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Emunah Magazine Book Review
Fall 2001

by Richard H. Schwartz, Ph.D.
Lantern Books, New York

Reviewed by Faye Reichwald

Richard H. Schwartz, a professor of mathematics, has been an advocate of vegetarianism for many years and has written extensively on the subject. He believes more strongly than ever that a vegetarian diet is not only a planetary imperative in today's world, but that the consumption of meat is halachically unjustifiable [actually he does not believe he has the status to say this, but he quotes Rabbi David Rosen, former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, who does assert this because of health considerations and also because of the mistreatment of animals on factory farms].

In this revised edition of "Judaism and Vegetarianism," Schwartz traces the sources of G-d's plan for the diet of the Jewish people. He cites biblical and rabbinical sources to show that the eating of flesh was not meant to be a permanent concession to human weakness. Schwartz points out that the conditions under which animals are raised today are completely contrary to the Jewish ideals of compassion and that Jews who eat meat raised under today's barbaric conditions support a system which is contrary to basic Jewish principles and obligations. Dr. Schwartz provides substantial evidence of how raising animals destined for slaughter is not only inhumane, but that it is causing the depletion of the earth's resources, leading to eventual widespread starvation.

In his new book, Dr. Schwartz both asks and answers numerous questions which are normally asked of people about vegetarianism and its connection to Judaism. His answers are enlightening and irrefutable. This is an important work, one that should be widely acclaimed.

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