Letter: Go meatless for Lent
Vail, CO Colorado
Last Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period preceding Easter when Catholics and other Christians would abstain from meat and dairy products in memory of Jesus’ 40 days of fast and prayer before dying on the cross. With religious devotion yielding to self-indulgence, this devout tradition gradually gave way to meatless Fridays, and eventually, no dietary restriction at all.
Yet, Jesus’ powerful message of compassion and love for all living beings applies in our time more than ever!
It’s a time when animals are raised for food under abject conditions of caging, crowding, deprivation, drugging, mutilation and manhandling. They are trucked to the slaughterhouse for days without food or water, then bled, skinned, and dismembered while still conscious. It’s a time when wastes from factory farms foul the water we drink and the air we breathe. When meat production accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. It’s a time when most chronic killer diseases are linked to consumption of animal products.
Each of us has a personal choice to make. We can continue to subsidize these sins against nature and Jesus’ teachings with our food dollars. Or we can show our respect for his message by embracing a wholesome, nonviolent diet of vegetables, fruits, and grains first mandated in Genesis I-29.
Lent provides a splendid opportunity to explore the rich variety of meat- and dairy-free foods at our favorite supermarket.