The Peaceable Table

A Vegetarian Journal for Quakers and Other People of Faith

The Peaceable Table is intended for the mutual support, education, and inspiration of people of faith in the practice of love for our fellow animals and observance of a vegetarian diet

Guest Editorial: How About Fish?

by Richard Schwartz

Jewish vegetarians argue that Jews should eliminate, or at least sharply reduce, their consumption of animal products because the realities of animal-based diets and agriculture are sharply inconsistent with basic Jewish mandates to take care of our health, treat animals with compassion, preserve the environment, conserve resources, share with hungry people, and seek and pursue peace. These principles apply to all who seek to lead a responsible and moral life.

However, many people who abstain from eating mammals and birds continue to eat fish, sometimes arguing that problems associated with the production and consumption of other animal products do not apply to fish. After all, they reason, fish are not raised under extremely cruel, confined conditions on factory farms; unlike the raising of livestock, fishing does not cause the erosion and depletion of soil, require the destruction of forests to create pastureland and land to grow feed crops, and require huge amounts of pesticides and irrigation water. Also, fish is generally lower in fat than other animal products, and is often erroneously considered a healthy food.

Let us consider vegetarian arguments as they apply to the "production" and consumption of fish:

1. Compassion for animals

Too often we tend to class fish with plants rather than with animals. Yet, unlike edible plants, fish are vertebrate animals with highly developed nervous systems. Dr. Donald Bloom, professor of animal welfare at Cambridge University, reminds us that "the scientific literature is quite clear. Anatomically, physiologically, and biologically, the pain system in fish is virtually the same as in birds and mammals." Fishing is not painless for fish by any means. When fish are hauled up from the deep, the sudden change in pressure on their bodies causes painful decompression which often leads their gills to collapse and their eyes to pop out. As soon as fish are removed from the water, they begin to suffocate. Hooked fish struggle because of physical pain and fear. As Dr. Tom Hopkins, professor of marine science at the University of Alabama describes it, getting hooked on a line is "like dentistry without novocain, drilling into exposed areas."

Fish that are "farmed," as opposed to caught, do not have an easier existence. Most trout, catfish, and many other species eaten in the United States are raised in modern "fish factories," where they are subject to the same intensive, crowded conditions as land farm animals. Modern aquaculture trends involve large-scale, highly mechanized fish production, much like the chicken industry. Like crowded broiler chickens, fish are crammed in enormous pools called "raceways," where they are pushed to gain weight far faster than is natural in order to maximize profits. Under these very crowded, unnatural conditions, fish suffer from stress, infections, parasites, oxygen depletion, and gas bubble disease, akin to "the bends" in human beings. To prevent the spread of diseases among the fish, large amounts of antibiotics are used.

It's also worthwhile to point out that fish are not the only animals to suffer because of people's appetite for their flesh. Egrets, hawks, and other birds who eat fish are often shot or poisoned to prevent them from eating fish at large open pools where fish are raised. In one documented case, a California company with a U. S. Fish and Wildlife permit to shoot 50 birds annually in the late 1980s was estimated to kill 10,000 to 15,000 birds, including many species not listed on the permit. Also many non-target animals, including sea turtles, dolphins, sea birds, and other fish, die horribly in commercial fishing nets.

2. Human Health

Fish is often considered a healthy food. However, while fish is generally lower in fat than other animal products, it has no fiber and virtually no complex carbohydrates or vitamin C, contains excessive amounts of protein and none of the protective phytochemicals and antioxidants found only in foods of plant origin. The average American consumes far more protein than required, and much less fiber than is necessary. The overconsumption of protein (especially from animals) has been linked to several health problems, including kidney stones and osteoporosis, while the lack of fiber appears to contribute to diverticulosis and colon cancer. Also, not all fish are low in fat; salmon, for example, has 52 percent of its calories as fat.

Fish does possess the heart-protective omega-3 fatty acid EPA, but this is made by both fish and humans from the essential omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which can be obtained from many plant foods, including green leafy vegetables, flaxseed, canola, soybean, and walnut oils, tofu, pumpkin, and wheat germ. These plant foods generally come without the nutritional hazards of fish. Further, fish oil tends to be unstable and easily becomes dangerously rancid, as the "fishy" smell of decay around fish markets testifies.

The greatest health hazard from eating fish, however, comes from the depradations we humans have caused in their natural environment. Fish and shellfish are repositories for the industrial and municipal wastes and agricultural chemicals flushed into the world's waters.

Consider PCBs, a synthetic liquid once widely used for industrial purposes. A six-month investigation by Consumers Union (publishers of Consumer Reports magazine), concluded: "By far the biggest source of PCBs in the human diet is fish.... As PCBs linger in the environment, their composition changes, and they gradually become more toxic...these more toxic forms are likely to be found in fish.... PCBs accumulate in body tissue. The PCBs that you eat today will be with you decades into the future." Consumers Union found PCBs in 43 percent of the salmon, 25 percent of the swordfish, and 50 percent of the lake whitefish they checked.

Other pollutants that concentrate in sea creatures include pesticides; toxic metals including lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic; dioxins; and radioactive substances such as strontium 90. Because of biological magnification during movement up the food chain, these pollutants can reach levels as much as 9 million times that of the water in which the fish live, and they have been linked to many health problems, including impaired behavioral development in young children. Nursing infants consume half of their mother's load of PCBs, dioxin, DDT, and other deadly toxins.

Consumers Union's tests also showed that nearly half the fish tested from markets in New York City, Chicago, and Santa Cruz, CA, were contaminated by bacteria from human or animal feces. In addition, fish often are loaded with disease-causing worms and parasites. Many of the diseases fish harbor can only be treated in humans with antibiotics. However, because of the way fish are raised - in crowded conditions on "aquatic" farms - fish factories give these same antibiotics to the fish to preserve their "crop." Increasing numbers of bacteria are becoming resistant to the drugs, making the treatment of some diseases more difficult in humans.

3. Environmental Impacts

If we aren't worried about the impact eating fish will have on our own health, we should be concerned about the impact fishing has on the earth's health. Modern commercial fishing uses vast "factory" trawlers the size of football fields, with huge nets sometimes miles long that swallow up everything in their path. The result is that thirteen of the world's seventeen major fisheries are depleted or in serious decline, and the other four are considered "over exploited" or "fully exploited."

The World Conservation Union lists over 1,000 fish worldwide as endangered or threatened.. As with the tropical rain forests, today we are effectively "clear cutting" diverse underwater environments with our appetite for fish. Some waters that were once teeming with life are now so barren they have been compared to a "dust bowl."

Depleted fisheries have ripple effects throughout the entire marine ecosystem. Major predator-prey situations have been changed. For example, a decline in pollock in western Alaska has caused a 90 percent decline in Steller sea lions which caused the National Marine Fisheries Service to give them the designation of "threatened" in 1990 and "endangered" in 1997. Loss of sea lions deprived killer whales of their primary source of nutrition, and they have shifted to eating sea otters. As a result, sea otters have also declined by 90 percent since 1990, resulting in a surge by their prey, sea urchins. The ecological principle that "everything is connected to everything else" is dramatically illustrated here.

The environmental impact of aquatic farming is also cause for concern. First, wild stocks are displaced as introduced fish invade spawning grounds and compete for food. Interbreeding pollutes the genetic pool. A study of forty extinct fish species by the National Fisheries Research Centre in the U. S. indicated that species introduced at aquatic farms helped wipe out 68 percent of the indigenous species. Interbreeding from genetically modified fish that escape into the open ocean also threatens disaster in some areas.

Second, fish farming depletes natural resources. Modern commercial fishing is extremely energy intensive. It requires as much as twenty calories of fossil fuel energy to produce one calorie of food energy from fish. Production of fish food is fifty to one hundred times as energy intensive as production of plant food, even when the plant foods are produced with modern technology.

Moreover, where fish are grown in artificial ponds, vast amounts of water are required as the medium of growth, to replenish oxygen, and to remove wastes from the aquatic system. Raising a ton of fish on an aquatic farm requires 8 tons of water, almost the 8.5 tons of water needed to raise a ton of grain-fed beef. This great need for water has caused further environmental destruction too, as aquaculture is routinely conducted on coastal land cleared of mangrove forests, the prime breeding and spawning ground for many fish. To date, about half the world's mangrove forests have been cleared, drained, or filled to make room for fish farms.

