Pope Francis The Pope has expressed concerns over the climate crisis - Media Credit: CHROMORANGE / marco campagna / Alamy Stock Photo

Pope Francis Tells Young People In Europe To Eat Less Meat For The Environment

Pope Francis urged people at the European Youth Conference to reduce their meat intake for the planet

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3 Minutes Read

Addressing crowds at a European Youth Conference, Pope Francis stated that it would be prudent for some parts of the world to “consume less meat.”

The event, currently being held in Prague, offers the Pope an opportunity to discuss issues that he deems are connected to future generations. Touching on the futility of war and the importance of woman leadership, he then went on to tackle meat consumption.

Focusing on the idea of meat as a luxury and an environmental problem, he invited his young audience to choose a life of “dignity and sobriety.”

“There is an urgent need to reduce the consumption not only of fossil fuels but also of so many superfluous things,” Pope Francis said. “In certain areas of the world, too, it would be appropriate to consume less meat: this too can help save the environment.”

The suggestion was the first of its kind from the pontiff. It was markedly absent from his 2015 environmental manifesto Laudato Si

Why the Pope’s message is significant

Pope Francis was born in Argentina, where people consume the most meat in all of South America, with 109 kilos per year estimated per individual. The country is one of the top producers of beef globally, manufacturing 3,230,000 metric tons in 2020. 

Per capita, Argentines top the beef consumption table. Meat advocates in the country consider it a part of their cultural heritage. But times are changing.

The Argentinian beef industry suffered throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Countrywide drops in income, many due to total job loss, contributed to beef consumption hitting an all-time low.

By the close of 2020, 12 percent of the population identified as vegan or vegetarian. Another 12 percent attached the flexitarian label to their eating habits, meaning almost one-quarter of all Argentinians either avoid or have reduced meat in their diets.

These findings are supported by Veganuary, which states that among the top ten countries participating in this year’s event, five were in Latin America. Argentina came second to Mexico in terms of participation figures. 

The future of Argentinian veganism

Alongside becoming the first nation in the world to ban salmon farming, Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernández, is willing to leave meat off his plate. But there’s a catch. He’ll only do it if Sir Paul McCartney plays in his office for him. 

The presidential residence has made tentative steps toward vegan dining, by introducing “Vegan Monday” (Lunes Vegano) in 2017. The former Beatle has not agreed to a personal performance to convert Fernández to veganism. Yet.

Will the Pope go vegan?

Pope Francis is notably more progressive in his thinking than previous pontiffs. This has led many to try to persuade him to give up meat altogether.

In 2019, he was urged by the organization Million Dollar Vegan to give up meat for Lent. Paolo Borgia, a senior priest, said on his behalf: “[Pope Francis] appreciates the concerns and care for the world, our common home, which prompted you to write to him.” The Pope did not decide to give up meat for the religious observance.

He also failed to encourage Christians to choose vegan food for their Easter feasts in 2021. This was despite being petitioned by PETA to do so.

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The Author

Amy Buxton

Amy enjoys reporting on vegan news and sustainability initiatives. She has a degree in English literature and language and is raising a next-gen vegan daughter.

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animist.79
animist.79
1 month ago

I’d be more impressed if he something about the real reason for global warming: Overpopulation!!

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  animist.79

What evidence do you have that overpopulation is the reason for global warming? We have 7 billion humans but 70 billion land animals that we exploit and kill…

animist.79
animist.79
1 month ago

I’d be more impressed if he something about the real reason for global warming: Overpopulation!!

If there weren’t 7 billion people on the planet you wouldn’t need 70 billion animals. If we eliminated industrial agriculture and went back to traditional mixed farming there would be no environmental problems.
A few quotes: 

“Those that fail to see that population growth and climate change are two sides of the same coin are either ignorant or hiding from the truth. These two huge environmental problems are inseparable and to discuss one while ignoring the other is irrational.” James Lovelock CH CBE FRS PhD

“ All our environmental problems become easier to solve with fewer people, and harder – and ultimately impossible – to solve with ever more people” Sir David Attenborough

Swedish study

“Having a child is 7 times worse for the climate in Co2 emissions annually than the next 10 most discussed mitigants that individuals can do”

Carola
Carola
1 month ago

This Pope, like all other Popes before him, is unapologetically a human supremacist. Propped up by Catholic Church dogma, thus: Echoes of the Cartesian animal-machine idea occur in a statement by Pius XII to the effect that when the “lower” animals are killed in laboratories and slaughterhouses, “their cries should not arouse unreasonable compassion any more than do red-hot metals undergoing the blows of the hammer, seeds soiling underground, branches crackling when they are pruned, grain that is surrendered to the harvester; wheat being ground by the milling machine.” So other animals have the moral equivalence of tomatoes and salad greens and charcoal briquettes!

