"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


Battle Against HLS Reaches Israel

Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS) has become a main target of the animal rights movement--and for good reason. Now the battle against HLS has reached Israeli shores.

Abuses uncovered at HLS should appall any decent person, no matter where he or she stands on animal experimentation. HLS has been caught cutting open a monkey for a necropsy while the animal was still alive, verbally lambasting animals, punching beagles and shaking them around by their heads, and myriad horrors as part of procedures conducted in the name of science. See the undercover video footage for yourself.

The campaign against HLS has systematically approached companies affiliated with HLS: If they back out of business relationships with HLS, it makes it rather difficult for HLS to continue operating normally. This strategy has led many companies to stop doing business with HLS and has even caused HLS to plummet in the last year from being 45 minutes away from being listed on the New York Stock Exchange to trading only in the obscure "Grey Markets."

The Israeli protest took place outside the headquarters of Teva, a pharmaceutical company with ties to HLS. The demo garnered an article in Ha'aretz, which noted: "What do the test animals face? Starvation, electrification, burns, poisoning, heat and cold, deliberate infection with diseases, mutilation, and surgery without anesthetic. That is far from an exhaustive list."


heebnvegan's One-Year Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year and more than 4,000 page visits since I started heebnvegan. I’m quite proud of what I’ve done with this blog in the last year, even if the frequency of my posts varies greatly. Here’s a look back at some of the highlights from the first year:

* I’ve had articles and letters to the editor published promoting heebnvegan in my tagline, and I’ve used my blog as a "credential" to help me give a couple of talks about vegetarianism in the Jewish tradition in my local community
* I’ve explored various aspects of the kosher meat industry, in conjunction with researching and writing an upcoming feature article about kosher meat
* My blog has been featured on RadicalTorah.org, linked from various blogs, and mentioned during a sermon given by my rabbi
* I’ve tried to promote the glory of air guitar, somehow slipping it in when my blog focuses on animal rights and Judaism
* I’ve blogged about various Jewish holidays, including my favorite, Tu B’Shvat
* My favorite three posts: Private vs. Public Judaism, Vegan Jews Against Genocide, and Vegetarian Seders From Across the U.S. They’re three very different types of entries, but I’d love to write more posts like them.

We’ll see what the next year holds in store. Maybe I’ll start posting more than I have been in the last few months. Thank you so much to all of you who read this blog. I greatly appreciate all your feedback on the comments pages and via personal e-mail.


Air Guitar Update

I haven't posted much in the last few months, and some of you are surely wondering what has become of my air guitar career. I retired shortly after my defeat in the Asheville, N.C., regional, but I came out of retirement within a couple of weeks. (I've since retired again, but I plan to come out of retirement again in time for the 2007 air guitar season.)

In June, I competed in a local competition under the stage name CroBar. I dominated the competition, being called the "Michael Jordan of Air Guitar" by the emcee. In the finals at the end of the month, I had about 20 screaming, sign-wielding CroBar fans at the venue to cheer me on as I performed two System of a Down songs. At the end of the night, however, I took second place and did not win the $500 and VIP tickets to Ozzfest.

This week, legendary air guitarist Dan "Bjorn Turoque" Crane released his air guitar memoirs, To Air Is Human: One Man's Quest to Become the World's Greatest Air Guitarist. This is literature at its finest, and I highly recommend that you buy a copy. Be sure to check out Mr. Turoque's critique of my 2005 New York City performance ("Maybe 'Go-Veg.com of Steel' started things off on a bad note when he tried to use the event to push his vegan anti-meat agenda") on page 241 and my fanmail (in the "E-Mails from Deranged Air Guitarists" appendix) on page 302.

Finally, I'd like to clarify that CroBar will not be performing at the 2006 Oyhoo Festival (aka the New York Jewish Music & Heritage Festival and Sidney Krum Conference). "Crobar" is listed on the schedule of events for September 16, but a festival representative responded to my e-mail of concern and clarified the matter: "The venue is Crobar, located on 28th Street, where one of our shows will be taking place. Will look at the language used. Thanks for pointing it Mr. Crobar." Perhaps next year the Oyhoo Festival will allow one of the world's leading Jewish air guitarists to perform.