Being vegetarian makes it easier to keep kosher. You don’t have to worry about whether you’re eating meat that’s certified kosher (and whether that certification meets Jewish ideals) if you’re not eating meat. You don’t have to worry about mixing meat and dairy products if you’re avoiding one or both of those categories altogether.
As one vegetarian rabbi explained in a 2005 Jewish Ledger article, “We have one set of dishes (plus Passover dishes) and never have to worry about the status of leftovers in the fridge or whether a guest will mix the utensils or food items. … By not eating meat, I am much more certain to never violate, even accidentally, the Biblical and rabbinic prohibitions concerning non-kosher meat.”
I’ve heard some people say that being vegetarian or vegan automatically means you keep kosher, but it’s not quite that simple. This is the case for some people, in accordance with their level of observance. For more information about potential complicating factors, read my blog post “A Vegan’s Response to ‘Do You Keep Kosher?’”
Simplicity regarding adherence to the letter of kosher law isn’t the only reason why kosher-keeping Jews should go vegetarian. Avoiding meat and other animal products in your diet is also the best way to follow the spirit of the law and avoid causing animals unnecessary suffering (tsa’ar ba’alei chayim). For more information about the shortcomings of the kosher meat industry and how kashrut-observant Jews can avoid causing tsa’ar ba’alei chayim by going vegetarian, click here.