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01_24_03: Without A Paper, Uniting Communities, & "Dissembly"

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  • Mark Sutton
    Howdy! Welcome to the 16th Mad Cowboy Newsletter. This is a special issue, as we re providing a new feature: interviews! Howard explains more about this
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 24, 2003
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      Howdy! Welcome to the 16th Mad Cowboy Newsletter.

      This is a special issue, as we're providing a new feature: interviews!
      Howard explains more about this below. Our normal issues have more
      articles, factoids, and humor. As we streamline the transcription process,
      subsequent interviews will probably be posted on the web first along with
      some short excerpts in the Newsletter.

      In today's edition you'll learn what Joe Connelly (editor, VegNews, who's
      monthly newspaper when from 0 to 100,000 readers a month in less than 3
      years) would do with a million dollars.

      You'll also know how to change the world, be surprised at the inspiration
      for the assembly line, learn about a great new non-violent veggie video
      game, get advice on how to be a more involved citizein in 2003, and wish
      you could fly to California for the incredible Bay Area Veg Fair!

      As always, a special nod of the hat to our new subscribers.

      Y'all can read back issues of the Newsletter at:

      Stay warm and veg'n! Best to all, Mark Editor, MadCowboy e-Newsletter


      00: Quote (from Howard)
      01: The Mad Cowboy Newsletter Interviews
      02: Excerpts from Interview 01: Joe Connelly, VegNews
      03: Info: VegNews & VegFair
      04: Article: Teen Vegetarians
      05: That Simpsons Episode and Howard Lyman
      06: Factoids: Health
      07: History: The "Dissembly and Assembly" Lines
      08: Game: Steer Madness!
      09: Article: More Mad Cow Disease
      10: Advice: Be a More Involved Citizen in 2003
      11: Info: MeatOut 2003
      12: Donations to the Mad Cowboy Documentary
      13: Howard's Schedule
      14: Answer to Last Issue's Questions
      15: Next Issue
      16: Closing Thought(s)

      *00: Quote (from Howard)
      "There is, however, a moral basis for the vegetarian diet for which the
      indeterminate value of an animal's life takes on irrelevance. And that
      moral basis is a concern for the environment, a value as absolute as the
      value we all place on human life, sincve humanity will not long survive on
      a poisoned planet. To be an enviromentalist who happens to eat meat is
      like being a philanthropist who doesn't happen to give to charity."

      HOWARD - (Page 122: "The Mad Cowboy" by Howard Lyman, with Glen Mertzer)

      *01: The Mad Cowboy Newsletter Interviews
      "While traveling over one million miles in my life as an activist I have
      met some of the most remarkable people on the face of the earth. I have
      decided we'd interview some of these folks from time to time so the readers
      of the Mad Cowboy news letter will get a chance to understand what giants
      they are.

      This group is as diverse as anyone could imagine. They are young and old,
      female and male, quiet and outspoken, foreign and American, every color and
      religion under the sun. The common denominator for this group is they are
      my friends."

      - Howard, 01/21/03

      *02: Excerpts from Interview 01: Joe Connelly, VegNews
      [Editor: Since Joe and Colleen have been interviewed often about VegNews,
      it's history, how it's done, etc., we decided to focus more on learning
      about Joe and other activities. The interview took place by phone on
      01/22/03. VegNews was featured prominently in MadCowboy Newsletter 15 as
      one of the groups Howard thinks have done particularly great work in 2002.

      When the full interview is available online, it'll be announced in the
      Newsletter (probably in two weeks with some links to other interviews that
      go into greater detail about VegNews specifically). "MS" stands for "Mark
      Sutton" and "JC" for Joe Connelly, and the following are 1st pass drafts!]


      MS: "One of the things that intrigues me is that you are in a unique
      position to have a finger on the "pulse" of the animal rights,
      environmental, vegetarianism, and health movements across the country.
      What do you see happening? What's going on now?"

