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Buddha: To become
vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.
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LEAP, VEGETARIANISM AND AMERICA'S RESTAURANTS
LEAP's current campaigns involves
heightening awareness with respect to the preparation of food in
restaurants. When American restaurants fail to provide a meat free
surface and meat-free utensils for the preparation of vegetarian dishes,
they do not respect the wishes of vegetarians and others who are
conscious of their food choices. For example, how often does a
vegetarian find pieces of chicken in his or her supposedly vegetarian
salad? Studies show this is all too common.
the Roper Poll (1994), 3% - 7% of the population consider themselves
vegetarian. This means that roughly one out of every twenty people who
visit a restaurant order a meal with the intention of avoiding meat.
There is no assurance that their needs are being met. In fact, evidence
suggests that their needs are largely overlooked by sloppy employee
practices and restaurant policies that neglect the desires of vegetarian
and McDonalds can be congratulated for recently adding the veggie burger to
but patrons need to know that the burger will be contaminated by beef if
it is prepared on the grill with the regular burgers. Patrons must ask
that the burger be micro waved in order to preserve its vegetarian
offers a vegetarian sandwich, but only offers a method of preparation
that involves employees contaminating the bins of lettuce,
tomatoes, pickles, and onions with their meat-saturated gloves, thereby contaminating the
veggie sub. Subway should make an effort to respond to its vegetarian customer's
years ago, the city of Los Angeles implemented a program in which eating
establishments can voluntarily agree to be periodically inspected for
cleanliness and then receive a ranking (i.e. "A,"
"B," "C," etc.) that must be emblazoned on their
storefront indicating their sanitary or unsanitary conditions.
Unfortunately, the establishments are not judged on their ability to
provide pure food—that which has not been contaminated by meat—for
vegetarians. LEAP strives not only to change this policy in Los Angeles,
but to make it a goal for which all American restaurants can strive.
LEAP believes public awareness on this issue is crucial.
emphasize the importance of LEAP's campaign, one only need look back a
year or so to a dining incident in which 500 people became ill from
ecoli contamination and a little girl died. They all consumed watermelon from a
Sizzler restaurant. Apparently, the fruit had been prepared on the same
surface where meat had rested. (An article about this incident can be
found at http://aradece.tripod.com/ how_safe_is_it.htm) This is
obviously unacceptable for moral and health reasons.
LEAP is extensively researching the efforts made by America's restaurants
to accommodate vegetarianism (with respect to non-contamination with
meat products) and will release findings at the conclusion of the
research project. This campaign also involves public education on the subject;
letters to governmental leaders, to restaurant owners, and to restaurant
inspection committees. If we all work together, changes can be made.
Pound seizure is the practice, which refers to
the taking of cats and dogs from shelters and pounds, to supply the
biomedical research industry. When dogs and cats are obtained for
research, their fate is terminal. Some animals die quickly, while others
are allocated for long-term, agonizing studies. Once the animal is
turned over to the research facility, the Animal Welfare Act and
anti-cruelty laws are close to nonexistent. Although there is no law
pertaining to pound seizure, fourteen states prohibit it. Most other
states have no declaration regarding pound seizure and leave it up to
the county or town governments to decide. Several anti-pound seizure
bills have been presented before Congress, but it has yet to be
Approximately 500,000 puppies per year are bred in puppy mills, facilities known for their filthy, overcrowded conditions and the unhealthy animals they produce. Each of the 4,000-5,000 puppy mills in the U.S., most of which are located in the Midwest, houses between 75 to 150 breeding animals. Only half of the dogs bred at puppy mills make it to the pet store; the other half die from the mill’s squalid conditions, hypothermia starvation, or other horrors of transport. Cat breeding occurs on a smaller scale but under similar conditions. Most of the dogs sold in pet stores come from puppy mills.
For further information on current or future campaigns or to volunteer, contact LEAP today.
LEAP is working to help end the killing of shelter dogs and cats through education and alliances with other nonprofits. LEAP founder, Charlotte Laws, is specifically writing proposals for various cities and counties around the state with hopes that her ideas and efforts will expand nationwide. Click to see her "No Kill" Animal Shelter Proposal for the City of Los Angeles. Her proposal for Oakland and Alameda County should be completed by Spring 2005.