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My Lack of Courage

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  • cohensmilk1
    My Lack of Courage After reading today s Notmilk letter, you might be motivated to send an email to a Chicago Tribune reporter who wrote the story of a vegan
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 12, 2007
      My Lack of Courage

      After reading today's Notmilk letter, you might be
      motivated to send an email to a Chicago Tribune
      reporter who wrote the story of a vegan teacher who
      no longer teaches Chicago kids about milk's dangers.

      jjlong@ tribune.com

      You might also consider sending an email to today's
      hero, a teacher by the name of Dave Warwak. Somebody
      should make a movie about this man's exploits. I see
      Robin Williams playing the feature role. Dave's email:

      dave@ inslide.com

      In past years, I have had the courage to walk into a
      dairy class at Penn State university, facing two hundred
      very angry sons and daughters of dairy farmers. Two
      of them filed bogus charges against me with authorities.
      One with the Penn State police, and one with the
      United States Department of Agriculture anti-terrorism
      squad who later showed up at my front door.

      In past years, I have taken on Monsanto and gone to federal
      court against The Company and their team of legal reps,
      King & Spalding. In past years I have appeared on national
      television and pointed my finger at USDA undersecretaries,
      accusing them of conflicts of interests by working for the
      dairy industry. I have accused congressmen and senators of
      taking bribes. I have taken on two presidents, one of whom
      enacted legislation (the Economic Espionage Act) directly
      against me while I was in federal court seeking to get
      Monsanto's smoking gun research (the Richard, Odaglia, &
      Deslex study) legally released.

      I have had dead animals accompanied by out of state
      milk cartons thrown onto my lawn. The FBI has arrested
      two people who made threats against me. One possessed
      plastique explosives.

      I have not feared many things, but there is one thing
      above all which terrifies me, and I will forever avoid.

      Local school systems.

      Every mother has an agenda. Do I dare take on dairy in the
      schools? No way! Been there, done that. One cannot beat
      city hall or a local school system.

      Not only do I fear local moms, but those spineless eunuchs
      lacking principles, called principals.

      Which brings me to this week's Chicago Tribune story.

      Vegan Teacher May Lose His Job
      By Jeff Long and Carolyn Starks, September 7, 2007

      Dave Warwak has taught art at Fox River Grove Middle School
      for eight years, and for most of that time, he was happy to
      eat meatloaf, hot dogs or whatever else the cafeteria workers
      dished out.

      But in January he became a vegan and started spreading the
      word about the benefits of a meatless diet to students at the
      McHenry County school. He even built an exhibit out of candy
      that depicted animals in cages and as road kill.

      On Thursday, Warwak said his crusade might cost him his job.
      He said he was told to stay away from class this week by
      administrators he described as "ardent meat-eaters."

      Warwak, of Williams Bay, Wis., near Lake Geneva, said he is
      scheduled to meet with Fox River Grove District 3 officials
      Monday about the discussions he's had in class about
      vegetarianism, which excludes meats, and veganism, which
      excludes meats and other animal products such as milk. Officials
      asked him to leave the school Tuesday because he refused to stop
      talking about the harms humans cause animals, he said.

      Principal Tim Mahaffy declined to comment Thursday, calling the
      dispute a personnel issue. He would not discuss issues raised
      by Warwak or verify the teacher's version of events.

      The candy display came down after three days, when Mahaffy
      decided it was too much of a "PETA advertisement," Warwak
      said. The battle over diet lessons resumed this week after
      Warwak distributed the book "The Food Revolution" to his
      8th-grade students and talked to his classes about vegetarianism.

      "It's probably one of the most life-changing books a person can
      read," Warwak said of the book, written by John Robbins and
      subtitled, "How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and the World."

      "It's about how we're destroying the planet with pollution from
      factory farming," Warwak said. "It's about health. It's about
      living longer."

      Neither the American Civil Liberties Union nor the Illinois
      Education Association had an opinion on the case, but Warwak
      drew support from animal rights advocates.

      "We believe that in a time when there's so much violence,
      especially in schools, that teachers who show kindness and
      compassion for all life should be commended," said Nathan
      Runkle, executive director of the Chicago-based Mercy for
      Animals advocacy group, which lobbies against factory farms.

      "It's appropriate for students to learn about the horrendous
      cruelty that animals endure on factory farms, and about the
      benefits of a healthy diet."

      Runkle said his group plans to write a letter to the school
      in support of Warwak.

      People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, is
      giving Warwak its "Compassionate Educator" award, vice president
      Bruce Friedrich said. The group is also sending the school a
      letter in support of the teacher.

      Warwak, meanwhile, sees no problem discussing the topic he cares
      about passionately during art classes.

      "It's art in every way," he said. "Art is something different
      for everyone...Art is like philosophy."

      District 3 Supt. Jacqueline Krause was out of the office
      Thursday and unavailable for comment. Warwak, who said he
      makes $55,000 per year, said he feels a responsibility to
      warn his students about the dangers of what he calls an
      unhealthy diet and to open their minds to new ideas.

      "I'm telling kids, 'Don't believe everything you see and
      everything you read,'" he said. "I'm trying to get them
      curious enough to check things out for themselves."

      I lack the courage to do what this teacher has done. I
      will never again try to take on my local school system.
      My children went through years of ridicule and tireless
      Gotmilk jokes after my first (successful) attempt to
      change the milk from GMO to organic in 1994. I have
      learned my lesson.

      Your letter of support can be forwarded to Jeff Long,
      the reporter.

      jjlong@ tribune.com

      and to Dave:

      dave@ inslide.com

      Dave's very cool website:


      Robert Cohen
      i4crob@ earthlink.net
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