How your Friday meat fast can help our common home

Friday 18th March 2022

For centuries, Catholics around the world have honoured the age-old observance of abstaining from eating meat during certain times of the year.

Ash Wednesday and Good Fridays are dedicated as days of fasting, while it is tradition for Catholics to refrain from eating meat on all Fridays during Lent, in honour of Christ, who sacrificed His own flesh for us on Good Friday.

Abstinence is first and foremost a form of penance and an act of self denial, helping us to answer our Christian call to live more simply. But did you know that reducing our meat intake can also have a positive impact on the environment?

According to Greenpeace, over a quarter of the world’s landmass is used to graze animals or grow food for farm animals – food that could be eaten by humans in the first place.

Accommodating this has led to mass deforestation, pushing the Amazon in particular to tipping point. As well as contributing significantly to global warming through emissions and loss of trees, it is destroying countless habitats, and is responsible for a huge abuse of human rights and landgrabbing.

By reducing our meat intake, or opting for more sustainable and ethical meat options, we can have a big impact on our planet; protecting lives and livelihoods around the world, in addition to beautiful corners of creation and supporting biodiversity – not to mention cutting carbon emissions.

So this Lent, why not think about extending your meat-free Fridays, or extending your abstinence past Lent to help care for our common home?

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Tagged | Catholic Church | Environment | Lent

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