Our Animal Rights Articles

From all-creatures.org

Our subjects cover: animals, religion (Christian, Jewish and others); diet and lifestyle (vegan and vegetarian); and other miscellaneous subjects.

Our Animal Rights Articles
Comments by Yonassan Gershom - 5 May 2010

In Reference to: Say No to Sanctified Animal Abuse


Since it is very clear that you hate Judaism with all your heart and soul, that you are such a one-issue person that you are totally incapable of seeing anything positive in being Jewish, and no amount of arguing is ever going to get you to see anything positive in it, I am going move on and ask you another question:

Do you hate Native American (Indian) religions as much as you hate Judaism?

Because in the 40+ years that I have interacted with Native peoples of many tribes (I am over 60, BTW, with a degree in Native American studies) I have NEVER ONCE met a Native vegetarian — not ONCE! The only reference to vegetarianism I’ve ever found in Native culture is a modern T-shirt that says: “Vegetarian: Old Indian word for lousy hunter.” While it is true that some tribes ate mostly vegetables such as corn and squash, I have never heard of a tribe that gave up meat on principle.

American Indians eat meat, hunt, and wear animal parts in dance costumes and use them is sacred ceremonies — a lot more blatantly than Jews ever do. Go to any powwow and you will see plenty of eagle feathers, furs, buffalo hides, leather, animal horns, turtle shells, bear claws and such. So why is it that you animal rights folks never protest this but are constantly harping on kosher slaughter? Is it because it is politically incorrect to criticize “Native spirituality” but pefectly OK to have open season on attacking Jews?

There are thousands of Jewish vegetarians and vegans but, to my knowledge, few if any Native vegetarians. As I said, I’ve never met any. There are dozens of books on Jewish vegetarianism, not ONE SINGLE BOOK on Native vegetarianism that I know of. There are several Jewish vegetarian orgs, not one single Native vegetarian org, at least not on Google. So it would appear that Jews are grappling with this issue a lot better than Native Indians — yet you and your cronies are strangely silent on Native cultures, which many new agers hold up as the epitome of sensitivity to nature and animals. Do you see your hypocrisy in this?

Don’t get me wrong: I am not against Native peoples or their religions. I believe they have the right to determine their own tribal practices and it is not for me to rewrite their culture. I am merely calling you on your inconsistency. If you are going to attack Jews, then you should be attacking everyone equally, or else you are guilty of anti-Semitism.

You will NEVER get me to re-write the Torah to suit your needs, nor will any other rabbi do that. The Torah permits slaughter, period. God knew that Jews, unlike the Jains, would not alweays be living in hospitable tropical climates where veggies grow year-round. And if all modern transportation were to suddenly stop tomorrow, then I, living here in frigid Minnesota, would have to go back to eating meat in winter or starve.

Luckily I live in an era when I have a choice. I encourage others to make that same choice. But unlike you, I am capable of understanding that things are not always so back and white. in all times and places. There are grey areas in life, and we must sometimes accept a less than perfect world, while working to make it more perfect. Jainism might be the ideal, but the whole world will never be Jainist. So you can either hate 99% of the people on the planet with burning anger, or you can learn to work with people who do not agree 100% with you but who share some of your values. Gandhi, wo was a Jain, was able to work with others who did not agree with him 100%. Learn from him.

My preference is to try and find common ground., to focus on areas where we agre and ccan work together. If I were as fanatical as you,. i would not evenb talk to you since you left Judaism to become and idolator. But i am choosing to overlook that VERY BIG THING that i disagree with and try to dialogue on something we can obth mert on.

You, however, seem incapable of doing this. But NOT ONCE have you acknowledged the very real efforts that Doctor Schwartz (a VEGAN, I stress again) has made over many decades of vegetarian activism. not once have you acknowledged that I personally made a choice to give up flesh foods and endured ridicule in the HASIDIC COMMUNITY, a world where meat-eating is the norm. We could also agree on the cruelty of factory farms, fur farms, etc. We basically agree that the diet for the 21st century is vegetarianism.
Instead, you attack us for not re-writing the Torah to suit your needs. You want us to throw out God and make you god, substituting your gJainist gospel for the Torah. Well, that is not ever going to happen, so this conversation is becoming repetitive and useless. I am not going to answer again until you stop giving me canned rhetoric and answer the specific question that I asked:

Do you hate Native cultures as much as you hate Judaism?

Rabbi Yonassan Gershom