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Shalom!

Welcome to my updated, redesigned website. I hope you find it informative, meaningful, and inspiring.

The purpose of my website is to provide the information and inspiration to help shift our very imperiled planet onto a sustainable path, helping to leave a habitable, healthy world for future generations.

Key points that I am using to try to increase awareness include:

  1. There is a very strong scientific consensus that the world is rapidly approaching a climate catastrophe. It is reinforced by the increased frequency and severity of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms, floods, and other climate events.
  2. The main cause of climate change is animal-based agriculture, because cows emit methane, a very potent greenhouse gas, and forests are being cut down to create land for grazing and growing feed crops for animals, adding to the 43 percent of the world’s ice-free land already being used for these purposes.
  3. Largely due to the huge loss of carbon-sequestering trees, atmospheric CO2, which was 285 parts per million (ppm) at the start of the industrial revolution, has increased to about 420 ppm, far above the 350 ppm that climate experts believe is a threshold value for climate sustainability, and it has been increasing by at least two ppm per year in recent years. There is no way a climate catastrophe can be prevented without a societal shift toward vegan diets, enabling reforestation of the vast areas now being used for animal-based agriculture.
  4. Animal-based diets and agriculture seriously violate fundamental Jewish teachings on preserving our health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, reducing hunger, and pursuing peace. These and other considerations, including the many scandals that have taken place in the kashrut (kosher ) inspection system, make the consumption of meat and other animal products halachically unjustifiable today. After over 40 years of my spreading this message, no rabbi has effectively refuted it. Most have not responded to it.
  5. It is much easier to be a vegetarian or vegan today because of the increasing abundance of plant-based substitutes with the appearance, texture, and taste so close to those of meat and other animal products that they often can not tell them apart. However, these are highly processed, unhealthy foods, so they should not play a major role in one’s diet and should be viewed as a transition food toward healthier eating.

This website contains over 300 articles and other items that reinforce the points above, considering all aspects of vegetarianism and veganism and how they impinge on the world.

Since the articles at this website were written over the past four decades, please check with me if you plan to share a statistic to check if any update is needed.

I hope this website will be the most comprehensive collection of materials on Jewish teachings on vegetarianism and veganism and related issues, and that it will be helpful to people seeking information and doing research in this field.

I very much welcome people using my writings to promote veganism. Please feel free to build on my articles and other material.

Please email me if you have questions or suggestions or would like to work with me in promoting veganism.

ALL the best,

Richard Schwartz
Professor Emeritus, Mathematics
College of Staten Island

Jewish Teachings on Veganism and Vegetarianism

Veganism is the duet and lifestyle most consistent with basic Jewish teachings on preserving our health, treating animals, with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, reducing hunger, and pursuing peace.

Both ideal times in the Jewish tradition, the Garden of Eden (Genesis 1:29) and the Messianic Period (based on “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, . . . the lion shall eat straw like the ox, . . . and no one shall hurt nor destroy on all of God’s holy mountain” (Isaiah 11:6 -9)), are vegan periods.

These messages must be spread widely.

JUDAISM, VEGANISM, AND VEGETARIANISM

Why Jews (and Everyone Else) Should Be Vegans

Veganism is the duet and lifestyle most consistent with basic Jewish teachings on preserving our health, treating animals with compassion, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, reducing hunger, and pursuing peace.

Major shifts to veganism are essential to efforts to avert a climate catastrophe.

It is much easier to be a vegan today because of the increasing abundance of plant-based substitutes with appearances, textures, and tastes very similar to meat and other animal products. Long-time meat eaters often can’t tell the difference.

Veganism and Climate Change

Climate experts are issuing increasingly dire warnings about climate threats, indicating that the world is approaching an irreversible tipping point when climate spins out of control, with catastrophic consequences. Their warnings are reinforced by the significant recent increases in the frequency and severity of heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods.

As I write this in March 2024, February was just declared the warmest February in recorded history, making it the ninth consecutive month to break temperature records.

By far, the most effective way to reduce climate threats is through shifts to vegan diets for two very important reasons: (1)  they would reduce the emission from cows of methane, a greenhouse gas over 80 times as potent per unit weight as CO2 in heating the atmosphere, and (2) they would enable reforesting of the 43 percent of the world’s ice-free land area now used for grazing and growing feed crops for animals. That would result in the sequestering of much atmospheric CO2, reducing it from its current very dangerous level to a much safer one.

There is no Planet B or effective Plan B.

Jewish Festivals and Veganism

Jewish Festivals and Veganism and Vegetarianism

My Books, Video, and Interviews

In order to help promote veganism and vegetarianism, I have written several books, helped produce a video, and interviewed many vegan activists. Please feel free to use and build on the material in this section to help spread vegan messages.

My Books

Becoming an Activist

The messages on this website about the many benefits of vegan and vegetarian diets must be very widely spread. Especially important is the message that major shifts toward vegan diets are essential to efforts to avert a global climate catastrophe. We should use social media, letters to editors, and every other approach to break through the current apathy, misinformation, and resistance, in efforts to leave a habitable, healthy, environmentally sustainable world for future generations.

Vegan Activism

About Richard Schwartz

The many articles and other information about me chronicle my over 40 years of vegetarian and vegan activism.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been able to help spread messages about the many benefits of these diets, especially their importance to efforts to avert a global climate catastrophe.

About Richard Schwartz

Book Reviews by Richard Schwartz

I have become a leading reviewer of vegan, animal rights, and environmental books. Many have great insights and very valuable information. I strongly recommend reading one or more, as they can be very valuable to you on your vegan path.

Book Reviews

And More...

Veganism is related to many issues, including health, animal treatment, environmental sustainability, resource usage, hunger, and peace. We should use these connections to promote veganism.