August 5, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm #604441
The other topic about lab-grown meat reminded me of a question I have. Do you know any frum vegans or vegetarians? I understand they exist, but have never met any myself. I’m not asking about the halachic issues with being a vegetarian — I’m already familiar with this topic — I just want to know if anyone knows any frum vegans or vegetarians. If so, how many? Thanks!August 6, 2012 2:00 am at 2:00 am #918479
I know two.August 6, 2012 2:03 am at 2:03 am #918480
I’ve met one.August 6, 2012 2:36 am at 2:36 am #918481
I know one.August 6, 2012 2:47 am at 2:47 am #918482
What difference does it make? Will your life be any different if I say one or a thousand or any number in between? Will anyone’s life be any different? Will it change anyone’s opinion on vegetarianism/veganism for the better or the worse? Or are you merely conducting a statistical survey to find out how mnay v/v the average Orthodox Jew knows?
The WolfAugust 6, 2012 2:51 am at 2:51 am #918483
My wife was one when we met but I was mekarev her.August 6, 2012 3:31 am at 3:31 am #918484
Wolf: Like I said I’m just wondering. I’m OOT so I don’t know how common it is. I’ve done some reading, such as R’ Dovid Sears’ Vision of Eden, on the subject, so I’m generally interested in the topic. I’m also aware that a certain well-known YCT rabbi started a “kosher vegan” organization (co-founded with Matisyahu and Mayim Bialik no less). While I’m not surprised there are some vegans or vegetarians among the LWMO, I wondered how common vegetarianism or veganism was among frummer communities. For those who said they knew some frum vegetarians or vegans, were any vegans? Just wondering! Thanks again!August 6, 2012 3:34 am at 3:34 am #918485
YehudahTzvi – hamatzil nefesh achas beyisroel ke’ilo matzil olam kulo…. Yasher koach!August 6, 2012 4:11 am at 4:11 am #918486
Ya nice one YehudaTzvi. Wolf I think that’s the answer to your question: many of these frum people who are vegetarians make cheshbonos that are not in line with the Torah way of thinking.
(I wonder what they think of others who aren’t vegetarians by the way.)August 6, 2012 4:22 am at 4:22 am #918487
May all vegetarians return to the ways of the RBS”O soon.August 6, 2012 5:31 am at 5:31 am #918488
Wife and daughter, and a few of their assorted friends. Let’s call it 10 individuals.August 6, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am #918489
I know one. But he does not eat meat, not because he is a liberal tree hugging hippy who feels sorry for the cow but because he is a big tzadik and has shailos with meat. Viznizer Rebbe from monsey also does not eat meat.August 6, 2012 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #918490
I am not a Vegetarin, However I do know many people who are , are not because of PETA issues, but rather health issues.
Red Meat can be unhealthy and Veggies are much more healthier. Too much red meat causes high Colesteral and can cause Colon issues
In general Hemish cooking isnt always the most healthy, Kugel is full of fat and oil, Chulent has tons of oil and there is a lack of Green Vegetables and even fruit eaten in a hemish dietAugust 6, 2012 3:52 pm at 3:52 pm #918491
I am a fallen vegetarian. In the US, I started cutting back on meat in my early forties, because I sensed I was not processing it well. Then on rabbinic advice ( i asked) we stopped eating a certain hashgocho. I had once been motivated to forswear the badatz and rabbanut schecita in EY, and subsequent wide breadth reading and certain events deprived me of any charata for hatoras neder. My family put tremendous pressure on me, so from yomtov to yomtov, I eat one k’zayis of what the local roshei yeshiva eat. To casually eat meat, it would have be something that ate only grass, and shechted in my presence by someone known to me.August 6, 2012 3:55 pm at 3:55 pm #918492
Chulent is very high in protein and fiber and doesn’t have to be high in fat. The heimish diet (if there really is such a thing besides shabbos and yom tov) is anytime as healthy as the american diet, with families not eating out as much and eating more chicken and less red meat, although the men have more catching up to do nutrition-wise. A plate of chulent rates much higher in my book than say a burger and fries, and fruits have no connection to heimish. And I know the american diet is the pits, but by constantly harping on the heimish diet you make it seem like if only we were more americanized we’d all be healthier. We all make choices of what and how much to eat, and those choices are evolving for many of us, stereotyping doesn’t help.August 6, 2012 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #918493
Choppy: Return to the ways of the RBSO? What’s wrong with being a vegetarian?
