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Brainfood from the Heartland
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Schedule for December 11, 2017

Scheduled Guests

Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) 's founder: Alex Hershaft

Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization working to end the use of animals for food through public education and grassroots activism. We believe in the inherent self-worth of animals, as well as environmental protection and enhanced public health. We operate just outside of Washington, DC and work through our Compassionate Activist Network (CAN) with volunteers in all 50 U.S. states and two dozen other countries. Please explore our web site, then Get Active with FARM! Programs Since our beginning in 1976 and official formation in 1981, FARM has launched a variety of grassroots campaigns in pursuit of our mission: World Day for Farmed Animals , Great American Meatout, Gentle Thanksgiving, 10 Billion Lives Tour, Letters from FARM, Sabina Fund, Vegan Earth Day, Meatout Mondays, and Live Vegan. Additionally, FARM conducts movement-wide programs, like the Animal Rights National Conference. Every summer between 1981 and 1987, then in 1997, and every year since 2000, FARM has been organizing national conferences that turn concerned individuals into effective animal advocates. Currently, the conferences alternate between the East Coast (Washington, DC) on the odd years and the West Coast (California) on the even years. FARM's Approach FARM’s mission is to end the use of animals for food. In support of this mission, we operate on several levels. On the grassroots level, which accounts for the majority of our efforts, we engage likely target audiences, according to their interests, and nudge them along the vegan path. Behind the scenes, we develop resources that make the vegan lifestyle more “doable.” We also support the animal rights movement and grassroots groups around the world. On the institutional and legislative levels, we are open to initiatives that reduce the use of animal products in food processing and serving. We shy away from legislative initiatives, as they are very costly, unlikely to reduce the number of animals used for food, and vulnerable to unintended consequences. On the public level, we promote acceptance of veganism by publishing supportive letters to the editor and by placing billboards and bus display cards in major metropolitan areas. Occasionally, we seek to capture media attention through dramatic displays. Progress: Over the past few decades, public awareness of the benefits of plant-based eating and farmed animal abuse has grown substantially: Over 30 million Americans have explored a vegetarian diet Consumption of beef and veal have dropped by 30 and 70 percent, respectively Many fast food chains and some major food processors now offer meatless options Mainstream public health organizations are promoting a plant-based diet 93 percent of consumers oppose farmed animal abuse and 80 percent favor government regulations History FARM grew out of the Vegetarian Information Service, which was formed in 1976 to disseminate information on the benefits of plant-based eating on consumer health, animal protection, and environmental integrity. FARM was officially launched as an animal rights organization in July 1981, along with other groups forming the modern US animal rights movement, at the "Action For Life" Conference in Allentown (PA). The conference brought seasoned leaders of the established vegetarian movement together with animal rights advocates searching for a national organizational outlet for their passion.

Janet Loew - Library

The Book Babe

FARM USA - Twitter

Dr Alex Hershaft - F.A.R.M. -FaceBook

Dr. Alex Hershaft is the President of Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM)

Alex Hershaft Founding President Dr. Alex Hershaft is the President of Farm Animal Rights Movement (FARM) and a co-founder of both FARM and the U.S. movement for animal rights as a whole. Born in Warsaw, Poland shortly before World War II began, Alex survived Nazi persecution and sought refuge in the US, where he held a 30-year career in materials science and environmental consulting and a prominent role in the movement for religious freedom prior to dedicating himself to animals. Alex organized the first Animal Rights National Conferences, World Day for Farmed Animals, Meatout, and a dozen other initiatives - and was inducted to the Animal Rights and Vegetarian Halls of Fame - before turning over daily operations of FARM to focus on leisurely travel, folk dancing, and personal fitness. A Harrowing Survival Dr. Hershaft was born in Warsaw, Poland, to respected scientist parents in 1934. During World War II, he and his family were forced into the infamous Warsaw Ghetto, then into hiding among Christians. His father was tragically captured by Nazis and murdered, while he and his mother Sabina escaped first to Western Europe, and then to the US and Israel, respectively, in the early 1950’s. After working on a family member’s egg-laying farm during college in the US, and witnessing a religious slaughter back in Israel, Alex began to note similarities between the oppression he had witnessed and experienced during the Holocaust and the oppression of animals. He states, “Among the similarities are the use of cattle cars for transport and crude wood crates for housing, the cruel treatment and deception about impending slaughter, the processing efficiency and emotional detachments of the perpetrators, and the piles of assorted body parts - mute testimonials to the victims they were once a part of.” Founding a Movement Alex became a vegetarian in 1961 and, that same year while residing abroad in Israel, launched a major protest that led to formation of the League for Abolition of Religious Coercion - a movement to end repression by Orthodox authorities. Back in the US, for nearly 20 years he consulted on environmental science and technology for universities, aerospace firms, and government agencies. In 1976, he founded the Vegetarian Information Service (VIS) to distribute information on the benefits of a plant-based diet after attending the World Vegetarian Congress the prior year. In the summer of 1981, Dr. Hershaft organized Action For Life, a national conference that effectively launched the U.S. animal rights movement by bringing together members of the vegetarian movement with activists concerned with animal rights issues (mainly vivisection). Immediately after, he founded FARM as the first U.S. organization to promote both a vegan lifestyle and animal rights. He launched World Farm Animals Day in 1983, Great American Meatout in 1985, Letters from FARM in 1996, the second round of national animal rights conferences in 1997, and the Sabina Fund in 1999 to honor his late mother by supporting animal rights groups abroad. Along the way, he held the first Gentle Thanksgiving and Vegan Earth Day observances, organized numerous dramatic slaughterhouse and USDA demonstrations, and mobilized hundreds of local animal advocates (see FARM’s History). Recent Years In 2010, Alex began the process of shifting the responsibilities for FARM’s day-to-day operations onto the young leaders Jen Riley and Michael Webermann. After he secured major funding for FARM’s groundbreaking 10 Billion Lives program in 2012, he named Jen as Managing Director and Michael as Executive Director. He spends some of his well-deserved free time folk dancing, traveling abroad for leisure, swimming, running, and visiting his daughter Monica, who runs a natural healing practice in Los Angeles. He has not slowed down much, however. Dr. Hershaft lectures annually on social change, movement building, developing leadership, and personal growth. He continues to write dozens of letters each year to newspaper editors about the merits of a vegan diet. Most recently, he has been presenting a powerful slideshow and speech entitled From the Warsaw Ghetto to the Fight for Animal Rights. A Lasting Legacy A list of Alex’s accolades and accomplishments beyond FARM includes serving for 16 years on the governing council of the International Vegetarian Union, 13 years on the board of the American Humanist Association, and 8 years on the board of In Defense of Animals. He has been inducted into both the U.S. Vegetarian and Animal Rights Halls of Fame and is listed in Marquis’ Who’s Who in America and American Men and Women of Science. Dr. Hershaft received his B.A. in 1955 from the University of Connecticut and his Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry in 1961 from Iowa State University. His influence on the animal rights movement as a whole can hardly be understated. Leaders who got their start under his guidance include Gene Baur and Lorri Houston, founders of Farm Sanctuary; Paul Shapiro, founder of Compassion Over Killing and Vice President of Farm Animal Protection at the Humane Society of the US; Dawn Moncrief, founding president of A Well-Fed World; and dozens of others.

