Archive for June, 2005

Volunteers for SF Pride needed!

Wednesday, June 15th, 2005

Bay Area Vegetarians is staffing an info booth at SF Pride on factory farming and veg*nism. We are now recruiting for volunteers to help with the set-up and takedown, as well as staff the booth. Below is what we need help with. FYI, SF Pride is 6/25-26 in Civic Center. Our “Veg Pride” booth is in front of the Asian Art Museum.

Takedown and Carry to car need one or two more on each day!

We do have an industrial strength dolly to carry the heavy stuff, but there’s lots of light, bulky stuff to carry too. many hands/feet translate to faster exit. Could use 3 or 4 extra people. No specific skills or previous experience necessary, just a willingness to help.

Saturday 6:01 pm – 6:45 pm
Sunday 7:01 pm – 7:45 pm

Vegan Food Genie – open

If you love to make vegan food and want to bring volunteers some treats anytime during the day, please let me know!

Leafleting – open

You like to be amidst the crowd and distribute veg info in front of our info booth. Comfortable with outreach and knowledgeable about factory farming issues, as well as veganism. Saturday is the less crowded day. There are no set shifts, just tell me your availability and we’ll bring the “Why Vegans”.

Set upfilled
Need one really reliable person to help us setup the infrastructure (banner, posters, etc). No specific skills or previous experience necessary, just a willingness to help.

Saturday 7:00 am – 8:30 am (one person)
Sunday 7:00 am – 8:30 am (one person)

Table Staffing (these are 4 hour shifts) – all filled

You should be comfortable with outreach and knowledgeable about factory farming issues, as well as veganism. Saturday is the less crowded day. When the booth isn’t busy, you also have the option to leaflet.

Saturday (event ends at 6 pm, takedown starts at 6:01 pm)
shifts start at 11:30, 1:00, and 2:30 (includes takedown)

Sunday (event ends at 7 pm, takedown starts at 7:01 pm)
shifts start at 11:30, 1:00, and 3:30 (includes takedown)

How to Volunteer

If you are interested in volunteering, please email us with your name and tel #, and what you are interested in. If you are interested in staffing the table and haven’t volunteered with us before, please also include information about your outreach background/experience and familiarity with factory farming/veganism so I can make sure that we are staffed with the right mix of knowledge/experience at the info booth at all times.

We will keep this list of open positions updated here, so check back if you’re not sure of your availability just yet.

We want to again acknowledge & thank the generous financial support from Chuck B, Frank C, Gabe Q, George G, Mark H, Naomi S, Nicolas A, Rebecca Y and Stephanie V who helped us with the necessary funds to bring our message of compassion and good health to SF Pride.

Thanks also to Sun Flour Baking Company for donating sample cookies to giveaway!

McDonald’s Unveils an Extreme Makeover June 10

Saturday, June 11th, 2005

Grassroots organizations like ours are supporting the release of the U.S. premiere of “McLibel” by asking “What’s Wrong with McDonald’s?” Here’s the full press release distributed by Cinema Libre Studio.

CONTACT: Beth Portello, 818-349-8822

June 9, 1005

New Ad Campaign Launches As ‘McLibel’ Premieres in the U.S. with Boycott of Fast Food Chain

LOS ANGELES – On Friday, McDonald’s will unveil a new advertising campaign in the Unites States, themed “It’s what I eat and what I do.” In an unlikely makeover maneuver, the fast food giant will depict Ronald McDonald as a snowboarding, biking, soccer-playing clown in a form-fitting jumpsuit.

For many people, this makeover fails to hide five decades of McMultinational profiteering—the inevitable result of pushing cheap, processed, less-than-nutritious food on unsuspecting consumers, the creation and continuation of hundreds of thousands of low-paying McJobs and the ongoing exploitation of children, animals and the environment.

On June 10, Bay Area families and grassroots organizations will protest by boycotting San Francisco area McDonald’s outlet (600 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA, starts at 5:00pm) and attending the premiere of “McLibel,” a feature documentary directed by Franny Armstrong, which chronicles Britain’s most famous libel trial (Landmark Lumiere 3, 1572 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94109). The film is distributed by Cinema Libre Studio.

The film tells the true story of Helen Steel and Dave Morris, two ordinary people who, after being spied upon and then sued for libel by McDonald’s, stood up to the multinational and defended themselves in what became the longest trial in British history. They won. The case has since been described as the biggest corporate PR disaster in history.

