Sep 21, 2007
||Illinois, United States|
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.
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:
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
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
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
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,
and to Dave:
Dave's very cool website:
Sep 21, 2007 1:24pm
Aug 10, 2007
Bush Fulfills His Grandfather's Dream
By David Swanson
Authors Website: http://www.davidswanson.org
Authors Bio: DAVID SWANSON is a co-founder of After Downing Street, a writer and activist, and the Washington Director of Democrats.com. He is a board member of Progressive Democrats of America, and serves on the Executive Council of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild, TNG-CWA. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and as a communications director, with jobs including Press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich's 2004 presidential campaign, Media Coordinator for the International Labor Communications Association, and three years as Communications Coordinator for ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Swanson obtained a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Virginia in 1997.
Nov 29, 2006
| Gloria Stamat
For 25 years, nobody ate more meat than Gary Yourofsky. He wore leather shoes and even owned a goat fur coat.
But now, at age 36, Yourofsky is a vegan activist. He neither eats nor wears anything that once had a face, a mother or a bowel movement.
Yourofsky is the founder of the Royal Oak-based animal rights organization, ADAPTT (Animals Deserve Absolute Protection Today and Tomorrow). Lean, toned, and just a little bald, he delivers his litany to college classrooms around the country. Since ADAPTT’s 1996 inception, Yourofsky has given nearly 1,000 lectures — and on Nov. 14, he spoke at Wayne State University.
Yourofsky shows footage he took himself showing the gruesome inside of slaughterhouses. Cows are chopped up and baby chicks run through grinders. He uses “Even God Must Get the Blues” by Jo Dee Messina as background music, and as the line, “Rain falls down from heaven” plays, a goat’s blood sprays from its wounded neck on to the ground.
As people turned away from the footage, Yourofsky said, “If it’s not good enough for your eyes, then why your stomach?”
Yourofsky’s path to veganism began in his early 20s when he went behind the scenes at the Shrine Circus, where his stepfather is a clown. He saw three elephants chained to the floor, swaying neurotically from their imprisonment. He looked around and saw bears in yellow tutus and tights and other unnatural sights.
He said to his friend, “Let’s get the hell outta here.” Over the next few years he switched to a vegan lifestyle.
As a vegan, he is opposed to speciesism, which holds that humans have a right to do whatever they want to animals — whether to be eaten, or experimented on, or treated poorly. Yourofsky feels that animals have the right to live free; human enslavement of lower creatures, he said, is a form of social injustice.
On April 31, 1997, Yourofsky, with members of the Animal Liberation Front, released 1,542 minks from Ebert’s Fur Farm in Blenheim, Ontario. He spent 77 days in a Canadian prison for his efforts.
His contention is, why is it illegal to free tortured and enslaved animals, but legal to harvest animals for slaughter in the first place? Which is the greater crime? In Yourofsky’s mind, there is no question about this. Fighting for animal rights allows him to be able to look at himself in the mirror every day.
As for those who love a tasty piece of meat and are hooked, Yourofsky once loved meat as well. He thinks it is a murderous addiction, one based on cruelty for wanting a piece of flesh.
“But, sadly, heroin, cocaine and alcohol ain’t got shit on meat, cheese, milk and eggs,” said Yourofsky.
According to Yourofsky, 98-99 percent of all animal abuse occurs in the meat, dairy and egg industry. Also, it is an industry that uses up 70 percent of the U.S.’s crops that could be used to feed humans. Meat and dairy are subsidized by the government. Water is free to farmers, and cattle are allowed to graze on public land. It is about supply and demand. If people stop wanting these products, the cruelty would stop, too.
Yourofsky went on to say that humans find difficulty in digesting meat, and that it makes the blood acidic. To combat this, calcium is leached out of bones to correct the pH. Furthermore, many people are lactose intolerant. These are more reasons to veg it, and go whole grain, legumes, tofu and soy.
“How is soy gross? Blood, flesh, veins, muscles and tendons are gross,” said Yourofsky.
Yet at the heart of his argument, Yourofsky feels animals should be treated by the golden rule. Animals should be treated as humans are treated. He quoted clergyman William Inge as saying, “If animals formed a religion, humans would be depicted as the devil.”
Yourofsky sees hatred from every corner of society. This is his way to lift up those he sees as oppressed.
Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of Care2.com or its affiliates.
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