6. Eat Local
Taking this up a notch, I respect my vegetarian friends (who do not eat meat) and those that are vegans (who do not eat any animal product, including eggs and dairy products). A local Catholic priest here in the Diocese of Providence quietly goes about his vegan lifestyle. But when asked about it, he provides powerful words and witness as to why he won’t eat “anything with a face.” While many of us will cut back on our meat intake, we may not completely remove it from our diets. If so, then we should at least buy our meat at local family farms (if available) or markets that buy from environmentally friendly meat suppliers.
The fruits of our labor will set, grow, and multiply only with the grace of God. The environmental issues of our age are immense. Our individual reductions of raw resources and the wastes that we produce will make a difference on a local level. But to make sizable changes to the demands on our planet—on what we take from it and how we may degrade or wipe out its ecosystems—then we need help. Global ecological crises are global symptoms of human sin. And to tackle sin we will need prayer and sacramental grace. And so Catholic ecologists must pray for the conversions of heart needed by mankind; we must offer Masses for the intention of a more temperate society; we must spend time before the Blessed Sacrament seeking divine assistance to build a world that seeks first the kingdom of God rather than one that demands gluttonous amounts of the things of earth. In other words, if we authentically work for the good of the planet, we'll find ourselves also helping to save souls.