“What they promote and what they do,“ says Dave Morris, the McLibel defendant, “amounts to counting their profits for the last 50 years, while society has paid the price – as proven by the damning judgments we won against them in our court case in London. Will this ‘makeover’ really change their track record of 50 years of junk food, McJobs, litter, idiotic advertising, the targeting of children and cruelty to animals? We think not.”

“McDonald’s has rapidly become the international poster-brand for the costs and tragedy of people – especially children – getting fatter and sicker,” said Brandweek’s David Kiley in March. (March 9, “McDonald’s New Campaign Is The Appearance of a Good Start.”)

The brand re-positioning effort follows Morgan Spurlock’s box-office hit “Supersize Me” and Eric Schlosser’s best-selling book, Fast Food Nation.

“The new ad…shows the clown encouraging kids to get up off the couch, eat well and participate in various activities,” writes Aaron Baar of Adweek, the advertising industry’s trade magazine. According to Adweek, McDonald’s spends an estimated $1.3 billion globally on advertising (June 7, “McDonald’s Takes ‘Active’ Approach.”)

In the high-profile English “McLibel” case, London’s Royal Courts of Justice found McDonald’s marketing to have claimed “a positive nutritional benefit which their food did not match”; that McDonald’s “exploits children” with their advertising strategy; found the company to be “culpably responsible for animal cruelty”; and that it was fair comment to say that McDonald’s employees worldwide “do badly in terms of pay and conditions.” And finally, “If one eats enough McDonald’s food, one’s diet may well become high in fat, with the very real risk of heart disease.”

In San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and Portland, grassroots organizations are supporting the release of the U.S. premiere of “McLibel” by asking “What’s Wrong with McDonald’s?”

Among the groups are Bay Area Vegetarians, CodePINK, CorpWatch, F.A.R.M., Global Exchange, Good Company Communications, National Lawyers Guild, Olympia Reclaim Democracy, Seattle Reclaim Democracy and SF Vegetarian Society to name a few.

“When I was a youngster, McDonald’s showed burgers growing in Hamburger patches,” says Tammy Lee of Bay Area Vegetarians in San Francisco, one of several groups organizing the boycott on June 10th in front of an area McDonald’s restaurant. “Today they show their trademark clown as an athlete, while obesity is a growing problem for many Americans, especially children. The real challenge is for McDonald’s to create delicious and healthy plant-based foods, and not to keep reinventing their image.”

“McLibel” will open on Friday, June 10 in San Francisco continuing its theatrical run in Minneapolis on June 17 (Bell Auditorium), and Seattle (The Varsity Theatre) and Portland (The Clinton Street Theater) on the June 24. Theater information can be found on with additional theatres to be added soon.

Grassroots organizations interested in becoming involved should contact Rich Castro at

ATTENTION EDITORS AND PRODUCERS: Screeners of “McLibel” and interviews with Franny Armstrong, Dave Morris or Helen Steel are available upon request. To learn more about the feature film “McLibel,” or to download photos, please visit

Cinema Libre Studio is a haven for filmmakers with views, offering one-stop shopping for production, co-production, distribution, marketing and post-production services. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company has representatives in Paris, London, Munich, Rome, Madrid and Tokyo. The company is best known for distributing the films OUTFOXED, MCLIBEL, VOICES IN WARTIME, UNCOVERED, UNCONSTITUTIONAL, UNPRECEDENTED and David O. Russell’s SOLDIERS PAY. For more information please visit


Bay Area Vegetarians is a grassroots all-volunteer organization dedicated to supporting and promoting vegetarianism in the San Francisco Bay Area. We host a variety of social, educational, and advocacy events every month, as well as the Ultimate Guide to Vegetarian Living in the San Francisco Bay Area. We offer free membership as well as a Veggie Mentor Program. Learn more at

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McLibel Ticket winner selected

Friday, June 10th, 2005

Thanks to everyone who entered our fun contest (announced in our June newsletter) to giveaway a pair of tickets to the documentary McLibel, now screening this week in San Francisco at the Landmark Lumiere.

Congratulations to Emily Z of Oakland for her winning entry!

For anyone interested in more details about the screening, please see the BAV Event Calendar for details.

