heebnvegan readers may recall that Jewish vegetarian activist Dr. Daniel Kliman passed away last year and was apparently found dead in an elevator shaft. (Click here to read my obituary post.) According to J., Kliman's mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit earlier this month seeking "damages from the building owner, manager and elevator company."
I never met Kliman, but our correspondence and his e-mails to VeggieJews continue to play a major role in how I view "the contradictions in [people's] lives" and strive to "to pursue every one of those paths with total integrity," as one person eulogized about Kliman at his funeral. This is evident in my "The Use of Animal Products in Jewish Ritual Objects" speech, which I posted on heebnvegan on Sunday. If you read that speech as well as the obituary and eulogy posts I just linked to, it's obvious how Kliman's example continues to inspire and guide me.
Natalie Portman and Brothers
Natalie Portman's new film, Brothers, came out earlier this month. In 2008, I noted that Portman had gone vegan while making the movie with vegan co-star Tobey Maguire. My best guess is that it didn't last because, more recently, she credited Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals with getting her to go vegan.
Nevertheless, earlier this month, The PETA Files noted that Maguire brought his own vegan chef to the set and made it easy for Portman to eat vegan food there. PETA's blog quoted Portman as saying, "I was like, 'Um, could you make two of those?' And I'd make a cute face, and they'd roll their eyes and give me another falafel." As much as I'm trying to cut back on fried food, I must say that it appears Portman and I share a fondness for falafel.
Monkey Breeding and Anti-Semitism in Puerto Rico
Earlier this month YNet reported, "Anti-Semitism has been injected into a public debate over a proposed monkey-breeding facility in Puerto Rico, with some opponents accusing 'Jewish economic interests' of attempting to destroy the island’s environment, the Anti-Defamation League said last week." I have concerns about the facility, but it's unfortunate that anti-Semitism has become part of this debate. An alert on PETA's Web site explains:
PETA is joining animal protection groups around the world in opposing the construction of a monkey-breeding facility in Puerto Rico. Bioculture, a company that sells primates to laboratories, reportedly wants to capture monkeys from their natural homes in Mauritius, imprison them in Puerto Rico, and sell their babies for use in experiments.
The U.S., which uses more monkeys for research than any other nation, imprisons tens of thousands of imported monkeys in laboratories, where they lead lives of deprivation, loneliness, pain, and misery.
- "The First Six Months of Tav HaYosher" (The Jew & The Carrot, Dec. 17)
- "Yidcore Does Adam Sandler's Chanukah Song" (Teruah, Dec. 13)
- "Let the Vegan Latkes Roll In This Hanukkah" (Examiner.com, Dec. 11)
- "A Chat With Frank Bruni and Jonathan Safran Foer" (Serious Eats: New York, Dec. 8)
- "Ag Professor: Animal Rights Advocates Using Religion" (Journal Star, Dec. 1)
- "Salon: The End of American Foie Gras and Unintended Consequences" (Fork in the Road, Nov. 30)
- "Empire's Kosher Beef Production Shut Down by Court Order" (Failed Messiah, Nov. 12)
- "Battle of the Milk Alternatives" (The Jew & The Carrot, Nov. 11)