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A Sacred Duty

2014-12-30 18:44| Publisher: earthcaring| Views: 1475| Comments: 0|Author: JVNA|From: Wikipedia

Abstract: The film focuses on Jewish teachings about caring for the earth, treatment of animals, and the environment, with a focus on vegetarianism. Interviews with rabbis, activists, and scholars are intersper ...
A Sacred Duty, subtitled Applying Jewish values to help heal the world, is a 2007 60-minute documentary from Jewish Vegetarians of North America (JVNA), written and produced by Lionel Friedberg. The film focuses on Jewish teachings about caring for the earth, treatment of animals, and the environment, with a focus on vegetarianism.[1] Interviews with rabbis, activists, and scholars are interspersed with footage and stills illustrating the points being discussed.[2]


The film opens with footage of a NASA rocket launch, an animation of our solar system, and a quote from Deuteronomy 30:19 about choosing between life and death (illustrated with images of the planet Earth as seen from space, contrasted with an exploding atom bomb). This is followed by a statement that humanity has not been caring for the Earth properly according to Jewish teachings. Next comes a section about ancient Jewish texts and "sacred words" that provide "specific instructions on how to be custodians of the world in which we live." Throughout the film, quotes from the Torah, illustrated with closeups of Hebrew scrolls, Jews praying, and nature scenes, will be contrasted with the various environmental threats facing humanity today.

The scene shifts once again to the Earth from space, as the camera moves in to focus on Israel. The narrator then uses that country as a microcosm of current global problems related to air and water pollution, over-population, climate change, health concerns, etc. The film moves on to look at problems globally, with scenes shot all over the world. The focus then shifts to the United States where all the relevant issues are discussed in detail.

Reference is made to the United Nations FAO 2006 report, Livestock's Long Shadow, which makes the claim that livestock agriculture produces more greenhouse gasses than all the world's vehicles combined. Next comes a brief presentation, illustrated with simple animated charts, on how meat production is an inefficient way to produce food for a hungry world. This moves into footage of animal abuses on feedlots and factory farms and the pollution produced by these facilities. The film then focuses on the advantages of vegetarianism for reducing pollution and solving world hunger. With a change of diet toward vegetarianism, the film asserts, many of these environmental and health problems can be solved. After some fast-moving images of people and nature accompanied by music, the film ends with the same statement from Deuteronomy about "life and death," voiced over a sunrise.

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