Letter from the Editor

I hope that all of you had a great summer and are looking forward to a fulfilling holiday season. Our biggest event of the year, Thanksgiving, is around the corner, and I look forward to seeing many of you then.

I love children, and it was delightful for me to focus this newsletter issue on raising children vegetarian, especially since there are a number of new TVS babies! Whether you are vegan, interested in moving toward shunning all animal products including cheese, eggs, leather, wool, and silk, or a non-vegan vegetarian or even non-vegetarian, I hope that articles in this newsletter clearly show how easy and healthy it is to raise children vegetarian.

What do you do if you want to raise a child on a specific diet when it comes time for others' birthday parties and the like? I've read some hints like feeding the child lots of his/her favorites, and then some more, before going to the party. Another idea is to arrange with the host beforehand to do the eating after playing, opening gifts, etc., and having a fun appointment (play date, visit with grandparents, etc.) conveniently arranged for your child to miss the eating.

Our two cover stories by Audrey Nickel (one of TVS' best writers!) as well as Anthony Weston and Amy Halberstadt give us guidance about raising children vegetarian. Tara and Diana Pozo are TVS children growing up vegetarian, and I think that you will enjoy their perspective in their lively discussion interview. From a nutrition point-of-view, Valerie Copeland, our Nutrition Consultant, and Suzanne Holden discuss problems with dairy products and the benefits of breast milk.

We continue our series on religion and vegetarianism with an exploration of Buddhism. The potluck we had with Don Brown's Kadampa Tibetan Buddhist Center early this year was well attended and inspiring, and I hope that many of you will attend our next potluck with them on April 4. Our next issue will focus on Jainism. I know author and philosopher Rynn Berry, whose works have focused on this very topic of how world religions relate to vegetarianism and non-violence, and I hope to arrange for Rynn to visit us from New York in 1998. If any TVS member would like to contribute material describing their religion vis-a-vis non-violence and vegetarianism, please contact me.

"McLibel", as it has come to be known, has been the longest running legal case of any kind in English history and we have a summary written by Ben Drasin. Please come to one of the November showings of the captivating video McLibel: Two Worlds in Collision.

There are many other articles in this issue. Suzanne Holden and Pam Young talk about their experiences at Summerfest. We continue featuring area sister groups with an article by Cy King on N.C. Peace Action. Ellen Bring and Pravin Shah bring us painful and important messages about animal use and slaughter, and Ellen reports on work her group is doing to stop a proposed slaughterhouse at NCSU.

Shelli Fein and I present reviews of two excellent restaurants, Peppers Pizza and Zest Cafe. It was great meeting Mollie Katzen, and her most recent cookbook is a work of art that was enjoyable to review. Tied in to the children's theme of the newsletter, it was fun to talk with Radha Vignola and just delightful to read her Victor, the Vegetarian books to several vegetarian children.

Looking back over the spring and summer, we had quite a few fun events. I am proud that we consistently have at least two events a month, and sometimes we have 6, 7, 8, or more weeks of at least one event a week!

We had excellent dialogue at joint potlucks with the Triangle Friends of the United Farm Workers, the Kadampa Tibetan Buddhist Center, various cohousing groups, and the Ethical Culture Society. I was in Arizona and Utah, but I heard that people enjoyed our annual Fourth of July party - thanks, Dietrich and Eva von Haugwitz for hosting it and Ben Drasin for organizing it.

As always, Tom and Nancy Regan do an excellent job bringing in well known and passionate speakers at their annual Compassionate Living Festival in late September. Thanks to Shelli Fein and David Erb for helping with a delicious TVS table - nay, two tables, we had so much material! - with lots of good literature as well as delicious vegan chocolate and Indian snack samples.

Rondi Elliot didn't mince her words when she presented at the Blessing of the Animals at Duke Chapel in early October. You may recall her article in the previous issue of the Grapevine about Christianity and vegetarianism, and she urged the audience to extend its charity and compassion to save animals being persecuted and slaughtered just so people can eat them. Beth Bone and Dan Cook helped with the TVS literature table - thanks!

I found out with just a few days notice that Mollie Katzen of Moosewood Cookbook et.al. fame was coming to the Triangle for a book signing and food tasting. For those members whose email addresses I have, I sent out invitations. If you're not on TVS' email distribution list and want to be, please drop me a note at barman@cs.unc.edu.

Please look over the Calendar and participate in our events. Thanksgiving is usually a sell-out, and it should be excellent at the Irregardless Cafe. Please try to come to the reception after the event to watch the McLibel video and to chat, perhaps play some board games, and just relax. Our holiday party just a few weeks later will be the third annual one, and I hope that many of you will attend.

