December 21, 2009
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
Most Holy Father,
On behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 2
million members and supporters worldwide, we applaud your strong exhortations for
environmental protection, and we urge you to consider the fact that the most effective
action an individual can take to fight climate change is to go vegan (which means not
consuming poultry, fish, meat, eggs or dairy products).
In light of the overwhelming scientific evidence showing that human consumption of
animal products is degrading the environment, we urge you to go vegan and only serve
vegan meals in Vatican City and at all Papal events.
As you may know, in the groundbreaking 408-page report, Livestock's Long Shadow, UN
scientists concluded that raising animals for food generates more greenhouse-gas
emissions than all the cars, trucks, ships, SUVs and planes in the world combined. The
report also points out that the meat industry is "one of the top two or three most
significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from
local to global". A 2009 report by long-time World Bank agricultural scientists contended
that the total greenhouse-gas emissions of animal agriculture are far higher than the UN
reported. According to these scientists, raising animals for food constitutes a majority –
51 per cent – of global greenhouse-gas emissions. The official handbook for the global
Live Earth concerts, which Al Gore helped organise, states that not eating meat is the
"single most effective thing you can do" to reduce your climate change impact.
Of course, a global shift toward plant-based diets would also have major benefits for
humans – vegans have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer than
meat-eaters do, and tens of billions of animals would be spared the horrors of being
intensively confined on filthy factory farms, mutilated without any pain relief, and
slaughtered while still conscious.
Going vegan and serving only vegan meals at the Vatican would help ensure a bright
future for all. Please don't hesitate to contact me on XX or at XX to discuss this further.
Thank you for your consideration.