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LETTER: Abstain from animal foods during Lent

To the editor:

February 14 marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter,

when Christians abstain from animal foods in remembrance of Jesus' 40 days

of fasting in the wilderness.

The call to abstain from eating animals is as current as the teaching of

evangelical leader Franklin Graham, yet as traditional as the Bible (Genesis

1:29). Methodist founder John Wesley, Salvation Army pioneers William and

Catherine Booth, and Seventh-day Adventist Church founder Ellen G. White all

followed this higher call.

A meat-free diet is not just about Christian devotion. Dozens of medical

studies have linked consumption of animal products with elevated risk of

heart failure, stroke, cancer, and other killer diseases. A United Nations

report named meat production as the largest source of greenhouse gases and

water pollution. Undercover investigations have documented farm animals

routinely caged, crowded, mutilated and beaten.

Today's supermarkets are well in tune with the call to abstain from eating

animals. They offer a rich array of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and

ice creams, as well as the more traditional vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Entering "vegetarian" or "vegan" in your favorite search engine provides

lots of meat replacement products, recipes and transition tips.

Aiden Pendergass

Alexandria, MN