PETA V.P. to Cardinal George: Go vegan for Lent
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) vice president Bruce Friedrich sent this public letter to Cardinal George this week asking him to consider going vegan for Lent. The first paragraph is intriguing. Apparently the two have a history of correspondence.
I know, whenever someone brings up the word "vegan" 9 out of 10 people in a room shudder to think at what their lives would be like without even eggs and dairy. And the thought of the Archbishop of Chicago going vegan seems implausible at first. But with all this push for a recoverd "orthodoxy" in the church, the idea isn't so crazy. Lenten fasting in the Orthodox church requires abstinence from meat, dairy, and eggs (also olive oil and alcohol).
Full disclosure: I am an animal lover and a vegetarian myself. But I tend to shy away from soap box explanations as to why I choose not to eat meat, so you're not going to get that here. Chances are, you've heard others' rationales elsewhere. And if you haven't, the Internet is a great place to search for reasons why one would take on this lifestyle. Friedrich's brief letter gives plenty of good, even Christian , reasons.
I hope that Cardinal George seriously considers Friedrich's challenge. While I'm not a strict vegan (although my dairy sensitivity makes me pretty close) and am not planning to become one, I call upon my Christian values daily to help me make food choices that are respectful of the earth, of animals, of other humans, and of myself. I would be strengthened in this if I knew that the Cardinal was making a similar journey during Lent.