By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only


Jesus has nothing to do with Christianity.
Pus has nothing to do with cow's milk.
Gills have nothing to do with fish.
Lawyers have nothing to do with eating up client's assets
McDonalds has nothing to do with killing cows.
Loma Linda University has nothing to do with vegetarianism

On Wednesday, June 18th, I spoke with Michael B. Hyman,
Esq., lead attorney for the law firm which is seeking to
appeal a decision that awarded $6 million to various
vegetarian groups as a result of a settlement in which
McDonald's admitted guilt by using animal fat to cook and
flavor French fried potatoes.

Mr. Hyman told me that his clients are attempting to
overturn that decision which awarded settlement funds to
organizations that do not uphold the values of

Hyman is one of 90 lawyers working for Chicago's finest
litigation firm, Much & Shelist. His specialty is antitrust
and securities class actions suits. What this means is that
great vegetarian organizations such as American Vegan
Society, North American Vegetarian Society, Vegetarian
Resource Group, and Vegetarian Vision will most likely see
only a fraction of their settlement dollars, for the case
will drag on for many more years. Ultimately, the attorneys
will be rewarded most of the settlement award in the form of
legal fees. Such is the nature of litigation in the twenty-
first century.

Hyman represented to me that organizations such as Loma
Linda University are not worthy of settlement dollars. He
went on to infer that Loma Linda does not promote
vegetarianism. It was his opinion that no university exists
to promote vegetarianism.

If that is the strategy of the litigants, this will be a
very short trial.

Loma Linda University received $250,000 in the McDonald's
settlement. Claiming that Loma Linda has nothing to do with
promoting vegetarianism is akin to claiming that Jesus has
nothing to do with Christianity or fish have no gills and
cow's milk has no pus.

In 1905, the Seventh-day Adventist Church opened a health
sanitarium and clinic, which was to later become a medical
school in 1909. That school was Loma Linda University.
Vegetarians of all faiths and persuasions walk upon the
shoulders of those 19th and 20th century vegetarian giants,
who, inspired by the vegetarian prophecies of Ellen G.
White, developed delicious alternatives to meat. These
alternatives include many of the same wheat gluten and soy
analogue products enjoyed today by vegetarians.

Loma Linda doctors and scientists have published thousands
of studies in mainstream, peer-reviewed scientific journals
supporting healthy vegetarian diets and lifestyles.

If not for Loma Linda, there would be little scientific
support in the debate regarding longevity and lack of
disease in Seventh-day Adventists who follow Ellen G.
White's brilliant vegetarian advice.

Loma Linda research has proven that vegetarians live ten
years longer than people eating the standard American diet.
They live healthier too, enjoying lower rates of heart
disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and asthma.
Searching the scientific literature, one confirms that Loma
Linda researchers represent the leading edge of vegetarian
and vegan scientific research.

Litigants and attorneys protesting the proposed McDonald's
vegetarian award to Loma Linda University might as well host
a veggie burger barbecue and use dollar bills as fuel. This
illogical lawsuit has fractured the vegetarian movement, and
has refined the word 'absurdity' into an art form.

I feel very badly that a person like Freya Dinshah, who made
popular the word "vegan" in America 30 years ago, will
probably not see any settlement money as a result of further
divisive litigation. Freya needs those funds to promote her
loving work. I feel badly that other vegetarian groups have
been attacked and slandered in pre-trial depositions. This
litigation has driven a wedge into the vegetarian movement.

I regret the fact that Loma Linda educators, whose
philosophy it has been to promote vegetarianism with
scientific support since 1909, have been attacked and
accused of acting contrary to the spirit of vegetarianism.

I strongly regret that the motives of my friends, H.K. Shah
and Harshad Parekh of Vegetarian Vision, were criticized in
a long 20-page brief and affidavit. These two men are
sponsoring a world vegetarian movement in which Maneka
Gandhi will be visiting the United States on a lecture tour
later this year. Gandhi, once India's health minister, has
been active in animal rescue, ending lab research, promoting
vegetarianism, ending slaughter of cows in Uttar Pradesh
(India's largest state), and beginning the Notmilk movement
in her native country. I will be proud to be accompanying
her on a tour of American cities in the fall. I will donate
my time to Vegetarian Vision, for I too share their vision.

I ask you to write to the judge, and let him know that the
original settlement is in the best interests of
vegetarianism. With your letters, those adversarial motions
will be thrown out of court. Please reference:

Case No. 01 CH 9137-Block v. McDonald's

The Honorable Richard Siebel
Circuit Court of Cook County Illinois
County Department, Chancery Division
Room 2305, Daley Center
Chicago, IL 60601

Robert Cohen, author of:   MILK A-Z
Executive Director (
Dairy Education Board

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