Meat In Moderation

This is a quick follow up to the last post, where I mentioned fasting from meat as a practice for Christian stewards of creation.  Today’s newspaper had an interesting article which reports that while “most Americans are not interested in a meat-free lifestyle, meat is clearly moving away from the center of the plate.”  The reporter goes on to quote Michael Pollan, speaking on “Bill Moyers Journal” regarding the effect our consumption of meat has on the environment:

According to Mr. Pollan, if the entire country elimated meat from its diets for just one night a week, it would have an environmental effect equivalent to taking “30 to 40 million cars off the road for a year.”

Today’s Ideal Bite makes a similar point:

Livestock accounts for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and 8% of water use – and a meatless diet is 50% more effective at cutting CO2 than switching from a standard car to a hybrid.

 If that’s true, then we really can consider fasting from meat a spiritual discipline that tangibly cares for the earth.  (Great example of this:  My friend John used to be vegetarian, and I’ve always admired the discipline he exercised in that practice, as well as the fact I’ve heard him describe it as a fast.  Read what he has so say about it here.  If you have time, check out his series of blog posts on eco-theology from January 2007.)

1 comment
  1. Jimmy said:

    I don’t even think you have to completely cut meat out of your diet. When you say “meat” you are referring to beef primarily and the implications of raising cattle which are notoriously huge CO2 emitters. If we even choose chicken, pork or fish which have significantly less impact on the environment over beef several times a week I think that can be just as effective. But there are plenty of foods as well that don’t use meat or use very little meat that most of us are very accustomed to eating – spaghetti/other pasta dishes, pizza, soups, etc.

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