Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from

Millions Revive Ancient Lenten Practice of Going Vegan

From Interfaith Vegan Coalition
February 2022

Eating only plant foods has helped many people grow spiritually during Lent because they are fasting from cruelty.

Boy and Lamb

In Defense of Animals’ Interfaith Vegan Coalition is poised to help millions of Christians and Catholics go vegan for Lent, which begins on Feb. 22, Ash Wednesday, and ends on April 9, the days before Easter. During this time of spiritual reflection, many Christians identify with the 40-day fast and suffering of Christ by giving up eating meat, dairy, and eggs, drinking alcohol, watching television, swearing, or smoking.

Going vegan for Lent also helps the environment. “Each person who eats vegan during Lent spares the lives of about 40 animals, saves 44,000 gallons of water, helps reduce wasteful agricultural land use by 75%, and prevents 800 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere,” said Candice Kelsey, Faith Outreach & Engagement Coordinator for PETA LAMBS.

“Lent is traditionally a time of abstinence,” said Dave Bookless, a director of theology for A Rocha International, as quoted in the journal Christianity Today. “In quite a lot of Christian cultures, if you look back through Christian history, people were vegetarian during Lent. That was quite a common thing in many parts of the world. And it’s still a common thing in some Christian traditions.”

Fasting from meat, dairy, and eggs for Lent is more common than many realize. “We encourage all Catholics throughout the world to go Vegan for Lent 2022,” said Chris Fegan of Catholic Concern for Animals. “We believe that this is good for the individual Catholic concerned in many, many ways as well as good news for the nonhuman creation.”

“Nearly 3 million Russians will be practicing being vegans for Lent,” notes Jim Sannes, of the Unitarian Universalist Animal Ministry.



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