I am writing this a week after accidently consuming a vegetarian stir-fry that mistakenly had oyster sauce in it. As a result of this I became ill over the next few days as my body tried to rid itself of the foreign body it had encountered, the less said about that the better.
Let me remove that mental picture, with an altogether better one, one of a world where food is plentiful. One of a world where both animal and man live peacefully and at last there is no need to suffer or lack, and where man feels no need to fight against those that have because he doesn’t suffer or lack and has just as much as him.
Ah, it sounds like Isaiah’s vision doesn’t it, or communist literature, or a quote from Bill Hicks – either way G-d wants us to bring the world just that little bit closer to the description I’ve provided above in our own way.
In this article I intend to show how we can try and bring the world that bit closer, just by the food we eat.
So just how does vegetarianism fit into all of this? Well let me lay down four key points:
1. The grain and water used to feed and quench animals each year in this world could feed and quench the third world.
2. Type 2 diabetes, allergies, weight gain, zits, difficulty with mobility, a significantly higher risk of food poisoning and the fact that non kosher meat and even horsemeat has been found in some meat products in the UK and Europe. Plus whatever that animal ingests, you too ingest via its bloodstream, yeah – not a nice thought at all and even though kosher meat minimizes there could be a slight chance.
3. Why should a living being be killed just to provide sustenance that can be gained already? A vegetable is an edible chemical plant that turns its food into our food via photosynthesis.
4. The first two human beings on earth were vegetarian. Meat eating was an emergency measure to keep humanity alive and healthy, no emergency now though and if it was good enough for them it’s good enough for us.
I believe that vegetarianism, not only helps Jews who have no kosher facilities in their area or in their countries even (Switzerland and Norway being prime examples). But it also serves as a reminder of our commitment to faith, g-d and the wider world, sort of like an edible forget-me-not.
To those who eat meat or don’t keep kosher at all, remember what I said at the start, G-d wants us to bring the world a little bit closer to his vision in our own way. If this is not the way you want to go, no sweat, but make sure to find your own, but if you’ve been considering do this my best advice is give it a shot, there is nothing to lose and possibly a lot to be gained.
Stay healthy, Stay wise, Stay torah,