Will Pope Francis’ Next Visit to Assisi be a Vegan one?

For Immediate Release:

14 September 2016


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


PETA Asks His Holiness to Encourage Compassion for Animals by Eating Vegan Food in Honour of St Francis and World Day of Prayer for Peace

As Pope Francis prepares to visit Assisi on 20 September for World Day of Prayer for Peace, PETA has a request for His Holiness: in honour of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and for whom the pontiff is named, will he request vegan meals during his visit?

In a letter sent to the pope this morning, PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – notes that Jesus’ teachings included extending love and compassion to those who are weak, vulnerable, and different from us, a teaching that PETA contends should extend to the billions of animals used for food every year.

“Ensuring that no animal will suffer or be subjected to cruelty for the sake of meals served at the festival is in keeping with this celebration of peace”, writes PETA’s European Outreach Liaison Harriet Barclay. “We hope that by eschewing meat and dairy foods, you will help steer the Christian world towards a kinder future that respects all of God’s creatures.”

In his 2015 treatise, Laudato si’, Pope Francis talked about the importance of treating animals with kindness, writing, “Every act of cruelty towards any creature is ‘contrary to human dignity'”. He has also shone a spotlight on environmental stewardship – and as PETA notes in its letter, animal agriculture is one of the largest contributors of the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. The meat industry also requires vast amounts of crops to feed the animals destined to be killed for food – crops that could instead be fed to the world’s hungry.

PETA’s letter to Pope Francis is available upon request. For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.