      JC: "Well... boy... more so than you think, what happens is people call me
      or e-mail me every day. The stuff doesn't get into VegNews, but it's
      probably a hecka lot more interesting than does!

      "The political aside... it's, it's moving... simultaneously at both a
      snail's pace and at such a rapid pace. Kind of the way evolution does...
      you don't know...

      MS: "Like punctuated evolution?"

      JC: "Yes, you don't really see it and you think it's moving slowly like a
      glacier, then all of a sudden: wow! There's so much positive happening...
      health foods stores that are no longer just these little tiny things off in
      a beaten part of town. Gigantic, whether you like 'em or not, Whole Foods,
      that are grocery stores, they're not even health food stores any more.
      Even Safeways have huge selections of soy milk and tofu... who know what
      soy milk was a couple years back?"

      <snip.. some neat stuff about political successes/losses.. continuing:>

      JC: "The consciousness being raised is a positive thing. I think as we
      speak, Farm Sanctuary is working with the state of New Jersey to pass some
      prohibiting Veal Crate legislation as well. So, you know, it's amazing
      that even in the country right now, which is conservative obviously, and
      probably paranoid about a lot of things, people are still seeing the value
      of these so-called old fashioned liberal ways of thinking. "We're
      winning," as Howard would say, we are certainly turning the tide, and
      nobody knows when that critical mass is reached, but we're certainly moving
      towards that day."

      MS: "Let me ask you this: what would you consider to be some of the
      biggest threats to the issues we're talking about? Is it possible to
      identify them?

      JC: "I don't know, I don't know that there is a big.... I mean, the
      biggest threat it's always going to be... [cat interruption!]... the
      biggest threat I think, it's the same threat that all movements, all social
      progress movements face, is that when it becomes obvious that we're making
      progress. And when it becomes obvious that we're on the right track, and
      that this is just really a no-brainer, then there's going to be opposition
      by people who hold onto the old way because they're reluctant to change."

      MS: "That's a very sound historical perspective of what happens."

      JC: "So, whatever that means... the milk industry.... the milk industry
      with the milk mustache ads. James 'bypass' Gardner with the beef

      MS: "The '3 A Day Campaign' rip-off of the '5 A Day' that the dairy
      industry wants to do."

      JC: "Right. When it becomes so overwhelmingly obvious, that you're dying,
      your industry is dying, you fight with everything you have, and it's
      usually a lost cause, and I believe in this case, it will be a lost cause."


      JC: "I decided I'd run a marathon, and my motivations for making sure I
      that I did it was, I wrote a diary of the six months leading up to running
      the marathon in my local running track club newsletter. I used to be a
      member of a running club, and they published a monthly newsletter. Every
      month for the six months leading up, I had an article in there about my
      training and how it was going, and then one article after I actually did
      the marathon.

      By the way, it was the Marine Corps Marathon right in Washington DC. It
      was gutsy, but it was also the motivation needed to make sure that you kept
      to your mission. So, in a lot of ways, it's a good move."

      MS: "Is there any particular resolution that stands out?"

      JC: "The one about living in a glass house. I just hope that his shower
      curtain is not see through. I loved the one about Willow Jeane and about
      Howard being a reclamation project. I thought that was wonderful."

      "You know what? I think what stands out is the group of them. I think
      what stands out is that if you take them all as a whole, it really gives
      you, very quickly, a wonderful protrait of who Howard is."

      MS: "I would have to agree, but then I'm biased!"

      JC: "So, is there one that you particularly like?"

      MS: "Not to say ill of fellow plant-eaters..."


      MS: "What books have most influenced you in your life?

      JC: "Wow... great question..... certainly in my vegetarian life, "Diet
      for a New America" [John Robbins]"

      MS: "Powerful piece of work."

      JC: "It came right a the time when I started being influenced by some
      vegetarians.... I would have to put that right at the top.

      I've read several books both about and by, Gandhhi and Schweitzer, and I've
      never actually read a biography, but George Bernard Shaw I just think was
      brilliant. God, if I could emulate anybody... somebody like him who could
      put together a couple of words that would say so much.