Holocaust To Compassion - Alex Hershaft - Warsaw Survivor YouTube-

Jeremy Dauber

Jeremy Dauber is the Atran Professor of Yiddish Language, Literature, and Culture at Columbia University, where he also serves as director of its Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies and teaches in the American Studies program. He received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Harvard and his doctorate from the University of Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. His previous books include In the Demon's Bedroom: Yiddish Literature and the Early Modern, also Antonio's Devils: Writers of the Jewish Enlightenment and the Birth of Modern Hebrew and Yiddish Literature, and The Worlds of Sholem Aleichem. His new book, Jewish Comedy: A Serious History, will be available October 2017. He frequently lectures on topics related to Jewish literature, history, humor, and popular culture at the 92nd St Y and other venues throughout the United States. Jeremy grew up about ten minutes away from the George Washington Bridge, in a modern Orthodox Jewish community in New Jersey; went to Harvard, where, upbringing notwithstanding, read authors like Isaac Bashevis Singer and Philip Roth for the first time and got hooked; went to Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship and wrote about Hebrew and Yiddish literature – and while there, wrote the libretto for an opera that played in Boston and a movie that screened at the Cannes market (you can still find it bouncing around the lower cable channels late at night); came back to America and took a job at Columbia, where he now teaches about, among other things, Dostoevsky, Mel Brooks, graphic novels, and Sholem Aleichem. He used to write a column for the Christian Science Monitor on TV and movies that was recognized, a few years back, by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.

Jewish Comedy: A Serious History

Jewish Comedy: A Serious History A rich account of Jewish humor: its nature, its development, and its vital role throughout Jewish history. In a major work of scholarship both erudite and very funny, Columbia professor Jeremy Dauber traces the origins of Jewish comedy and its development from biblical times to the age of Twitter. Organizing the product of Jews’ comic imagination over continents and centuries into what he calls the seven strands of Jewish comedy―including the satirical, the witty, and the vulgar―he traces the ways Jewish comedy has mirrored, and sometimes even shaped, the course of Jewish history. Persecution, cultural assimilation, religious revival, diaspora, Zionism―all of these, and more, were grist for the Jewish comic mill; and Dauber’s book takes readers on the tour of the funny side of some very serious business. (And vice versa.) In a work of dazzling scope, readers will encounter comic masterpieces here that range from Talmudic rabbi jokes to medieval skits, Yiddish satires and Borscht Belt routines to scenes from Seinfeld and Broad City, and the book of Esther to Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song.” Dauber also explores the rise and fall of popular comic archetypes such as the Jewish mother, the Jewish American Princess, and the schlemiel, the schlimazel, and the schmuck, and the classic works of such masters of Jewish comedy as Sholem Aleichem, Isaac Babel, Franz Kafka, the Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Joan Rivers, Philip Roth, Mel Brooks, Sarah Silverman, Jon Stewart, and Larry David, among many others. Jewish comedy, as Dauber writes, is serious business. And precisely what it is, how it developed, and how its various strands weave together and in conversation with the Jewish story: that’s Jewish Comedy.

Susan Merriman - Interim Director PLYMC

interim director / Public Library youngstown & Mahoning county Sue served 23 years as the Library’s fiscal officer

FARM Animal Rights



book coverJeremy Dauber, author

Jewish Comedy: A Serious History, by Jeremy Dauber

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The views and opinions expressed by the host, guests and callers of the Louie Free Program are not necessarily those of The Vindicator or Vindy.com. The Vindicator is not party to nor liable for resolution of issues between the show host and or listeners.


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