It was no coincidence when Betty White died that this Pope released his message targeting Betty White’s love of animals and animal welfare, thus: “Opting for pets over children is selfish and ‘takes away our humanity,’ says Pope Francis.” The pope addressed a general audience on the topic of parenthood and called on people to have MORE CHILDREN as the West faces a declining population!!! Please tell me, how eating “less meat” while ignoring unchecked human overpopulation and the increasing demand for MORE MEAT, dairy, eggs, and sea-life is logically sustainable–OR HUMANE? Apparently, more meat will be eaten because there will be more people eating it! Logic doesn’t register with dogma. The Pope: Adopting cats and dogs was contrary to our “humanity” (code for “human supremacy”), that humanity itself was being undermined (LOL!), and even “Civilization” itself would crumble for lack of humanity. Instead, child-free couples ought to be adopting all the surplus, unwanted, excess children of the world and hopefully raise them all to be “devout Catholics.” 

When Poland tried banning ritual slaughter in the past, the ban was overturned when Pope Francis–the “progressive” pope–said banning ritual slaughter was against “freedom of religion.”

The Pope’s concern for “the environment” is nothing more than an anthropocentric concern for “the HUMAN environment.” After all, we’ve been designated “stewards of creation”!

Karen Davis
1 month ago

I’d be more impressed if he showed compassion for the countless billions of suffering chickens, fishes, cows, pigs and other farmed animals in his rhetoric about reducing meat consumption. Meanwhile, it’s gratifying to read that Argentinians are starting to shift a bit from slaughter-based to plant-based eating. And, yes, he ought to include human overpopulation in his speeches about the environment although it isn’t only the number of humans, but the materialistic lifestyle, the amount of stuff being produced and consumed, and discarded 24/7, the plunder of resources to keep adding more and more consumer goods. Amid it all, it’s always heartening to learn of global trends toward slaughter-free living.

John Magee
John Magee
1 month ago

Climate change was, is, and always will be cyclical.11,000 year ago mile high glaciers reached as far south as New York City, Chicago, London and Moscow. Why did they suddenly retreat back to the Artic? Sunspots, the earth wobbling on its axis or deviating slightly from its orbit around the sun, massive volcanic activity, ans other natural events cause cyclical climate change. If sunspot activity slows or becomes intense we could face a new ice age or global warming. Personally I like the idea of global warming because vast areas of Siberia, Alaska, northern Canada, Greenland would become habitable and rich farmland. Global warming is not the disaster the fanatic want us to believe. Another ice age would be a different story.

Holger
Holger
26 days ago
Reply to  John Magee

You’re trying to make sense to cultists. But they won’t admit that climate science isn’t as clear-cut as they like to think, with nobody knowing for sure what the effect of clouds, forests (methane!) and sea currents is on overall climate. Not even speaking of planetary aspects.

If anybody even has a last shred of individual, critical thinking left, some 20-year-old “fact-checker” or “journalist” will promptly take care of that.

Plant Based News Admin
Editor
Plant Based News Admin
25 days ago
Reply to  John Magee

Are you serious? Global warming is absolutely a disaster. The planet is currently hotter than it has been in 125,000 years, and we are experiencing record droughts, wildfires and floods, which are impacting developing and impoverished countries the most. From the IPCC “Our report finds that many species and ecosystems are currently near or beyond their hard adaptation limits, and people that rely on them to survive, are currently near or beyond their soft adaptation limits…Climate change is a global threat to which all people and ecosystems are vulnerable. Without effective adaptation, climate change has the potential to reverse the developmental gains in our world and push millions of people further into poverty. To avoid mounting losses, urgent accelerated action is required to adapt to climate change while making rapid, deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions to limit warming so that we keep the range and scope of adaptation options as wide as possible.” https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg2/about/frequently-asked-questions/keyfaq4/

Holger
Holger
26 days ago

As a young person in Europe, I would like to tell the pope to go **** himself.

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