November/December 2017
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Wishing all a happy new year - may there be more compassion and less suffering in the world

In this edition...

Featured Video
  German shepherd hangs out with curious cow pals

Top Stories
  A saner way
  Half A billion fewer animals killed per year since 2007
  Canadian province ends grizzly bear hunt, calls it 'no longer socially acceptable'

Health and Environment
  The power of beans
  Meat is heat: The effects of diet on global warming

Lifestyles and Trends
  Flexitarians on the rise in New Zealand
  Vegan athletes: Driving the change
  Can these mock meat entrepreneurs fool you with a plant-based burger?
  Plant-based 'meat' is so tasty that Europe's meat industry has to bite back

Animal Issues and Advocacy
  Ancient Greek philosophers warned us about eating animals
  New UK rules protect the feelings of animals
  There's a grim reality behind your holiday turkey
  Turkey preparation 101

Books and Perspectives
  Sensitivity of pigs and the thieving of squirrels - all part of animals' inner lives

Toronto Vegetarian Association Upcoming Events

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(Excerpts are included from current news stories. Click on the "Full story" link to read the full article.)
  Featured Video    

German shepherd hangs out with curious cow pals
Video source: Care2

  Read more/Watch video...

Care2 - October 27
More video:
Reflections on 2017 at Farm Sanctuary
Heartwarming and enlightening - Farm Sanctuary (December 19)
Lani Muelrath: From the Family Feast to the Office Party: Greater Ease With it All
As always, helpful practical advice from the author of "The Mindful Vegan" (December 19)

  Top Stories    

A saner way
Full story: Gentle World Blog

It seems that we are unwilling to experience the inevitable humbling that must come with admitting, even to ourselves, that as a species, we human beings too often think, feel and behave as though we were not in our right minds. Until we lift the veil of denial that blinds us to this premise, we will continue to go about our lives in utter confusion as to why we do the crazy things we do. But when we admit to ourselves, and one another, that the reason we behave as though we are mad is because we are, our confusion disappears.   Read more...

Gentle World Blog - December 18

Half A billion fewer animals killed per year since 2007
Full story: Collective Evolution

Have you transitioned to a plant-based diet? Do you make an effort to reduce the amount of animal products you are consuming on a regular basis? If so, it is thanks to you that 500 million lives have been spared this year, and with continued awareness, that number continues to rise. It has become clear that everyone is not going to stop eating meat anytime soon, but ... more people are starting to at least consider the option of consuming much less meat. Although, many vegans would argue that it's all or nothing and that the only way to make an impact is to give up meat entirely. We can clearly see the difference that has come from people simply being more conscious about their meat consumption.   Read more...

Collective Evolution - November 27s

Canadian province ends grizzly bear hunt, calls it 'no longer socially acceptable'
Full story: 570 News/Canadian Press

Hunting grizzly bears has been banned in British Columbia, a move guides complain will put them out of business while environmentalists say is long overdue. B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson said public consultations have made it clear that killing grizzlies cannot be allowed, with the exception of First Nations who hunt for treaty rights or for food, social and ceremonial reasons. "It is no longer socially acceptable to the vast majority of British Columbians to hunt grizzly bears," Donaldson said. "That's the message."   Read more...

570 News/Canadian Press - December 18
  Health and Environment    

The power of beans
Full story: Food Revolution Network Blog

The life-enhancing benefits of beans are a forgotten secret in today's world. These tasty morsels are often joked about as the magical, musical fruit, but it's no joke - the power of beans is almost magical. Beans and other legumes (like lentils and split peas) provide an easy and affordable way to get many of the critical nutrients you need to thrive... beans are one of the foods most associated with longevity - they provide an excellent source of protein and fiber, as well as nearly a full day's worth of iron, plus a variety of micronutrients and phytochemicals. [Details and dlicious recipes at the link.]   Read more...