      And Mark Twain, too, you can see that some of these are writers and they've
      influenced me greatly. Not any particular work by them, but just by their
      style and the breadth of their work, what they were able to accomplish.
      All of course, except for Mark Twain, being vegetarian."


      MS: "[on doing VegNews and no journalism experience] ..so you didn't know
      what couldn't be done?"

      JC: "Exactly... I think the fact that we [Colleen and Joe] had just simply
      a belief in what we were doing, and a feeling it was the right thing to

      MS: "That's all it takes to change the world, isn't it?"

      JC: "...not only does it take that, but it's the only thing. You can
      study and go to classes or seminars, but if you don't have that feeling in
      your gut and if you don't believe in what you're doing, you might as well
      just pack it in."


      MS: "If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do with it?"

      JC: "If I had the resources to do something, if somebody said the're going
      to support me, what I would love to is build a vegan community. Not a
      commune, or not even co-housing. But, just, you know, have a place where
      non-profits could call home, maybe own our own building instead of having
      to pay rent. Share like a little mini-Kinko's on the first floor, where we
      could share copying costs and make sure that everybody could afford to rent
      an office and hire people to help them do their projects.

      What I see, constantly, is under-capitalization of people who've got
      wonderful ideas. For every Ingrid Newkirk out there that actually brings
      her ideas to fruition - and I'm sure Ingrid would say that she certainly
      isn't done and has so much more to do - but she's obviously, PETA, has
      obviously been very successful. There are other groups who have been
      successful, but for every one there is, there's 10 or 20 groups that have
      just as smart people, just as invigorated, and worthy people running those
      groups, that just never get the funding or never get the ability to
      capitalize on what they could do.

      So I would love to see a communal building..... maybe even offices on the
      first floor and apartments on the upper floors... I mean, this is a pipe
      dream, but that's what you want, right?"

      MS: "Yup... then there's that vegan retirement home that some people dream

      JC: "That would be my second wish."

      MS: "...for worn-out editors!"

      JC: "(laughing) ...and you know, that said, there's a lot of interest and
      talk in doing very similiar to that. Pooling our resources... so that we
      can actually pay rent to ourselves, instead of to some landlord who doesn't
      care about vegetarianism. Which is not the case in my situation, by the
      way. We have a very wonderful vegetarian landlord."

      MS: "This gives me the idea of a vegetarian or vegan bank, just as
      Howard's grandfather... I think it was his grandfather... who set up a
      means to give loans out fellow farmers when the banks were being nasty."

      JC: "That's goes along exactly the same concept I'm talking about. Create
      a community that's self-supporting. Own the building rather instead of
      renting it from somebody else, make reasonable rents available. Things are
      just so expensive out here in San Francisco."


      MS: "Tell us about your non-profit organization."

      JC: "The umbrella organization of VegNews is the Vegan News Network,
      that's the actual entity that exists that I started. Actually I created
      that out of the group that I had formed back in New York and moved it here.
      My vision for VNN is to be able to support projects, the first project,
      obviously, and the most noticeable project is VegNews. We've been doing
      that now as you said for nearly three years.

      The second project of VNN is something called the Bay Area VegFair, which
      we've alluded to serveral times. That's coming up February 1st this year
      in Santa Clara, California, and Howard Lyman is the keynote speaker. You
      should come out for that.

      Now, it's important for us to have different projects, we've got many, many

      MS: "I was struck that VNN sounds a lot like CNN which raises an
      interesting issue."

      JC: "(laughs)... and we want Howard to say 'THIS is VNN.'"

      <snip..... 3 Year Anniversary of VegNews>

      MS: "Now, the VegFair... how many people did you have at your first
      VegFair last year?"

      JC: "We had over 4,000.... those are real numbers, we don't inflate our

      MS: "How many companies are involved?"

      JC: "We had about sixty vendors last year, this year we're going to have
      around 75 to 80."

      MS: "I guess there's not charge for this?"

