Rabbi Grossman suggests that “The kosher laws are supposed to raise an awareness of what we eat and a sensitivity to the needs of all living creatures.” Interesting, because just like Jews have claimed that eco-kosher is a central tenet of Judaism, Christians also have made the exact same argument about Christianity. And I bet if you dug deep enough you could find the exact movements in Buddhism and Islam. If the same Christianity that did away with eating laws could now embrace them as part of Jesus’ social gospel then I guess anyone could.
The fact is that there is a growing recognition in many quarters that we need a healthier relationship to the world around us. Eco-kosher is a great idea–one that does make kashrut relevant and meaningful. It brings halakha (Jewish law) back to its core of infusing all aspects of life with a sense of purpose, but lets all be historically honest. It would seem to me that historically speaking, kashrut laws probably were meant to create boundaries between different people and generate a sense of communal identity. Yes, there are laws about being sensitive to animals but not really visa via-Kashrut.
Eco-kosher strikes me as being one of those positive ironies in that in some ways it is an attempt to universalize (through vague ethical claims) what was once the most particularistic of ideas. I don’t know what exactly to make out of this but it is kind of interesting to note.