Animal Rights Group Offers Pope $1 Million to Go Vegan for Lent

Holy cheesus.
February 6, 2019, 3:33pm
Photo via Wikimedia commons.

“Is the Pope Catholic?” the famous adage goes. Perhaps the phrase should be, “Does the Pope consume a huge amount of Italian meat- and dairy-based dishes?” because the answer is probably the same.

Despite the Catholic Church’s penchant for opulence and greed, an optimistic animal rights charity has offered Pope Francis $1 million (£770,640) if he commits to following a plant-based lifestyle for Lent—the six-week period before Easter when many Christians give up certain luxuries. Million Dollar Vegan says that the Catholic leader can donate the money to a charity of his choice, so long as he eschews all animal products for the full 40 days.

The global charity, founded this year by Matthew Glover and Jane Land, who are also behind the Veganuary movement, targeted Pope Francis in a video and petition fronted by 12-year-old activist Genesis Butler. The campaign is being promoted in countries including the US, UK, Mexico, and has high-profile support from figures such as Paul McCartney, and actors Woody Harrelson and Mena Suvari.

According to the Guardian, Blue Horizon International, a foundation that donates money to causes promoting vegan lifestyles, has pledged to pay the $1 million.

Million Dollar Vegan reached out to Pope Francis in light of his public statements on the dangers of climate change. In an open letter sent to all the bishops in the Catholic Church in 2015, the Pope wrote: “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political, and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

Meat is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, and a reduction in meat consumption is regarded as essential in the fight against global warming.

Best of luck getting an Argentinian to give up asado. That’ll take a miracle.