Friday, November 2, 2007

Chabad's score for the day so far: Well Meaning 1, Good Execution: 0

Why are we not vegetarians? - Ethics & Religion

Then, by eating other creatures we are in fact elevating them to places where they couldn't go by themselves.

This is an excellent example of why sometimes the Chasidim elicit Tim “The Toolman” Taylor “uh???” responses from anyone who is even passingly familiar with Maimonides or even just the 613 mitzvot.

Vampires would have this same idea. That drinking the blood of the living makes the otherwise worthless lesser mortals part of something greater than themselves. So would cannibals. This idea should cause anyone reading it to slam the mental brakes right then and there.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I totally understand their import and implication. We are the ones of all creation called to do G-d’s work, and we need to eat, so when we do, though we dislike killing to do it, we can console ourselves that it served a purpose however much it rankled. I ain’t dense so don’t be flaming me with the fires of righteousness. HOWEVER, please for the love of G-d try to remember how totally kooky this sounds especially to the secular world where Anne Rice elicits more recognition than anything religious.

So then… try out your local market’s vegan/vegetarian section’s soy-based faux meat products that various kashrut organizations have seen fit to give their approval to. If your cheese has no milk in it, and the meat is not meat, and neither is the bacon, you might just have a bacon cheeseburger waiting for you and no animal suffered at all for that and you won’t suffer guilt and so remove two sufferings at once.

Now THAT is being G-dly.

1 comment:

Kendra said...

yes, Judaism has a real weakness for pride. Maimonides absolutely rejected the Islamic idea the every object in the universe had it's own divine providence. He wanted humans firmly at center stage and was irrate at anything that could diminish this. The thing is, halakhah has _so_ many aspects where there is no immediate sense of "_why_ are we doing this? (beyond the fact we're Commanded to)" People naturally aren't happy and really stretch to fill in a good answer. Sometimes, they're so keen to fill in the answer they don't really double check what the answer implies. They just know if they've proved a mitzvah makes sense they've done a very good thing and are relieved.

About kashrut (and mitzvot in general) though, there is a fairly strong principle that basically boils down to: "if someone would think you're breaking a mitzvah by watching you without talking to you, then don't do that thing, even if you're within the bounds of the mitzvah." Like not eating shrimp shaped tofu.

I don't know if that's part of your halakhah...I don't take this principle to the extremes some folk, do myself, so I'm not implying any criticism....