Twisted: Why would you require eating only grass and Shechted in front of you? I feel like both of those “Chumras” are against clear Gemaras.August 6, 2012 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #918494
A burger and Fries is not healthy.
People should eat more veggies and fruit, and its true you can make healthier Chulent, but it just isnt done.
And Kugel and Kisha can never be healthy (And I happen to Love Kishka, but I dont eat it much because its poison)August 6, 2012 4:57 pm at 4:57 pm #918495
I know a few vegetarians. One is for health reasons – his body can’t digest the meat properly. I have no problems with such a person, because your health comes first. If he was able to handle it, he’d love to eat meat – he always complains about not being able to.
Another person I knew says she doesn’t like the taste of most meats. If it’s ground up in something, and absorbs another flavor, she’ll eat it, and she’ll eat around meat – so on Shabbos, she’ll have cholent, just not the big chunks of meat that might be in it.
Then I know people who do it because they’re stupid liberals. I argue with them, and try to convince them that they’re wrong. My wife got upset at me for not treating guests properly – she thinks I shouldn’t argue it with them.August 6, 2012 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #918496
bored at workParticipant
2 of my aunts are vegetarians.
And what’s the “return to HKB’H” all about?!August 6, 2012 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #918497
May all vegetarians return to the ways of the RBS”O soon.
It’s not assur to be a vegetarian, nor is there anything wrong with it hashkafically.August 6, 2012 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #918498
My wife and I are both vegetarians for 20 years. Most of our kids are as well. Our oldest eats fish outside of the house. He tried beef for the first time when he was 9 and almost landed in the emergency room – he said never again. Not so easy to eat meat when you haven’t trained your body to do so. Our other kids are not interested yet. We won’t stop them (why should they be crazy like us?) from eating meat, we’re just not going to encourage it.
So why do I hold this way? I hate the taste. I’m no more an animal rights activist than the next guy on the street. I just don’t like the taste, texture or flavor. I asked a shaila of a big Rav in town, and I have a heter to refrain from eating meat 365 days a year. Unless the rav I spoke to is unaware of das Torah and our whole community has been duped, I’m quite sure the RBS’O is just fine with my decision.
And Baruch Hashem, I have no issues with blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, diabetes, etc… Just sayin’August 6, 2012 6:21 pm at 6:21 pm #918499
ZosHaTorah, it should have been quite clear that choppy was not talking about you, rather about somebody who does not eat meat biShita (and quite possibly does not consult a Rov about it). I know someone who is otherwise frum but has difficulty accepting killing animals and bringing karbanos and is apprehensive about Moshiach’s coming for this reason. And i dont think thinking along those lines is an isolated case. That’s at least what I was talking about.August 6, 2012 6:25 pm at 6:25 pm #918500
I know one for halacha, and one cuz she saw a chicken being shechted…. 😉August 6, 2012 7:49 pm at 7:49 pm #918501
From R’ Sears’ book: “Rabbi Chaim Chizkiyahu Medini (1833-1903), author of Sdei Chemed, cites the example of a well-known Kabbalist-ascetic who would never partake of meat. ‘It is forbidden to disparage such a person, God forbid,’ the Sdei Chemed warns. ‘Fortunate is his lot. He abstained even from wine, except when performing a religious precept.'”
I’m surprised that some posters have no problem with vegetarianism for health or taste reasons but think all other reasons are stupid or liberal or forbidden. Of course, it would be forbidden and against the Torah to be vegetarian because you believe animals have the fundamental right never to be eaten. But there’s nothing wrong with being vegetarian to avoid contributing to the severe violations of tzaar baalei chaim which are very common in this age of factory farming.
If anyone is interested in exploring this topic more, a draft of R’ Dovid Sears book A Vision of Eden is available online for free.August 6, 2012 9:50 pm at 9:50 pm #918502
The righteous man in that story abstained from meat most likely not to partake in pleasure. (And about wine it says except for religious practices, so maybe also by the meat, don’t know the context.)August 6, 2012 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm #918503
RebRY, you say they have shailos with meat. What about fish?