      JC: "It's a free event, anyone came come. Check out: http://www.vegfair.org"

      MS: "Are there any special events this year?"

      JC: "Yeah, we have a three-ring circus, as I like to say. We've got the
      main Exhibitor Room, where people came come and sample vegetarian foods,
      they can pickup literature from their favorite non-profits, just about all
      the non-profits will be there, typical exhibitor hall-type things.

      The international dining cafe is going vegan, so we've turned a mainstream
      convention center "vegan for the day," serving hot vegan food."

      MC: "That's incredible. Who's the caterer?"

      JC: "It's 'Aramark' which is a major company that sub-contracts out
      concession stands to a lot of schools, cafeterias, and things like that...
      you know, ballparks. This is a major company and they're doing it on their
      own, with our guidance.

      The other two rings of the circus are, as I say, are... there's lectures
      going on all day long, and you can check out the website to see who's
      coming. We've got 10 different people, people such as Howard Lyman, John
      McDougall, Gene Bauston, Peter Burwash, Alka Chandna, Barbara Gates,
      Kerrie Saunders. There's a list of lectures on the website, everything you
      can possibly want to learn, you can learn.

      And then the third ring: the cooking demos. We've got four cooking demos
      going on during the day, everything from Raw Foods to decadent dairy-free

      MS: "Wow, I'm envious."

      JC: "Again, this is all free. We put this on. We're expecting between
      5,000 and 7,000 people."

      MS: "Incredible."

      JC: "It is incredible. Again, it's a testament that people believe in
      what we're doing and they support it. We've got nearly a hundred people
      volunteering alone. Which is just wonderful. We do this free for the
      public so they can come and sample what vegetarian is all about, and we get
      at least 50% non-vegetarians attending this event, which is the people we
      really need to reach."

      *03: Info: VegNews & VegFair
      "Vegnews is published monthly by the Vegan News Network. Subscriptions are
      $20/yr in the US, $30/yr in Canada, and $40/yr elsewhere. Vegnews accepts
      articles for publication."

      http://www.vegnews.com Email: editor@...

      VEGFAIR (February 01, 2003: Santa, Clara, CA - all day!
      http://www.vegfair.org/ Email: Info@...

      *04: Article: Teen Vegetarians

      "Remember the Simpsons episode when Lisa decides to go vegetarian after
      petting a baby lamb at the children's zoo? Sara Schwartzman does. That
      half-our of television sent the Weston 16-year-old down the road toward
      vegetarianism five years ago.

      Whether it's television, peer pressure, concern for animal rights or a way
      to distance themselves from their family, a growing number of teens and
      college students are following Lisa Simpson's lead and giving up meat. Two
      percent of adolescents age 13 to 17 -- more than 400,000 -- consumed no
      meat, fish nor fowl in 2000, up from 1.4 percent in 1995, the Vegetarian
      Resource Group, a Baltimore-based nonprofit, reports. Moreover, 11 percent
      of teen girls eschew beef.

      [Excerpted from:

      *05: That Simpsons Episode and Howard Lyman
      [The following was originally published in the MC Newsletter #4]


      Well, "driving force" I don't know, but I was probably the catalyst at the
      time that made it happen. I did a lecture at Cassandra Peterson's living
      room (she's better known as "Elvira"). One of her friends said to me
      afterwards: "My name is David Mirkin. I'm the executive producer of The
      Simpsons. If I put 40 writers in a room, would you talk to them?" I said
      sure. So he did, and we had a wonderful evening-I mean, some of the
      brightest minds you ever saw in your life. He then flew to England and got
      together with Paul and Linda McCartney, and they did the show on Lisa
      becoming a vegetarian. Many of the things that you see in that show, at
      least to me, are direct offshoots of what I had said in the lecture. David
      Mirkin, on the night I first met him at Elvira's, was a carnivore. Today he
      is my friend, and he is a vegan."

