more veggies than before. And we still haven't gone back to eating hamburgers."

The full article is in the May 2007 issue of Elle, which you will find on newsstands now.

As somebody who went vegan gradually over a period of years, eating less and less animal products until one day I realized it had been months since I had eaten any, I can relate to the writers' choice to slow down their animal product intake rather than cutting out all animal products permanently all at once. I suspect many people on this list can relate similarly and are thrilled to see their tale, which enumerates the benefits of vegan diets, appear in Elle Magazine. Please express your appreciation to the magazine, and if you have had good experiences with plant based eating, as many of us have, make sure you share them.

Send your letters to

I send thanks to Paul Shapiro of HSUS for making sure we knew about this article. HSUS's page is a great place to keep up with developments in the humane eating field. Thanks also to Shapiro for sharing the good news that the Oregon State Senate has passed a bill, by a 20-9 vote, to ban gestation crates. The bill now goes to the House. This is the first time in U.S. history that a gestation crate bill has passed an entire state legislative chamber. You'll find the Salem News article at and can commend the Oregon legislators by leaving a comment at the bottom of that page. Please do!

Finally, check out the Forbes article, "Meat can be murder on long-term health" at and vote in the poll on that page, "Vote: How do you feel about eating meat?"

Yours and the animals',
Karen Dawn

(DawnWatch is an animal advocacy media watch that looks at animal issues in the media and facilitates one-click responses to the relevant media outlets. You can learn more about it, and sign up for alerts at You may forward or reprint DawnWatch alerts if you do so unedited -- leave DawnWatch in the title and include this parenthesized tag line. If somebody forwards DawnWatch alerts to you, which you enjoy, please help the list grow by signing up. It is free.)

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Date: Sat Apr 28 16:13:18 2007

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