All the News That's Fit to Print
Below, you'll find all the recent news that's fit to print, except for news relating to the kosher meat industry. I'll save that for another post in the coming days.
At the Center of the Mulesing Debate: Circumcision
PETA's Matt Prescott has frequently criticized the Australian wool industry's practice of mulesing (i.e., cutting dinner-plate–sized chunks of skin and flesh off sheep without any painkillers). Earlier this month, an Aussie senator suggested that mulesing without painkillers was not any worse than circumcising humans and said, "I'll bet [Prescott has] been circumcised. I hope he has. I'll be putting that to him." A newspaper article noted, "Given that Matt Prescott is Jewish, it is a fair bet he has endured the snip."
Prescott replied, "You were right: I have indeed been circumcised. Fortunately, my parents didn’t perform the cut in a field with a pair of garden shears, and they didn’t remove my flesh because of a financial interest. No such luck for lambs. As sheep claim no religion as far as we know, farmers could avoid mulesing altogether by breeding bare-breech sheep, who don’t need to be mulesed."
More on Dr. Daniel Kliman's Death
On December 3, I wrote about the passing of Jewish vegetarian activist Dr. Daniel Kliman. Click here to view an hour-plus memorial service at Kliman's shul in California. At the service, Akiva Tor (Consulate General for the State of Israel) said, “So many people have to live with contradictions in their lives—to be gay, to be Orthodox, to be vegetarian, to be pro-Israel. … People often deal with the contradictions in their lives by turning away from them, not confronting them, going to paths of least resistance. I think Dan was absolutely nothing like that. He was able to pursue every one of those paths with total integrity—and not to worry about what Rabbi [Judah] Dardik called the frictions between them. And that’s something that we need to learn from.”
On a related note, Zomblog linked to my post, calling it "a very informative post about Dan’s deeply moral insights about the ethics of being an observant Jew who ... also cares about animal rights." Oy Bay! quoted from my post, and Begano reposted it in Spanish.
The Hurricane Bear Strikes Again
Jacob "Hurricane Bear" Calle might be heebnvegan's most prominently featured non-Jew of 2008. (Click here to read a September blurb about Calle's adventures in a bear costume during Hurricane Ike.)
A new video is out showing the Hurricane Bear's latest antics. Today, The Galveston County Daily News noted, "Calle’s stunt became an online sensation and he was featured on TV broadcasts across the world including bits on CNN, Fox News, the BBC and even Al-Jazeera. The antics were even featured on VH1’s Best Week Ever and was just recently voted to be featured on the music network’s Best Year Ever show."
Teruah gave a shoutout to heebnvegan in a recent discussion about Judaism, culture, and food.
The Jewish music blog recently started a podcast. The debut episode focuses on Hanukkah songs; click here to listen to it.
This year's Hazon Food Conference is underway, and the question "Is Ethical Eating Impossible?" has already been posed. There's no shechita demo at this year's conference, but the slaughter of turkeys for the conference did generate some discussion in the comment section on The Jew & The Carrot.
The Jew & The Carrot is looking for a variety of new personnel. Click here to learn more about the open positions. This could be a great opportunity for a vegetarian or vegan to contribute to the great Jewish food debate.
Horse-Drawn Carriages in Tel Aviv
On December 12, Haaretz ran an article about the movement to ban horse-pulled carts in Tel Aviv. "In Israel, more than any other country, there's no place for horses and donkeys in city traffic," said CHAI's Nina Natelson.