BAV Newsletter – June 2005

Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

David Morse

Wednesday, June 1st, 2005

David Morse

More often behind a camera than in front of it, there’s nothing coded or cryptic about David Morse and his commitment to independent media for animal liberation.

Profession: day job: website builder for online ad agency
City: Oakland
Age: 37


Are you vegetarian or vegan, and for how long?
I stopped eating meat just before my 21st birthday, so that makes it like, what, over 16 years now. Dang. I never ate huge amounts of dairy, even that dwindled over time, and I cut it out completely about 9 or 10 years ago.

What motivated you to make this change?
After being involved with activist causes since I was a very young teenager, from the Nuclear Freeze movement of the early to mid-80s to environmentalism and social justice in the later 80s, I was ripe for exposure to the Animal Rights movement in January 1989. I had one vegetarian friend a few years prior and knew of several punk bands that were vegetarian but I never really got it until the one two-week J-term class that winter at my college on the Animal Rights movement. Our assignment for the first evening was to read a few specific chapters from the book Animal Liberation. I couldn’t stop reading the book that night, read beyond the assignment, and decided I wanted no part of eating meat again from that day forward. I finally got it — my food didn’t live on little Fisher-Price farms. I had no idea what to eat as I was a lazy Burger-King-two-times-a-day kind of guy, and I lived off peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, steamed broccoli and meatless lasagna for months. But, over time, I figured it out with cookbooks and never looked back. It remains one of the best decisions I ever made.

What are you working on?

Volunteering as much time as I reasonably can with the SF Bay Area Independent Media Center (SF Bay Area IMC): I am one of the editors of the open-publishing website, focusing largely on the Animal Liberation category, and I help out behind the scenes to produce Fault Lines, the IMCs monthly newspaper. I greatly enjoy the diversity of activism these projects bring me in touch with.

How can others get involved?
Everyone can make media and be a reporter at Indybay. Attend local demos and events and write about your experiences, take photos, video, or audio, and post it all on Indybay to document your actions and share them with others in the Bay Area. Once you have your report written and/or your photos cropped, it’s as easy copying and pasting your news into a simple online form and uploading your media files. You can repost any relevent animal and vegetarian news you run across if you just link back to the source. Email me if you ever need any assistance.

Who/what inspires you to keep going?
Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else. To be apathetic and complacent is just not in my nature. Not that I never have lazy spells, I do (although it’s harder to with all of the committments I have made). I am just not happy sitting back and not taking stands on issues I feel passionately about. There’s is so much still to be done to make this a better world for people, animals, and our environment.

What advice would you give to an aspiring vegetarian or vegan?

Ever little bit of animal products you cut out of your life is a good thing. Every step lower you take on the food chain is a step in the right direction. Meateaters that cut out beef make a difference. Becoming vegetarian and not replacing meat with increased cheese consumption makes a huge difference. And those who go vegetarian today, especially in the Bay Area, have it much easier than I did. Cutting out leather and wool are two more steps in the right direction. When the time is right and you are comfortable with where you are, make the leap to veganism.

What advice would you give to an aspiring activist?
Pace yourself for the long haul. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Sample around and see what you enjoy doing best over time. Make the time to take care of yourself. Have fun.

Trivia –

Favorite Movie: I only make it to a theater about once a year or less, but the best two films on video I’ve seen in the last six months are Garden State and The Whale Rider. (Half-jokingly, my wife just said to me that if you don’t like The Whale Rider, you have no soul.)

Favorite saying: Gettin’ there.

Favorite foods: Indian food, especially Chana Masala — and Soy Delicious ice cream for special treats.

Favorite restaurant: Lately, it’s been the Asian goodness at the Golden Lotus in Oakland as I live about 10 blocks away. Sometimes Lanesplitters #2’s vegan calzones (very happy they have a location closer to downtown now).

Favorite website: Indybay stories

Companion Animals: Two felines: Droogie, an 11-year old male (named by my brother from the Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange), and Marla, a 5-year old female (named from the film Fight Club because we had two males at the time of her arrival and, for the boys, “she ruined everything”).

Anything else you want our readers to know 🙂
My only brother, Stephen, passed away last September and he is constantly on my mind. He was an incredible person: an awesome surfer, a ripping snowboarder, an energetic drummer, a hardworker, exceptionally compassionate toward people and animals, and, yes, he was a vegetarian. He was my best friend and I will always love him. Be good to those around you and count every day you are alive and healthy as a blessing.

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