I spent last weekend at the first ever Jewish Intentional Communities Conference, which was cosponsored by Hazon and the Pearlstone Retreat Center. It was very inspiring to see the many unique intentional communities in the works at the moment, and the conference gave me hope that I could one day live a rich and rural Jewish life. But my busy weekend left me no time to write a post so here's some interesting articles and media that have been floating around.
To make kosher meat, the first thing you need is a knife. But not just any knife will do; you need something called a chalef. The name chalef comes from the word lehachlif, which means “to change or transform.” With this very powerful instrument, we are able to change a living animal into something completely different: food. This knife is very long, has a flat end, and must be completely sharp and smooth. To ensure that the chalef is perfect, the shochet (kosher butcher) carefully checks it for nicks using his fingernails and re-hones it if even the smallest imperfection is discovered.
I’m sick and tired of vegetarians thinking they are somehow doing animals a favor by not eating their flesh. Now I’ve got no beef, pun intended, with vegans. You’ve got to respect people who are able to abstain from all animal products, and as long as they can do it in a healthy manner, I see it as a positive way to fully and truly avoid the cruelties of commercial animal production. For that matter, I have no problem with people becoming vegetarians because of personal preference, health, or environmental concerns. While I do think that meat production done right can in many instances help the environment,* and that meat is very healthy when consumed as part of a balanced diet,* I can still respect people choosing to abstain from it for legitimate considerations. What I absolutely cannot stand is when someone becomes a vegetarian because of animal welfare. The fantasy that simply going veg helps animals is a lie, it hurts animals, it harms society, and I will not keep quiet about it any longer.
About the blog:
Welcome to The Kosher Omnivore's Quest! My old blog on kosher slaughter, kosher meat, and animal welfare. For new content check out my new website, The Kosher Cut™. There you'll find: blog posts about shechita and related topics, educational slaughter presentations, kosher slaughter training, and a selection of high quality professional kosher slaughter equipment.