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Frequently Asked Questions on Judaism and Vegetarianism
What does Judaism teach about the proper treatment of animals?
Which Torah laws involve compassion for animals?
What are examples of kindness to animals shown by great Jewish heroes?
How are farm animals treated today?
Summarize the Inconsistencies Between How Animals Are Raised Today and Jewish Values?

Don't the laws of shechita (kosher slaughter) provide for a humane slaughter of animals so that we need not be concerned with violations of tsa’ar ba’alei chayim?

If God wanted us to have vegetarian diets and not harm animals, why were the Biblical sacrificial services established?
When the Temple in Jerusalem is rebuilt, won't the sacrificial services be restored and won't people have to eat meat?
Aren't animals raised for the kosher food market treated more compassionately than other food animals?
Don't Jews have to eat meat to rejoice on the Sabbath and on festivals?

If Jews don't eat meat, won't they be deprived of the opportunity to do many mitzvot (commandments)? If God did not want meat to be eaten, why are there so many laws concerning the slaughter, preparation, and consumption of meat?

Weren't people given dominion over animals? Didn't God put them here for our use?
Doesn't vegetarianism place greater priority on animal rights than on the many problems related to human welfare?

Judaism considers it sinful not to take advantage of the pleasurable things that God has put on the Earth. As He put animals on the Earth, is it not a transgression to refrain from eating meat?


Haven't Jews historically had many problems with some animal rights groups which have often opposed kosher shechita and advocated its abolishment?

Isn't much of Judaism today related to the use of animals for teaching and ritual purposes, such as the Sefer Torah, Tefillin, the shofar, etc.?
Don't humans have to eat meat to stay healthy?
Instead of advocating vegetarianism, shouldn't we try to alleviate the evils of the factory farming system so that animals are treated better, less grain is wasted, and less health-harming chemicals are used?
By putting vegetarian values ahead of Jewish teachings, aren't vegetarians, in effect, creating a new religion, with values contrary to Jewish teachings?
Isn't it important that we keep our priorities straight? How can we be so concerned about animals when there are so many critical problems related to people today?
Can't one work to improve conditions for animals without being a vegetarian?
Doesn't the slaughter of food animals produce valuable by-products?
Don't meat-producers take good care of their animals since their profits depend on it?
How do these arguments apply to fish?
Since animals kill each other in nature, why should we be concerned about killing animals for food?
Shouldn't a Jewish vegetarian abstain from meat quietly and not try to convert others to his or her type of diet?
What is the Jewish view of hunting?
What is the Jewish view of leghold traps?
What does the Jewish tradition teach about the wearing of furs?
What about vivisection (experiments on animals)? Don't we need this for improved human health?
Doesn't the Torah mandates that we eat korban Pesach (the Passover sacrifice) and other korbanos (sacrifices)?
In Jewish literature, it is stated that with the advent of the Messiah a banquet will be given by God to the righteous which the flesh of the giant fish, leviathan, will be served. Isn't this inconsistent with the idea that the Messianic period will be vegetarian?
What about the Chassidic view that, when one is pious and performs Torah mitzvot, he or she elevates the animal by consuming its flesh, since the energy produced from the animal is used to perform mitzvot which the animal could not perform in any other way?
How can you advocate making changes in Judaism?
How would a Jewish vegetarian celebrate Passover?