40 Members of European Parliament (MEPs) have declared their support for the Million Dollar Vegan campaign – including UK MEPs Catherine Bearder and John Flack.
As part of the campaign, Pope Francis has been offered a $1 million donation to a charity of his choice - if he follows a vegan diet during Lent. The Million Dollar Vegan campaign wants to 'highlight the devastating impact of animal agriculture' including deforestation and biodiversity loss as well the suffering it causes to billions of farmed animals.
Campaign supporters include musician Moby, actor Mena Suvari, and scientist Joseph Poore of Oxford University. It has the backing of environmentalists George Monbiot and Chris Packham. Paul McCartney, a long-time vegetarian and co-founder of the Meat Free Monday campaign, also supports Million Dollar Vegan.
Supporters now include these politicians, from 17 countries across the EU, and from seven of the eight European parliamentary groups, who have signed a statement expressing concern over the climate crisis, and their support for the campaign.
"In order to at least somewhat mitigate the climate catastrophe ahead of us, we must use every opportunity to reduce emissions that are harmful to the climate,” MEP Stefan Eck, who has been coordinating this joint statement together with Million Dollar Vegan, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News.
"This also means that we must change our diet. Million Dollar Vegan is doing a fantastic job of raising awareness about this important issue. I sincerely hope that hundreds of thousands of people will join this campaign and chose a vegan diet, not just for the protection of our planet, but also for the animals, and for a more just and safe food system."
'Making a difference for the planet'
"We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, express our concern about the danger of climate change and environmental destruction,” says the statement signed by the MEPs.
"We therefore support Million Dollar Vegan and Genesis Butler's attempts to raise awareness for this issue and fight climate change with diet change.
"Abstaining from animal products for the 40-day-period of Lent, or for any other occasion, makes a difference for the planet and the footprint we each leave on the Earth."
Million Dollar Vegan has produced a Vegan Starter Kit – written in multiple languages and with country-specific content – which is available to download for free here