Pope Francis will receive $1 million for a charity of his choice if he goes vegan for Lent, a celebrity-backed International Campaign said on Wednesday.
The Million-Dollar-Vegan campaign is fronted by Genesis Butler, a 12-year-old from California, who describes herself on her Twitter handle as an animal rights activist and vegan.
“We are asking for Pope Francis’ help to protect our planet by drawing attention to the devastating impact of animal agriculture,’’ Butler says in a video posted on the campaign’s website.
By going vegan for Lent, Francis “would be leading the way to a more sustainable planet.
He added: “Join us and fight climate change with diet change.”
Lent is a period of penance observed in the six weeks leading up to Easter, the most important date in the Christian calendar.
This year, it starts on March 6, while Easter falls on April 21.
In a letter, Butler references the pro-environment teachings of Francis’ “Laudato Si’’ encyclical on climate change and says she would be “delighted’’ to meet him in person.
The million-dollar-vegan initiative has been endorsed by singers Paul McCartney and Moby and actors Woody Harrelson and Joaquin Phoenix among others.
The 1-million-dollar donation is to be provided by the Blue Horizon International Foundation, the charitable arm of a US stem cell healthcare company.