It's like that with Christianity and meat consumption. Both were and are not only good for the people - and the earth. In the Old Testament, God famously calls us to “fill the earth, subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every beast that moves on the land.”
Now that's always a thing with biblical commands. While the topic of religion will fortunately always remain a question of faith, whether the world would look better if we were all atheists and agnostics, the question regarding the current mass consumption of meat is probably clear: it is simply bad.
Now a study from Cambridge has diagnosed a decline in meat consumption in Great Britain and attributed it to the influence of the country's Catholic bishops of all things. After a break of three decades, they brought an old tradition back into the catalog of virtues in 2011: the meat-free Friday.
A collective act of penance, a pointless PR stunt or a worthwhile contribution to saving the world? The scientists have dedicated themselves to the question and researched the behavior of ten percent of Britons, namely all Catholics. Survey data were compared to diet and social behavior.
The result is sobering for atheists and a celebration for believers: the power of the church is unbroken. The Brits gave up 875,000 meat meals a week, which saved 55,000 tons of CO₂ in one year alone. 41 percent no longer eat meat on Fridays, 55 percent try less. That would be enough to fly 82,000 people from London to New York and back over the course of a year.
And after a period of devastating scandals, we can now be happy that 21 million people in Germany have remained true to their church despite massive withdrawals from it. So now it's time for action! Bishops of Germany, speak a word of power!