As we approach the holy celebrations of Passover in Judaism and Easter in Christianity, let's take a brief look at how these two religions view veganism.
Judaism has a rich history and tradition that values the sanctity of all life and the importance of ethical treatment of animals. As such, many Jews are drawn to veganism as a way to live in accordance with their values and ethics.
The concept of tza’ar ba’alei chayim, or the prohibition of causing unnecessary harm to animals, is a core principle in Judaism. This principle is rooted in the idea that all living beings are sacred and deserve respect and compassion (Grossman, 2019). Many Jewish scholars argue that the consumption of animal products conflicts with this principle and that a vegan diet aligns better with Jewish values (Roth, 2011).
In addition to ethical concerns, there are also practical reasons why a vegan diet might be more compatible with Jewish practices. For example, keeping kosher can be easier with a vegan diet since there is no need to separate meat and dairy or to avoid non-kosher animals. Moreover, veganism can also be seen as a way to reduce one's environmental impact, which is another important value in Jewish tradition (Shamir, 2020).
Some several Jewish organizations and communities promote veganism as a way to live in accordance with Jewish values. For example, the Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA) is a non-profit organization that advocates for veganism and animal rights within the Jewish community (Jewish Vegetarians of North America, n.d.). Additionally, some Jewish communities have started to offer vegan options at events and meals to accommodate members who follow a vegan lifestyle.
Christianity also has a history of advocating for a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Some Christians believe that vegetarianism is a way to show compassion and love for all of God's creation. In the Bible, the Book of Genesis describes the original diet of humans as one based on plants and seeds. However, Christianity and veganism have a complex relationship that has been debated for centuries. Some Christians believe that humans have been given dominion over animals and are therefore allowed to use them for food and other purposes. However, others believe in the principles of compassion and stewardship, which include treating animals with respect and avoiding unnecessary harm.
In recent years, there has been an increasing number of Christian voices advocating for a plant-based lifestyle. Many cite the biblical teachings of kindness and compassion towards all of God's creatures, including animals. Some Christian denominations, such as Seventh-day Adventists, have embraced vegetarian and vegan diets as a means of improving health and promoting ethical values.
There are also Christian organizations that promote veganism and animal rights, such as the Christian Vegetarian Association and the Humane Society of the United States' Faith Outreach Program. These groups work to raise awareness of the ethical and environmental implications of animal agriculture and promote a compassionate, plant-based lifestyle as a means of living out Christian values.
One notable figure in the intersection of Christianity and veganism is theologian and author Matthew Scully, who wrote the influential book "Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy." Scully argues that the Bible promotes a message of compassion and mercy towards all creatures, and that this message is in conflict with the practices of factory farming and animal exploitation.
While Christianity and veganism may not always seem to go hand in hand, there is a growing movement of Christians who are embracing a plant-based lifestyle as a means of living out their faith and promoting ethical values. By promoting compassion towards animals and caring for the environment, Christians can work towards a more just and sustainable world.
Seventh-day Adventists are a religious group known for their focus on healthy living, which includes a predominantly plant-based diet. A significant number of Seventh-day Adventists follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, with some estimates suggesting up to 50% of the community adheres to a plant-based lifestyle.
One of the reasons for this is the church's emphasis on health and wellness. The Seventh-day Adventist Church encourages its members to take care of their bodies as a reflection of their faith and to promote longevity and quality of life. The church also operates several hospitals and clinics that promote plant-based diets as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Seventh-day Adventists also have a unique interpretation of the Bible, which has led to the promotion of vegetarian and vegan diets. They interpret the book of Genesis as stating that humans were originally intended to eat a plant-based diet and that meat-eating was only introduced after the flood. Additionally, they believe that consuming animal products can lead to poor health and disease and that a plant-based diet aligns more with their faith and values.
Studies have shown that Seventh-day Adventists who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet have lower rates of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer (5). This is likely due to the high intake of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, which are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Seventh-day Adventists have a long tradition of promoting healthy living and plant-based diets. Their emphasis on wellness and unique interpretation of the Bible has led to many members adopting vegan and vegetarian lifestyles. Studies have shown that this dietary choice may contribute to improved health outcomes for this population.
Got vegan candy?
Holidays are synonymous with sweet treats, particularly candy. However, for those who follow a plant-based or vegan lifestyle, finding suitable candy options can be a challenge. Thankfully, there are now plenty of delicious and indulgent plant-based and vegan alternatives to traditional candy available, making it easier than ever to enjoy these holidays without compromising on your dietary choices.
One popular plant-based candy brand is Unreal Candy. Their products are made without artificial flavors, preservatives, or colors and are non-GMO verified. Their peanut butter cups and dark chocolate coconut bars are particularly popular, and they even offer a vegan version of their classic milk chocolate gems.
Another option is YumEarth, a brand that is entirely free from common allergens such as dairy, nuts, and soy. They offer a range of fruity and sour gummy candies, as well as lollipops, all made with real fruit juice and organic ingredients.
For those looking for something more indulgent, vegan chocolate is always available. Many mainstream brands now offer vegan options, such as Lindt's 70% dark chocolate bar or Cadbury's Bournville dark chocolate. However, there are also many specialist vegan chocolate brands, such as Booja-Booja and Ombar, that offer an indulgent and ethical alternative to traditional chocolate.
If you're looking for something a little more homemade, there are plenty of recipes available online for vegan and plant-based candy. For example, you could try making your own chocolate truffles using coconut cream and dairy-free chocolate, or make a batch of vegan caramel using dates and coconut milk.
It's important to remember that just because a candy is plant-based or vegan, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's healthy. Many vegan candies are still high in sugar and should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.