Isaiah compared the Suffering Servant to "a lamb led to slaughter or a sheep silent before shearers" (53:5)—but unlike Christ's sacrifice, are not sheep being pierced and crushed today because of our iniquities and not for them?

And if sin is, in fact, at play in informed consumer choices that willfully support cruelty to some of the meekest of God's creatures, there may be consequences well beyond the pain and death for sheep. For we "crucify [Christ] still, when [we] delight in [our] vices and sins," according to St. Francis of Assisi (Admonitio 5, 3). If, as His Holiness, Pope Francis wrote, Mary "now … grieves … for the creatures of this world laid waste by human power," is she weeping for the lambs and sheep our purchases have destroyed (Laudato Si', §241)?

As we strive to turn away from sin—in Lent and every other day—may we also take up Christ's instruction to "proclaim the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

Let us start to bring the Lamb's good news to all creation by leaving lambs and sheep off our plates and their skin and fleece off our backs.

Our choice as Christians here is simple but stark. We can work toward God's peaceable kingdom to come, in which no animal will be harmed or destroyed (Isaiah 11:6–9). Or we can pay others to harm and stab these docile, fellow living beings and, in so doing, risk piercing our Savior anew. Which will you choose?