ZahavasDad, it’s certainly possible to make healthy cholent. In fact, my wife does it — lean beef, beans, barley, onions, garlic, a reasonable amount of salt, and spices/flavorings. High in protein and fiber.August 6, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm #918504
Zdad, you can’t really know how everybody makes their chulent, so don’t assume.
And everything can be made healthier, I’ve seen squash substituted for part of the potato in kugel recipes, kishka can be made with whole wheat bread and flour – and actually taste good. If you want perfect food, you can discount almost all cooked food. But really, different people have differing nutritional needs depending on age, current weight, what they’re missing in the rest of their diet and any other health issues. So don’t label home cooked food bad, try to suggest improvements. And portion size plays a huge factor as well.
I’m not looking to be confrontational or p.c., it’s just that if people believe their weight is inexplicably linked to the foods they are attached to it makes change less likely.August 7, 2012 1:30 am at 1:30 am #918505
I know a shomer shabbos person who doesn’t eat meat because it’s “achzarius”. He also feels the whole korbanos process with slaughtering animals and sprinkling their blood was barbaric and primitive. That’s straight up apikorsus, but he won’t listen. He’s a brilliant guy with a PhD in psychology and he’s a lawyer, he also holds an executive position. I don’t understand how such smart people can be so stupid.August 7, 2012 1:32 am at 1:32 am #918506
I know a few vegetarians
But there’s nothing wrong with being vegetarian to avoid contributing to the severe violations of tzaar baalei chaim which are very common in this age of factory farming.
if that is so then they should be vegans due to the same problem of tzaar baalei chaim in factory farming, that goes with a side of eggs tooAugust 7, 2012 1:59 am at 1:59 am #918507
I am a vegetarian. As a matter of fact, I am obeying a mitzva, ushmartem meod es nafshoseichem. So please don’t knock vegans & vegetarians. I had diabetes and read Dr. Neal Barnard’s book “Reversing Diabetes” and follow his program. I’m currently off all medication except 500 mg metformin once a day. My A1C is 5.7. It is very hard as I basically cannot eat out of the house. However, being free of diabetes & all its problems is worth it.August 7, 2012 2:36 am at 2:36 am #918508
Coffee Addict: That’s correct. Health arguments for vegetarians also often lead to veganism (many doctors recommend it, including Neal Barnard). As long as the person takes B-12 supplements and eats a reasonably balanced diet, people can be happy and healty as vegans. But that option is unattractive to most people, so giving up only meat is understandable. Since people tend love these foods so much, it seems more realistic for most people to just lower consumption rather than abstain completely (eating meat just once a week, as recommended by Chazal in Chullin 84a, and dairy and eggs on another, for example).
The main hashkafic danger I can see with vegetarianism or veganism is that the person becomes so sensitive to animal suffering that it is hard to have any connection to the korbanos, or animal-derived mitzvos such as tefillin. I suppose they could believe, as Rav Kook did, that only the non-animal korbanos will be restored, but that doesn’t change the fact that we regularly pray for the korbanos to be restored and list all the animals and such. (Even so, I assume once moshiach comes the animals won’t be in factory farms before they’re sacrificed!)
Another danger is that veganism in particular can be like a religion to some people, including a belief system, different clothing, a community of like-minded people, etc., and this might inspire some people to go OTD.August 7, 2012 2:40 am at 2:40 am #918509
You are supposed to eat meat on Yom Tov and Shabbos.August 7, 2012 3:06 am at 3:06 am #918510
Panni55 – vegans are not the same as vegetarians. Vegans are like the Neturei Karta of vegetarians… They’re totally looney.
Yytz- ” there’s nothing wrong with being vegetarian to avoid contributing to the severe violations of tzaar baalei chaim which are very common in this age of factory farming.” I have one question, are there any gedolim who hold like this? If not, then it’s likely not a valid hashkafa, and you can assume your sensitivity for tzaar baalei chaim is not genuinely greater than theirs is.August 7, 2012 1:08 pm at 1:08 pm #918511
Curiosity, I’m not aware of rabbonim considered gedolim who are vegetarians for reasons of tzaar baalei chayim, but I’m also not aware of a single gadol would has said that factory farm conditions are consistent with halacha. In fact, every rabbi I have ever heard of who has actually looked into the facts of how animals are treated (I’m talking about pre-shechita here) has concluded there are grave violations. Many well-known rabbis — the Nazir of Jerusalem, his son the current Chief Rabbi of Haifa, R’ David Rosen the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, prolific chassidic author Dovid Sears, the Kaminetzer Maggid — were vegetarians, and animal welfare concerns were often one of the main motivations.
