Is Vegetarianism a Biblical Ideal?

Rabbi Shai Held

Parashat Shemini

What are human beings meant to eat? How does Tanakh envision an ideal human diet, and what implications—if any—should that biblical ideal have for the present? Is vegetarianism consistent with the spirit of the laws of Kashrut, as they appear in parashat Shemini? And, if vegetarianism is a messianic ideal also, should at least some Jews be vegetarian now? (5774)