Letter for Sunday, February 23, 2020

Plant-based diet not just for Lent

Wednesday, Feb. 26, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of Lent, the period leading up to Easter, when devout 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 traditional as Genesis 1:29, yet as current as the teaching of evangelical leader Franklin Graham. Earlier religious leaders like Methodist founder John Wesley, The Salvation Army pioneers William and Catherine Booth, and Seventh-day Adventist Church founder Ellen White, all abstained from animal flesh.

A plant-based 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 routine mutilation, deprivation and beating of animals on factory farms.

Today’s supermarkets offer a rich array of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams, as well as traditional vegetables, fruits and grains. Entering “vegan” in our favorite search engine provides lots of suitable products, recipes and transition tips.


Leo Gushiken, Lihue

  1. Steven McMacken February 23, 2020 5:13 am Reply

    Sorry, Leo, being an omnivore I like a little meat in my diet. But don’t get me wrong . . . I DO plan on making some “sacrifices” during Lent — one of them being avoiding holier-than-thou vegetarians as much as possible.

  2. RG DeSoto February 24, 2020 8:20 am Reply

    Try this on for size Leo:
    ” Evidence suggests we are descendants of omnivores, and that the increase in brain volume coincides with a transition to hunting for animal game and eating large amounts of animal foods
    Phytoalexins are plant defense compounds that may be causing more harm than good when consumed, and people generally underestimate just how many defense compounds are in plant foods
    It is commonly believed that plant molecules act as antioxidants in humans, but they do not act as direct free radical scavengers in your body; rather, they trigger your antioxidant response system — a mechanism known as hormesis
    Animal foods are uniquely healthy for humans and provide all the nutrients required for optimal health, including vitamins A, C, E and K2, as well as choline, carnitine and creatine
    Evidence suggests the reason people live longer in certain areas known as Blue Zones has to do with healthy lifestyle behaviors such as not smoking or drinking and staying active; it does not appear to have anything to do with shunning meat and animal foods”
    I suggest you read Dr Saladino’s book The Carnivore Code.
    RG DeSoto

  3. joker February 25, 2020 7:34 pm Reply

    how can you tell if someone is a vegan? don’t worry they’ll tell you.

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