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Vegan and Religion

Veganism: Return to the Garden of Eden – Interview with Rabbi Akiva Gersh (vegan), Part 1 of 2

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“I believe that there is an urgent need for change in the Jewish community and in the world. I really see veganism as one of the most important issues of our time, because what we eat and how we eat and the food choices that we make are impacting almost every single level realm, sector of life, of the planet, of reality. And that’s why I focus on it so much because I feel like if we could really put our heart and our soul into what we’re eating, that heart awareness and that soul attention into what we’re eating and make those proper changes, we could literally change the world and we could also avert major disasters in this world.”

These are the inspirational words of Rabbi Akiva Gersh (vegan) a passionate educator, writer and compassionate leader, originally from New York, USA. Over the past 20 years, the dedicated Rabbi has gathered a wealth of Jewish Holy teachings which support the plant-based diet and animal welfare to show people that Judaism has supported compassion for all beings since ancient times.

“There're four major reasons from a Jewish perspective to be vegan today. First one is a law called ‘Tza'ar ba'alei Chayim’ which is a law from the Torah that you're not allowed to cause pain and suffering to animals. Number two is another law called ‘Bal Tashchit’ which is basically not wasting resources. Number three is ‘Shmirat HaGuf,’ keeping our own bodies healthy. And the fourth reason is a spiritual reason. There're a lot of teachings in Judaism that emphasize our spiritual health. And within that, we are what we eat and the food that we put into our bodies will affect our beings, our thoughts, our feelings, our actions, and our spiritual state.”

“In Genesis chapter 1 verse 29, the very first diet given to humanity, to Adam and Eve specifically, but it was for all of humanity, was a purely plant-based diet. And that was a diet that continued even after they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, and lasted all the way until after the flood and the generation of Noah. So the first diet given to humanity, given in the Garden of Eden, was a purely vegan diet. It was prohibited for humans to eat, to kill animals for food.”

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