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Turtles and the pope

Tortuga marina

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Environmental groups worldwide often have to employ original and curious methods to achieve their goals. Such is the case with the Sea Turtle Conservation Network of California, which has requested an official position from the Vatican to declare the meat of sea turtles as “red meat.”

This unusual request is based on the fact that Lent is a particularly challenging time for sea turtles in Baja California. This period involves Christians setting aside certain dietary customs, such as eating meat. Since sea turtles swim in the ocean, they are considered “fish” in many places. Although the capture and consumption of turtles in Mexico were banned a decade ago, the black market pressures fishermen to continue illegally capturing these reptiles, which become a typical dish during this time. It is estimated that over 5,000 sea turtles were captured for consumption during Lent.

It is hoped that with the intervention of the Pope, the number of turtles sacrificed during this period will be reduced by settling the absurd issue of considering them as “fish meat.” Every year, more than 35,000 sea turtles are sacrificed along the coast of Baja California, making these waters the most dangerous in the world for these beautiful animals. They now await the official word from the Vatican before a miracle becomes necessary to prevent their extinction.

“You cannot defend what you do not love, and you cannot love what you do not know.”