- T Genesis 9:8-12; Hosea 2:18
- F Ecclesiastes 3:18-22
- F In the Responsa literature, hunting is deplored as wasteful,
unnecessarily cruel, and dangerous to human life. "Based on the statement 'not to
stand in the path of sinners' (Psalms 1:1), the Talmud prohibited association with
hunters." (R. Schwartz, Judaism and Vegetarianism)
- T Genesis 24:11-20
- T Psalms 145:9; Baba Metzia 85a; Genesis Rabbah 33:3
- F Like humans, animals have responsibilities as well as rights
(for example, the right to Sabbath rest and the right to protection from needless
suffering). Animals that kill people may be put to death only after due consideration of
all the circumstances, including whether the death was accidental.
- F "He who sits in a stadium spills blood." Talmud. No
distinction was made between human victims and animal victims. (Avodah Zarah 1)
- F "The righteous man regardeth the life of his beast,"
or translated literally "the righteous man knoweth the soul of his beast."
(Proverbs 12:10) "The man...who is careless and indifferent about it (his animal),
though he may not be hard-hearted and cruel to it, yet inasmuch as he regards it not, he
is an unrighteous man; for the righteous man regards the life, the desire and the
happiness of his beast....If I know that a man is cruel to his beast, I ask no more
questions about him. He may be a noble man, or a rich man, or a polite man, or a
sensible man, or a learned man, or an orthodox man, or a church man, or anything else, it
matters not; this I know, on the sacred word of a wise king, that being cruel to his
beast, he is a wicked man." (Humphrey Primatt, Dissertation on the Duty of Mercy and
Sin of Cruelty to Brute Animals, London T. Cadell, 1776, p. 208/9 and "Sefer Orhot
Tsadikim," Koenigsberg, H. Gruber, 1858, p. 17 as quoted in "Tsa'ar Ba'ale
Hayim, The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Its Bases, Development and Legislation
in Hebrew Literature" by Noah J. Cohen, Feldheim Publishers, N.Y., 1976).
- T According to several interpretive sources, the word
"righteous" is applied to people who supply food to people or animals in times
of distress. Tan Huma BI, 31; Tan Huma Noah 3.
- F See answer to question #8 above. As God is a good shepherd to
humans, so humans are to be good shepherds to animals. Ezekiel 34:1-6. Dominion means
stewardship, not a license to abuse. "There can be no doubt in the minds of
every thinking man that the concept of dominion as expressed in the Torah...does not
in any way imply the rule of a haughty despot who tyrannically governs his people and his
servants for his own personal selfish ends and with a stubborn heart. Heaven
such a repulsive form of servitude be forever integrated (sealed) in the world of the
Lord, whose tender mercies are on all His works and of whom it is said, 'He shall build a
world of kindness." Rabbi Yitzchak Hacohen Kook (first rabbi of pre-state Israel),
"The Vision of Vegetarianism and Peace," edited and compiled by "The Nazeer
of Jerusalem," Rabbi David Hacohen, from a lecture delivered by Joe Green entitled
"Chalutzim of the Messiah," p. 2, P.O. Box 64119, Highlands North, Johannesburg,
- T Leviticus 17:13; "The removal of blood, which kashrut
teaches, is one of the most powerful means of making us constantly aware of the concession
and compromise which the whole act of eating meat, in reality, is. Again, it teaches us
reverence for life." (Rabbi Samuel Dresner, "Jewish Dietary Laws," p.
29); "The covering of the blood of slaughtered beasts and birds can be likened to a
Divine Protest — The eating of meat with all thy soul without any concept of inner
opposition was due to the low spiritual state of man. To this the Torah retorted,
'Cover the blood, hide thy shame and your moral weakness.' The aforementioned deals with
beasts and birds, which in the majority of cases live in surroundings which are situated
far from man's domestic habitat. With regard to the slaughter of domestic animals,
that is, those that live in close proximity to man, the procedure is the opposite. The blood is not
covered, in order that your eyes shall behold the blood that has been spilt and the blood
shall cry out to you from the face of the Earth at first with a still small voice which in
due course will penetrate the ears of the most deaf and open the eyes of those who are
blind (to the message). And in that day, 'I shall remove your stony heart and replace it
with a heart of flesh.' " Rabbi Yitzchak Hacohen Kook, "The Vision of
Vegetarianism and Peace," ibid.
- F Psalms 40:6 and 50:9-14; Isaiah 1:11-15 and 66:3; Hosea 6:6 and
8:13; Micah 6:6-8.
- F Deuteronomy 25:4: "At the time of threshing, when the ox
is surrounded by the food that he enjoys so much, it should not be prevented from
satisfying its appetite." (Richard Schwartz, "Judaism and Vegetarianism,"
p. 12). Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch cites the Talmud (Choshen Mishpat 338) as indicating
that you may prevent an animal from eating that which would harm it. (Hirsch,
"Horeb," p.293 as quoted in R. Schwartz, ibid).
- T "Code of Jewish Law," Rabbi Solomon Gamzfried, Hebrew
Publishing Company, N.Y., 1961, book 4, chapter 191, p.84.
- T Ganzfried, comp., "Code of Jewish Law," Vol.2, p. 29
as quoted in Richard Schwartz, op.cit., p.18. Similarly, leather shoes may not be worn on
Yom Kipper because it is not proper to plead for compassion when one has not shown it to
other living creatures. (Joe Green, "The Jewish Vegetarian Tradition,"
Johannesburg, South Africa: Joe Green, 1969, p.15, based on the teaching of the Ramah
quoted in R. Schwartz, op.cit., pp. 17-18).
- T R. Schwartz, op. cit., p.7.
- F Gitten 62a; based on Deuteronomy (11:15); "And I will give
grass in thy fields for thy cattle, and thou shalt eat and be satisfied." Food for
cattle is provided before food for humans. See R. Schwartz, op.cit., p.13.
- F Exodus 20:8-10 and Exodus 23:12.
- T Genesis 1:29-30, Isaiah 11:6-9; Hosea 2:20. The famous Jewish
Bible commentator Rashi states the following: "God did not permit Adam and his wife
to kill a creature and to eat its flesh. Only every green herb shall they all eat
together." (See R. Schwartz, op.cit., p.1.) Rabbi Kook and Joseph Albo state that in
the days of the Messiah, people will again be vegetarians. (See R. Schwartz, op. cit.,
- F "The duty to feed an animal first is so great that a
person may interrupt the performance of a rabbinic commandment in order to ascertain that
this has been done. For example, a person may, after saying the benediction over bread,
not immediately eat the bread in order to inquire as to whether the animals have been
fed." (Orach Chayim 167:6; Berachot 40a as quoted in R. Schwartz, op. cit., p.14.
On Yom Kippur eve, Rabbi Israel Salanter freed a Christian neighbor's calf that had become
lost and tangled in the brush and led it home through many fields and over many hills. His
act of mercy represented his prayers that Yom Kippur evening. (S.T.
Agnon, Days of Awe, Shocken, Jerusalem, 1939, see R. Schwartz op. cit., p. 20). See also the
story of Rabbi Abramtzi, R. Schwartz, op. cit., p. 21.
- T See answer to #15.
- T Exodus Rabbah 2:2.
Also, Rebecca was chosen as Isaac's wife because
of the kindness she showed to animals (Genesis 24:11-20). Jacob also demonstrated concern
for animals (Genesis 33:12-14). See Richard Schwartz, op. cit., pp.18-19.