Yesterday, Pope Francis released his environmental encyclical, Laudato Si, about climate change. An encyclical is a letter sent to all bishops, through which the Pope elaborates teachings of the Catholic Church on a specific issue.
Compassion in World Farming’s ambassador, Joyce D’Silva, welcomed the encyclical and said “The new encyclical from Pope Francis is an amazing manifesto, calling on humans to recreate their relationship with all other creatures on the earth in the spirit of St Francis”
Compassion for animals
The encyclical’s message on compassion to animals is clear: “Because all creatures are connected, each must be cherished with love and respect, for all of us as living creatures are dependent on one another".
"It would also be mistaken to view other living beings as mere objects subjected to arbitrary human domination".
What about the way we produce?
The Pope criticises “…the idea of infinite or unlimited growth, which proves so attractive to economists, financiers and experts in technology. It is based on the lie that there is an infinite supply of the Earth’s goods, and this leads to the planet being squeezed dry beyond every limit”.
He also speaks to the very structure of our food and farming system: “Political activity on the local level could also be directed to modifying consumption, developing an economy of waste disposal and recycling, protecting certain species and planning a diversified agriculture and the rotation of crops. Agriculture in poorer regions can be improved through investment in rural infrastructures, a better organization of local or national markets, systems of irrigation, and the development of techniques of sustainable agriculture. New forms of cooperation and community organization can be encouraged in order to defend the interests of small producers and preserve local ecosystems from destruction”.
We believe that factory farming is inimical to the caring relationship that the Pope’s encyclical calls for. We hope that the Pope’s heartfelt words will help bring about a better, more compassionate food and farming system.