Food Revolution Network Blog - November 8

Meat is heat: The effects of diet on global warming
Full story: NutritionFacts Blog

One of the most prestigious medical journals in the world editorialized that climate change represents "the biggest global health threat of the 21st century." Currently, chronic diseases are by far the leading cause of death. Might there be a way to combat both at the same time? For example, riding our bikes instead of driving is a win-win-win for the people, planet, and pocketbook. Are there similar win-win situations when it comes to diet? What we eat may have more of an impact on global warming than what we drive. Just cutting out animal protein intake one day of the week could have a powerful effect. Meatless Mondays alone could beat out a whole week of working from home and not commuting.   Read more...

NutritionFacts Blog - December 5

More Health News:
Struggling to eat two portions of oily fish a week? Time for a rethink
The article is full of nonsense but I enjoyed the comments - Guardian, UK (November 9)
The facts: Is fish oil just snake oil?
Advice to eat oily fish, or take fish oil, to lower risk of heart disease, stroke, or mortality is no longer supported by the balance of available evidence - - see also this article
Curing type 2 diabetes - success story
Dr. McDougall

  Lifestyles and Trends    

Flexitarians on the rise in New Zealand
Full story: Newshub, NZ

The flexitarian trend looks to be on the rise in New Zealand, with Kiwis turning towards meat-free meals more often. Being a flexible vegetarian means you eat a lot of vegetarian food, but have the occasional meat treat. In the UK, Marks and Spencer has noticed a change in consumer habits and this Christmas, it will have its largest-ever vegetarian range. "This is definitely not a fad," Marks and Spencer product developer Helena Fleming says. "This is definitely an evolution of people making conscious changes in the way they eat."   Read more/watch video...

Newshub, NZ - December 22

Vegan athletes: Driving the change
Full story: Gentle World Blog

The vegan lifestyle is now attracting people from all backgrounds and professions. One of the more interesting developments is the fact that many athletes have recently joined the tribe and are now eating vegan... One of the major reasons is because it is finally being accepted that a plant based diet is far from inferior, but actually seems to be a superior source of nutrition, including plenty of protein. Vegan athletes are changing the negative stereotypes, proving that plant-based protein can not only build strong muscles, but can keep a vegan healthy enough to be a professional athlete. Now we've come a long way from the days of 'where do you get your protein?'   Read more...

Gentle World Blog - November 200

Can these mock meat entrepreneurs fool you with a plant-based burger?
Video source: Care2

As attitudes toward meat-eating shift and climate-conscious consumers experiment with alternatives, investors are throwing their money at mock meat startups that are replicating the smell and texture of a meaty burger. Impossible Foods CEO - entrepreneur and scientist - says 'animals are just a prehistoric technology.'   Read more/Watch video...

Care2 - October 27

Plant-based 'meat' is so tasty that Europe's meat industry has to bite back
Full story: The Economist

"We want to become the biggest butcher in the world without ever slaughtering an animal," says Jaap Korteweg, a ninth-generation farmer and founder of The Vegetarian Butcher. Since opening its first shop in The Hague in 2010 the company has been developing plant-based products that look, smell and taste like meat. Not everyone welcomes this vision. Earlier this year two Dutch politicians from the Liberal VVD party called for a ban on meat names for products that contained no animal protein. In October the country's food authority asked The Vegetarian Butcher to rename misleading products, such as its "speck" (very similar to "spek", the Dutch for bacon) because it might confuse consumers. The topic trended on Twitter for days; sales soared.   Read more...

The Economist - November 30

More Lifestyles and Trends News:
Harvard Medical School researching clean meat
Good Food Institute (December 8)
A $4 billion vegan cheese market?!
MyNewsDesk (December 9)

  Animal Issues and Advocacy    

Ancient Greek philosophers warned us about eating animals
Full story: In Defence of Animals

Since humans began recording their thoughts a few thousand years ago, many great minds have foreseen the grim consequences of eating animals that we now face today. For instance, there's this fascinating excerpt from Plato's The Republic (469-399 BC)...   Read more...

