Promoting compassion and preventing suffering to animals — in Jewish tradition, a core value called tza’ar ba’alei chayim (literally: the suffering of living creatures) — is central to our work to build a better food system
Centering animals shines a light on their intrinsic value, on our obligation to protect them as companions in creation, and, crucially, on injustices that persist for all life when we exploit them. Raising the standard of welfare for animals in our food system through farming reform and reducing demand for their products benefits not only those animals, but all those negatively impacted by industrial agriculture — including farmers, food workers, rural communities, and humans and wildlife most vulnerable to climate and habitat breakdown.
Sages throughout Jewish tradition suggest that human treatment of other animals is a barometer for our spiritual health as individuals and as a society. Indeed, we see the need to dismantle factory farming not only as a moral imperative to relieve animal suffering, but as an essential step toward building a kinder, healthier, and more equitable world for all.
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In order to cultivate and grow a sustainable Jewish animal advocacy movement, we must address the issues that are critically connected to and interdependent with industrial animal agriculture. We must work in partnership with Jewish communities and justice movements to achieve positive change.