Feb. 14 marks the start of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter when Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus’ 40 days of fasting in the wilderness.
The call to abstain from eating animals is as current as the teaching of evangelical leader Franklin Graham, yet as traditional as the Bible (Genesis 1:29). Methodist founder John Wesley, Salvation Army pioneers William and Catherine Booth and Seventh-day Adventist Church founder Ellen G. White all followed this higher call.
A meat-free diet isn’t just about Christian devotion. Many medical studies link consumption of animal products with elevated risk of heart failure, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases. A UN report named meat production the largest source of greenhouse gases and water pollution. Undercover investigations document farm animals routinely caged, crowded, mutilated and beaten.
Today’s supermarkets are well in tune with the call to abstain from eating animals. They offer a rich array of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams, as well as the more traditional vegetables, fruits and grains. Entering “vegetarian” or “vegan” in your search engine provides lots of meat replacement products, recipes and transition tips.
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