Practical Issues > Actions to Take > Religion for ARAs
More Dialogue on Biblical Dominion Concepts

Subject: RE: You Cannot Finagle Compassion/ An Actual Dialogue
Date: Mon, 29 Mar 2010 07:12:57 -0400

Professor Schwartz,

All I am asking is that the people who have left their judeo.christian religions (and there are many) in disgust of the animal abuse, let the leaders of their religion know why they have left.

I haven't read the dialogue yet, but if it elaborates on dominion and pretends there is compassion in a model that suggests a baby animal should be killed on a different day than its mother, then your efforts are in vain. As the dialogue is fictitious you can put any words in the mouth of the rabbi that you chose. I had a real dialogue with a rabbi, which showed exactly who he was and how the teachings affected his soul. I believed what I saw and I left the Jewish faith.

"When someone shows you who they are - believe it" Maya Angelou

An actual dialogue with a Rabbi: During the many reading which involve the slaughter of animals in the torah, I walked out of the service and waited outside. A retired rabbi in the congregation came out to reason with me. He told me that a part of his rabbinical duties he had to oversee the slaughter to ensure that it is carried out according to tradition. He noted that the screams of the animals were terrible. I asked if he was vegetarian. He said no. At that moment I understood how teachings which so devalue animal lives had so numbed his heart that he viewed so much pain and terror as a technical exercise.

What a pity.

I do not expect the religious leaders entrenched in dominion to accept what I am saying initially, but a method which pretends they are compassionate and flatters their already inflated egos just encourages them in their certainty that they may indeed harm and kill animals with pride and satisfaction. If they hear a message of total compassion with greater frequency they may come to understand it.

You cannot finagle compassion. Either you acknowledge that there is no justifiable reason to harm and kill another living being or you allow for it and do no good at all.

When the Jains introduced ahimsa to the society around them thousands of years ago, few were willing to listen, but eventually some did. The Hindus had the wisdom to incorporate ahimsa into their religion over time.

If you do not have the courage, integrity or wisdom to speak the only words that have ever helped animals, then all your writings are leading to precisely what you are trying to prevent.

What a pity.

Year after year, during the reading of the torah, the killing and sacrifice of animals is repeated in an endless cycle of violence. Such a message encourages violent thoughts and is not conducive to compassion. Part of the story of Passover itself contains the slaughter of a lamb, smearing its blood on the doors of the enemy so that God may smite their first born dead...The slaughter of an animal and revenge should never be celebrated. The only message that will counter such violence is one which calls for total compassion for ALL beings.


Ruth Eisenbud

Subject: Re: Easter, the silence of lambs - Thou shallt not kill
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 21:45:29 -0400

Hi Ruth,

I wonder if all of your dedicated efforts have resulted in any significant number of people leaving their religion, especially of people who were seriously involved?

If not, I wonder what you (and others receiving this response) think of my approach in the made-up dialogue between a Jewish Veg activist and a rabbi (which could be adapted to other religions).

I am certainly open to suggestions for improvements to that dialogue (or to any of my 140 articles and 25 podcasts at, or to my book "Judaism and Vegetarianism" that you can read freely at that website. Please note that I address the issue of dominion.

Ruth, I think if you went to a religious leader with your approach, they would immediately dismiss you and look negatively at the veg/AR movements. But, I think they would find it much harder to dismiss the dialogue approach that I am suggesting.

BTW, the correct translation is "Thou shalt not murder," which can be interpreted as "Thou shalt not kill unnecessarily," which I believe includes not killing animals, unless essential to save your life.

Looking forward to any suggestions.


Richard (Schwartz)
president, Jewish Vegetarians of North America

On Mar 28, 2010, at 5:12 PM, Ruth Eisenbud wrote:

Dear Slavica,

Yes, you are correct dominion is fraudulent compassion. It pretends to be compassionate and then allows for the exploitation and slaughter of animals...

This is an example of how dominion betrays animals taken from commentaries of the old testament:

"It is prohibited to kill an animal with its young on the same day, in order that people should be restrained and prevented from killing the two together in such a manner that the young is slain in the sight of the mother; for the pain of animals under such circumstances is very great...." (Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed, 3:48)" Commentary on Old Testament

I wonder exactly on which day it is compassionate to kill a baby animal, a gentle animal such as a cow that lives peacefully and harms no one.

This is the kind of double-speak that has so many Jews, Christians and Muslims so confused about the meaning of compassion. It is no wonder the slaughter goes up during religious holidays for this tradition...

As I see it those who were born into these religions must leave these religions that piously pretend that the slaughter of animals is compassionate. Having left they have two choices to leave all religion, which is a legitimate, honest decision based on integrity or to seek out a religious tradition which demonstrates more compassion for animals. The option to remain in the religions that sanctify killing is a meaningless exercise in frustration, as those who work for change in these religions insist on preserving the model of dominion, which will never lead to animal compassion.

We protest businesses that harm animals and we boycott their products. Religion is no different, much of it is run as a business and the leaders depend on followers for their support. If people leave and make it clear why they are leaving, then perhaps they will come to understand the level of disapproval of religions that are devoid of compassion for animals...


Subject: Re: Easter, the silence of lambs - Thou shallt not kill
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 14:23:36 +0200

We all have moral obligation: we must write to all church leaders .Teaching about human "dominion" is their fraud that is Christian/Judeo Islamic religion leaders fraud , that is not message of God.
God`s message is : Thou shalt not kill !
Nonhuman Animals are not property but passive justice subjects like many human Animals are.

EPAR/ OIPA Serbia/Alliance for nonhuman and human Animal Rights

----- Original Message -----
From: Daniela Dragomir
To: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Sent: Sunday, March 28, 2010 1:19 PM
Subject: Easter, the silence of lambs vegetarianism/pastele_tacerea_mieilor.html
Here is the new page on our website against the slaughter of animals on Easter - and especially the lamb slaughter, considered by church tradition, justifiable practice. The lamb is very much associated with religious sacrifice. If the church says: Easter lamb belongs to the Christian religion, 'good' Christians won't feel any remorse to slaughter and eat lambs.
the title is: Easter - the silence of lambs, don't take part in the lambs and animals massacre on Easter.
Easter falls next Sunday, April the 4th, early this year. The 'sacrificial' lambs are very young this year, 2 kg lighter than usual.

Amazing that there are vegetarian colonies in India, and 220 million vegetarians!

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