4. Seeking and Pursuing Peace

The Jewish sages, commenting on the fact that the Hebrew words for bread and war come from the same root, stated that shortages of grain and other resources makes war more likely. [George Fox makes similar observations about desire as the root of violence.] The truth of their words is illustrated by the increasing battles over increasingly scarce fish in many areas. A United Nations official describes the situation on the high seas as "the emerging anarchy in the oceans." With so many vessels scouring increasingly fished-out waters, squabbles and confrontations are expanding. Russians have attacked Japanese vessels in the Northwest Pacific. Scottish fishers have attacked a Russian trawler. A Falkland Islands' patrol chased a Taiwanese squid boat more than 4,000 miles. Norwegian patrols cut the nets of three Icelandic ships in the Arctic, and exchanged shots. The UN reported a 10 percent escalation in piracy and armed robberies directed toward ships, many of them fishing vessels.

In summary, the "production" and consumption of fish is harmful to human health, causes great suffering to the fish, threatens the ocean's biodiversity, wastes resources, and makes national conflicts more likely. Hence, an end to, or at least a sharp decline in, the consumption of fish and other animal products is a societal imperative and arguably a moral imperative for Jews and other people of faith.

Richard Schwartz, a leader of the Jewish vegetarian movement, was our pilgrim in the May issue. This essay comes from his web site.


Pasta con Erbe Aromatiche (Pasta with Fresh Herbs)

This pasta is wonderful for summer lunches or light dinners. The herbs can easily be minced up to a day before making the recipe. This allows the flavors to blend for full flavor. Just store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use. Each time this dish is made it will be a little different depending on the combination of herbs used. It is truly fresh and delightful. Serves 4 as an appetizer.

1 cup tightly packed fresh herbs (1/2 cup minced), a combination of basil, rosemary, thyme, parsley, marjoram, oregano, savory
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. whole-grain spaghettini or linguine pasta
4 T. Vegan Parmesan (a gluten free parmesan substitute made by Soymage)
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste
1 small tomato, peeled, seeded and diced, for garnish

In small bowl combine herbs, garlic and olive oil; set aside. It is best to let the herb mixture sit covered, to allow the flavors to blend. In large pot boil water; add 1 T salt. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. You may want to check the pasta package for cooking time suggestions. Drain.

Toss with herb mixture. Stir in Vegan Parm, salt and pepper. Garnish with tomato. Extra olive oil may be drizzled on the pasta as desired. Serve immediately with fresh bread or Bruschetta.

—Angela Suarez

Bruschetta alle Olive (Olive Bruschetta)

This crusty bread with olives would make a delicious accompaniment to the above recipe. The flavors are robust and will mix nicely with the fresh herbs in the pasta. Serves 4.

24 olives such as Gaeta or Kalamata, pitted
1 T capers, rinsed
2 tsp. fresh thyme (1/2 tsp of dried thyme may be used if fresh is unavailable)
4 T extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 slices of rustic Italian bread, thickly sliced

In small food processor, process olives, capers, thyme and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toast the slices of bread in the oven (350 F) until lightly golden. Spread with olive mixture and serve immediately.

—Angela Suarez

Blueberry Cherry Pie

This recipe is best made when the fruit is fresh and plentiful. I usually only have one or sometimes two opportunities to make this pie each year, usually in July. The cherries and blueberries are absolutely beautiful baked together. I prefer using as little evaporated cane juice as possible to be able to taste the fresh fruit flavor, and just a hint of nutmeg.

1 pint fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh Bing cherries, pitted
2 T. fresh lemon juice (usually the juice of 1/2 a lemon)
2 T. organic unbleached flour
1/4 - 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice (organic sugar); adjust amount to preferred sweetness
fresh grated nutmeg to taste

In medium - large glass bowl toss blueberries, cherries and lemon juice together. Sprinkle on flour, organic sugar and nutmeg. Mix together well. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Meanwhile roll out the dough for the crust. Roll the crust in a circle larger than needed to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Fit the dough into the pie plate. Prick the dough lightly with the tines of a fork. Trim the extra dough and set aside. (This dough is then cut in various lengths and placed randomly or in a pattern on top of the fruit). Bake the unfilled crust for 15 minutes until lightly golden. Be careful not to brown.

Remove the crust from oven. Fill with blueberry-cherry mixture. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Bake 20 -25 minutes until bubbly and crust is golden. Cool and serve.

—Angela Suarez

Semolina Pie Crust

The above pie recipe requires only one crust. You may want to double the fruit filling recipe and make two pies or the crust can easily be frozen and used for another recipe. The Italian name for this pie crust is "pasta frolla." I veganized this traditional Italian recipe and use it for many recipes, including filled cookies during the winter holiday season. This dough is quite easy to work with, even if it doesn't roll out to one's liking at times, it is easily pieced together. The dough remains quite delicious even with a little extra handling. Makes 2 - 9 inch crusts.

