“Let us not allow this season of grace to pass in vain!“ – Pope Francis
On February 6th, Million Dollar Vegan offered Pope Francis $1m if he would lead the world’s mission to combat climate change by eating vegan for Lent. It was an offer made out of deep respect for the His Holiness’s message of compassion for animals and care for the environment; one that we saw could do great good on many levels.
Working alongside youth activist Genesis Butler, we seek to fight climate change with diet change and to draw attention to other serious global issues that are affected by our dietary choices.
Genesis not only wrote directly to Pope Francis and had her letter printed full-page in 15 national newspapers around the world, but she also traveled to Rome in the hope of delivering her message to Pope Francis in person. While there, she met with a senior Vatican priest who promised he would take her petition to the Pope, and in a general audience, Genesis was able to speak directly to the Pope. She asked: “Your Holiness, will you go vegan for Lent?”
Genesis was told to expect a response from the Vatican but at the time of writing has not received one.
In his Lenten message, released on 26 February, Pope Francis talked about the destructive way we often behave towards people (including ourselves), animals, and all of creation, and He called on the faithful not to let the Lenten season of grace pass in vain.
We share those views and echo that call!
And that is why we still have hope that Pope Francis and people of faith will consider trying vegan this Lent. Eating plant-based foods shows beautiful compassion to animals, a kindness towards ourselves and other people, and a deep and true respect for our planet.
We urge Pope Francis to accept this unique opportunity to do something amazing this Lenten season by going vegan, protecting the planet, and donating our $1m gift to a charity of his choice.