Fight Climate Change With Diet Change

In 2019, with the support of Sir Paul McCartney and many other celebrities, scientists, and environmentalists, we offered Pope Francis $1M for a charity of his choice if he went vegan for Lent. The campaign launched simultaneously in 15 countries and made global headlines.

The campaign’s goal was to make absolutely clear the link between our food choices and climate breakdown, deforestation and biodiversity loss. These are all issues Pope Francis had spoken about in his 2015 Encyclical Letter, Laudato Si’. What he almost certainly did not know is that one human activity drives all this destruction: animal agriculture.

Our campaign ambassador was 12-year-old Genesis Butler, an animal activist and climate change campaigner. In her letter to the Pope, she outlined the role played by animal agriculture in climate change, pollution, world hunger, the extinction of wildlife, and the suffering of farmed animals. Genesis urged the pontiff to take action, and asked to meet him.

The Campaign In Pictures

Genesis was invited to the Vatican, where she met with a senior Catholic priest.

She spoke with such integrity and passion that Father Ptasznik agreed to be her messenger, and to take her letter, signed by celebrities, scientists, and tens of thousands of people, and hand it to Pope Francis personally. In response, the Pope acknowledged our campaign and sent Genesis his blessing.

We do not know if Pope Francis went vegan for Lent. We do know that this campaign resulted in more than 1,000 media articles, and ensured the world recognized the role of animal agriculture in the most pressing environmental issues of our time. For millions of people, this is likely to be the first time they had been made aware of this, and more than tens of thousands of people took immediate action by downloading our Vegan Starter Kit.

The Campaign in Numbers

  • 545
    Reach
  • 100
    Petition Signatures

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