Jewish USC Student Says Go Vegan for High Holy Days

Students encouraged to celebrate the 5777 New Year by ditching animal products.

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In a recent feature in the University of Southern California’s news outlet The Daily Trojan, vegan and Jewish student Tessa Nesis laid out the case for going vegan in observation of the High Holy Days. According to Nesis, the High Holy Days—which started with Rosh Hashana on October 2 and will end with Yom Kippur on October 12—are a time of introspection, repentance, and a reconciliation of relationships between friends, family, and God. Nesis points out that relationships between humans and animals should also play a vital role, revealing that wearing leather during this holy time is prohibited. “It’s quite reprehensible to wear the skin of a dead animal while asking God for mercy,” Nesis says. She went on to explain that white is worn instead as a symbol of purity and connection to the Garden of Eden, a time when, Nesis explains, Adam and Eve were vegan. “The paradise that is the Garden of Eden […] is the ideal we should strive toward—to live in harmony with all living beings.” Nesis urges fellow students to observe the High Holy Days by ditching animal products. “Aside from fueling your body in the cleanest way, going vegan tackles the patriarchy by refraining from the exploitment of female animals,” Nesis says. “There is no sweeter way to commence year 5777 than widening your sphere of compassion to all living beings and modifying already existing ones to love and respect.”