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Anyone for a Hamburger?

Stuck on a diet of lettuce and wheat germ which has undoubtedly dulled their intellects and made them go into ravenous fits of drooling at the smell of meat and cheese, vegetarian activists are it again claiming that Judaism encourages the vegetarian diet.

This particular gem comes Richard Schwartz, Retired Emeritus Nuisance. What else could it be but a plot to enforce eating shrubs and mushrooms only.

Many animal activists regard organized religion as an ideological opponent.

Most likely because they want to remove any special status for man in relation to animals and reduce man to merely another beast.

The first misunderstanding is that the biblical teaching that humans are granted dominion over animals gives us a warrant to treat them in whatever way we may wish. Jewish tradition interprets "dominion" as guardianship, or stewardship, not domination:

And what is the VeggieBible interpretation of Kivsuha, conquering or to subdue the earth? A partnership perhaps?

This biblical mandate does not mean that people have the right to wantonly exploit animals, and it certainly does not permit us to breed animals and then treat them as machines designed solely to meet human needs.

The mandate does not mean that we have unlimited power or authority over animals, we are given specific restrictions in that regard beginning at the Noahide level. But those restrictions exist to prevent 'abuse' of animals, not to prevent the use of animals.

Thus the definition of 'Wanton' comes into play. To the vegheads, any use of an animal can be wanton exploitation. If we presume as animal rights activists do that animals have innate rights as humans do, rather than conditions of guardianship which is how Judaism defines it, than any use of an animal not for its own benefit, is exploitation.

This view is reinforced by the fact that immediately after God gave humankind dominion over animals (Genesis 1:26), He prescribed vegetarian foods as the diet best suited to humans (Genesis 1:29).

Possibly is Rabbi Sears had gotten together with Rabbi Roebuck and spent less time on 'Spirituality and Inner Growth' and more time reading Chumash he might have noticed that such a perception is ambiguous at best. Firstly in 28 once again Hashem repeats man's dominion over animals, fish and birds which is then followed by 29 and 30 that mentions the herbage as being available for men and animals. This is not however a dietary limitation.

The language is not a suggested diet and not one for humans. In fact what is being defined is a sphere of authority through the gift of Hashem. First the top of the pyramid begins with man who has authority over all life, secondly are animals who have the right to all plant life. Thus man's similarly has the right to all fish, beasts and fowl as they do to the plant life.

In summation, as the Lord is our shepherd, we are to be shepherds of voiceless creatures. As God is kind and compassionate to us, we must be considerate of the needs and feelings of animals. To this we may add that by showing compassion to animals through a vegetarian diet, we help fulfill the commandment to imitate God's ways.

This is an utterly warped and gross misinterpretation. The Torah repeatedly mandates and prescribes the use of animals for food, whether it is through sacrifices or celebration. And if we are to imitate G-D's ways, then we can look no further than the leather garments made for Adam and Chava. We can look to the kind Chevel who is a shepherd and sacrifices sheep and the cruel Cain who works the earth and is condemned for it. One might as easily draw the conclusion with supporting evidence that the earth was cursed and those who worked it were lowered men, Adam vs the shepherds who would go on to be our leaders, e.g. Yaakov, Moshe, Dovid HaMelech.


  1. Anonymous21/3/05

    Yeah Vegetarianism good stuff Hashem approves , said Matt while mouth is stuffed with hamburger of juicy red meat oozing with ketchup.
    Now I am thinking of that roast beef and potatoes for supper.
    Cattle!! FEAR ME!! yum yum

  2. Anonymous22/3/05

    I think you are unaware of the massive abuse going on in factory farms today. This is not "use", it is wonton abuse. They beat animals to death, intentionally starve them, confine them so tightly they cannot take a step their entire lives, manipulate them to grow so fast their legs break under their own weight, tear off body parts with pliers, force them to live in their own filth, and so many other cruelties that violate Jewish teachings requiring compassionate treatment of animals.

    How can a Jew eat meat that comes from such places, as kosher and unkosher meat alike do today in America? It is absolutely a desecration of Hashem's name.

    (You are also wrong on some of your facts. The great Torah commentators agree that in the garden of Eden, Hashem intended that we all be vegetarians, which continued until Noah.)

    There's plenty more info at www.JewishVeg.com

  3. Anonymous20/10/05

    Our sages say, "I would rather be with those who are insulted than with those who insult." Your insulting comments about Dovid Sears are not an advertisement for the beneficent influence of meat-eating upon the human intellect.

  4. Anonymous21/10/05

    noam, these so-called factory farms are not how kosher meat is raised and such an animal would not be kosher

    hasid, quoting chazal out of context is not a sign that eating soy does much for the mind either


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