1 1/2 c organic semolina flour
1 3/4 c organic unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. evaporated cane juice
14 T Earth Balance butter substitute (it is best to use the stick form of Earth Balance in baking)
1/3 c ice cold water (add more if necessary)

In food processor, process semolina for approximately 5 minutes. Add flour and evaporated cane juice -- pulse to mix. Add Earth Balance and process until crumbly. Add the water slowly until the dough forms a ball. (Be careful not add too much water) Turn onto floured surface and shape into a ball. Wrap in wax paper. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes, then roll out. (The dough may stored in the refrigerator for one week or in the freezer for one month).

—Angela Suarez

Review: Empty Cages

Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights. By Tom Regan (Forward by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2004, 229 pages.

The book begins with a narrated scene of horror: a beautiful white cat with no name is skinned alive and then boiled alive by a cook in a Chinese village. This account made me so distraught and sickened that I wanted to stop reading and forget if I could. But I plunged on, and got more bad news: this sort of thing does not happen only in exotic locales; horrors equally great, or even worse, are known to take place right here in the USA to pigs, cows, turkeys and chickens. The people responsible for these operations swear and declare that they are committed to "humane" treatment and the "welfare" of the animals. Just as in the "Newspeak" of Oceania in George Orwell's 1984, "humane" and "welfare" actually mean their opposites. More disturbingly, we learn that the big businessmen of the animal business go to great lengths, even hiring provocateurs to attack their own facilities in order to discredit their opponents, all the while presenting themselves as the "moderate" victims of "terrorism." And the media, all too often, parrot what they have to say.

Regan shows that this sort of activity is not rare. We can be sure that it is what is happening with any act of "animal liberation" that results in more animals being killed than liberated. There are even cases of animal agribusinessmen publishing books claiming to be by their opponents--the Protocols of the Elders of Animal Rights, so to speak.

This is not to say that all animal rights advocates are pure and wise; Regan shows that some animal liberationists do carry out ill-judged actions that probably set the movement back more than they advance it. But readers certainly must pause before taking all unfavorable media accounts as the gospel truth.

Tom Regan, a leading intellectual of the Animal Rights movement, is professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University, who has used his philosophical acumen to set out the case for animal rights. Besides its information about the politics of the animal question, the book is particularly useful for its refutations of various common objections to the idea of animl rights.

Sensitive readers will not find the chapters dealing with the different animal industries--the "processing" of cows, chickens, pigs, and others--easy reading. But all is not darkness. Hunting is on the decline; only 5% of US Americans go hunting at present, down from 10% in the 1970s. The marine parks of England have all gone out of business. Brazil, Costa Rica, Finland, Israel, Singapore and Sweden have banned the exploitation of performing animals in circuses. Battery cages have been abolished in some European countries. Argentina, Israel, the Netherlands, Slovakia and Switzerland "have eliminated dissection from their primary and secondary schools" (p. 162). ( Friends of Israel will be glad to see its name in both lists.)

Regan's imaginative style comes to play in his categorization of the three basic kinds of ARAs (Animal Rights Advocates). First are the DaVincians, people who have loved animals from early childhood and have always been disturbed by the idea of eating them: people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Jane Goodall, and the fictional Ari of Roberta Kalechofsky's children's story ( See review). Next we have the "Damascans"--those who have an apocalyptic "road to Damascus" experience that opens their eyes regarding animals and changes their lives forever. The third category is comprised of the "Muddlers," among whom Regan counts himself. Their stories are generally undramatic accounts of a series of minor insights and small steps, some ahead and some back, leading to strengthening convictions and large changes. Professor Regan dedicates his book to them, his intended audience.

—Benjamin Urrutia

My Pilgrimage

My path into vegetarianism has been remarkably unspectacular. In my high school there were a few vegetarian students, and I thought I might try vegetarianism myself. I wasn't particularly motivated by the usual arguments--health, animal cruelty, and the environment. Rather, these just seemed to be added bonuses. My family, for the most part, had gone vegetarian, and seeing some of my friends try it as well just made it feel like a natural course of events in my life. Once I had made the decision and stopped eating flesh, I didn't experience any strong withdrawal or regret. I fell into the habit rather easily.

