Pope Francis addressed the European youth in Prague with a message of having a humble life, but reduced meat consumption was the only part that made headlines.
The European Union Youth Conference took place a few days ago in Prague, Czech Republic. Pope Francis made a speech to youngsters attending the event, and I knew about it because many headlines were about the Pope urging to eat less meat to save the planet. Nothing more, nothing less.
I decided to do some research about it. First of all, I read the message published by the Vatican. The Pope’s message is very clear: to stay in line with Christian beliefs that have guided Catholics for more than 2,000 years – namely fraternity with immigrants (he himself is a son of immigrants), inclusion, open mindedness, nonviolence and a life without luxury and wastefulness. He also addressed topics like Ukraine, war and praised the youth as new minds that could change the world.
Within the concept of “luxury and wastefulness,” the Pope said that “it is urgent to reduce consumption not only of fossil fuels, but also of many superfluous things; and in certain areas of the world, it would be convenient to consume less meat, which can help to save the environment.”
Out of 1,749 words that the written speech has, only 10 words mention the benefits of consuming less meat. But what did the media take out of it in the headlines? – “The Pope urges to consume less meat.”
Nothing is mentioned about fossil fuels, or wastefulness, or fraternity or inclusion. Reducing meat consumption was the one point worth highlighting that hit the headlines. This ranges from CNN (CNN en Español), to the Spanish newspaper El País, the European news site Euronews, YouTube, Yahoo News, World Stock Market, Spain’s ABC, Colombia’s Cambio, Telediario from Costa Rica, Mexico’s El Financiero and not to mention a bunch of animal rights and environmental lobbyist groups.
This really makes me wonder: who is behind all this? Is this intentional? Did the same person write one press release and then everybody replicated it without reading the original speech? Where are the press releases from animal protein producer’s associations refuting this deliberate misleading information?
I don’t blame the Pope. He clearly said it would be “convenient to consume less meat in certain areas of the world,” i.e., Europe in this case and by extension the rich countries. I really blame those who just replicate misinformation.
What do you think?
Par: Benjamín Ruiz (20/07/2022)