[Arizona Daily Star]
With a belief that they must speak out for the silent, some people of
faith in Tucson are giving a voice to Mother Nature.
Fueled by heightened media attention to global warming, worshippers
and congregations are turning their attentions to the environment.
They view protecting the Earth as a justice issue, infusing it with a
passion that many historically devoted to ending racial, gender and
Other groups, including the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of
Northwest Tucson, sell compact fluorescent light bulbs as a way of
encouraging worshippers to replace their incandescent bulbs with ones
that last longer and use less energy.
The church also is considering banning non-vegetarian food from its premises.
"Eating beef is a huge pollutant of the Earth," said the church's
minister, Susan Manker-Seale, who posts the menu of the local vegan
restaurant Lovin' Spoonfuls on her church's walls and has the
restaurant cater events. "We're not trying to force people to do
anything, but we do want to inspire them to learn."
Manker-Seale's congregation recently voted to become a Green
Sanctuary, part of a program within the Unitarian Universalist
denomination that requires congregations to complete steps, including
a community "green" project.
Vegetarianism is one of the less popular ways of going green, but
Manker-Seale believes more people should be paying attention to
damaging effects of the meat industry.
Animal-welfare groups have recently begun promoting a United Nations
Food and Agriculture Organization report that says the livestock
business generates more greenhouse-gas emissions than all forms of