There was a brief period in my college days where I went back to meat. It was a more difficult environment to remain vegetarian because the cafeterias on campus had slim vegetarian options. At first it was liberating to have once again every restaurant's entire menu open to me, but somehow it felt uncomfortable. After a meat-laden meal, I was always left with an uneasy stomach and a vague feeling of guilt that what I had consumed was unnatural. It wasn't long before I went back to being a vegetarian.

This "My Pilgrimage" column usually has stirring stories of people's deep convictions and uphill battles with themselves and their loved ones. I always appreciate reading these inspiring testimonials, but I was a bit reluctant to write one myself because my story is distinctly devoid of hard battles and deep emotions. But I think, perhaps, it might be valuable for readers to hear it nonetheless. Going vegetarian doesn't always have to be a "big deal." It can be a simple choice, even a casual decision. Our attachment to our food can be relaxed, and our option to change our diets can be easy.

—Richard Scott Lancelot Ellwood

Odds and Ends

The Parable of the Colt

There once was a man, newly married to a woman who owned many horses, who sought to impress his wife by teaching a colt to follow his lead. It was an egregious failure. When the man pulled on the rope, the colt would just dig in his hooves.

The woman then taught the man the correct way to do it: rather than try to force the colt to follow, walk alongside him. This worked beautifully.

Like Jesus' parable of the noncoercive Good Shepherd, which fits real sheep as well as the humans symbolized by them, the Parable of the Colt fits actual colts and fillies just as well as the young humans the teller of the parable intended to benefit.

—Benjamin Urrutia

The Bambi Myth

Felix Salten (1869-1945) is the Austrian Jewish writer of many novels, but is best known as the author of Bambi, published in 1926 and banned ten years later by the Third Reich--not just because of the author's ethnicity, but also because its anti-hunting message was offensive to (inconsistent) National-Socialist ideology. Though his books were burned in bonfires, the author himself escaped to Switzerland.

The one who made Bambi a household word in the United States is of course Walter Elias Disney (1901-1966), the great Irish-American filmmaker who created one classic movie masterpiece after another, including what has been so far the one and only screen adaptation of Salten's magnum opus. Disney transformed Bambi and his family from European Roe deer to American White Tails, and softened the rough edges of a rather gritty story, but the central anti-hunting message was, if anything, strengthened. Unfortunately, when the movie came out in 1942 Mr. Salten did not get a pfennig from it, as he had sold the rights in 1933.

In every generation since then, millions of children have seen it, and many of them have absorbed the important message that animals have mothers, and children, and feelings. Together, Salten and Disney created the Bambi Myth. This expression is not meant to be derogatory: quite the contrary. By myth I mean a story by which people define themselves and the world around them. People who are hunting, or pondering whether to accept an invitation or a dare to go, are more likely to ask themselves: "But what if I kill Bambi, or Bambi's mother?" or "Do I really want to be the villain in the movie?" The percentage of hunters in the U.S. went down from 10% of the population in 1970 to 5% around 2000; for this, perhaps Salten and Disney deserve part of the credit, as they do in our grateful memories.

—Benjamin Urrutia

Pioneers: John Chapman

John Chapman, the future Johnny Appleseed, was born near Leominster, Massachusetts on September 26, 1774, to a farm family of limited means. His father Nathaniel, also a carpenter, was at that time a soldier in Washington's Revolutionary Army; his mother Elizabeth, who apparently suffered from tuberculosis, died before John was two years old. John and his sister Elizabeth were left in the care of relatives. His father later remarried and produced a large family, with whom John had close relationships.

The westward flow of immigration soon caught up the family. According to tradition, the teenaged John and his 11-year-old brother Nathaniel. Jr. set off together in 1792, spending time in Pennsylvania, then proceeding to Ohio. Here Nathaniel apparently rejoined his family who had settled there, beneficiaries of the Continental Congress, which awarded large tracts of land to war veterans (just as though the land were not already occupied by Native Americans).

John, however, had another calling. He was not really the otherworldly dreamer of legend; he was a canny businessman who would retrieve apple seeds from the mash discarded by cider mills, go out into the forest ahead of the wave of settlers, pick out favorable locations for apple orchards, and buy and sell land. His hundreds of plots ranged from an acre or two to many acres. While at work on an orchard he lived in a rude temporary shelter he had made. He did all the work himself, clearing, planted the seeds in neat rows, and fencing the areas with logs and brush to protect the seedlings from forest animals. He returned periodically to tend his nurseries and keep the fences in repair. As settlers arrived, John would sell his saplings for modest sums, or for verbal promises to pay later. In lieu of money he sometimes accepted used clothing (usually too big for his small frame, making him a comical sight). Despite appearances he was well off, with caches of money here and there from which he would take what he needed.

