Spread Compassion This Lent With PETA LAMBS’ Vegan Pledge
As believers around the world contemplate their Lenten fast, PETA LAMBS looks to ancient Israel—specifically, Jacob, Esau, and a famous lentil stew.
In Genesis 25:29–34, Esau’s appetite leads him into an ill-advised exchange with his younger brother, Jacob. Declaring that he’s dying of hunger, Esau trades his birthright for a bowl of Jacob’s lentil stew. By swindling his brother, Jacob gains the inheritance reserved for the first-born son. What can this parable teach today’s compassionate Christians on the eve of Lent?
First, Esau loses something precious because he can’t control his appetite. Second, Jacob’s greed leads him to betray his brother by taking advantage of his weakness. Finally, the lentil stew must have had quite a mouth-watering aroma to be so enticing!
This Lent and always, Christians must stand up to the Esau within and not succumb to base appetites—including for animal flesh. Are we willing to ignore something precious—our conscience—in order to support the vile abuse and slaughter of God’s animals so that we can eat them and, in a sense, forsake our birthright as children of a loving God? Lent is the perfect time to celebrate the precious lives of God’s animals, including fish, by giving up their flesh and embracing vegan foods—even lentil stew.
We must reject the greed that leads us to betray our biblically mandated care of God’s animals. Are we willing to steal the birthright of other sentient beings just to propagate the myth of human superiority? Instead, let’s pledge kindness to our brothers and sisters—all animals.
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. And for those who follow the tradition of eating fish on Fridays, it’s never been easier to eat vegan fish, thanks to the many delicious, readily available cruelty-free fish alternatives, including Gardein’s f’sh filets, Shock’N Shrimp, Good Catch Plant-Based Tuna, and Crab Cakes by Sophie’s Kitchen. Try these vegan fish recipes, too!
Choosing to forgo meat, fish, eggs, and dairy for Lent would have a profound impact on the rest of the world, including by saving lives and curbing the climate catastrophe. Although lentil stew may have been no prize for Esau, for us it’s among the keys to a better world, where delicious lentil recipes—and many other delectable vegan dishes—unite brothers and sisters in prayerful, compassionate preparation for Good Friday.