Skip To Content

Orthodox Rabbis Warn Of ‘Moral And Spiritual Dangers’ Of Eating Meat

In an unprecedented statement, a group of Orthodox rabbis around the world, members of Torat Chayim, a progressive Orthodox rabbinic group, have called upon the broader Jewish community to consider the moral and spiritual dangers associated with meat consumption. In this statement, these members of Torat Chayim have called upon Jews of all persuasions, but especially the Orthodox community, to consider the dimensions of halakhah and the Jewish ideal that reducing meat intake leads to a healthier and more ethically vibrant world.

We, the undersigned, are committed to the observance of kashrut and its continuance as a vehicle towards just, healthy living and the service of God. We encourage the community to consider research of livestock raised in the factory farming system and to question whether food prepared in this manner meets the reverence-for-life standard on which kashrut is founded or the ethical standard we require from agri-business, from large conglomerates to mom-and-pop farm operations. A substantial body of research suggests there is significant and unnatural pain caused toward animals during their raising and slaughter for human consumption, that factory farming is one of the leading contributors to carbon emissions, and that the consumption of large amounts of meat is a leading contributor to cardiac disease, gastrointestinal ailments, and certain types of cancers. As a whole, it behooves the Jewish community, indeed nations all over the world, to have spirited and respectful conversations about reducing meat intake and coming together to find solutions for this global concern.

Rabbi Daniel Askenazi

Rabbi Chuck Davidson

Rabbi Avidan Freedman

Rabbi Daniel Goodman

Rabbi Dr. Mel Gottlieb

Rabbi Steve Greenberg

Rabbi Dr. Yitz Greenberg

Rabbi Donn Gross

Rabbi David Jaffe

Rabbi David Kalb

Rabbi Will Keller

Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn

Rabbi Daniel Landes

Rabbi Aaron Leibowitz

Rabbi Yehoshua Looks

Rabbi Dr. Ariel Evan Mayse

Rabbi Michael Melchior

Rabbi Avram Mlotek

Rosh Kehilah Dina Najman

Rabbi Yonatan Neril

Rabbi Micha Odenheimer

Rabbi Haim Ovadia

Rabbi Aaron Potek

Rabbi Dr. David Rosen

Rabbi Chaim Seidler-Feller

Rabbi Daniel Raphael Silverstein

Rabbi Devin Villarreal

Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.