Amid COP27, PETA Asks Pope to Excommunicate Meat-Eating Catholics

Published by David James Olsen.

Imagine you’re an international spiritual leader, able to create powerful and positive change for the planet and all life on it. Imagine you’ll be sharing a table with major world leaders at a pivotal moment of the climate catastrophe. Imagine that meat will be served at that table, even though the United Nations has called for a global shift to vegan eating to help protect the environment. Such is the position of Pope Francis I at the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP27), also known as the United Nations Climate Change Conference. That’s why PETA’s Christian outreach division, LAMBS (“Least Among My Brothers and Sisters” from Matthew 25:40), sent the pontiff a letter on November 9, pressing him to take the first steps toward climate justice by resurrecting meat-free Fridays, including the flesh of fish in his new proscription, and excommunicating Catholics who eat animals.

Excommunication may sound harsh when we’re talking about what people put on their plate, but when the health of the planet and the future of life are at stake, no one should be eating meat—least of all the leaders at the COP27 table, who should be setting the highest example of compassion for animals by going vegan during the climate emergency.

COP27 runs this year from November 6 to 18 in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt. On a coast of the Red Sea with a flourishing coral reef, the location has both biblical and natural significance. It’s a prime spot for the pope to take action.

Pope in Position of Power to Oppose Speciesism, Uplift All of Creation

Humans kill billions of animals used for food each year due to speciesist conditioning. These animals are forcibly bred and kept in tiny enclosures, endure mutilations—such as tail-docking and castration—without pain relief, and are violently killed at slaughterhouses around the globe. Fish used for food are stabbed, suffocated, crushed, or cut open and gutted, often while they’re still conscious. The pope could easily encourage Catholics to be compassionate by explaining that what happens to animals in the food industry runs so terribly against biblical teachings that it should be an offense punishable by excommunication.

Francis has already declared meat-eating to be part of a “self-destructive trend” and urged Catholics to do what they can to combat the climate catastrophe. Having set these precedents, it’s within his power to advance that message at the conference, expanding its reach and influencing fellow leaders to follow suit.

PETA hopes the pope will give all his followers a reason to go vegan. He might consider highlighting the uplifting fact that each person who goes vegan saves nearly 200 animals every year from a cruel fate.

Set that example yourself by trying out a free vegan starter kit and sending one to a friend:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind