The news reports that the mayor of the most dog-dense city in the world, Tel Aviv, recently ate dog. The citizens of his city keep, walk, cuddle dogs as companions, not as backup food.

His defense? If one can eat poultry and shellfish, then why not dog?

And that is one good reason many vegans or vegetarians eat no animals.

And that should somehow count for the leader of the city with the greatest percentage of vegans in the world.

Many people erroneously assume that Jewish Law restricts. Don’t do this and don’t do that. Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo points out that it’s actually the opposite. How could a moral person kill to eat an animal? Jewish Law permits. Under conditions it allows it:

  • If it’s killed in a controlled manner that doesn’t hurt the animal,
  • If mother and child are not killed on the same day,
  • If cow meat is not cooked with cow milk,
  • If the animal eaten itself was a vegan,

So: stay away from cruelty. Don’t be insensitive to the hilt.

It sounds as if the reporter and the mayor have no knowledge of Jewish Law. They report that the head of the city “had eaten termites and even locusts,” apparently unaware that some sort of locusts are in fact kosher.

But the worst is the flakiness of his commitments. When far away, in Vietnam, it became more important to not offend the hospitality of the local farmer than not to offend the hundreds of thousands in his city who love dogs – but not to take a bite of them.

Doesn’t he know that being principled will command respect and endear?