October 5, 2023
Pope Francis on Oct. 5 made an urgent call for world leaders to slow climate change. The pope’s new teaching document “Laudaute Deum,“ meaning “Praise God,” comes nearly eight years after publishing the 2015 letter “Laudato Si.“
In the document, Pope Francis says responses to climate change have not been adequate, and the “world in which we live is collapsing and may be nearing the breaking point.”
Environmentalists from all over the world gathered in the Vatican Gardens today to comment on the new document. Farm Forward founding board member Jonathan Safran Foer gave an address responding to the pope’s document. Founded in 2007, Farm Forward’s mission is to “end factory farming by changing farming, changing policy and changing the stories we tell about animal agriculture.”
Foer urged eating fewer animal products and reforming food systems as powerful ways to respond to the pope’s call to address climate change. He also emphasized the need for policy changes and argued that individual actions are often what motivates governmental action.
By inviting Foer and other farming critics who advocate for reducing the consumption of animal products to be the first to interpret “Laudate Deum” publicly, the Vatican all but endorses a critique of animal agriculture.
According to a document shared by Farm Forward, “While 'Laudate Deum' does not get into the specifics of how to respond to climate change, the pope lays a powerful moral basis for reducing and ultimately ending our dependence on cruel and unsustainable factory farms.”
“What Pope Francis has done is enormously brave. I found myself deeply moved by 'Laudate Deum,' its decisive call to action and its bright moral core,” Foer said. “It reminded me of the deep roots of my own vegetarian commitments and why all of us need to support a more plant-based food system.”
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