      [For the full interview:

      *06: Factoids: Health
      "The World Health Report 2002, attributes at least 2.7 million deaths
      globally per year to low fruit and vegetable intake. Evidence suggests that
      there is insufficient consumption of these foods in most countries of the
      world. As well as helping prevent chronic diseases, adequate fruit and
      vegetable intake also improves nutritional deficiencies and increases
      resistance to infectious diseases."

      http://www.who.int/whr/en/ ]

      "Chronic diseases now contribute 60 per cent of deaths and 49 per cent of
      the global disease burden. And already, 79 per cent of these diseases -
      which include cardiovascular diseases, stroke, type 2 diabetes, cancers and
      obesity - are occurring in developing countries. This is largely a result
      of a few major risk factors, including tobacco use and a significant change
      in diet habits and increased physical inactivity. Such changes are taking
      place in the context of increasing industrialization, urbanization,
      economic development and food market globalization."


      *07: History: The "Dissembly and Assembly" Lines
      "Philip Armour's packing house employed an efficient new killing and
      cutting line. Rather than have one man butcher one hog, each worker stood
      in one spot and completed one task. The animals, hanging from a line by
      their legs, would proceed from one workstation to the next, until every
      saleable piece was separated for the market.

      And every part of the animal was sold. Along with meat, Armour sold glue,
      oil, fertilizer, hairbrushes, buttons, oleomargarine, and drugs, all made
      from animal by-products. Low-grade meats were canned in products like pork
      and beans. Sausages incorporated rat droppings, dead rodents, or sawdust.
      Spoiled meat or meat mixed with waste materials was packed and sold.

      The slaughterhouses of Chicago became tourist attractions and made
      meatpackers like Armour and his competitor Gustavus Swift world famous.
      Henry Ford was inspired by the "disassembly line" to created his Model T's
      on an assembly line."

      [Armour's "pork producing company" was the first global corporation. For
      the full and fascinating article and transcripts about the "Chicago" PBS
      series, when the series has finished its airing:

      *08: Game: Steer Madness!
      Official Press Release from Veggie Games

      Vancouver, BC, Canada - Veggie Games (http://www.veggiegames.com) announced
      today the development of their first vegetarian/environmental themed video
      game project. The game, titled "Steer Madness", is a 3D action-adventure
      game where the player embarks on a world-changing adventure in an open city
      environment as a steer who has barely escaped the slaughterhouse. "

      [Excerpted from:

      [Some of the game's screen snapshots:

      *09: Article: More Mad Cow Disease
      Wednesday January 22, 11:48 pm ET By Aya Takada

      TOKYO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Japan announced on Thursday the discovery of
      another case of mad cow disease, the second in less than a week and the
      seventh since the brain-wasting disease was discovered in the country in
      September 2001. BSE has been linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease,
      which has killed about 130 people in Europe but none in Japan. Cattle are
      widely believed to get BSE by eating contaminated meat and bone meal, or
      crushed animal carcasses.

      [Excerpted from:

      *10: Advice: Be a More Involved Citizen in 2003
      NOW (PBS) : New Year's Resolutions 2003

      Resolve to be a More Involved Citizen in 2003

      1. Place the Web sites of your representatives in government in the
      "favorites" file on your computer and their e-mails in your address book
      and share your views regularly.

      2. Ask your favorite charities to inform you of what legislation is coming
      up in the new Congress that would affect their mission.

      3. Recruit a few friends to join you in attending the local school board or
      town council meetings.

      4. Ask a "watch-dog" group in your community to alert you to decisions
      coming up before the local school board, town council, environmental
      agency, etc.

      5. Volunteer as an after-school tutor or for your favorite charity.

      6. Write an op-ed piece or send a letter to the editor of your local paper.

      7. Read the national section of your newspaper every day.

      8. Serve on a jury if you're asked.

      9. Donate books to your local library or clothes to a local community

      10. Check the voting records of your members of congress. (There are a
      number of Web sites that make this easy including Voter Information Services

      [The list with links:

      *11: MeatOut 2003

      - Time to visit our updated web site at: http://www.meatout.org
      - Time to start planning your Meatout 2003 activities.
      - Time to promote healthy and compassion eating.

