As president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America, I commend Uri L’Tzedek for its wonderful campaign to see that workers at restaurants are properly treated, consistent with basic Jewish teachings (“Kosher restaurants put ethical standards on the menu,” June 18).
However, as praiseworthy as their actions are, I respectfully urge Uri L’Tzedek and other Jewish groups to go further to avoid implicitly providing a stamp of approval to the continuation of the animal-based diets and agriculture that are:
â€¢ contributing to an epidemic of diseases in the Jewish and other communities;
â€¢ contributing to global warming and other environmental problems that threaten humanity and all of creation;
â€¢ violating basic Jewish mandates to preserve human health, treat animals with compassion, protect the environment, conserve natural resources, help hungry people, and pursue peace.
JVNA would very much welcome respectful dialogues/debates with Uri L’Tzedek and others on “Should Jews be Vegetarians?” Such discussions would constitute a kiddush haShem (a sanctification of God’s name) because it would show the applicability of eternal Jewish teachings to dietary issues, and help shift our imperiled world to a sustainable path.
Further information about these issues can be found at the JVNA Website (JewishVeg.com) and in our documentary “A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World,” which can be freely seen at ASacredDuty.com.