The Case for a Vegan World


"If judaism is your religion, you would be little out of place as a vegetarian at certain religious feasts such as Sukkot, Pesach and Shavuout, and because of your religion's ritual slaughter. it is unlikely that your vegetarian stance would attract much applause. One can, though, be both a Jew and a vegetarian. The Torah records God as saying: 'See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon th earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food.' (1) So Judaism teaches that vegan was the original, and presumably ideal, diet for humans. A non-meat diet harmonises with the Jewish mitzvoth requirements 'bal tashit' (not destroying), 'shmirat haguf' (defending our bodies) and 'tsa'ar ba'alei chayim' (being kind to animals). The Talmud (2) says that Jews are not required to eat meat since the destruction of the Temple. Also, several cheif rabbis are strict vegetarian (3). The intellectual giant Albert Einstein was a vegetarian; so were Nobel laureate A. Gordan and Palestine's first chief rabbi, Abraham Kook (4). If it is acceptable for Jews of that stature to be vegetarian, it ought to be acceptable to you. Not only should it be acceptable, but you might find it more convenient. No longer would you have to worry about whether the animal that your meat came from was slaughtered according to Jewish law; no longer would you be concerned about consuming meat and milk from the same plate." The Rambam who was a great Jewish commentator argued that the ideal state for Jew is to be a vegetarian but since most of us can not achieve this high stature we are allowed to eat meat and flesh of certain animals within certain constraints outlined by kashrut Jewish dietary laws. It is important to note that Rambam was a vegetarian.



References for the Arguments[]

Waddell, John, 'But You Kill Ants', Australia, 2004[]

  1. Genesis 1:29 in 'The Torah: a new translation according to the Masoretic text' p4
  2. Pesachim 109a
  3. Richard H Schwarz, 'Are Jews Obligated to be Vegetarians?' [1]
  4. Global News Service of the Jewish People, [2]

References for the Objections[]

Examples and Anecdotes[]