the Inconsistencies Between How Animals Are Raised
Today and Jewish Values?
As the previous examples
indicate, the conditions under which animals are
raised today are completely contrary to the Jewish
ideals of compassion and the requirement to avoid
tsa’ar ba’alei chayim. Instead of animals being
free to graze on the Sabbath day to enjoy the beauties
of creation, they are confined for all of their
lives to darkened, crowded cells without air, natural
light, or the ability to exercise. Whereas the Torah
mandates that animals should be able to eat the
products of the harvest as they thresh in the fields,
today animals are given chemical fatteners and other
additives in their food, based on computer programs.
Where Judaism indicates consideration for animals
by mandating that a strong and weak animal not be
yoked together, veal calves spend their entire lives
standing on slats, their necks chained to the sides,
without sunlight, fresh air, or exercise.
The pre-eminent 18th-century rabbinic authority,
R. Ezekiel Landau asserted that the mere killing
of an animal for food does not violate the prohibition
against tsa’ar ba’alei chayim; this prohibition
is only applicable "if he causes (the animal) pain
while alive."  In view of the horrible conditions
under which animals are raised today, it would be
difficult to argue that this biblical prohibition
is not being severely violated. Jews who continue
to eat meat raised under such conditions help to
support a system which is contrary to basic Jewish
principles and obligations.
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