Getting to know farm animals at the Farm Sanctuary’s shelters played a large part in Sylvia's journey to veganism, but compassion for animals is only part of her story. Health concerns also had a role. Meat consumption has been linked to many diseases and unhealthy conditions. She had environmental concerns, as well. Animal agriculture releases large amounts of greenhouse gases and is having an enormous negative impact on our environment world-wide, including the practice of destroying rainforests by turning vast areas of them into land for cattle to graze on. We grow tremendous quantities of grain to feed animals while runoff from cattle wastes is a major source of pollution in our ground water and streams. Sylvia cites tikkun olam (repair of the world) as another major Jewish value that informs many vegetarians’ and vegans’ food choices.
Full disclosure from your writer: My father was a butcher. I grew up eating meat or fish at nearly every meal. The word “vegan” just had a boring ring to it for me. How can that be an interesting diet? I once asked myself. In recent years, though, I have eaten at several Los Angeles area vegan restaurants and I could not have been more wrong! Sure, one could just steam a plate of plain vegetables and call that vegan, but that's not the way it needs to be. The varieties of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, legumes, and seasonings seem nearly endless and provide many people with a wonderfully interesting and varied diet, fully consistent with their ethical beliefs.
Please join us to learn more about the benefits of a vegan diet and enjoy a full vegan Shabbat dinner from Good Food Catering. Bring your questions and concerns for discussion. You’ll be glad you did!