Pope + Climate Change SEE asks Pontiff to reinstate Meatless Fridays for meat reduction climate benefit

Posted on November 13, 2023

For Immediate Release:


Sustainable Earth Eating:

Sustainable Earth Eating Calls on Pope Francis to Reinstate Meatless Fridays in New “Environmental Encyclical”

Washington (11.09.23) — As the global community grapples with the urgent need to address the environmental crisis, Sustainable Earth Eating, a leading climate, and food organization, has officially reached out to His Holiness Pope Francis, urging him to reinstate the tradition of Meatless Fridays by the Catholic Church as part of his updated “Environmental Encyclical.” The letter comes as Pope Francis prepares to attend the annual UN IPCC climate meeting, where he has a crucial role advocating for climate action.

Meatless Fridays, a longstanding tradition of the Catholic Church, encouraged members to abstain from meat on Fridays as a form of penance and reflection. The practice had a profound impact on reducing meat consumption, promoting sustainable, environmentally friendly dietary habits.

Sustainable Earth Eating believes that reinstating Meatless Fridays, as an integral part of the “Environmental Encyclical,” aligns with the Pope’s dedication to addressing climate change. “This initiative would carry a significant message of sustainability, compassion, and responsibility towards the environment. By including Meatless Fridays, Pope Francis can inspire millions of Catholics and people worldwide to make dietary choices that are kinder to our planet, SEE CEO DeMarines said.

 A recent study showed meat-free diets resulted in 75% less greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution and land use than diets with 100+g of meat/day. Meatless diets also cut the destruction of wildlife by 66% and water use by 54%, the study found. The new study analyzed diets of 55,000 people in the UK, and data from 38,000 farms in 119 countries. 

As a prominent advocate for climate action, Pope Francis has consistently raised his voice in support of environmental conservation and sustainable practices. In his groundbreaking “Laudato Si'” encyclical, the Pope addressed climate change and environmental degradation, emphasizing the moral imperative to protect our common home. By reinstating Meatless Fridays, Pope Francis can build upon this legacy and further advance the global conversation on ethical and ecological dimensions of food consumption.

Sustainable Earth Eating encourages Pope Francis to include this significant recommendation within the updated “Environmental Encyclical,” reflecting the critical connection between dietary choices and environmental conservation. By doing so, the Catholic Church can lead by example, emphasizing the importance of a plant-based diet in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving natural resources, and promoting sustainability.

Sustainable Earth Eating is grateful for Pope Francis’s steadfast commitment to environmental stewardship. Reinstating Meatless Fridays by the Catholic Church would be a powerful symbol of unity and a huge step towards protecting our planet. We encourage the Pope to consider this proposal as he prepares to attend the annual UN IPCC climate meeting,” said Jane DeMarines, Executive Director of Sustainable Earth Eating. The impact of livestock production on the environment is not fully recognized, DeMarines said, and is usually understated. Data for meat production by governments excludes the cost of getting livestock to slaughterhouses—those transportation costs are part of making meat a “product” and should be included.

Sustainable Earth Eating invites individuals, organizations, and faith communities worldwide to join in supporting this proposal. Together, we can work towards a more sustainable and compassionate world, where our dietary choices reflect our care for the environment and our fellow human beings.


 Study Univ of Oxford, UK 2023

 Sustainable Earth Eating: promotes awareness of diet choices impact on the climate. The organization advocates for responsible food consumption and works to raise awareness about the environmental impact of dietary choices.

Categories: Press Release