Christians everywhere marked the beginning of their most holy season on Wednesday. In the minds of animal rights leaders, Lent marks an easy opportunity to try and "convert" the masses to their animal rights ideology.

Animal activists have long viewed organized religion as potentially fertile ground for recruitment. The importance of making religious Americans embrace the animal rights agenda was driven home at the "Animal Rights 2002" national convention, as we noted in our book Holy Cows: How PETA twists religion to push animal rights:

Peter Singer lamented that "mainstream Christianity has been a problem for the animal movement." Two days later at the same event, a program director with the Fund for Animals [later absorbed by the Humane Society of the United States] issued a warning: "If we are not able to bring the churches, the synagogues, and the mosques around to the animal rights view," he cautioned, "we will never make large-scale progress for animal rights in the United States."

PETA vice president for policy Bruce Friedrich routinely tells Christians that Jesus would have wanted them to embrace his animal rights fanaticism. In case you're not familiar with Friedrich, he has advocated "blowing stuff up" for his cause.

Across the farm, HSUS is approaching Christians with a "Faith Outreach" program that "seeks to engage people and institutions of faith with animal protection issues." HSUS preaches at length about how God wants Christians to "reflect our faith" during Lent:

As Christians, we owe it to ourselves, and to the God who has provided us with food in abundance, to become educated about these issues … Some of us become vegetarians or even vegans … What is important is that we make ethical choices that reflect our faith.

It's fine to give up eating meat during Lent, for example. Many people do. But the animal rights movement is hoping you'll find a quasi-religious reason to continue that abstinence after Easter. That's entirely up to you, of course, but you should anticipate HSUS, PETA, and other like-minded activist groups force-feeding you vegetarian scripture (like Singer's Animal Liberation) in the coming weeks. Why should these 40 days be any different from the other 325?