Papal Plea to Protect the Planet Prompts Call to His Holiness to Reject Animal Agriculture

For Immediate Release:
November 12, 2021

David Perle 202-483-7382

Vatican City – After Pope Francis encouraged world leaders at the United Nations (U.N) climate summit to take “radical” action to address the climate crisis, PETA U.K. sent His Holiness a letter this morning urging him to set a powerful example for people around the world, regardless of religion, by going vegan, noting that he would be taking the “single most effective action any individual can take to curb the climate crisis.”

“We are called upon to be the caretakers of Creation, yet every time we consume meat, eggs, and dairy, we contribute to the deadly climate crisis and directly harm animals,” writes PETA U.K. Vice President of International Programmes Mimi Bekhechi

She goes on to explain that the U.N. states that animal agriculture is responsible for about 14.5% of global greenhouse-gas emissions—which, by some estimates, is greater than all the world’s transportation systems combined—and that a global shift to vegan eating is needed to offset the worst effects of the climate crisis.

“And as you know, St. Francis of Assisi exemplified compassion for animals, calling them our brothers and sisters under God,” Bekhechi adds. “We hope you’ll now take the next step by rejecting the cruel practices of killing animals for their flesh and stealing their eggs and milk—and opting, instead, for nutritious vegan foods.”

PETA named Pope Francis its Person of the Year in 2015 in honor of his treatise, Laudato Si’, in which he stressed the importance of treating animals with kindness, writing, “Every act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity.’”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview—offers a free vegan starter kit filled with tips, recipes, and more on its website.

For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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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