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Religious Vegetarianism

An anthology of writings on vegetarianism from a wide range of religious traditions.
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Table of Contents

Preface Introduction: Ambiguous Permission, Journeying Souls, Resplendent Life The Orphic-Pythagorean Tradition Hesiod: The Five Ages Porphyry: The Blessed Life Ovid: Pythagoras of Samos: Spirit Never Perishes Empedocles: I Have Been a Leaping Journeying Fish Philostratus: Apollonius of Tyana: Sweet Offerings The Indian Tradition The Laws of Manu: The Sin of Killing Akaranga Sutra: To Harm No Living Being Kabir: Human Flesh and Beast Flesh Are the Same Swami Vivekananda: Oneness Includes All Animals Mohandas Gandhi: Diet and Non-Violence A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada: Thou Shalt Not Kill The Buddhist Tradition Surangama Sutra: Prohibition Against Killing Lankavatara Sutra: Cherish Each Being Like an Only Child Asoka: On Animals I Have Conferred Many Boons Sir Edwin Arnold: All Life Is Linked Chu-Hung: Releasing Life Philip Kapleau: Meat Eating and the First Precept The Dalai Lama: Compassion for All Sentient Beings The Judaic Tradition Roberta Kalechofsky: Kashrut: A Provegetarian Bias in Torah Everett E. Gendler: The Life of His Beast Joseph Rosenfeld: The Religious Justification for Vegetarianism Abraham Isaac Kook: A Firm and Joyous Voice of Life The Christian Tradition Andrew Linzey: Vegetarianism as a Biblical Ideal Tom Regan: In the Fullness of God's Creation Francis X. Clooney: Vegetarianism and Religion Carol J. Adams: Feeding on Grace: Institutional Violence, Christianity, and Vegetarianism The Islamic Tradition Rumi: The Men Who Ate the Elephant His Holiness M.R. Bawa Muhaiyaddeen: Qurban and The Hunger Learns Compassion from the Fawn Al-Hafiz B.A. Masri: They Are Communities Like You For Further Reading Sources Index

About the Author

Kerry S. Walters is Professor of Philosophy and Lisa Portmess is Chair of the Philosophy Department at Gettysburg College. They are coeditors of the companion volume Ethical Vegetarianism: From Pythagoras to Peter Singer, also published by SUNY Press.


Although Unitarian minister Kowalski is both vegetarian and antivivisectionist, his newest book is not about deriving support for these ethical teachings from Judeo-Christian scripture. Rather, this is a series of personal meditations on some of the more prominent events in the Hebrew Bible, considering how they relate to our treatment of animals. In the first chapter, Kowalski meditates on the creation narratives of Genesis and touches on our stewardship of the earth. He points out how like us the animals are, as they sing and dance and love as we do. Kowalski continues with chapters on the story of Noah's Ark, the near-sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, the suffering of Job and his restoration, and, finally, the story of Jonah. Occasionally saccharine and often idiosyncratic in scriptural interpretation, these meditations are nonetheless always intelligent and frequently moving. Recommended especially for public libraries for its appeal to both students and casual readers. Religious Vegetarianism, on the other hand, is entirely about the justification of vegetarianism through the doctrines of several major religious traditions. Religious historian Walters (Benjamin Franklin and His Gods, LJ 1/90) and Portmess (philosophy, Gettysburg Coll.) divide the book into sections on the Orphic-Pythagorean tradition, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each section contains a brief introduction and several sample writings. This structure necessarily renders the book uneven in style, and it is best used by beginning scholars as a basic sourcebook. For academic libraries and public libraries with substantial collections in religion or ethics. James F. DeRoche, Alexandria, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

"An anthology of the caliber of Religious Vegetarianism makes a wonderful case for the ability of scholars today to be able to go into the oldest, most established traditions or codified entities and expose the unexpectedly radical ideas that are embedded there." - Worldviews "This wonderful book provides the cornerstone, the religious basis for a diet rich in compassion and a credit to faith." - Ingrid Newkirk, President, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals "Religious Vegetarianism is a stimulating collection of diverse and often out-of-the-way texts. The contrast between Eastern and Western religious texts on vegetarianism should prove to be especially thought-provoking for adherents of Western religions." - Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation

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