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Fighting Chance (publication of "Last Chance For Animals")
Winter 2001

Judaism and Vegetarianism
Reviewed by Sarah J. Becker

Richard H. Schwartz's Judaism and Vegetarianism is a useful reference for refuting claims that humans and animals do not deserve equal consideration. It effectively explains and elaborates upon the Bible's stance on vegetarianism and explores other moral and societal issues with which non-religious people can identify; Schwartz even includes a section on how vegetarianism can promote awareness and ultimately resolve these issues. The book also contains answers to common questions, nutritional suggestions, discussions of Jewish vegetarian groups and their activities, biographies of famous Jewish vegetarians, an annotated bibliography, ideas for promoting vegetarianism, and a detailed index. In sum, Schwartz has produced a well documented, well-reasoned, and very convincing work which ends with a query to Jews who plan to continue to eat meat: "In view of strong Jewish mandates to be compassionate to animals, preserve our health, help feed the hungry, preserve and protect the environment, conserve resources, and seek and pursue peace, and the very negative effects animal-centered diets have in each of these areas, will you now become a vegetarian, or at least sharply reduce your consumption of animal products?" For more information, please visit http://jewishveg.com/schwartz.

Sarah J. Becker is working toward her Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Policy at the University of California, Irvine; her focus is on environmental efficiency in Israel.

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