"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


Kosherfest and the Era of Kosher Vegetarianism

As Kosherfest takes place in New York today and tomorrow, vegetarianism is the big thing in the kosher food market. An ice cream (in the mammary-secretions-of-bovines sense, not the Tofutti sense) company's nondairy, vegan mango sorbet has won top honors in Kosherfest's "Best in Show" category for new products. Today's kosher shoppers want vegetarian (and vegan) options!

New York Blueprint reports that one of the key speakers at this year's event is Gil Marks, author of Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World, and that Labriute's vegetarian stuffed cabbage is one of the big featured products. The same article also cites a recent study claiming that the largest contingent of kosher consumers, 18- to 34-year-olds, is the same group that has the strongest "desire for vegetarian and dairy-free products."

This study reminds me of a wonderful quote from Matt Scully in his book Dominion: "In America some seventeen million people are already vegetarians, most of them teenagers and college students whose influence in the world has yet to be felt.” (The book is from 2002, so there might be more vegetarians in the United States now.) If young people are the dominant force among kosher and mainstream American shoppers alike, then vegetarianism will only become more prominent once they come of age and their "influence in the world" is felt.

Just in time for Kosherfest, the new Kosher Today features a splendid article titled, "Ranks of Kosher Vegetarians Soars as Industry Meets the Needs." It reports:

Although there are no specific numbers, industry officials in Israel and the US say the ranks of vegetarians are growing, some due to health, some out of concern for animal rights but many as part of an adopted lifestyle of living a more natural lifestyle. ...

Supermarket executives say that an increasing number of kosher consumers are asking for vegetarian replacement kosher foods, ranging from hotdogs to patties. ...

[T]here is evidence that vegetarianism is growing, both in the US and Israel. Vegetarians in general say that they have an easier time keeping a kosher diet than conventional kosher adherents, largely because they eat many ingredients and products that do not need kosher certification in the first place.


  • At 11/17/2005 9:59 PM, Blogger heebnvegan said…

    In its article about Kosherfest, the Epoch Times notes:

    "Kosher foods are healthier this year, including more whole grain products, more vegetarian and dairy free products, more organic products (organic-kosher), low salt and low sugar products."



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