Rabbi Slifkin: Factory Farming Not Kosher

Rabbi Natan Slifkin’s new book deals with issues of the interface between the animal world and mankind. While noting that animal cruelty does not make the meat produced from that cruelty treife, Rabbi Slifkin notes today’s factory farming methods are clear violations of tzaar baalei hayyim law.

In other words, your meat (and eggs) come from clear violations of Jewish law. But the actual slaughter is kosher.

Do you eat Rubashkin meat? Satmar? Alle? If you do, please explain why clear violations of Jewish law do not matter to you.



Filed under Kosher Meat Scandal

14 responses to “Rabbi Slifkin: Factory Farming Not Kosher

  1. Yochanan Lavie

    When are Rabbi Slifkin’s other books coming back into print?

  2. maanyy

    oh, cant you get a better manager of this site you have NO BRAINS, what a silly site!
    what do you care if i eat rubashkins?

  3. Anon

    That’s not exactly what he says at all.

  4. Anonymous

    he was banned. maybe the meat industry is the reason?

  5. Page 176:

    … [A]ccording to all, a person can be a good Jew and eat meat, and a person is also praiseworthy if he refrains from eating meat out of personal sensitivity or personal piety. There are some modern-day considerations; it seems that some current farming methods are inconsistent with Torah principles (although this does not render the meat unkosher). It also seems that the current fashion of eating meat gluttonously is not a Torah ideal.

    You can argue that Rabbi Slifkin parsed his language, and that “inconsistent with Torah principles” does not equal “violation of Jewish law.” The problem with this facile argument ias the Torah itself, which states these “principles” as laws. In other words, the meat we eat comes from violations of tzaar baalei hayyim law.

    Another point Rabbi Slifkin failed to mention is Rav Moshe Feinstein’s reaction to the oppression of migrant farm workers – he refused to eat non-union produce and issued a pesak din in relation to this – and the tzaar baalei hayyim issues of caged veal – again, Rav Moshe refused to eat it and issued a pesak din in relation to this.

    You want to eat suspect food? Eat Rubashkin, Alle, Satmar, etc. You don’t want to consume these products of cruelty? Buy free-range beef, chicken and eggs. Or, at leat temporarily, go veg.

  6. Dan

    Of course “inconsistent with Torah principles” does not equal “violation of Jewish law.” Watching most TV programs is inconsistent with Torah principles, but is not a violation of Jewish law.

  7. Yes, but the Torah does not say “do not watch TV.” The Torah does forbid cruelty to animals, and does mandate kind treatment of animals.

  8. Dan

    Right, but it is not so clear that these laws prohibit factory farming. Presumably that is why R’ Slifkin phrased it in the way that he did.

  9. No. He phrased it the way he did because he’s sick of haredi thugs ruining his life.

  10. Anonymous

    shmarya, what shechita do you eat?

  11. Dan

    No. He phrased it the way he did because he’s sick of haredi thugs ruining his life.

    I think that you are imposing your own ideas upon reality. In light of the fact that R’ Slifkin is republishing his banned books, I don’t think that he would be afraid to write his true beliefs.

  12. Anonymous

    Scott went vegatarian! Bravo! Score one (a big one) for the PETA gang!

  13. Neo-Conservaguy

    Rabbi Natan Slifkin continues to be a qiddush haShem and is doing more work to shape the world toward the messianic vision than thousands of haredi professional “Torah scholars”.

    We didn’t eat “red meat” for almost a year until we recently found a source for kosher meat (kosher bison in this case) that met the higher standards we set for ourselves after the Rubashkin’s Postville shanda. Was that a win for PETA? I don’t think so; rather, it was a win for us in that unlike many, we didn’t eat treif meat. Then again, we already had made meat a small part of our diet; the various fake meat products are generally healthier and cost less than high quality kosher meat. I still like the kosher bison in my Shabboth Chaulent/Hamine/Tafina stew.

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