Through the Grapevine

"Why I'm a Vegetarian" Poster & Poetry Contest

An idea from the Winnipeg Vegetarian Society {} TVS is sponsoring a contest to encourage vegetarian children to share their reasons for being a vegetarian. We are soliciting posters and poetry that describe your feelings about vegetarianism. We will award prizes for children under 6, 7-12, and 13-17. Please contact Dilip if you would like to make an entry.

Explore Us Children's Museum to Open in 1998

I hope that many of you with young children will be able to come to our March 7th event at Playspace. I understand that construction is underway for opening in summer or fall of 1998 of a new children's museum (it was originally called Children's Museum About the World) near the original Playspace location, about a block from downtown Raleigh's City Market at Hargett and Blount Streets. This will be oriented toward older children and will focus on social issues with a multicultural view.

TVS History

I was delighted to receive email from Steve Urow ( out-of-the-blue. He and Gail Heebner started TVS about 11 years ago at some sort of sell-out dinner party (his recollection of having to turn people away at the door reminded me of our first restaurant Thanksgiving feast at Govinda's 3 years ago!). We may have an article in an upcoming newsletter reviewing TVS history; if you have pre-1992 memories, please let me know. Steve is currently involved with the Pure Food Campaign working to get genetically engineered food labeled, and invites people to take a look at Look for an upcoming Grapevine article about his efforts.

School Lunch Liaison - Volunteers?

According to the spring 1997 issue of the Physician Committee for Responsible Medicine's Good Medicine, during the last presidential campaign, the Clinton administration bought $60 million of dead cows and "dumped [them] ... into the school lunch program". Later, the department of agriculture responded to pressure from 17 dairy state senators and bought more than 12.3 million pounds of dairy products for school lunches. Should our children be fed school meals based on politics or good health? Would any of you like to be the school lunch liaison and work with area schools to understand their programs, provide input, and act as a conduit for educational materials from organizations like ours, PCRM, and others? This has been successfully done in at least one vegetarian society. Please contact Dilip if you would like to help.

Festival/Outreach Coordinators?

Would any TVS members like to work as festival and/or outreach coordinator? It would be nice if TVS could have a presence at the major festivals that we have (e.g., Eno River Festival, Artsplosure, Centerfest, Apple Chill) and if we had somebody who could coordinate tabling at outreach events. This would be a fun job - contact Dilip if you are interested.

Pet Sitting

Our new web page designer, Sarah Hoff, has offered to be a clearinghouse for pet sitting. If you are available to take care of companion animals or need somebody's help while you're on a trip, contact Sarah (}.

Duke and UNC Contacts

Those of you who are Duke students may be interested in the Duke Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (our own Rondi Elliott is the staff sponsor). For more information, contact their president, Ann Williams, at 613-1922 or See the calendar section for information on a pizza party we're having with them on January 31. At UNC, Nataki Kambon is trying to establish a campus vegetarian society and welcomes fellow UNC vegetarians to contact her at 914-7204 or (If anybody has contacts TVS should publish about other campus organizations, please let Dilip know.)

Cruelty-Free Value Fund

Though I invest in the stock market, I don't want to put money into companies that I don't believe in. That is why I invest directly in companies and not mutual funds. I was delighted earlier this year to discover a new Cruelty Free Value Fund that invests only in companies that don't test on animals, sponsor the use of animals as entertainment, slaughter animals, or other measures, primarily as endorsed by organizations such as PETA, National Anti-Vivisection Society, and American Anti-Vivisection Society. They have also established and will help fund a foundation to help end needless suffering of animals. For information, contact Beacon Global Advisors at (800)662-9992.

North Korea Famine Relief Fund

My friend Dennis Bayomi, President of the Winnipeg Vegetarian Association (Box 2721, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 4B3, (204)889-5789,,, started raising money during World Vegetarian Awareness Month (October) for the North Korea Famine Relief. His vegetarian group hopes to raise $10,000 in Manitoba and $100,000 across Canada to send aid to North Korea via the Red Cross and Canadian Foodgrains Bank. Please send any contributions directly to him or to TVS (we'll deposit all checks and forward the total to WVA) with "North Korea Famine Relief" in the memo field.

Vegetarian Gothic T-Shirts Available for $10

As we reported in the last issue, the Nebraska Vegetarian Society has created a fun T-shirt called "American Gothic" with a farmer cucumber and "farmeress" carrot. It has nice colors (green, orange, yellow, brown, blue, and white), and says "American Gothic". If you want to see a sample that our friends in Nebraska sent me or to order a shirt (M, L, XL, or XXL sizes) for $10, please contact Dilip. We need a group order of at least 12.

Great New Vegan Products!

In the last few months, TVS has received a number of products that we've distributed as samples. All of them have been great and I encourage you to order them!

This summer we distributed at a potluck some cookies by NO Bakery (no preservatives, animal products, etc.; 800-830-5373) that everybody loved; I especially liked the peanut butter and oatmeal varieties. At the Compassionate Living Festival and the Blessing of the Animals, we gave out just about the best chocolate I've ever had and some excellent Indian snack food. Chocolate Decadence (800-324-5018) may be the only pure 100% vegan chocolate company and has dark chocolate plain (yum!), w/ pretzels, w/ nuts (my favorite!), and w/ fruit. I don't usually like convenient Indian products, but Tamarind Tree (800-HFC-TREE) has really good vacuum packed shelf-stable Indian dinners that I keep on hand, and I was delighted to give away samples of their new papadum ready-to-eat snacks.

Spiritual Vegetarian Book for Sale I have received a shipment on consignment of a hardcover book, "Reflections" by Akbarali Jetha. It consists of simple and inspiring aphorisms about nonviolence, compassion, and vegetarianism. Three short ones follow this description. If any of you want to buy this 200-page book (which I think is only published in India) for $14, please let Dilip know. {VASU - consider some sort of formatting for these quotes. Thanks.} II.44: "We have built / slaughter houses for animals / and hospitals for ourselves." I.72: "Not a single war has been fought / by vegetarians." II.98: "Those who have material possessions - / must look after them."

Book about "Vegetarians Who Return to Meat"

I just received a review copy and spoke with the author of a book, To Eat Flesh They are Willing / Are Their Spirits Weak? : Vegetarians Who Return to Meat (Pythagorean Publishers, 1996) that presents the views of vegetarians who, for some reason, have chosen to become ex-vegetarians. It promises to be very interesting reading, especially with the author's vegan philosophy and outlook interpreting her interviews. If you want to order a copy of this book directly from the author, I have arranged a {bold}special deal{/bold} for a signed first edition for $20 (postpaid) from Dr. Kristin Aronson, 19 Murray St, New Britain, CT 06057. Watch for a review in the next Grapevine. {w: 837-8784, H:224-9550 -- 19 Murray St, New Britain 06057; she called me 10/14/97 and is enthusiastic to have her book reviewed; Western CT State Univ., Dept. of Philosophy & Humanistic Studies, 181 White St., Danbury, CT 06810.}

Important New Book, Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating

... by Erik Marcus (McBooks Press, 1997) is the first major book since John Robbins' 1987 Diet for a New America that comprehensively discusses vegetarianism from the perspectives of health, environment, and ethics. It includes chapters on the Cornell-Oxford-Beijing China Health Project, "Mad Cow" disease, Dean Ornish's work in heart disease reversal, and Farm Sanctuary. For more information, visit web page I met Erik in October and we hope to host him for a visit in the spring or summer of 1998.

Book Discussion Group?

Would anybody like to review the book Deadly Feasts: Tracking the Secrets of a Terrifying New Plague by Richard Rhodes? It traces the history of "Mad Cow" (Creutzfeldt-Jakob) Disease starting with a New Guinea cannibal feast in the 1950s.

Do we have interest in a book discussion group, like some other vegetarian societies (and certainly other organizations) have? If somebody wants to lead it, that group could meet monthly or every other month. Members could read and discuss books of interest on topics such as "Mad Cow" disease, nutrition, animal rights, living simply, or many others. Please contact Dilip if you're interested.

Congratulations to 70-year-old VSDC!

Suzanne Holden and I attended VegFest in Washington, D.C. on October 18th to help celebrate the Vegetarian Society of Washington D.C.'s 70th anniversary. VSDC is North America's oldest vegetarian society. Our congratulations to VSDC, led by its president and my friend, Saurabh Dalal!

Vegans in Space

NASA is looking toward a possible peopled Mars expedition in the next 10 to 15 years. The journey would probably take 3 years round-trip. Apparently, NASA has come to the conclusion that the crew would probably eat a vegan diet. Sometimes on Earth, especially in a wasteful society, we don't realize the true toll on the environment some lifestyles and habits take. But on such a mission in space where energy must be conserved, it is no wonder that energy-efficient veganism would be chosen out of necessity.

Vegetarian Standards

In the last issue, I asked in my letter from the editor if anybody knew about efforts to label food as vegetarian. Well, there is a group called Vegan Standards and Certification Project, Inc. (91 Joralemon Street, Suite 4, Brooklyn, NY 11201, (718)246-0014,, which is working on this very issue! Contact them for any questions or to support their work.

AAA Listing of Vegetarian Restaurants

According to New Age Journal (April 1997), the American Automobile Association has started a "vegetarian" category for restaurants in its 1997 guidebooks. {small}(Thanks to the Veg. Soc. of Winston-Salem for pointing this out.){/small} {The Very Vegetarian, Oct-Dec 1997}

NC Regional Mailing List on Internet

There is a North Carolina vegetarian mailing list that Russ Palmeri from Goldsboro and I administer. If you sign up, you will get periodic email messages (roughly once every 10 days or so) about issues of interest to vegetarians in the state. To do so, visit or send email to with the following (omitting quotes) in the body of the message body: "subscribe veg-nc-digest". The web site lists other mailing lists that you can sign up for - e.g., VEG-CT, VEG-HI, and VEG-Sweden.

World Guide to Vegetarianism

On the topic of the internet, a bookmark no travelling vegetarian should be without is the World Guide at You can find restaurants, local vegetarian organizations, and more for areas you are travelling to. You can find this and many other vegetarian sites linked from Dilip's Vegetarian Page at

If Tobacco, Why Not Milk? According to the Milwaukee Area Resources for Vegetarianism, Norman Mayo of Washington, D.C. "is suing the dairy industry on the grounds that a lifetime of drinking whole milk contributed to his clogged arteries and a minor stroke" (MARVelous Times, v3#10, Oct. 1997).

Bone China

It's amazing where hidden animal ingredients lurk. (Check out for other "stumbling blocks".) I love entertaining and am looking to buy a good set of fine china. I had my heart set on a lovely pattern, Old Country Rose, but decided to investigate what "bone china" means. It turns out that it is a product of a technique perfected in England to add bone ash of animals to pottery, resulting in delicate-looking but very strong china. I can't resolve myself to serving vegetarian food on plates full of cow and/or ox bones. I have heard that some companies are making bone china from synthetic ash, but one call to Royal Dalton, the manufacturer of the pattern I adore -- nothing compares to the gilt edges and the abundant roses! -- clearly confirmed that they do use animal bones.

Soy Crayons?

Be ware that some crayons may be made with tallow (animal fat) or other animal products. Crayola crayons, for example, are made primarily from paraffin wax, stearic acid (which usually, but not necessarily, comes from tallow), and color pigment. From an email from Crayola (, "Stearic acid is purchased from outside vendors and is derived from plant, animal and mineral sources, or a combination of all three."

However, I have heard that a new kind of crayon is becoming available that uses soy oil. is a reference to research to use soy instead of paraffin, a petroleum waste product that may contain toxic compounds. Crayons would then be all-natural, biodegradable, and non-toxic. "Dixon's Prang Fun Pro Soybean Crayons", distributed by Ticonderoga, should be available in Wal-Mart, Sam's, Target and K-Mart stores this fall.

