Fasting From Injustice, Feasting In Freedom
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion

FROM Alyssa Moore, Creature Kind
March 2021

As an animal lover by nature, and an environmental scientist by training, I have always been frustrated by my church’s lack of engagement with animal protection and environmental justice.

Creature Kind

I identify as Catholic, but until I began to study theology at a Jesuit university, I knew few other Catholics or practicing Christians my age. Among those vaguely familiar with Catholicism, a few common factoids floated around: we make a huge deal about “the holy wafer thing” at church (we do); women and queer people are restricted from taking on leadership roles (alas, usually true); we tend to have big families (at least historically); and—this was the most frequent one—we don’t eat meat on Fridays during Lent.

For me, already an herbivore from the time I was old enough to begin fasting, this last one didn’t seem like a big deal. (It did provoke a few theological debates about whether or not Gardein chickenless chick’n nuggets, being made of plants, were acceptable Friday fare.) But I became increasingly aware that, to both Catholic and non-Catholic/Christian acquaintances alike, abstaining from meat was something unusual, something that set our tradition apart.


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