After Pope Francis offered a message for Lent about “a change in mindset, so that life’s truth and beauty may be found not so much in possessing as in giving”, PETA sent a letter to His Holiness and Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh, urging them to ask their followers to embrace a change in mindset about who is on their plates by forgoing fish and embracing only vegan foods this Good Friday.
Meat Should Not be Eaten – But Neither Should Fish
Pope Francis was named PETA’s Person of the Year in 2015 in honour of his treatise Laudato Si’, in which he stressed the importance of treating animals with kindness, writing, “Every act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity’.”
Today, most of us don’t need to kill animals in order to survive. We have a plethora of healthy, humane choices at our fingertips. And a loving, merciful God would not want us to cause harm unnecessarily.
At Easter, we celebrate the fact that Jesus gave his life so that we might be absolved of our sins. But it isn’t logical or righteous for us to pray for forgiveness then continue the sinful practice of hurting animals.
Sea of Cruelty
We know that fish feel pain and that their nervous systems are similar to our own. Yet humans still slaughter billions of them every year.
Fishers toss fish into piles on deck, where they slowly asphyxiate or are crushed to death – a horribly cruel and drawn-out way for these sensitive animals to die.
Scientists estimate that it can take up to 15 minutes before they lose consciousness.
Other fish have their gills cut or throats and stomachs slit open while they’re still conscious on decks awash with blood and guts.
Have you watched Seaspiracy yet? Do so and you’ll never eat fish again.
Fish – who are often eaten by Catholics on Good Friday – are intelligent and sensitive beings. They value their lives and don’t want to die. They pass down knowledge, have cultural traditions, and “talk” to one another using low-frequency sounds that human ears can’t hear. Did you know that some fish woo potential mates by singing to them or creating intricate works of art?
How to Have a Vegan Good Friday
There are plenty more vegan fish in the sea – celebrate “Good Vriday” with one of these vegan seafood options:
It’s never too late to go vegan for Lent – and beyond. Take the 30-day vegan pledge now or order a free vegan starter kit: