30 April 2019 | Vegan lifestyle site, LIVEKINDLY has published an article about Amirim, a vegan and vegetarian village of over 800 people in northern Israel. The community was started in 1958 by a group of vegans, vegetarians and health enthusiasts, some of which were Branch Davidians.
The article identifies Branch Davidians as a sect of the Seventh-day Adventist faith, in which many followers are vegetarian. The Adventist Church does not claim any relationship with the Branch Davidians.
Early Amirim residents set up tents and planted gardens. More people came to the community over the years, with their number growing to the current population of more than 800.
The community started as a result of people who were concerned about animal welfare and evolved into a community where individuals and families moved to seek healthier living through vegetarianism.
The community has also received attention with increased concern about the effects of animal agriculture on global warming.
“The Earth is of paramount importance to us, and environmental preservation is ever-present in our concerns, which include vegetarianism / veganism, insulated and shaded building of all our wooden cabins, wood suites and guest units,” states the Amirim website.
Amirim attracts tourists to hiking trails in the Galilee forest, as well as to restaurants, spas and spirituality-based programming in the community. The majority of Amirim’s population is secular.
Branch Davidians are best known for the Waco, Texas, siege of 1993, in which cult leader David Koresh was killed along with most of his followers after an FBI assault on his compound led to a fire that destroyed it.
Koresh and his followers remained in the compound for 51 days after the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives obtained a search and arrest warrant for suspected weapons violations.
A fatal shootout between the Koresh loyalists and law enforcement started the fire that resulted in 76 cult members, including Koresh, dying. Only nine members survived.
The group that died in the compound represented a portion of the Branch Davidian community, as some Branch Davidians did not join Koresh’s movement.