The COP18 Climate Negotiations in Doha resulted in an extremely weak agreement. It becomes more and more evident that the politicians constantly fail to solve the climate crisis – the leaders of the developed countries are out of touch with reality, they are more interested in short-term profit than in saving lives. Since they are the worst polluters and have the most money, this is blocking the whole process.
Christians cannot sit and wait for these slow negotiations to come somewhere, we have to take the initiative. And many churches are indeed talking a lot about climate action and some are even making plans concerning how to reduce their own emissions. This is great, of course. However, my experience that both the church and society as a whole is talking very little about one of the most effective climate actions: becoming vegetarian or vegan.
As the video clip above shows, the current Western meat consumption is wasting resources and destroys the environment. 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from meat and dairy production. There is nothing as effective, simple and cheap to save the climate than becoming vegetarian or vegan. This is why the UN is calling for “a global shift towards a vegan diet”, something that would also increase our health and, of course, create better lives for God’s beautiful animals.
Still, many Christians who know this continue to eat meat every day, often pointing to Rom 14:2: “One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.” Of course, this is a bad excuse: climate change didn’t exist in Paul’s time, and he is discussing vegetarianism on ritual grounds, not environmental. Let’s pretend that all the meat in your country was poisonous. Would you continue to eat it with referrence to Rom 14:2? Of course not. In the real world, meat is indeed poisonous – for the planet.
If you don’t want to become vegetarian or vegan immediately, at least start to have a meat-free day every weak and scale up after that. Tell your friends and church members about how harmful meat is for the environment, spread the youtube clips above and ask your church to become meat- and diary-free. And last but not least, pray for a tremendous global outpouring of God’s Spirit that will draw us closer to the heart of the Father and His love for His creation. Time is running out, the planet is getting warmer and warmer. We need a radical vegetarian church revolution, and we need it now.