In Defence of Animals - November 30

New UK rules protect the feelings of animals
Full story: Times, UK (requires free registration)

The ability of animals to feel pain will be enshrined in British law after Brexit under new legislation unveiled by [the government]. In a belated recognition of the public backlash after MPs voted not to include a clause about animal sentience in the EU Withdrawal Bill, the new bill will bind the government to consider "the welfare needs of animals as sentient beings." The protection will bind ministers into taking into account the ability of animals to feel and think when creating future legislation that affects them. Existing legislation protects animals in distress but it is limited in scope and excludes animals in laboratories and in the wild.   Read more...

Times, UK (requires free registration) - December 12

There's a grim reality behind your holiday turkey
Full story: Los Angeles Times

No animals raised on factory farms are kept and killed under worse conditions than turkeys and chickens, which make up most of the animals raised for food in the U.S. Nearly 9 billion chickens are slaughtered each year for food. And because poultry is exempt from the federal Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which the U.S. Department of Agriculture enforces, there are not even minimum federal standards governing how they live or die. [Editor's note: So encouraging to see this in a major U.S. paper just before the big Thanksgiving turkey-consuming holiday.]   Read more...

Los Angeles Times - November 22

Turkey preparation 101
Video Source: DawnWatch

Thanks to Karen Dawn of DawnWatch for this delightful video of her annual turkey rescue....   Watch video...

DawnWatch - November 20

More Animal Issues and Advocacy News:
U.S. President Trump chooses big meat over little farmers
Bloomberg (October 25)
Happy ending lobster rescue
Saving Animals - Radiolab (December 12)
Fish depression is not a joke
New York Times (October 16)

  Books and Perspectives    

Sensitivity of pigs and the thieving of squirrels - all part of animals' inner lives
Full story: Washington Post

Peter Wohlleben seems like someone I'd like to join for a cup of tea after a nice stroll through the woods. The forest ranger and author of the immensely popular "The Hidden Life of Trees" is one of the most likable characters (among many) in his newest book, "The Inner Life of Animals." "Animals" is a natural follow-on to "Trees" and just as beautifully questions human assumptions about nature. Gentle though his approach may be through much of "The Inner Life of Animals," Wohlleben delivers firm messages. "When people reject acknowledging too much in the way of emotions in animals," he begins rather softly, "I have the vague feeling that there's a bit of fear that human beings could lose their special status." Then a bit stronger: "Even worse, it would become much more difficult to exploit animals. Every meal eaten or leather jacket worn would trigger moral considerations that would spoil their enjoyment." And then comes the slap: "When you think how sensitive pigs are, how they teach their young and help them deliver their own children later in life, how they answer to their names and pass the mirror test, the thought of the annual slaughter of 250 million of these animals across the European Union alone is chilling."   Read more...

Washington Post - December 8

Also of interest:

More Books
Beyond Beliefs: A Guide to Improving Relationships and Communication for Vegans, Vegetarians, and Meat Eaters - By Melanie Joy PhD
The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease - By Michael Greger M.D.

Complete list of global VegFests - thanks to Meatout Mondays for this!

One Step for Animals - not eating chicken is the most impactful thing to do
Kirschner's - Let's make the world a more humane place
Mulled Mind - stainless steel straws
Gentle World - for the vegan in everyone
Twyla Francois - beautiful images with a message
RescueDiaries on YouTube
Petition - Fodor's: Stop Promoting Elephant Cruelty
Petition: Ban fur farming in Ontario, Canada
Petition: Help Esther the Wonder Pig

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Email:   Barbi

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The Vegetarian Directory is a concise compilation of vegetarian-friendly restaurants, bakeries, caterers, food stores, organic produce suppliers, cooking classes, vacation spots, bookstores and organizations in the Toronto area. The web edition and regular updates are available at the link below. You can also pick it up free in the Toronto Area at over 140 natural food stores, restaurants, bakeries, libraries and non-profit organizations, as well as the TVA.
Website:   TVA Vegetarian Directory

