PeacePen Webinar Series
Featuring those whose writing changes the world
Professor Richard H. Schwartz
Presented by
Dr. Kris Lecakes Haley & Dr. Craig Haley
What’s On The Agenda?
•Meet Professor Richard H. Schwartz
•Embark on an amazing journey through the
Jewish scriptural texts, interpretations and
philosophies that illuminated the path toward
the groundbreaking documentary, “A SACRED
•Hear more about Prof. Schwartz’s other
books, articles and offerings
•Q & A
Meet Professor Richard Schwartz
• Professor Emeritus
College of Staten Island
• President, Jewish
Vegetarians of North
America (JVNA) & Society
of Ethical Religious
Vegetarians (SERV)
• Associate Producer,
• Director, Veg Climate
•Co-author of “A Religious
Proclamation for Animal
Professor Schwartz’s Body of Work
• Author, “Judaism and Vegetarianism”
• Author, “Judaism and Global Survival”
• Author, “Mathematics and Global
• Author of over 140 articles at
• Creator of a free, online course on
Judaism and Vegetarianism located at
Why This Discussion Is Important
1. World heading toward unprecedented
a. global warming
b. widening water shortages
c. extinction of species
d. destruction of tropical rain forests
e. Many more threats
2. Impacts of vegetarian diets
a. UN FAO Report
b. World Watch Magazine
3. Switch toward vegetarianism essential
a. a societal imperative
Jewish Case For Vegetarianism
1. Biblical Case
2. Six Basic Jewish Mandates
The Biblical Case
God’s First Dietary Regimen
And God said: "Behold, I have given you
every herb yielding seed which is upon
the face of all the earth, and every
tree that has seed-yielding fruit -- to
you it shall be for food."
~ Genesis 1:29
The Biblical Case
The Second Vegetarian Experiment
• Manna from heaven
• People not satisfied
• Lusted for meat
• Great plague - “Graves of Lust”
The Biblical Case
The Second Vegetarian Experiment
• Permission to eat meat reluctantly
• Associated with lust
• Many stipulations/kashrut
• “A Hidden Reprimand”/Rav Kook
The Biblical Case
Messianic Period Vegetarian
And the wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
And the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
And the calf and the young lion and the
fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them
And the cow and the bear shall feed;
Their young ones shall lie down together,
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox....
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy
~ Isaiah 11:6-9
Six Basic Jewish Mandates
Treat Animals Compassionately
Preserve Human Health
Protect the Environment
Conserve Natural Resources
Help Hungry People
Seek and Pursue Peace
1. Treat Animals Compassionately
While Judaism forbids tsa'ar ba'alei
chayim, inflicting unnecessary pain on
animals, most farm animals -- including
those raised for kosher consumers -- are
raised on "factory farms" where they live
in cramped, confined spaces, and are
often drugged, mutilated, and denied
fresh air, sunlight, exercise, and any
enjoyment of life, before they are
slaughtered and eaten.
1. Treat Animals Compassionately
“God's mercies over all of his creations.”
~ Psalms 145:9
“The righteous person considers the lives of
his animals.”
~ Proverbs 12:10
Part of Ten Commandments
Torah commandments
Feed animals first
Test for leadership and choosing a spouse
2. Preserve Human Health
While Judaism mandates that people should
be very careful about preserving their health
and their lives, numerous scientific studies
have linked animal-based diets directly to
heart disease, stroke, many forms of cancer,
and other chronic degenerative diseases.
• Most important Jewish mitzvot?
• Overrides other mitzvot
2. Preserve Human Health
Migration Studies
Wartime Studies
Epidemiological Studies
Dean Ornish Studies
2. Preserve Human Health
The protein myth
The calcium myth
3. Protect the Environment
While Judaism teaches that "the earth is
the Lord's" (Psalm 24:1) and that we are
to be God's partners and co-workers in
preserving the world, modern intensive
livestock agriculture contributes
substantially to global warming, soil
erosion and depletion, air and water
pollution, overuse of chemical fertilizers
and pesticides, the destruction of tropical
rain forests and other habitats, and other
environmental damage.
3. Protect the Environment
Weren't we given dominion?
- Responsible stewardship
- Genesis 1:29: Limits human diet
- Genesis 2:15: Human role: To work
land and to guard it
- Midrash: ancient rabbinic warning
4. Conserve Natural Resources
While Judaism mandates bal tashchit,
that we are not to waste or
unnecessarily destroy anything of
value, and that we are not to use more
than is needed to accomplish a
purpose, animal agriculture requires
the wasteful use of grain, land, water,
energy, and other resources.
4. Conserve Natural Resources
Jewish sages extended Deuteronomy 20:19,
20 to a general prohibition against wasting
Our society based on waste; buy-use-dispose,
rather than reduce-reuse-recycle
Water: 4,200 gallons vs. 1,400 gallons vs. 300
5. Help Hungry People
While Judaism stresses that we are to
assist the poor and share our bread
with hungry people, over 70% of the
grain grown in the United States is fed
to animals destined for slaughter, while
over a billion of the world’s people are
chronically hungry and an estimated 20
million people worldwide die because
of hunger and its effects each year.
5. Help Hungry People
Leave corners of the field and
gleanings of the harvest for the
True purpose of fasting - end
oppression, share with hungry
6. Seek and Pursue Peace
While Judaism stresses that we must
seek and pursue peace and that
violence results from unjust conditions,
animal-centered diets, by wasting
valuable resources, help to perpetuate
the widespread hunger and poverty
that eventually lead to instability and
6. Seek and Pursue Peace
Lechem and milchamah
Same slogan for peace movement
and vegetarian movement
Global warming's effects on
instability, violence, terrorism and
Six Basic Jewish Mandates Summary
In view of these important Jewish mandates to
preserve human health, attend to the welfare of
animals, protect the environment, conserve
resources, help feed hungry people, and pursue
peace, and since animal-centered diets violate
and contradict each of these responsibilities,
committed Jews (and others) should sharply
reduce or eliminate their consumption of animal
Respectful challenge to rabbis and other Jewish
Jewish Vegetarians of North America
A Place To Read And Learn About The Growing Jewish Vegetarian
Newsletters: contact me at [email protected]
Society of Ethical and Religious
An Interfaith Peace Effort Pursuing Plant-based, Nonviolent
Yahoo Group:
SERV USA: Richard Schwartz, Stephen Kaufman
SERV Canada
An Opportunity To Move Our Imperiled Planet
To A Sustainable Path
A Major Documentary on Current Environmental Threats and How
Applying Jewish Teachings Can Help Heal The World
May be viewed on
Complimentary Copies Available
Richard Schwartz & Producer Lionel Friedberg
Richard’s Other Efforts
• Letters
• Articles
• Press Releases
• Talks
• Resolutions
THE FUTURE – A Call To Action!
• Challenge Rabbis And Others
• Stage Debates: Should Jews Be
• Stress That Vegetarianism Is A
Societal Imperative
Richard Schwartz
[email protected]
Kris Lecakes Haley & Craig Haley
Co-founders, PEACEANIMAL
[email protected]
What Do YOU Think??
• Your questions and comments
are welcome and encouraged

Animals & Religion Author`s Corner Guest: Professor Richard H