"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)


The Forward: Kosher Activists Strive to Slaughter With a Conscience

There's an interesting article in the Forward about Jews' efforts to raise and slaughter animals in a "humane" manner. It talks about the planned shechita demo at the upcoming Hazon Food Conference (see my August 23 post about this topic), and there's a lot of fascinating discussion. The article includes a quote from yours truly:
Michael Croland, author of the blog HeebNVegan, has written about the goat slaughter extensively and told the Forward: “Clearly, the Jewish community is not just blindly accepting the public slaughter of a terrified animal. Slaughtering a goat in front of a gawking crowd is a textbook case of causing tzaar baalei chayim,” the Hebrew term for unnecessary animal suffering.
I'm at my parents' house for Thanksgiving, and my mom's reaction to the article was priceless: "If you're so concerned about what the animals go through emotionally, why should you slaughter them to begin with?"


  • At 11/29/2007 12:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I saw the reference to your blog in the Forward article. This isn't a joke: do you think vegan tefillin can be purchased anywhere? I don't care that they wouldn't be kosher. The leather kind isn't kosher under my personal rules.

  • At 12/02/2007 9:13 PM, Blogger heebnvegan said…

    Can you please e-mail me at mcroland@gmail.com? I'd be happy to address your question more there.

    The short answer: I can send you some info that might point you in the right direction of what you're looking for. However, I do not personally "endorse" nonleather tefillin.

  • At 12/29/2009 5:51 PM, Blogger Naziri said…

    Out of curiosity, where does the requirement for tefillin to be leather originate from? Are the silky womens' ones considered exempt simply because women are considered to be voluntarily partaking in such a practice?

  • At 12/29/2009 8:02 PM, Blogger heebnvegan said…


    1. For more information on the origins of the requirement that tefillin be made from leather, read my post from earlier this month (specifically toward the end): http://heebnvegan.blogspot.com/2009/12/use-of-animal-products-in-jewish-ritual.html. The short answer is Menachos 42b, and that might not be a satisfying answer.

    2. According to halacha, the nonleather "women's tefillin" are not acceptable to fulfill the requirement to don tefillin. As for the question of whether they'd be OK for women to use because women aren't required to wear tefillin in the first place, that suggestion seems to make sense on a surface level, but I simply don't know enough about women's use of tefillin (specifically in Reform, Conservative, and Reconstructionist circles) to give you an authoritative answer.


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