75 rabbis from across the religious spectrum have signed a landmark statement, calling on Jews to align sacred teachings with their eating habits, and go vegan.
In the accompanying campaign video Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland hails ‘veganism as the new kashrut, kashrut for the 21st century. Any other form of kashrut is problematic, highly problematic, so if you really want to be true to both the letter of the law and the spirit of law of what kashrut is all about, you should eat a plant-based diet.’
Rabbi David Wolpe explains: ‘Tza’ar ba’alei chayim – not causing pain to another living creature is a central principle of the Jewish tradition, and we violate it every time we eat something that we know was factory farmed, was debeaked, declawed, was treated cruelly.’ He goes on to add: ‘People think of gefilte fish as Jewish food but it’s really Polish food, modified, and the same thing with the dishes that come from the Iranian Jewish community, it is Persian / Middle Eastern food. Jewish food is the food you grew up with. If you raise your children with a plant-based diet, in a generation they will look at tofu or at seitan and think ‘this is Jewish food’.
This is the strongest statement about animal-free diets ever made by such a large collection of ordained clergy (in this case, rabbis).
Click here to read the feature, currently on the homepage of the Jewish Chronicle website.
The campaign is a collaboration between US-based Jewish Veg and the Jewish Vegetarian Society (JVS).