Like Pythagoras, John has been compared to Francis of Assissi (whose original name was also John). He was deeply religious, committed to the Christian vision of Swedenborg with its ready interaction with Christ, angels, saints and spirits of the deceased. He would visit settlers, read to them from the Bible or Swedenborg's works, perhaps leaving sections of the books which he would come back later to exchange for another section. He felt called to heal as well as to dispense herbs and apple trees, and when possible to make peace between settlers and native Americans. Respected by the latter as one touched by the Great Spirit, able to converse to some extent in their languages, he was allowed to participate in tribal councils, which sometimes helped him to warn settlers of potential attack. He had a fine voice, was tender, eloquent, by turns inspired and witty, able when appropriate to denounce wrongs in withering tones. He feared none; he loved not only all people but all animals, carried no gun, and ate no flesh, consuming only what nature or the settlers freely provided.

At the age of seventy, John died of "winter plague," probably pneumonia, on March 18, 1845, at the home of an Indiana friend. His remains were buried not far from Fort Worth.

John seems to have been something of a new Adam, transforming parts of the wilderness back into the Garden of God. Free of any need to deck himself with the symbols of wealth, comfort or success, radiating love for all beings, he offered himself freely toward the healing of persons and societies, feeding bodies and souls with wisdom and the apples of the Tree of Life. We can still savor the sweetness of his lifegiving life.

—Gracia Fay Ellwood, Krotona, California


From In Praise of Johnny Appleseed

. . . . A boy
Blew west,
And with prayers and incantations,
And with "Yankee Doodle Dandy,"
Crossed the Appalachians,
And was "young John Chapman,"
Then "Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Appleseed,"
Chief of the fastness, dappled and vast . . .
The beautiful orchards of the past,
The ghosts of all the forests and the groves--
In that pack on his back,
In that talisman sack,
Tomorrow's peaches, pears and cherries,
Tomorrow's grapes and red raspberries, . . .
And the apple, green, red, and white,
Sun of his day and his night--
The apple allied to the thorn,
Child of the rose.
Porches untrod of forest houses
All before him, all day long,
"Yankee Doodle" his marching song;
And the evening breeze
Joined his psalms of praise
As he sang the ways
Of the Ancient of Days.
Leaving behind august Virginia,
Proud Massachusetts, and proud Maine.
Planting the trees that would march and train
On, in his name to the great Pacific,
Like Birnam Wood to Dunsinane,
Johnny Appleseed swept on,
Every shackle gone,
Loving every sloshy brake,
Loving every skunk and snake,
Loving every leathery weed,
Johnny Appleseed, Johnny Appleseed,
[Friend] of the unicorn-ramping forest, . . .
The rooster-trumpeting, boar-foaming, wolf-ravening forest,
The spirit-haunted, fairy-enchanted forest,
Stupendous and endless,
Searching its perilous ways
In the name of the Ancient of Days.

—Vachel Lindsay, 1923

The Peaceable Table is intended to resume the witness of that excellent vehicle of the Friends Vegetarian Society of North America, The Friendly Vegetarian, which appeared quarterly between 1982 and 1995. Following its example, and sometimes borrowing from its treasures, we publish articles for toe-in-the-water vegetarians as well as long-term ones, poetry, letters, book and film reviews, and recipes.

The journal is intended to be interactive; contributions, including illustrations, are invited for the next issue. Deadline for the August issue will be July 31, 2005. Send to or 10 Krotona Hill, Ojai, CA 93023. We operate primarily online in order to conserve trees and labor, but hard copy is available for interested persons who are not online. The latter are asked to donate $12 (USD) per year. Other donations to offset the cost of the domain name, server and advertising notices are welcome.

Editor: Gracia Fay Ellwood
Book and Film Reviewers: Benjamin Urrutia & Robert Ellwood
Recipe Editor: Angela Suarez
Technical Architect: Richard Scott Lancelot Ellwood

Image credits: Photo of Michael Turay playing the title role in the play Johnny Appleseed, produced by the Johnny Appleseed Heritage Center. Photo of Richard Ellwood by Gracia Fay Ellwood.