Under the Million Dollar Vegan campaign, Pope Francis is being challenged to go vegan for Lent in exchange for a $1 million donation to any charity of his choice. The campaign, led by 12-year-old Genesis Butler, aims to inspire people to give up meat and dairy to tackle climate change.
In her message to Pope Francis, Butler says: “In your encyclical letter, Laudato si’, you stated that every effort to protect and improve our world will involve changes in lifestyle, production, and consumption. I agree with all my heart and seek your support in tackling one of the largest underlying causes of the problems we face: animal agriculture.”
The Pope, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, has been outspoken on environmental issues. “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic [and] political,” he said in his 2015 encyclical. He also told the UN in the same year: “The ecological crisis, and the large-scale destruction of biodiversity, can threaten the very existence of the human species.”