French film icon Brigitte Bardot wants Pope Francis to do more for animals. And a good start would have been by going vegan for Lent.
The Million Dollar Vegan campaign, which launched last month, targeted Pope Francis and asked him to give up meat for the 40-day Lent period. The hope was that he would also encourage Catholics worldwide to take the same pledge. If the Pope would have made the pledge, the campaign would have donated $1 million to a charity of the Pope’s choice.
But the head of the Catholic church only sent his blessings to 12-year-old Genesis Butler, the official spokesperson for the campaign who hand-delivered a petition to the Vatican last month.
Bardot, 84, is a life-long Catholic and says the Pope’s continued meat-eating is unacceptable, especially because, as the star says, Pope Francis needs to live up to his namesake — St. Francis of Assisi — who was regarded as the patron saint of all animals.
Le Pape François n’a rien fait et ne fait rien pour améliorer la condition des animaux. pic.twitter.com/AymIVe7Jtb
— BRIGITTE BARDOT (@brigitte_bardot) March 13, 2019
“I am Catholic but I protest against the decisions of Pope Francis who chose this name in homage to St. Francis of Assisi and did nothing and do nothing to improve the condition of animals,” she wrote in a Tweet last week. “His last decision to allow Catholics to feed on animal flesh during the 40 days of Lent is aberrant. I support the association Million Dollar Vegan which revolts against this papal cruelty and respecting religious advice, invites believers to do a vegan Lent.”
The Million Dollar Vegan campaign launched last month with the support of celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, actor Woody Harrelson, and musician Moby among others. The campaign is targeting high profile people of interest and asking them to take a vegan pledge resulting in the million-dollar donation to their charity of choice.
“Animal farming is a leading driver of climate change, deforestation, and species loss,” the campaign notes on its website. “It pollutes land, waterways, and air, and is so wasteful of food that we will struggle to feed a growing population, while it also causes suffering to billions of farmed animals. For the sake of animals, all people, our future, and this planet, we are calling on Pope Francis to demonstrate leadership on these issues by trying vegan for Lent.”
The campaign has not announced its next target yet.