Curiosity, the vegan diet may be extreme historically, but vegans are not loony. They have the reputation of being a little intense, but that is often due to the zeal of the 17-year old converted — that is to say, a small minority of unpleasant of extreme people. In my experience with (non-frum) vegans, they are mainly normal, and don’t try to convert everyone or militantly oppose things like zoos and honey.August 7, 2012 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #918512
They both eat fish.August 7, 2012 2:21 pm at 2:21 pm #918513
Choppy, that’s not correct. Rambam says one should eat meat on Shabbos, but the Shulchan Aruch does not rule that it is mandatory. Neither does the Shulchan Aruch HaRav. Or the Mishnah Berurah (242:1:6). It’s the same for Yom Tov.August 7, 2012 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm #918514
Choppy: Wrong. That’s a B’feirsuh Rama. You only have to eat meat on Shabbos and Yom Tov if you want to.August 7, 2012 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm #918515
Sam, are you sure Simchas Yom Tov is up to you to choose? And are you sure its choice, not taste by oneg shabbos?August 7, 2012 4:29 pm at 4:29 pm #918516
vegans are not the same as vegetarians. Vegans are like the Neturei Karta of vegetarians… They’re totally looney.
My wife and one of my daughters are vegans, and comparing them to the NK is the worst kind of lashon hara, not to mention calling them “totally looney.” They mind their own business and they don’t spend time trying to convert anyone (including the rest of the family) towards their way of eating. Obviously, there are some vegans who are looney, but what you said is way over the line.August 7, 2012 4:32 pm at 4:32 pm #918517
In addition to Rambam, Chazal tell us to eat meat.August 7, 2012 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #918518
As far as the extreme left-wing allegation that shechita is “inhumane” or “tzaar baalei chaim” or air concerns how our holy shochtim treat the animals (aside from being boldfaced lies not to even mention the gedolei yisroel and rabbonim shlita who happily consume meat), this is simply a cover for their sheer apikorsus.August 7, 2012 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #918519
Sam2, the animal’s natural diet is grass. Feeding it grain and who knows what else, serves the commercial cause, not the animal’s benefit, nor the consumer’s benefit. My other chumra, I mentioned that I read too much, and the abuses and shenanigans all start with commercialization. I could show you a bunch of sources that show that while there is no limit to consumption of kodesh, there should be limits to basar taavah, and that just going to Moishe’s Koisher and selecting a nice celowrapped brisket is less than what the Musar of the gemara wants of us. And I learned to live with kabolos that I made, that may have the stringency of neder.August 7, 2012 5:15 pm at 5:15 pm #918520
Yytz – I’m fairly certain factory farming didn’t exist in Israel until recently, if even at all, so I don’t know what issue of tzaar baalei chayim there is. I am no posek, but I would say farkert, if you are concerned about baalei chayim so much you SHOULD eat meat. The ultimate zchus for an animal is for it to have a kosher shechitah and have a bracha said over it, or have it be fed to aniyim, or cooked lekavod Shabbos. The reality of the matter is that these cows aren’t owned by Jews until they are shechted, and that means that if the Jewish shchitah plants don’t pay to shecht them they will just go to the treif market. The Jews in America barely make a dent on the gargantuan, multi-billion dollar ranching industry. So you see, you eating or not eating one beef doesn’t save the lives of any animals. If you start recruiting others to join your cause that’s a different story, but then you put yourself in the looney vegan category.August 7, 2012 5:16 pm at 5:16 pm #918521
For all the cholent worriers, my veggie cholent is made of :
various light colored beans,
split peas, or lentils or both,
two carrots and one onion with some veg oil creamed in the food proc.
wheat, or barley
salt and spices
and the carnivores just gobble it up.August 7, 2012 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #918522
Choppy, no one on this thread has claimed the shechita is inhumane. Certainly, some animal rights activists have claimed it is, but they’re wrong. What I was referring to is the conditions on farms before slaughter, and it is very well-documented that all kinds of cruel and unnecessary practices go on there.
