Is any meat today kosher?
David Rosen for The Times of Israel
When I served on the Cape Beth Din in South Africa, I had to join my colleagues in visiting the slaughterhouses and checking up on the shochtim. The kosher slaughterhouse in Cape Town was part of a general slaughterhouse complex enabling me to view the process of killing animals in both places. What I saw convinced me that while non-kosher slaughter was quicker and more “aesthetic” than kosher slaughter, it failed in its claim to be more compassionate in its methods.
Science brings good old flavor back to tomatoes
By ISRAEL21c Staff
Israeli researchers join international team mapping tomatoes’ chemistry and genetics to reintroduce taste traits lost over 50 years of breeding.
Supermarket tomatoes often look a lot better than they taste. That’s because modern commercial tomatoes have gradually lost their flavor as breeders tinker with their shelf life, firmness and disease resistance.
Now it seems that we can have our tomato and eat it, too.
Purim and Vegetarianism
There are many connections between vegetarianism and the Jewish festival of Purim:
1. According to the Talmud, Queen Esther, the heroine of the Purim story, was a vegetarian while she lived in the palace of King Achashverus. She was thus able to avoid violating the kosher dietary laws while keeping her Jewish identity secret.
2. During Purim it is a mitzvah to give "mat'not evyonim" (added charity to poor and hungry people). In contrast to these acts of sharing and compassion, animal-based diets involve the feeding of over 70 percent of the grain in the United States to animals, while an estimate 20 million people die of hunger and its effects annually.
For more information about Purim, check out our Purim Resource Kit.
Could this new Sundance film be the next 'Blackfish'?
by Benyamin Cohen for FromtheGrapevine
'Trophy' will air on CNN to spotlight hunting and wildlife conservation in Africa.
From "An Inconvenient Truth" to "Blackfish," the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah has a reputation for introducing the public to important documentaries about our natural world. This year is no different.
The world premiere of "Trophy," took place on Friday, during the opening weekend of the festival. The documentary explores the intertwined issues of trophy hunting and conservation. The movie follows a handful of people – from breeders to anti-poaching activists.
The new film was co-directed by American filmmaker Christina Clusiau and Israeli documentarian Shaul Schwarz. "I think sometimes we believe that there's this utopian world in magical Africa that the animals just roam free and they live alone on these vast plains, but that's not the reality," said Clusiau. "This symbolism of what a trophy really is to different people I think is important. … One man's treasure is another man's trophy."
Israeli NGO doesn't monkey around when saving rainforest
Jacob Dembitzer for YNETnews.com
For the first time, an environmental non-profit has raised enough money to buy part of a biodiversity hotspot in Amazon rainforest; purchase might be able to save critically endangered woolly monkey from extinction.
Israeli non-profit This Is My Earth (TiME) has managed to buy almost 200 acres of Peruvian rainforest using a crowdfunding campaign in what is being seen as a first in environmental conservation.
TiME was able to raise over $30,000 using a crowd funding platform to purchase land in the El Toro District rainforest region of Peru.
The El Toro region is under constant threat of being sold by the Peruvian government for the establishment of new farms, making its protection all the more urgent.
"My House shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples." Isaiah 56:7