For Immediate Release:

July 18, 2008



Richard H. Schwartz, President of the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) and author of “Judaism and Vegetarianism”        Phone: (718) 761-5876


JVNA announced today a campaign to get Al Gore and others to acknowledge “an inconvenient truth” – that animal-based agriculture is a major contributor to global warming and many other environmental threats that imperil all of humanity.


Richard Schwartz, president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) and author of “Judaism and Vegetarianism” and “Judaism and Global Survival” stated: “Al Gore is to be commended for pointing out that the United States must free itself from fossil fuels and switch to renewable energy sources by 2018. He is correct to stress the urgency of the change by stating: ‘the survival of the United States of America as we know it is at risk,’ and that ‘The future of human civilization is at stake.’ However, he dooms his plans by failing to inform people that, according to a UN Food and Agricultural Organization 2006 report, animal-based agriculture emits more greenhouse gases (in CO2 equivalents) than all the cars, planes, ships and other means of transportation worldwide combined. He also fails to mention that the number of farmed animals worldwide, currently about 60 billion, is projected to double in 50 years. If that happened, the increased greenhouse gas emissions would negate the effects of many positive changes that Gore supports.”


JVNA secretary/treasurer John Diamond stated, “When we read daily reports of the effects of global climate change, such as record heat waves, severe flooding, widespread droughts, unprecedented numbers of wild fires, and the melting of glaciers and polar icecaps; when some climate scientists are warning that global climate change may spin out of control with disastrous consequences unless major changes are soon made; when a recent report indicated that our oceans may be virtually free of fish by 2050; when species of plants and animals are disappearing at the fastest rate in history; when it is projected that half of the world’s people will live in areas chronically short of water by 2050; it is essential that the Jewish community fulfill our mandate to be a “light unto the nations” and lead efforts to address these critical issues.”


JVNA is urging that tikkun olam—the healing and repair of the world -- be a central issue in synagogues, Jewish schools and other Jewish institutions. “Judaism has splendid teachings on environmental conservation and sustainability, and it is essential that they be applied to respond to the many current environmental threats,” stated Schwartz.


JVNA urges rabbis and other Jewish leaders to make Jews aware of how animal-based diets and agriculture violate basic Jewish mandates to preserve human health, treat animals compassionately, protect the environment, conserve natural resources and  help hungry people.


Further information about these issues can be found at the JVNA web site JVNA will provide complimentary copies of its new documentary A SACRED DUTY: APPLYING JEWISH VALUES TO HELP HEAL THE WORLD and related materials to rabbis and other Jewish leaders who will contact them ( and indicate that they will use them to involve their congregations on the issues.


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Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Professor Emeritus, College of Staten Island
Author of "Judaism and Vegetarianism," "Judaism and Global Survival," and "Mathematics and Global Survival," and over 130 articles at

President of Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA)

and Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians (SERV)

Associate Producer of A SACRED DUTY (
Director of Veg Climate Alliance (