Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Jewish Documentary Addresses Meat Diet

A new documentary sponsored by Jewish Vegetarians of North America addresses the importance of a plant-based diet to save the world.

"Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World" just premiered in November.

Leading Israeli environmentalist and founder of the Israel Union for Environmental Defense, Professor Alon Tal (also featured in the documentary), called the film "a curious juxtaposition." Aside from showing natural images, such as the polluted Yarkon River, A Sacred Duty presents a series of video clips portraying cruelty to farm animals. It ends on a positive note, however - that we can, in fact, reverse this catastrophic trend - complete with classic "clean earth" scenes of foliage, water sports on Israeli beaches and setting suns.

...For the Jewish community, {a plant-based diet} has particular significance. Eating an animal-based diet is "no doubt damaging the world and is in violation of the Jewish mandate to protect and care for the earth," said Jerusalem rabbi Adam Frank in the documentary. Schwartz agrees. He even takes it further, insisting that meat-eating is actually in violation of Jewish law, which requires us to "take care of the body, show compassion to animals, conserve resources, help hungry people, and seek and pursue peace."

Even kosher is cruel," said Roberta Kalechofsky, founder and director of Jews for Animal Rights. She cites violations by two kosher slaughterhouses in Nebraska and Iowa in addition to the farms that do abide by current standards, but still do not minimize pain as much as they could.

Photo by Liora.

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