Pope’s Historic Call for Climate-Change Action Should Mean an End to Animal Agriculture
In the wake of Pope Francis’ call for action on climate change, a sky-borne message flew over Rome today proclaiming, “Pope’s Message Requires Us All to GO VEGAN!”
PETA hopes to enlighten Rome’s residents, pointing out that every discussion of climate change should include mention of the devastating effects of the meat, egg, and dairy industries—which guzzle natural resources, including ground water and top soil, and cause deforestation and the pollution of soil and waterways at an alarming rate.
In Laudato Si’, his exhaustive letter to the Catholic Church on caring for the environment, Pope Francis’ message is that we must respect God’s creation and care for the Earth. Fortunately, all caring people have to do to reduce their carbon footprint is switch to environmentally friendly vegan foods.
The Worldwatch Institute estimates that animal agriculture is responsible for 51 percent of human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions, and the University of Chicago determined that switching to a vegan diet is more effective at countering climate change than switching from a standard American car to a hybrid. According to the United Nations, a global shift toward a vegan diet is necessary to combat the worst effects of climate chance. It takes an amount of water equivalent to six months’ worth of showers to produce just 1 pound of meat, and animal agriculture is a major producer of the greenhouse-gas emissions that cause climate change.
There is no such thing as a meat-eating environmentalist. And by ditching meat, not only will followers of Christ help protect the Earth, they’ll also spare animals a world of pain. In Laudato Si’, the Pope also wrote, “We are not God. … [N]owadays we must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures”. “Clearly”, he wrote, “the Bible has no place for a tyrannical anthropocentrism unconcerned for other creatures”.
It is contrary to human dignity to cause animals to suffer or die needlessly. #LaudatoSi
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) June 19, 2015