Your Little Bit of Good - For the Earth February 24, 2024

Cattle Ranching in Para, Brazil


Let us pray for an end to the waste and desecration of God's creation,
For access to the fruits of creation to be shared equally among all people,
And for communities and nations to find sustenance in the fruits of the earth and the water God has given us.

Almighty God, you created the world and gave it into our care so that, in obedience to you, we might serve all people.

Inspire us to use the riches of creation with wisdom, and to ensure that their blessings are shared by all;

That, trusting in your bounty, all people may be empowered to seek freedom from poverty, famine, and oppression.

From Xavier University Jesuit Resource Online


In this edition of our Lenten YLBG series on how our food choices affect our health and the health of the planet, we will focus on the effect of cattle on land use. We are focusing on cattle (beef/dairy) because the effects of raising cattle are ten times that of other animal proteins. Please note that those sources still have their own effects. There isn’t the space in this small publication to include them all.

Our SNDdeN family is well familiar with what is happening in the Amazon with cattle ranchers - the destruction of the forest and of anyone who speaks out against it. But the problem is global. Between one and two acres of the world’s forests are clear cut EVERY SECOND to make room for animal and vegetative agriculture. Are we so short-sighted that we cannot see this as unsustainable? By 2050, it is estimated there will be over 9 billion people on the earth. The environmental impact of feeding the population is already staggering. One way we can preserve land is to change the way we eat. Do we all need to become vegetarian? Well, while that would have the most significant impact, it’s not realistic. But if the current population who consume the most meat (industrialized countries) could all commit to eating less meat, it would go a long way to saving our forests and soils.


Get informed about the real impact of our food choices. The Smithsonian has a comprehensive article. Even publications that are not focused on the environment are talking about this. Here is an article from Business Insider.

Consider what you can do in your personal choices. I could never give up cheese, but I would be fine never eating beef again. And I can look for ethically sourced dairy products. They are more expensive, but maybe that means I eat a little less dairy.

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