TVA Groups and Meetups

Vegetarians of High Park
Get to know other vegetarians or vegans living or working in the High Park/Bloor West Village/Junction area of Toronto. The group meets for bi-monthly social dinners, which may be at local veg-friendly restaurants, or as potlucks. To stay in the loop about upcoming events, check out the website or email.
Website:   Vegetarians of High Park

East End Vegetarians Group
This group is for vegetarians, vegans and the veg-curious living in the Beach, Upper Beach, and Leslieville area of Toronto, wanting to meet and network with likeminded people in the area. They meet at restaurants in the area and the group may plan for other outings/events in the future as well. Email to be added to the mailing list and find out about the next event.

York Region/North York Vegetarian Group
We welcome new and experienced vegetarians as well as anyone wishing to make a transition to a vegetarian lifestyle. All ages welcome. Events take place at various locations in York Region and North York. Please RSVP with Rachelle at the email below.

Veggies of Halton and Peel
For all TVA members and friends in the regional municipalities of Halton and Peel. We are a social group, but group members can decide what amount of advocacy, education and outreach (if any) to also engage in. For more information please leave a message at the TVA office or email.

DurhamVeg Group
If you're in the Durham region and would like to learn more about a vegetarian lifestyle, this group offers friendly, informal support and meets monthly (first non-holiday Wednesday of each month) at a local restaurant. Other events are also scheduled from time to time. For more details, visit the DurhamVeg website, or email.
Website:   DurhamVeg

York Region Vegetarian Families
Families will meet once a month at different venues throughout York Region. Families are encouraged to share ideas about meeting activities and places with us! Please contact Taunya at the email below to get added to the mailing list, and for questions or comments.
Email:   Taunya

Vegan Baking Group
Inviting all vegan hobby-bakers! Come to our potluck-style meetings to improve your vegan baking skills, exchange advice and ideas about vegan baking, and get feedback on your vegan creations! For inquiries, email Jeanette at the email below for events and more details, or visit the website.
Website:   Vegan Baking Group
Email:   Christine

Toronto Veg/Vegan Families
Get to know families who are also vegan, vegetarian or planning to make the big change in the Greater Toronto Area. Email or find them on Meet Up at the web address below.

Veggie Drinks
Join the Toronto Vegetarian Association for Veggie Drinks. Veggie Drinks is an opportunity for vegetarians and vegans to meet, talk advocacy, and network with other members of Toronto's veg community. Events are located at different veg-friendly businesses around the GTA, where short presentations will be made on the latest in veg-news. Find out more info and RSVP at the email link below.

Vegetarians in Their Twenties (VITT)
This group is for Torontonians in their twenties who are interested in vegetarianism and would like to go out and have fun! As well as going to vegetarian restaurants, we try to have a variety of events to appeal to everyone's tastes. For more details and upcoming events search for the group on Facebook: VITT - Vegetarians in their Twenties or email.

Queer Veggie Social Group
TVA Queer Veggie Social is a once-per-month dinner social for Toronto's vegetarian and vegan LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi and trans) communities and their friends. All ages welcome. New members welcome! To receive info on events or RSVP for events email to one of the addresses below.

Dinner Social Group
Dinner SocialPlease join us for good vegetarian food and lively conversation at our upcoming social dinners (and brunches) on the 3rd or 4th Thursday (or Saturday) of each month. For more information or to RSVP, please leave a message at the TVA office or e-mail Taunya at the address below. Coordinators: George, Jim and Taunya.

TVA Reading Group
Love to devour good books and great food in fabulous like-minded company? If so, we've got a group for you. Come and join TVA Reads, our new monthly Monday evening reading group. For more information or to join the group contact Shãn at the email below.
Email:   Shãn
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