2 March: Eat less meat

 

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Kuzipa Nalwamba, Zambia “I began to think about how the animals we eat are treated in the slaughterhouses. I became vegan ten years ago as a result. I have increasingly become aware that eating less meat makes an important contribution towards saving the planet, even though I attained my environmental credentials inadvertently.”

Eat less meat. Our tradition includes a weekly day without meat. Renew that tradition to protect the Earth from the massive greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation that commercial livestock cause.

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Lent has long been marked by abstinence from meat dishes, and both Anglican teaching and Catholic teaching encourage a weekly fast from meat. This spiritual practice, which helps us step away from earthly indulgence and commemorate the passion of Christ Jesus, has practical benefits for creation as well.

It surprises many people to learn that livestock production makes a significant contribution to climate change. The UN estimates the contribution at approximately 14% of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

There are several reasons why. One is that livestock raised on industrial farming operations must be fed, and it takes a lot of fossil fuels to grow and process all that grain and other feed. Another reason is that ruminants, such as cows, produce large amounts of methane gas as they digest.

Many cultural traditions include delicious vegetarian meals. Cooking one of these recipes every Friday in Lent and at least once per week throughout the year is a good way to preserve our faith heritage and protect creation.

 

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