by MPD
Categories: People
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Mayim-Bialik

Here’s what you probably know about Mayim Bialik: in the early nineties she played Blossom Russo on NBC’s hit show Blossom. Now here’s what you don’t know: today she’s a super green vegan who’s helping to make the world a better place!

Mayim is the spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network and will be hanging out at the Go Green Expo this week in Los Angeles, California.

Yesterday afternoon we had the chance to sit down with Mayim and chat about all things eco. We also got an extra special discount code from our friends at the Go Green Expo so that all of our LA readers can go meet Mayim. Simply visit GoGreenExpo.com and enter discount code: Ecorazzi. Doesn’t get much easier than that!

Check out our exclusive interview below!

Ecorazzi: How did you get involved with the Go Green Expo?

Mayim Bialik: I’m the celebrity spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network and so I’ve been really blessed to do a lot of great publicity for them. I’ll be doing a Meet and Greet at their booth at the Go Green Expo. I’m also serving on a panel about environmentally conscious children, which I can’t say I’m necessary an expert on, but there are certain things I’ve been trying to do –- mainly with our four-year-old –- to give him a concept that our purpose on this planet is not just to consume. Obviously we need to consume some, but there are limits and things we need to think about.

E: Speaking of kids, we reported last year that you used a method called “Elimination Communication” to help potty train your children. Tell me a little about that.

MB: For those of us who practice E.C, we don’t even consider it potty training — it’s more parent training. The idea is that babies are born giving signals when they need to go to the bathroom, and if you learn them, you can reinforce those signals so that they get stronger and the child shows a very strong preference to not using a diaper.

There are a lot of different levels to it, but one is a green level. Forget the conversation about cloth or disposable — we’ve now moved into almost not needing diapers after the first year. It’s pretty incredible.

E: Besides living green, you also eat green! In fact, you’re vegan. How and why did you make that choice?

MB: I became vegetarian when I was 19 and as of the New Year I am totally vegan. Before, I was eating trace amounts of animal products and was very weary to call myself a vegan. I have a lot of true vegan friends and in their circles I was always hesitant to use that term. As you know, there’s a lot of politicization around veganism. However, it’s now my truth. I don’t even wear leather.

E: What made you finally decide to go from vegetarian to vegan?

MB: My husband and I just finished reading the Jonathan Safran Foer book Eating Animals and that just pushed me over the top. I didn’t eat fish, chicken, meat or dairy for years, but if there was a birthday cake or something, I wouldn’t worry about it too much. But once I read the book, the full portrait of what was going on really moved me more than I even wanted to be moved. I mean it sent me to a whole other level — my husband, as well. He calls himself a reluctant vegetarian. We’re just having a really hard time reconciling what we read with forgetting, which is what Safran-Foer says you have to do if you want to go back to the way you were — you have to forget the truth.

E: I know you’re Jewish and very serious about your faith. Do you think there’s a connection between spirituality, environmentalism and plant-based living?

MB: I do. There is a strong wave of Jewish vegetarians and there is a pretty large movement, if you’re in a progressive synagogue and an environmental-friendly community, to only serve vegetarian. That’s happening more and more. You know in the Old Testament Adam and Eve are vegetarians, and in Judaism there is a strong indication that we are responsible for each other and for our planet. So some of us also make the choice to be vegan as an environmental statement.

There are even some Jewish communities that are saying a kosher factory should lose its certification if the meat is prepared in an environment where workers are not treated well. These are huge concepts.

We have a tradition that goes back thousands of years about how to treat animals as best we can. Factory farming didn’t exist thousands of years ago, much less a hundred years ago. So I think it’s very interesting that as archaic as some people think traditional Judaism is, we are still trying to stay current with what is going on.

The reality of factory farming knocked me on my butt, and I consider myself a pretty educated, current person. So it might take a little time, but it’s a really strong statement that progressive communities are starting to say that not eating meat is a good thing to do for the world. Even if people start with not eating meat at a temple event, they could see that you can eat a full, balanced and possibly even healthier meal and that it can be equally delicious.

A great big thank you to Mayim Bialik for taking the time out of her busy schedule to sit down with us for a chat! Don’t forget to visit GoGreenExpo.com and get your tickets to the show!

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  • Anton

    Way to go Mayim! I’m happy to hear that you’re doing so much for the world!

  • http://www.goveg.com Tahler

    Awesome! The Website GoVeg.com is what helped me kick my meat addiction.

  • http://www.white-boucke.com/IPTstuff.html Laurie

    So glad you are an advocate for elimination communication (infant potty training). Here are a few links for anyone wanting to read more about the practice:
    http://www.TimL.com/ipt
    http://www.pottywhisperer.com

    Cheers

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  • RG

    Sorry, Mayim, it is not possible to be both an observant Jew and a strict vegan. Torahs, megillot, and mezuzah scrolls must be written on animal skins, and the straps for tefillin must be made of leather. The shofar must be a ram’s horn. No other materials are acceptable. Some people are using the skins of animals that died of natural causes for these ritual purposes, but of course that is not acceptable to strict vegans.

    Ethical vegetarianism and veganism are antithetical to Jewish philosophy and law. It is permissible to avoid meat and other animal products for health reasons (e.g., lactose intolerance, high cholesterol) or because one does not care for the taste. Otherwise the consumption of meat is required on certain celebratory occasions such as Passover seder and Sabbath dinner (Friday night). It is against Jewish law to avoid animal products because one thinks their use is immoral or unethical. Instead Jewish law requires that one refrain from causing animals needless suffering, and that includes adhering to shechita, the process of humane slaughtering outlined in the Torah. Obviously vegans and vegetarians do not accept traditional Jewish shechita as being humane.

    The promotion of the idea of an “ethical hecksher” which would require not only humane treatment of animals but also of workers in order for meat to be considered kosher really mixes up several different aspects of Jewish law. Meat is kosher if the animal is slaughtered correctly, passes an examination after slaughter, comes from the forward portion of the animal, is properly salted, is sold in a way which does not infringe on the sabbath, and is handled, cooked, and served completely separate from dairy products. Kashrut does not involve ethical (and lawful) treatment of workers, which is handled under other rubrics of Jewish law.

    It is possible to be a less than observant Jew and be a vegetarian, just as it is possible to be a Reform Jew and eat cheeseburgers at McDonald’s. but even the most “progressive” synagogues must have Torahs, and they must be written on animal skins, or they are not Torahs.

  • Adri

    It says there are eight comments, but only four show up.

    RG, would meat from the cows whose esophagi were pulled out with hooks while they were fully conscious be considered kosher (Rubashkin Agriprocessors)? The OU certified them even though it took the animals up to two minutes to die. Talk about the difference between the spirit and letter of the law. Observant Jews should demand the spirit of these laws be satisfied, since many of their rabbis are failing at that job.

  • http://www.diaryofavegan.com Vegan Girl

    Great article. Love Mayim!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000109563935 Dawn Gordon

    Genesis 18
    The Three Visitors
    1 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.
    3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, [a] do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”
    “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

    6 So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs [b] of fine flour and knead it and bake some bread.”

    7 Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. 8 He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

    The Lord ate meat, this is in the torah (jewish five books)no connection to meat and God