Good Friday – another commercial opportunity?

Spicy fried King Prawns

(Photo: rovingI)

I am appalled by the never-ending search for ways to increase consumerism and consumption. A quest that places profit and growth above anything else. Although I’m not a Christian, I think the commercialisation of Christmas and Easter borders on the obscene.

Today is Good Friday: a day for Christians to remember the death of Jesus. According to Roman Catholic canon law, it is day of penance; a time for Catholics to “devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves” (Canon 1249), including the “abstinence from meat” (Canon 1251). While they may not go to this extent, most other Christian denominations also observe Good Friday as a day of reflection and remembrance.

Unlike Easter Sunday and Christmas, Good Friday isn’t a day of celebration but marketers are trying to change this. Not eating meat was a penance and a form of denial. For many in our consumerist society it has simply become another day of excess and consumption.

Yesterday Sydney saw:

An extended wholesale fish auction… with more than 80 tonnes of seafood valued at $850,000 sold at the Sydney Fish Market, in preparation for a bumper day of retail activity on Good Friday.

The fish market, selling one of the widest ranges of different seafood in the world, is expecting 50,000 people to attend the market on Good Friday.

A spokesperson estimated $5 million worth of seafood would be sold by retailers over the next few days. (ABC News)

Rather than a form of penance while abstaining from meat, seafood has been elevated to an essential ingredient for a festive meal. Recipe sites compete with each other in providing luxurious fish meals for a meatless Good Friday.

Embrace the seafood tradition and enjoy a meat-free feast this Good Friday. Start the day off with the traditional lightly toasted hot cross buns, served with lashings of butter, then get busy putting together a seafood extravaganza. (

Six Healthy Recipes For Your Good Friday Seafood Feast. From classic fish and chips to octopus salad and decadent crab rolls, indulge in the ultimate seafood feast this long weekend with these delicious recipes. (Yahoo Lifestyle)

The whole purpose for not eating meat has been lost. Yet again, we have allowed commercial interests to subvert other priorities and lead us down an endless path of over-consumption.

If you liked this post you might want to follow my blog (top right-hand corner of the blog), and you might like to look at:

  1. 10 ways to reduce your consumption
  2. Our addiction to growth
  3. The widening gap between rich and poor – Time to even it up.
  4. The life you can save by donating
  5. Why I support Oxfam
  6. A more sustainable Christmas?

About Graeme Stuart

Lecturer (Family Action Centre, Newcastle Uni), blogger (Sustaining Community), Alternatives to Violence Project facilitator, environmentalist, father. Passionate about families, community development, peace, sustainability.
This entry was posted in Environmental sustainability, Social change and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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