ARRCC believes that our religious values call us to consciously consider the amount of meat we eat, how much we actually need, and what the effects of our meat consumption are. This would, ARRCC believes, lead to a desire to eat less meat.
In addition to being a large contribution to climate change, meat consumption connects with issues concerning global justice in relation to food, the compassionate treatment of animals, nonviolence, and health. All of the world religions, from their various perspectives, encourage protection of the environment, serving the needs of the poor, kindness towards animals and healthy living. ARRCC believes that people of faith, in their efforts to tackle climate change and create a sustainable way of living, should consider a reduction in meat consumption as part of a choice for a more ethical lifestyle.
Watch our video:
||Eating less meat not only lowers your contribution to climate change through lowered emissions from agriculture, but it is also good for the planet more generally, good for the poor, good for animals, and good for your health.
>>Find out more about the benefits of reducing meat consumption.
Choosing to eat less meat is easy! You could decide to nominate at least one Meat Free Day a week. You might also choose to limit yourself to a certain number of meat-based meals a week, or go completely vegetarian or vegan and cut meat or animal products out of your diet completely. Whatever you decide, it is important to substitute lots of nutritious, fresh food into your diet to ensure that your body is receiving everything it needs. ARRCC also organises hands-on cooking workshops to show how to cook delicious and nutritious meat free meals.
>>Find out more about easy ways to reduce your meat consumption.
Meat and Religion
Vegetarianism is practised widely among followers of some of the great world religions, including Hinduism and various schools of Buddhism. Other religions have traditionally promoted regular abstinence from meat, such as Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity. ARRCC believes that all religions can rally to the call to eat less meat, given their teachings that connect environmental protection, global justice in relation to food, the treatment of animals, and health. Indeed, the Meat-Free Day initiative has received support from a diversity of leaders across Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faiths. Read more.
|Examples of faith communities taking action
A number of individuals and faith communities around Australia are already taking action. Their stories can inspire us and give us great ideas for our own communities. Read more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some answers to questions frequently asked regarding the Meat Free Day campagin.
|Is this a vegetarian campaign?
||No. The aim of the Meat-Free Day is simply to encourage people to reduce their meat consumption. An easy way to do this is to avoid meat one day a week. Some people and groups may already be regularly abstaining from meat consumption, including as a part of their religious or spiritual practice. ARRCC acknowledges their efforts – many of us can learn from their wisdom. Other people may be vegetarian, or considering becoming vegetarian. Vegetarian websites often have great meat-free recipes, and are a source of information on impacts of meat consumption, and so on – which is why we include some links to them. However, we are not asking people to become vegetarian.
|What about farmers?
||When we see the projections for meat consumption into the future – a doubling by the middle of the century, it becomes clear that it is not possible to adequately address climate change without addressing meat consumption. Stabilisation of meat consumption needs to be a part of our response – and we are clearly a long way from this. Advocating that we moderate meat consumption is therefore not about shutting down livestock farming, nor is it a judgment on the lives and often hardships faced by farmers. The Meat-Free Day is not against farmers, whose vocation is indispensable, as is their role in stewarding the land.
|Why is ARRCC discussing things like the treastment of animals?
||Climate change is not simply an abstract issue about how greenhouse gases affect the Earth’s climate system. When we dig to the roots of the problem, it is fundamentally about how we as humans relate to the rest of the Earth, how we relate to each other, and how we relate to the divine or God. Religion and spirituality address this whole picture. From this perspective, issues concerning greenhouse gases emissions from meat consumption and production cannot be separated from issues such as how we treat the animals that we eat, how the world’s poor are to have access to food, how to prevent the degradation of agricultural landscapes, etc.