I looked on the Web for the Crayola site & e-mailed to the Sr. Consumer Affairs Representative, so confirmed that their "Crayola crayons are made primarily from paraffin wax, stearic acid and color pigment. Paraffin wax is made especially for Binney & Smith by companies who extract it from wood, coal and petroleum products. Stearic acid is purchased from outside vendors and is derived from plant, animal and mineral sources or a combination of all three."


Biodegradable Crayons From Soybean Oil
Bernard Y. Tao, Project Leader

Use of Soybean Oil as a Substitute for Petroleum-Derived Paraffin in the Production of Crayons.
A.I. Willett, Research Assistant, Biochemical Engineering; T. Chang, J. Wong, Food Process/Biochemical Engineering.


* Development of a base composition for an environmentally sound, soybean oil based crayon. * Evaluation of various crayon compositions for strength and drawing characteristics comparable to the current paraffin-based market leader.

Statement of Problem:

The average child in America wears down 730 crayons by his or her 10th birthday. It is then no surprise that over 2 billion crayons are made each year as part of a multimillion dollar industry. However, an all-natural, biodegradable crayon has never been produced. Most crayons are made from paraffin, a petroleum industry waste product, and therefore may contain toxic compounds. Using soybean oil as a substitute for paraffin would:

* Alleviate dependence on expensive diminishing petroleum sources * Address the enormous national soybean harvest * Provide an all-natural, biodegradable, nontoxic crayon inherently safe for a child to use.

It was assumed that soybean oil can be a successful substitute for paraffin because the fatty acids of the oil are similar in structure to the hydrocarbon chains of the paraffin.

Evidence of the desire for such a product is the first place prize of $5000 the crayon developers received in a recent contest sponsored by the Indiana Soybean Development Council and by Purdue's Department of Agronomy.

Current Activities:

A base composition was developed by mixing different proportions of soybean oil and a saturated fatty acid. Next, a binder for strength and a vegetable oil based organic pigment for color were added.

Different variations of the base composition were assessed using physical observations of appearance, drawability, firmness and ease of ejection from the mold. The best compositions (D and I) were then further evaluated using two parameters: color transfer and breaking point strength. Figure 1 and Figure 2 show results from testing for Crayola brand crayons and for the best compositions of the soybean oil crayons. Since compostitions D and I are comparable in color transfer and breaking point strength to Crayola crayons, they were determined to be appropriate for further development.


"Dixon's Prang Fun Pro Soybean Crayons" and will be distributed by Ticonderoga.

They will be in Wal-Mart, Sam's, Target and K-Mart stores this fall.

TVS-Chapter Credit Cards

We really appreciate your membership dollars (and to a few of you who include a bit extra as a contribution, thank you very much!!). Another way to support TVS is through relationships we have built with three companies. Aesop, Inc. (P.O. Box 315, N. Cambridge, MA 02140, (617)628-8030, will contribute to TVS 7.5% (excluding shipping and tax) of your purchase when you buy their leather alternative goods and mention TVS. We have two credit card companies that will contribute a half percent royalty to TVS at no cost to you on all your purchases.

The First Financial Bank in Wisconsin is offering the {bold}Morris MasterCard{/bold} (TVS chapter 692; apply by web page address below or by calling (800)64-CATS-9 and mentioning #692) and Capitol One Bank is offering an Action for Animals MasterCard (call 800-367-7297 and give our chapter # - 0317). Further details on either credit card is available on the web at General questions on these programs can be answered by Ed Shelton of National Affinity Cards at (800)545-5885, or by email at


TVS is an Independent Affiliate of the North American Veget. Society. TVS members can become NAVS members at half price, with benefits including the quarterly Vegetarian Voice magazine, as well as discounts on merchandise and Summerfest conferences. For more information, contact them at NAVS, P.O. Box 72, Dolgeville, NY 13329, (518)568-7970,