The Pope has been outspoken on climate issues. Will he put his patchouli burger where his mouth is?
Genesis Butler is 12 years old, but the American activist has a million reasons for Pope Francis to adopt a plant-based diet for the upcoming Catholic Lent.
Go vegan, she offered, and a $1 million donation will be made to the charity of the pontiff’s choice. Butler challenged the Pope with the Million Dollar Vegan campaign and highlighted his repeated pleas to take care of the planet.
“Pope Francis, I am asking you to join me in abstaining from all animal products throughout Lent,” she wrote.
According to the Guardian, Pope Francis told the United Nations in 2015: “The ecological crisis, and the large-scale destruction of biodiversity, can threaten the very existence of the human species.”
Pope Francis has also called climate change a “global problem” with “grave implications.” Research has shown that animal agriculture is a massive polluter and a cause of deforestation, as well as a threat to wildlife.
“Your Holiness, we must act. Moving towards a plant-based diet will have substantial environmental benefits. It will protect our land, trees, oceans, and air,” Butler writes in her plea.
Lent lasts 40 days and ends before Easter. Traditionally, Christians who practise will abstain from a thing of their choosing. According to Vatican figures, there are 1.2 billion Catholics in the world.
The Vatican has not yet responded to Butler’s challenge.
The CEO of Million Dollar Vegan, Matthew Glover, said: “We are thankful that Pope Francis has spoken out and that is why we are humbly asking him to try vegan for Lent, and set an example of how each of us can align our principles of caring and compassion with our actions.”
The $1 million donation will be made by the Blue Horizon International Foundation, should Pope Francis choose to accept the challenge.
Million Dollar Vegan has been endorsed by celebrities like Paul McCartney and Mena Suvari. Its aims is to promote veganism to tackle world hunger and climate change.