Marineland Animal Defense, and Richard H. Schwartz on Judaism & Veg*nism

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On this week’s show Aylon and I discuss headlines and events around Vancouver and feature two great interviews. The first, a short conversation I had earlier this week about promoting the benefits of the vegan lifestyle within one’s spiritual/religious community. We also speak with Marineland Animal Defense about their campaign to put an end to animal use at one of Canada’s premier theme parks, Marineland in Niagra Falls, Ontario.

Marineland walrus Earlier this week a big story broke in the Toronto Star. In the article, titled “Marineland animals suffering”, eight former staffers gave first-hand reports of the terrible conditions behind the scenes.

A scathing and heartbreaking video report featuring the accounts of Phil Demers, also known as The Walrus Whisperer, accompanied the article.

Phil Demers and Zoocheck Canada, a national animal protection charity which promotes and protects the interests and well-being of wild animals, have created a petition to urge Ontario’s premier to step up and pass legislation to create new laws around animals captive in zoos and aquariums. In just one day they have over 2,100 signatures and are almost at their goal.
Link to the petition —> Premier McGuinty: Save Marineland’s Animals

Marineland Animal Defense

M.A.D. logo
We feature an interview with Ally Brinsmead, a representative of Marineland Animal Defense. For the last two years the organization has been hosting bi-weekly protests outside the gates of the theme park.

Reports after our show aired said that over 500 people showed up the demonstration, a record number for the Niagra region! The demonstration was covered by every major news network in Canada and many internationally as well. Check out the feature on CBC News of the huge demonstration on Saturday August 18th!

M.A.D. needs a lot of help to keep the momentum going (no amount is too small!) and they encourage people to write letters to federal politicians to change the laws around aquatic displays. M.A.D. is encouraging people to contact East Van’s own MP, the Honourable Libby Davies.

Judaism & Veg*nism

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D

It takes all kinds of creative approaches to wake people up to animal exploitation and to encourage people to make that important shift. There is one very passionate man who I had the pleasure to speak with this week about his idea is to revive a long-forgotten Jewish holiday, which occurs this year over the weekend of August 18th-19th.

In the Jewish religion there is already a special holiday for celebrating and honouring the fragility of the planet, Tu B’Shevat (New Year for the Trees), which is similar in theme to Earth Day. Richard is pushing for a mass reclamation and redefinition of the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana L’Ma’aser B’heima (New Year’s Day for Tithing Animals) into a day devoted to considering how to improve our relationships with animals.

“Considering renewing an ancient Jewish holiday that most Jews are completely unaware of may seem audacious. But it is essential to help revitalize Judaism, improve the health of Jews, sharply reduce the current massive mistreatment of animals, and help move our precious but imperiled planet to a sustainable path.”

Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D,is the president of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America and co-founder and coordinator of the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians. He is best known as a vegetarian activist and advocate for animal rights in the United States and Israel. He has authored three books including one titled Judaism and Vegetarianism.

A Sacred Duty, a 2007 documentary that was inspired by his writings–

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