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PETA to Pope Benedict XVI: Veganize the Vatican

December 31, 2009 |  1:50 pm

Pope Taking a cue from Pope Benedict XVI's message for the Catholic Church's World Day of Peace, in which he calls for "a real change of outlook which will result in new life-styles" as a means to combat damage to the environment, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals vice president Bruce Friedrich fired off a letter asking the pontiff to become a vegan and decree that only foods free of animal products be served in Vatican City.

Citing a 2006 report from the United Nations' food and agriculture organization titled "Livestock's Long Shadow," in which the harmful environmental affects of meat production are detailed, Friedrich urges the pope "to consider the fact that the most effective action an individual can take to fight climate change is to go vegan." 

By cutting meat, dairy products and eggs from the Vatican's menu, Friedrich argues, Benedict XVI could further not just his goal of reduced energy consumption worldwide, but also influence his followers to live healthier lives as a result of vegan eating habits.  (Of course, he notes, animals raised for food stand to benefit from the Vatican's shift to veganism as well.)

The Catholic Church marks World Day of Peace on New Year's Day, but the pope's remarks were released in advance of the event.  No word from the Vatican yet on PETA's request, but we suspect the group isn't holding its breath.

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-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Pope Benedict XVI delivers the Sunday Angelus address to the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square on Dec. 27.  Credit: Riccardo De Luca / Associated Press

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