‘Is this kosher?’ Jewish billboards in LA call for humane eating practices.

by | Apr 20, 2023 | Religion

LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Drivers in the Los Angeles region are being greeted with billboards displaying farm animals juxtaposed with Jewish comfort foods, posing the question: “Is this kosher?”“Chicken soup? More like discomfort food.”
“Noshing on lox? Something’s fishy about that.”
“That schmear? It’s udderly suspect.”
The billboards went up Monday and Tuesday (April 17 and 18) as part of a campaign launched by the Jewish Initiative for Animals, an organization seeking alternatives to factory farming that align with Jewish values.
The Jewish Initiative for Animals notes that Jews and non-Jews spend a lot of money for kosher meat, thinking of it as a “seal of approval” for a product that’s higher quality, healthier and more humane for the animals and workers.
“But none of that is true,” the organization says.
Kosher animal production is no different from conventional industrial farming, according to JIFA. The organization cites data from the Sentience Institute showing that 99% of all animals are now factory farmed, including what JIFA says is “virtually all kosher beef, dairy, poultry, eggs, and farmed fish.”
The term “factory farm” is commonly used to refer to large, industrialized facilities that raise animals for food, but it isn’t a legal or scientific term, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
“When people hear the word kosher, they have an association as to the way this animal is being treated, and our response is that is no longer true,” said Rabbi Jonathan …

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