We have several events particularly for children, and I especially want to invite parents of younger children to Playspace in early March. There are lots and lots of events like potlucks, talks, tabling and outreach activities, and even a weekend outing and a shopping trip. There is something going on almost every week from January 24 through May 11 -- thanks to so many of you for participating and hosting these events!

Some of my more interesting recent trips have been to Arizona (and the wonderful Vegetarian Resource Group of Tucson) and Utah (oh, Bryce Canyon is so amazing - I thought it was much more spectacular than the Grand Canyon! But expect to pay $20+ for a sad steamed vegetable plate in the Bryce cafeteria!), Chicago (excellent vegetarian restaurants!), Boston (I spent part of a summer living there and love its Italian and other food!), and VegFest D.C. (a celebration of the Vegetarian Society of Washington, D.C.'s 70th anniversary). VegFest brought together many vegetarian speakers and organizers, and I would love to help put together an event like this perhaps in Richmond or Virginia Beach where we and many other groups could easily converge (please let me know if you have interest in helping and attending if this goes forward!).

At VegFest, I was elected to be a councilor of the Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA). TVS is an organizational member of VUNA, which acts as a regional liaison to the International Vegetarian Union, and helps to breed a strong network of vegetarian resources throughout North America. I am excited about my initial tasks with VUNA, which will be to help to administer loan and possibly grant funds to help new vegetarian organizations to get started. I may also become involved in helping to organize regional conferences (such as my idea above for our area).

Otherwise, I've been busy writing. Other than the newsletter, I have had a few of my food articles published in several newspapers. I have focused my articles on how to easily prepare good vegetarian food with common ingredients, and include historical context, produce selection and storage tips, and several recipes. I have to keep the pen rolling, as I've noticed that the Vegetarian Society of New Mexico has started a column Cooking with Dilip and has my articles in its last two newsletter issues!

This is undoubtably TVS' biggest newsletter ever - and some of you were calling our last issue a "magazine"! I'm hoping to have a much shorter newsletter next time, hopefully early in the spring. In any case, it takes a tremendous amount of work to put this out, and can only happen through the hard work of a team of committed individuals.

At the same time as the last issue was going to press, Ceil Rubino moved to Pittsburgh. Thanks, Ceil, for all your hard work formatting the newsletter, and best wishes! TVS is very fortunate to have Vasu Muppalla take on the reins. He has the very difficult job of taking the newsletter content that I create and crafting an attractive newsletter. I think that you will agree with me that the quality of the layout makes it hard to believe this is Vasu's first newsletter!

Our newsletter is fairly expensive to produce, and the coordination of advertising that Serenity Dixon does is invaluable. Several articles had to be converted to electronic form, and thanks go to Valerie Copeland, Beth Bone, and Shelli Fein for this contribution (thanks especially to Beth for transcribing my interview with Tara and Diana Pozo from cassette tape in a matter of two days - while she was sick!).

We welcome Shelli Fein to the area and thank her for being the new restaurant reviewer. Many TVSers tell me that they read the restaurant reviews first when they get their Grapevines and use them to influence their choices of where to eat meals out. If you would like to participate in reviews, please contact Shelli at 572-0967 or fein@gte.net.

Gary Klaus and, before him, Lauren Bednarcyk Bond had created TVS web pages, but Gary has moved to Texas. TVS is very lucky to have a new member who also designs web pages for a living, Sarah Hoff. Do visit the new TVS home page she is putting together at www.webslingerZ.com/shoff/tvs (ask Sarah about her wonderful animals and the environment art!).

Now that Jeremy Schreifels is busy with a full plate of courses and work, I have taken over the TVS membership database, but only after he put a lot of work into redesigning it and making it easy for me to work with it. After the mailing labels are printed, Becky LeClair promptly picks up the printed newsletters and quickly folds, collates, and labels them so they're ready to be mailed. Beth Bone has promised to help Becky to get the newsletters to the post office for bulk mailing. Joy Anandi provides her phone number as TVS' contact now for several years, and answers inquiries by mail and phone.

Right now we can use additional help in areas such as fund-raising, outreach (coordinating our tabling and festival participation), registering TVS as a 501(c)3 IRS organization, and proactively getting additional media exposure. Would anybody like to work with public access television to get cooking demonstrations, discussions and lectures at our meetings, and established videos (like Diet for a New America) on the air?

We need help in putting together compelling activities for the Great American Meatout on the first day of spring, and I hope that many of you can come to the fun and yummy organizational meeting that we've planned on February 7 (thanks, Tonya Adams and Lila Chung for providing the meal!). We also need volunteers to help distribute literature on Earth Day, especially since there often is an event in each of the three Triangle cities.

Thank you for your support of TVS, whether it be by hosting an event (let me know if you want to host a potluck or speak on a specific topic), lending your energies, renewing your membership on time, and/or coming to our events. I challenge each of you to become more involved in 1998 and to introduce one or two of your friends to become new TVS members.