04 December 2004

From Today's Dallas Morning News

This year, I hope Jews will enhance their celebrations of the beautiful holiday of Hanukkah by striving even harder to live up to Judaism's highest moral values and teachings and moving toward a vegetarian diet.

Hanukkah commemorates the miracle of the oil that was enough for only one day, but miraculously lasted for eight. A switch to vegetarianism on the part of the world's people could help cause an even greater miracle: the end of the scandal of world hunger, which results in the death of an estimated 20 million people annually, while over a third of the world's grain is fed to animals destined for slaughter.

The miracle of the oil brings the use of fuel and other resources into focus, and vegetarian diets make resources go much farther, since far less water, fuel, land, pesticides, fertilizer and other resources are required for plant-based diets than for animal-centered diets. In addition, a switch toward vegetarian diets would greatly benefit the health of individuals and would sharply reduce the mistreatment of billions of farmed animals.

Richard H. Schwartz
president, Jewish Vegetarians of North America

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