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Comments by Richard Schwartz - 7 May 2010

In Reference to: Say No to Sanctified Animal Abuse

Rather than continuing an argument that will certainly not benefit animals and is possibly distracting people from efforts to improve things, I think again that it is important to find common ground and solutions. If you find the concept of ahimsa valuable — and I think it would be marvelous if everybody adopted positions of non-violence toward people and animals, and I support that — please use that to promote better conditions. But, since, very unfortunately, many do not seem ready to adopt that approach, if you would like to promote vegetarianism, veganism and other ways to reduce the many horrible examples of animal abuses in society today, please feel free to visit JewishVeg.com, where I have many podcasts and articles, and please see our very pro-veg documentary “A Sacred Duty: Applying Jewish Values to Help Heal the World.” It has been acclaimed by Jews and non-Jews, and even people from India, as you can see by reading the blurbs at ASacredDuty.com. However, if you find another approach better, best wishes in applying that approach. The important thing is to improve conditions for animals and to help shift our very imperiled planet to a sustainable path.

BTW, I do not use “dominion” as a model of compassion, but I do use many other Jewish teachings. The Jewish sages interpreted dominion as responsible stewardship and, hence properly interpreted it can be used in a positive way. One has to also consider verses that come right after the dominion verse, including Genesis 1:29, which indicates God’s initial strictly vegan diet, and Genesis 2:15, which is a model for humans being shomrei ha’adamah, or “guardians of the earth.”

Whatever path works best for you, please use it because the obstacles we face are very great and we need all people of good will actively and effectively involved.