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Schwartz at 80
Join Other Jewish Veggies at Our May 19 Benefit
Jewish vegans and vegetarians will gather in New York on May 19 to thank Richard Schwartz for his decades of selfless advocacy for a more compassionate, healthier world.
We hope you can be there for his 80th birthday celebration. There will be a delicious vegan, kosher dinner, and good times for all.
But whether or not you can attend, you can still participate by showing your appreciation for Richard in a Tribute Book that he and his family will cherish.
For more information, just click on the Super Hero image of Richard below.
Jewish Vegetarianism? Yes!
Why is it that many Jewish religious leaders advocate vegetarianism and veganism?
They include: former Chief Rabbi of Britain Jonathan Sacks, the late Chief Rabbi of Israel Shlomo Goren, the first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel, Abraham Kook.
The former Chief Rabbi of Ireland David Rosen considers "the consumption of meat as halachically unacceptable."
The Torah is full of commandments demanding humane treatment of animals, yet the modern factory farms that produce over 90% of the animal products we consume today raise their animals in unconscionable conditions of abject misery.
The Torah reflects great concern for the land, yet as the primary cause of water pollution, water use, topsoil erosion, destruction of the world's rainforests, and other environmental harms, animal agriculture takes a devastating toll on the planet.
Jewish teachings emphasize the grave importance of protecting human health, yet the consumption of animal products in the United States is responsible for numerous diseases including heart disease, America's number one killer.
By shifting toward or to a plant-based diet, we can fulfill the highest Jewish ideals, while enjoying delicious, healthy food.
Our Website goes into greater depth about Jewish Vegetarianism and provides a whole host of recipes and other resources. We hope you will find our site to be interesting, inspiring and helpful.
Lamb’s Blood Aside, Passover is a Vegan-Friendly Holiday
By The Beet-Eating Heeb
You might assume that The Beet-Eating Heeb dreads Passover.
After all, the very name of the holiday relates to the smearing of lamb’s blood on the doorposts of the Hebrews.
It would be one thing if the lambs had willingly donated a pint or two at the local blood bank. We all know that’s not how it happened.
Furthermore, the Ashkenazic prohibition on eating legumes really limits The Beet-Eating Heeb’s diet. This means eating even more beets than usual. Not such a bad thing, but he really misses lentils.
Believe it or not, though, BEH looks forward to Pesach every year as a holiday whose main spiritual themes intersect with veganism.
You might find that to be quite a stretch, especially if your mother is making her brisket for the Seder again this year.
But hear BEH out.
Without further fanfare, or actually any fanfare, The Beet-Eating Heeb presents:
The Top 3 Reasons Passover is a Vegan Holiday
1. At Passover, we celebrate our freedom, our deliverance from slavery.
It seems like a good time to abstain from meat, dairy and eggs, since the animals from which those products are derived are treated like slaves, or worse.
Actually, anthropologically speaking, the very motif of slavery comes from animal agriculture. (This may be the most intellectual sentence BEH has ever written.)
Buying and selling living beings, binding them with chains, and branding them with hot irons are all actions that we associate with slavery. And these are all actions that originated in animal agriculture.
In modern factory farming, what animals experience is even worse than slavery. BEH will spare you the details this time around. But suffice it to say, during Passover, it would be a little hypocritical to celebrate our freedom while participating in the confinement, mutilation and killing of other sentient, soulful beings
2. At Passover, we seek to free ourselves from our own personal mitzrayim, our bad habits.
And meat-eating is a very bad habit. Bad for your health. Bad for the planet. And very bad for the animal involved.
Pesach provides the perfect opportunity to make changes in our lives. Reducing or eliminating animal products from your diet is one of the best changes you can make.
Why do we eat matzah, the bread of affliction?
It’s not because we enjoy the feeling of constipation. (A feeling vegans rarely get, by the way.)
It’s because, spiritually, matzah is humble. It is unleavened. It has not risen.
We rid our homes of chametz and we eat matzah to remind ourselves to remain humble.
The whole concept of killing animals for food is based on the misguided notion that we are far superior to our furry and feathered friends.
The rabbis of the Talmud realized that humans would have a tendency to be anthropocentric. (BEH is on a roll.) Yes, anthropocentric. Look it up, if you have to.
Those rabbis found many ways to make the point that if human beings are superior by animals, it’s not by much. Take, for instance, the mitzvah of feeding your animals before you feed yourself. That’s humility, baby.
So, you see, The Beet-Eating Heeb has good reason to engage in vegan advocacy, right there at his Seder table.
If we take the spiritual significance of Passover seriously, then we must consider going veg.
(The Beet-Eating Heeb blogs at www.thebeeteatingheeb.com)
A new book co-written by JVNA member Patti Breitman
The Jewish Veg Spotlight Shines On .... Never Too Late to Go Vegan
Talk about a Dream Team of vegan authors!
Patti Breitman has co-authored an important new book wth Carol Adams of "The Sexual Politics of Meat" fame and prominent vegan registered dietician Virginia Messina.
Their book is the first to address the unique concerns of older adults who are considering a vegan diet. Much of the book, though, is applicable to anyone considering such a positive change.
We asked JVNA Advisory Council member Roberta Kalechofsky, an accomplished author herself, to read and review Patti's book.