      Meatout is your best, once-a-year opportunity to tell your friends and
      neighbors about the health, environmental, and ethical benefits of
      plant-based eating, as well as help them "kick the meat habit and explore a
      more wholesome, less violent diet of fruits, vegetables, and grains."

      Join thousands of caring people in all 50 states and around the world on
      March 20 by hosting a Meatout event in your area. Participating is easy,
      no matter what the size of your event. We want you to join us. We are
      here to help you. Join us at and be part of the solution! The animals need
      ALL of us working for them!


      *12: Donations to the Mad Cowboy Documentary
      *Both Mooshoes and VeganCats will donate 5% of sales accessed through the
      MadCowboy Home Page to the filming of the Mad Cowboy Feature Documentary.
      Check 'em out! Mooshoes sells much more than shoes, and VeganCats sells
      cruelty-free products for cats AND dogs!

      *13: Howard's Schedule
      FEB 01: Santa Clara, CA < ALL DAY: Veg News VEGFAIR *
      http://www.vegfair.org/ -- Info@...

      FEB 02: Altadena, CA < 3pm - Seventh Day Adventist Church. Info:

      FEB 04: Inglewood, CA < 7:30pm - Spirit of Life (Adventist) Congregation.
      Info: marr@...

      FEB 20: Portland, OR < WHOLE HEALTH 2003 - Vegan Banquet and Health
      Conference. Portland Conference Center. http://www.veganbanquet.com

      FEB 25: DePaul University

      FEB 27: Illinois < 3ABN Studios - 2 hour LIVE broadcast

      MARCH 2003 MAR 01: St. Louis, Missouri < 7:30 pm - "Reforming a Mad Cowboy,
      One Bite At A Time"

      MAR 15: Phoenix, AR < SDA church

      MAR 21-22: Minnesota

      [Full schedule details/contact info:

      *14: Answer to Last Issue's Question
      Also, the answer to the question: what are the names of the two guys who
      said the following? [Hint: both their last names start with the same
      letter and have the same number of letters...]

      "Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end
      of it, and others do just the same with their time"


      "Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in

      ANSWER: Goethe and Gandhi

      *15: Next Issue
      The full interview with VedNews editor, Joe Connelly, the promised next
      batch of pictures of the filming of the Mad Cowboy Feature Documentary, a
      special memorial tribute written by Howard, a big whopping batch of freshly
      cooked factoids, and a few surprises!

      ...and who said the following:

      "It is well that war is so terrible --- lest we should grow too fond of it."

      [Hint: he was a general]

      *16: Closing Thought(s)

      "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't
      believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the
      people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they
      can't find them, make them. "
      --George Bernard Shaw ("Mrs. Warren's Profession" (1893) act II)

      "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people
      always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can
      become great."
      -- Mark Twain (unverified)

      "Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.."
      -- Albert Schweitzer (unverified)

      "Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies."
      -- Thomas Jefferson (unverified)

      "There is a sweeter and deeper American dream than the one I turned down.
      It is the dream of a success in which all beings share because it is
      founded on a reverence for life. A dream of a society at peace with its
      conscience because it respects andlives in harmony with all life forms. A
      dream of a people living in accord with the laws of Creation, cherishing
      and caring for the natural environment, conserving nature instead of
      destroying it. A dream of a society that is truly healthy, practicing a
      wise and compassionate stewardship of a balanced ecosystem."
      -- John Robbins ("Diet for a New America", p. xiii)

      [on social change, historical need for communication amongst members of a
      movement and VegNews' unique role]:

      "Gandhi said that 'without a paper, you cannot be a united community.'
      Direct quote from Gandhi who should know about community, and we printed
      that quote in our very first edition."
      --Joe Connelly, 01/22/03

      Mark Sutton, Webmaster@... http://www.madcowboy.com
      To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to: Mad_Cowboy-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
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