Pope Francis: Save the Planet by ‘Consuming Less Meat’
'It would be appropriate to consume less meat: this too can help save the environment'
Pope Francis urged European youth to consume less meat in order to preserve the planet and stop global warming.
“There is an urgent need to reduce the consumption not only of fossil fuels but also of so many superfluous things,” the pontiff told participants at an EU youth conference Monday.
“In certain areas of the world, too, it would be appropriate to consume less meat: this too can help save the environment.”
The Pontiff encouraged young people to embrace a life of simplicity and austerity as a means of being ecologically responsible.
“May you aspire to a life of dignity and sobriety, without luxury and waste, so that everyone in our world can enjoy a dignified existence,” he told them.
“Don’t let yourselves be seduced by the sirens that propose a life of luxury reserved for a small slice of the world,” he said.
“Instead, have that ‘broad outlook’ that can take in all the rest of humanity, which is much bigger than our little continent.”
In his address, the pope also urged the young people to read his encyclical letter on the environment Laudato Sì to find “solid motivations” for committing to “an integral ecology.”
The future of the planet is in the hands of young people, Francis said.
He added that only they can reverse the current path of environmental self-destruction is by consuming less meat.
This is the right time for “concrete initiatives” to save the planet, he declared.
“If you do not succeed in turning this self-destructive trend around, it will be difficult for others to do so in the future,” he warned.
The Pope's remarks come months after billionaire tech guru Bill Gates urged the world’s richest nations to consume synthetic beef and leave real meat for poor nations to eat.
In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Gates said:
“I do think all rich countries should move to 100 percent synthetic beef,” he said.
“You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time,” he added.
Gates said a governmental compulsion is an option.
“Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand,” he said.
Gates criticized what he called politics for getting in the way.
“There are all these bills that say it’s got to be called, basically, lab garbage to be sold. They don’t want us to use the beef label,” he said.