When I Google "Matisyahu vegan," the top result is a 2007 heebnvegan post saying, "There's an unconfirmed rumor out there that Matisyahu is vegetarian (I didn't start the rumor)." On Thursday, in response to a quip that Matisyahu should throw a "shrimp on the barbie" while he's touring in Australia, the reggae-rock star tweeted, "hey there. Sorry babe not kosher plus I went vegan. But I'll eat some matzah tonight in your honor."
I'm waiting to receive confirmation from Matisyahu's management before concluding that he has indeed gone vegan, but The PETA Files is accepting his response to the quip as truth. PETA's blog noted that when Matisyahu performed in the organization's hometown recently, "PETA delivered him a basket of vegan treats along with the video 'If This Is Kosher …' narrated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The video shows footage from an investigation at Agriprocessors ...."
Israel's Kitniyot Rebellion Rolls On
On Wednesday, YNet reported that more Orthodox Jews in Israel are apparently eating kitniyot (roughly translated as legumes) on Passover. "Each year I am contacted by an increasing number of people who inform me that they are no longer adhering to the ban on eating kitniyot," said Rabbi David Bar-Hayim, the head of the Machon Shilo Institute. He added:
It was probably erroneous for [Ashkenazi] Jews to take this custom with them [from Eastern Europe] to other areas like the United States where there was no local custom, and certainly erroneous for them to bring it to the Land of Israel where the practice throughout the ages was to eat kitniyot.
Eating kitniyot during the holiday is the true custom of our forefathers in the holy land. Rice was even included on the Seder plates of antiquity.
Hot Lixx Hulahan's Retirement
American air guitar legend Craig "Hot Lixx Hulahan" Billmeier, who won first place in the world championships in 2008 and second place in 2009, has announced his retirement. A quotation on the U.S. Air Guitar Blog, attributed to Hot Lixx's likely fictitious "press secretary," compared Hot Lixx's announcement that he would no longer compete professionally to "the Colonel going vegan."
Click here to read my 2008 interview with Hot Lixx Hulahan, in which he discussed air guitar, his vegetarian diet, and Israel.
Meat-Free Mondays at Tel Aviv University
On Wednesday, YNet reported that students at Tel Aviv University have joined their peers at dozens of other universities around the world in launching a "Meat-Free Monday" campaign. YNet noted that "hundreds of vegetarian meals were handed out to students free of charge, including smoked tofu appetizers, seitan (wheat gluten) shawarma, soya goulash and an Indian legume dish."
YNet quoted Prof. Dan Rabinowitz, former president of "Life and Environment", the Israel Union of Environmental NGOs, as saying, "Changing our eating habits, as suggested by 'Meatfree Monday,' is the simplest and most effective way for each of us to help, quite without effort, the global campaign aimed at stopping climate change."