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The Season of Creation 2022: Meatless Mondays and More

Note: We are preparing to celebrate the Season of Creation (Sept. 1, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation through Oct. 4, the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi). The Sisters of Providence Climate Change Task Force will share 10 blog posts, this being the third. We hope you enjoy the series.

Food is about relationships – both giving and receiving!

What does this mean for us?

Today, we hear a lot about vegetarian meals. Have you tried going meatless one or more days a week? Of course, for years, many of us didn’t eat meat on Fridays as it was a “mortal!” Today, we can embrace Meatless Mondays for the most important reason — helping to save our amazing planet.

Going Meatless can improve our health, reduce emissions, save our forests, conserve our water, decrease species decline, provide compassionate action for animals, save us money and help to our planet in many ways.

Research shows that shifting to a plant-based diet is a low-cost way to help individuals manage weight, lower blood pressure, and reduce their risk of developing chronic diseases like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.” – Meatlessmondays.org

Food choices

The Meatless Monday Campaign in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future writes that “Food choices have a direct impact on the health of the planet. And while it’s true that all foods need resources to produce, research shows that meat and dairy have the greatest impacts on the environment. Raising animals to feed billions of people requires huge inputs of land, feed, water, and energy for processing, storage, and transport.”

The livestock sector, especially beef and lamb production, produces greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Raising livestock also contributes to species decline and the depletion of natural resources like land and water. Shifting diets away from high meat consumption can help reduce these environmental impacts. “Committing to Meatless Mondays is an important first step in encouraging consumers to adopt a more sustainable diet.” – Mondaycampaigns.org.

STATS: Scientists tell us that “cows belch out methane – a greenhouse gas around 25 times more potent at trapping heat than CO2. In the United States, 58 percent of our methane emissions are produced by cattle.”

“Eighty-two percent of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals for export to Western countries. Less crop land means less local food consumption and more hunger.” – AUSCP Climate Paper Louis Finocchario

More resources

Here are some interesting linked articles:

Still looking for a reason to go Meatless on Monday? Here are 19.

How to get started with Meatless Mondays

Meatless Monday Challenge

6 ways to practice Mindful Eating

And here are some interesting linked videos:

You’ll love this adorable little girl and her plea for not eating animals

Why Not Eating Meat Makes a Difference

Some of us already do this. What more can we do?

  • Increase the number of meatless meals in our diet,
  • Talk to our family and friends in an open, listening, inviting way about how and why we embrace Meatless Mondays – or Wednesdays or Fridays. Perhaps they will try it,
  • Subscribe to Meatlessmondays.org and get their weekly Monday newsletter with helpful information and good recipes,
  • Consider steps to stop wasting food. Start composting,
  • Read this wonderful article from U.S. Catholic on food and films,
  • Watch one of the films listed in the above US Catholic article and discuss with family and friends, and
  • Eat consciously and mindfully – Consciously be aware of where our food comes from and the impact of food production on our environment and make food choices accordingly. Eat more mindfully, slowing down, savoring food, listening to our bodies. (See above articles)

Relationships

What about our Food Relationships? Giving might be mindfully preparing food for others, buying locally, buying in season, eating more plant-based foods, etc. Some Receiving might be thanking others for meals prepared for us, enjoying better health from changes in our diet, and enjoying a cleaner climate thanks to eating less meat and more plant-based foods.

Pray, reflect, act:

Pray and reflect on the gift of food. Pray for those who plant it, harvest it, transport it, stock it in stores, prepare it, serve it and especially for those who don’t have enough healthy food. Try going with Meatless Mondays, or choose another day — at least during the Season of Creation. Consider starting a Meatless Recipe Book, sharing best recipes with family and friends and talking about why we do this. We could eat consciously and mindfully, giving thanks for the healthy food available to us. We could continue Meatless Mondays throughout the year.

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Climate Change Task Force

The Climate Change Task Force consists of Sisters of Providence Barbara Battista, Cathy Campbell, Jeanne Hagelskamp, Marilyn Kofler, Barbara Sheehan and Mary Tomlinson in addition to Providence Associates Marilyn Antonik, Jessi Blessinger, Gene Majewski, Lynda Parker, Jan Showalter and Jeannie Smith.

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