Will Cardinal Tobin Go Vegan for Lent?

PETA's Christian Outreach Division Urges Archbishop—and Every Christian—to Show Compassion for All God's Creatures

For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2020

Contact:
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Newark, N.J. – With Ash Wednesday just around the corner, PETA’s Christian outreach division, LAMBS (which stands for “Least Among My Brothers and Sisters” from Matthew 25:50), has sent a letter to the archbishop of Newark, Joseph Cardinal Tobin, asking him to go vegan for Lent and to encourage those he shepherds to do the same.

LAMBS is also appealing to all Christians by running an ad showing a fish next to the words “I’m ME, Not a Meal” on the websites of The Christian Post, Christianity Today, the National Catholic Reporter, and the online student newspapers of two top Catholic universities: Boston College and the University of Notre Dame.

“Lent is an apt time to reflect on Scripture and our call to serve as stewards of all God’s creation,” says PETA Vice President Daniel Paden. “PETA is urging Cardinal Tobin to set an example for his flock and every other Christian by leaving all animals—including fish—off his plate.”

Animals are not mentioned in Genesis 1:29, which states that God provides “every seed-bearing plant” and “every tree whose fruit contains seed” as food for humans. Fish feel pain and fear, just as all animals do—but although more fish are killed for food each year than all other animals combined, they have virtually no legal protection from abuse. They slowly suffocate or are crushed to death when they’re dragged out of the oceans in huge nets, and the throats and abdomens of those who survive are cut open on the decks of fishing boats.

Vegan meals spare other animals suffering, too: In today’s meat and dairy industries, chickens’ throats are cut while they’re still conscious, piglets are castrated without painkillers, and mother cows are separated from their beloved babies shortly after birth. Vegans are also less prone to suffering from heart disease, obesity, cancer, and diabetes than meat-eaters are—and they have smaller carbon footprints, too, as the meat industry is a major producer of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

LAMBS and PETA offer easy vegan meal plans for people who go vegan for Lent as well as a free vegan starter kit full of recipes, tips, and more. LAMBS also sent letters to Blase Cardinal Cupich (Chicago), Daniel Cardinal DiNardo (Galveston-Houston), Timothy Cardinal Dolan (New York), and Seán Cardinal O’Malley (Boston).

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETALambs.com.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind