This past week, IsraelNationalNews.com reported, "The Comptroller's Office [in Israel] ... intends to investigate meat production abroad conducted under the supervision of the Chief Rabbinate. The investigation is being conducted at the prompting of Ometz, which has complained that supervisors are negligent in their work, and accept trips abroad to slaughterhouses paid for by the meat importers, constituting a conflict of interest, since the meat they are supervising belongs to the company paying for the trip." (Hat Tip: Failed Messiah)
Rabbi Wolpe's Vegetarian Diet
The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles' Foodaism blog featured a post about Rabbi David Wolpe's vegetarian diet earlier this month. Rabbi Wolpe is quoted as saying:
Tza’ar Ba’alei chayim, acknowledging and preventing the suffering of living creatures, is an important Jewish principle. Nature may be “red in tooth and claw,” but we are both part of nature and commanded to rise above it. For human beings, instinct is the beginning of the story, not its culmination. To make those in our power suffer, whether people or animals, is to darken our own souls.
Many biblical heroes are shepherds; animals too must rest on the Sabbath (Ex. 20:20) and the bible legislates many other protections for animals. We are the custodians of creation. Our first responsibility is to be kind.
Fines Following Kapparot in Monsey, N.Y.
Last month, Failed Messiah posted a Lohud.com article that reported, "The Rockland [New York] Board of Health today fined the organizer of a Jewish ritual that involves live chickens $6,250 for violating the county's sanitary code. This is the third consecutive year Moshe Lefkowitz, of Monsey, has been fined for not properly cleaning up chicken entrails, feces, carcasses, feet and blood in kapparot ceremonies in Monsey."
Proposed Taxes in Israel
Controversy arose in Israel last month as the Knesset considered putting a tax on such animal-based foods as "pig meat, meat from horses, donkeys, rabbits, hares, whales, dolphins, seals, walruses, reptiles, crabs, oysters, octopuses, and even snails," according to YNet. "It is not appropriate for the Knesset to give its seal of approval to an ordinance that deals with pig meat, meat from horses, donkeys and more," said MK Carmel Shama. It makes more sense to me to impose taxes on foods that are undesirable (from the perspectives of kashrut and vegetarianism alike) than to start taxing fruits and vegetables, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly again proposed last month.
Another Quotation From Silverman About Vegetarianism
When I wrote my October post announcing that Sarah Silverman is vegetarian, it seemed that there wasn't an abundance of evidence pointing toward a meat-free diet. People has quoted Silverman as identifying herself as vegetarian (as part of a Silverman-esque analogy to marriage): "[Marriage is] just not for me. I'm a vegetarian, but I don't have a problem if you want a hamburger. Marriage, to me, is like eating meat. I think it's gross and f***ing crazy. It's this superbarbaric, old-timey tradition that no one remembers we don't have to do anymore."
Rock Star Supports Israel's Proposed Fur Ban
Sir Paul McCartney has spoken out in favor of Israel's proposed fur ban. Heeb covered the story by showing Hassidim wearing shtreimels and adding ridiculous captions.
A Bracha for Vegan Pizza
PunkTorah recently featured a video about blessing vegan pizza. Said Patrick Aleph, "These are the questions we have to ask ourselves in the modern era. What is the correct blessing for vegan pizza? I'm not sure."