Malta supports global campaign offering Pope Francis $1 million to go vegan for Lent
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Malta supports global campaign offering Pope Francis $1 million to go vegan for Lent

Veggy Malta has joined a major global campaign backed by a host of celebrities, environmentalists and scientists, which is calling on Pope Francis to go vegan for Lent to help fight climate change with diet change.

Young environmental campaigner Genesis Butler. Photo: TwittersYoung environmental campaigner Genesis Butler. Photo: Twitters

In return, Million Dollar Vegan – the campaign behind the project – is offering $1 million to a charity of the Pope’s choice.

The campaign seeks to highlight the devastating impact of animal agriculture. Farming animals has a greater impact on global warming than fuel emissions from the entire global transport sector.

In a letter written to the Pope by 12-year-old animal rights and environmental campaigner Genesis Butler, which was published in 15 countries, Butler urges to Pope to go vegan for Lent.

Butler said: “Farming and slaughtering animals cause a lot of suffering and is a leading cause of climate change, deforestation and species loss. When we feed animals crops that humans can eat, it is wasteful. And with a growing world population, we cannot afford to be wasteful.”

Each person going vegan for Lent will save emissions equivalent to a flight from London to Berlin, and if every Catholic on the planet takes part, it will be equivalent to the whole of the Philippines not emitting CO2 for a year.

Butler recently travelled to the Vatican in an attempt to meet Pope Francis, so that she could discuss the issues raised in her letter. While she was unable to secure a private meeting, a senior Vatican priest handed the letter to the Pope on Butler’s behalf and said she would receive a response shortly.

The campaign has already led Butler to meet well-known vegans including Evanna Lynch (Harry Potter and Dancing with the Stars) and poet and writer Benjamin Zephaniah. Paul McCartney, a long-time vegetarian and co-founder of the Meat Free Monday campaign, also supports Million Dollar Vegan and has signed the letter to the Pope.

Veggy Malta coordinator Darryl Grima said: “We would like to suggest to all Catholics who will be fasting this Lent to go vegan this year. By doing so you will be doing your part to help protect the planet, feed the global population, reduce animal suffering, show benevolence to all God’s creatures and potentially improve your health.”

Million Dollar Vegan CEO Matthew Glover, who co-founded the hugely successful Veganuary campaign, said: “We launched this deliberately bold, audacious campaign to jolt our world leaders from their complacency. For too long they have failed to act on evidence of the damage caused to people and the planet by animal agriculture.”

As part of the campaign, a petition has also been created which asks the Pope to go vegan for Lent. If he agrees, the Blue Horizon International Foundation will donate $1 million to a charity or charities of the Pope’s choice.

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