Friday, December 27, 2013
Afterword on the Jewish Vegbats
Fast afterword: it turns out that my Bash the Vegans piece that I sent out yesterday is triggering an unusually large amount of crank mail, hate mail, and other forms of emotive opposition. Here and there it is also resulting in actual arguments being raised. Some of these are in talkbacks on http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/judaism-and-eating-meat-letter-to-a-vegan-animal-rights-activist/2013/12/26/ I list a few, with my responses:
1. Adam and Eve in Genesis are vegetarians and in fact, according to tradition, eating meat became divinely permissible once after the Flood and Noah. Hence the original pristine preferred moral state of humans is to be vegetarians, so argue the Jewish animal rights nuts and the "Eco-Judaism" pagans. But if Adam and Eve's original vegetarianism is supposed to convey a moral and theological superiority for vegan diets, then the exact same logic should lead us to conclude that God really really wants us all to be nudists. After all, in their original pristine moral state and innocence, Adam and Eve also went about with no clothes.
2. During the 40 years in the Sinai wilderness, the Israelites were (at least at first) fed Manna alone and ate no meat. Therefore, once again, vegetarianism is the morally superior form of Judaism and human morality. SO sayeth the vegbats. Well, a few problems with this. First, the Israelites got all the nutrition they needed from the Manna, something vegans are incapable of doing from THEIR diet. The Manna could be made to taste like anything, including meat (and for that matter even pork). And even with the nutritional richness they got from Manna, the Israelites still craved meat and God granted them their request, in the form of quails. So this is hardly a ringing endorsement for the moral superiority of a vegan or vegetarian diet.
3. The Jewish animal rights nuts have a list of 4 or 5 prominent Rabbis who chose to be vegetarians. But the very fact that they can name 4 or 5 such rabbis really shows how few the vegetarian rabbis are, and for each of these vegetarian rabbis one can find 10,000 meat eating rabbis. Hardly a ringing endorsement for vegan diets.
4. Radical vegetarians like to argue that people who wish to eat meat should first be coerced into going to slaughterhouses and seeing with their own eyes how animals are slaughtered for food there. And if they refuse to do so, then they have no moral right to eat meat. This is a strange argument. This is like saying that people should be prohibited from engaging in sexual relations with their spouses unless they first attend porno film screenings in which they are forced to watch on screen every part of the act in its most infinitesimal detail in super magnification. I guess THAT could be one way that the human species would be eliminated altogether in order for animal rights nuts to achieve their real agenda! (Or, as a second example, no male will ever go for a physical if he is first forced to watch a film of a magnified prostate exam.)
5. Radical vegetarians love to proclaim how moral and ethical they are because they do not eat animal products, and for vegans this includes milk and cheese. But since almost all MDs agree that almost all people need some animal products (at least dairy) to get sufficient nutrition, then in fact a vegan diet is immoral and Jewish vegans are immorally ignoring their moral responsibility to care for their own body's healthiness.
On a somewhat related topic, the following news story is about how Norway has decided that soldiers in its army (or if you prefer its "army") will be forced to eat vegan diets one day a week. You may recall that the Norwegian army is a large contingent in the UN forces in Lebanon that are supposed to be making it difficult for the Hezb'Allah terrorists to attack Israel. You can now see why they are so ineffective. They are not getting enough nutrition to fight the terrorists! In any case, if you ever want to conduct a military invasion or conquest of Norway, I guess you know on which day of the week this is now a possibility!