Curiosity, by your logic, then we shouldn’t have a problem with buying stolen goods, because someone else will buy them anyway! Rav Moshe Feinstein forbade raising veal in cramped crates. I don’t believe he said, yes, it’s an aveira to treat them that way but go ahead and eat such veal as long as a non-Jew owned it!August 7, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm #918523
Yytz, you are not allowed to neuter an animal or even ask a goy to do it, but I’m pretty sure you are permitted to purchase a neutered animal. Also, if Rav Moshe Feinstein held it was assur to raise veal in such a manner and even to eat it when you weren’t the one who raised it, then why did he teach the less machmir case? That’s called a “diyo”. Let him say the more chamur case of eating, and I would have learned the obvious case of raising it. Must be that it’s muttar to eat. That’s a very basic step in limud haTorah.
Also, there is a chiluk between stolen and abused. Think about it this way, the agriculture market has a certain amount of heads of cattle and each head is sold to the highest bidder, not one by one, but in batch auctions nonetheless. It’s not like cows are released into the wild if they aren’t sold, they are slaughtered when they get to a certain weight and age and are either consumed here or slaughtered and exported. Us refraining from eating a cow is just condemning them to a mundane death and depriving their ruach of the zchus of being eaten in a kosher way. Unless you have a dramatic impact on demand you won’t cause ranchers to curb their supplies. They aim to breed as many heads as possible. More heads=more $$. All you are doing is letting them die for naught, when you could have gotten one more cow to Gan Eden, so to speak. A stolen animal on the other hand is a different issue altogether, you are buying a cow that doesn’t belong to the person you are buying it from. That’s not really relatedAugust 8, 2012 12:14 am at 12:14 am #918524
Kozov: It’s a B’feirush Rama in YD 347, if I recall correctly.
Twisted: Okay, so it’s not a Halachic Chumra. It’s a decision not to do something Muttar. That’s fine. I thought you were possibly hinting to two entirely different things, both of which would not have been correct.August 8, 2012 2:25 am at 2:25 am #918525
Curiosity, from my understanding Rav Moshe just answered the questions asked of him. Anyway, I don’t have the psak in front of me so we don’t really know what was in it and what wasn’t.
One thing to consider is that the obligation of relieving the suffering of animals is a mitzvah d’oraysa, while the teachings about the rectification of souls are kabbalistic hashkafa (and authors within the same hashkafah caution against eating meat — see below). So I think it’s legitimate to lean in favor of fulfilling the mitzvah, by refusing to support the farmers engaging in mass animal cruelty (and working for better laws, etc.), instead of acting in accordance with one selective reading of the kabbalistic tradition. I think it’s odd that people have no problem with boycotting Target for promoting toevah but oppose boycotting factory farms for all the unnecessary cruelty and abuse they cause.August 8, 2012 2:54 am at 2:54 am #918526
The tikkun of animal souls isn’t as simple as it seems. In fact, vegetable foods also have souls, and at least one source says that “The souls hidden within vegetation are even more precious and lofty than those hidden within the animal realm.” (Rabbi Nosson Sternhartz, Likkutei Halachos, Yoreh De’ah, Chadash 3:10).
There are also teachings to the effect that “Only a Torah scholar who is God-fearing and eats with proper intent can rectify [the sparks of holiness within] the animals the Torah deems to be pure.” (Chaim Vital quoting the Arizal, Sha’ar HaMitzvos, Eikev, p.100O). Others say that certain prayers must be said at the meal to achieve the recitification, or that it only works if the “desire of his entire being for God must be present.”
Ramak, in his Shiur Komah, actually says it is dangerous to eat meat because impure souls can be attached to his soul. The Arizal also cautioned not to eat more than the minimum of meat for the same reason, and advocates abstaining from meat all week. These statements wouldn’t make any sense if it were important to shecht as many animals as possible (as you suggest). See the discussion in S’dei Chemed, Vol. 5, Inyan Achilah, which is very favorable to vegetarianism.
So the rectification of souls is one argument for eating meat, but there are also counterarguments. See R’ Sears’ book for more sources.August 8, 2012 3:48 am at 3:48 am #918527
If you would say you eat meat – but not meat originating from animals on a factory farm – and only eat meat not originating from a factory farm, I could certainly understand.
But when one says they refuse to eat meat altogether, and latches unto “factory farming” as his excuse for that behavior, he is being disingenuous and is in fact simply taking an apikorsus position. Whether consciously or subconsciously.
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