More than 70 rabbis from across the world and from across the religious spectrum, including several from Britain, have signed a declaration urging Jews to switch to a vegan diet.
Masorti Rabbis Jonathan Wittenberg and Jeremy Gordon, the principal of the Leo Baeck College, Rabbi Deborah Kahn-Harris and Rabbi Natan Levy, the Board of Deputies former interfaith officer, who is Orthodox, are among UK supporters of the statement issued by the Jewish Vegetarian Society in Britain and the American JewishVeg.
The rabbis call on their “fellow Jews to transition toward animal-free, plant-based diets.This approach to sustenance is an expression of our shared Jewish values of compassion for animals, protection of the environment, and concern for our physical and spiritual well-being.”
Several also appear in a video which has been launched on the JVS website today.
Rabbi David Rosen, the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland and now one of the leading Jewish interfaith activists, advocates 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, one of America’s prominent Conservative rabbis, says “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.”
Other signatories incude Rabbi Raymond Apple, the former senior rabbi of the Great Synagogue in Sydney and the Israel-based Talmud scholar originally from London Rabbi Daniel Sperber.