The following comes from a Feb. 8 story on

Pope Francis has been challenged to go vegan for Lent – and in exchange for his sacrifice, he’d receive a $1 million donation to a charity of his choice.

The high-stakes deal is being offered by a 12-year-old animal rights activist, Genesis Butler, and the Million Dollar Vegan campaign.

Earlier this week, an open letter was published appealing to the pope to abstain from all animal products during Lent, which is set to begin on March 6 for Catholics and will end at Easter. The letter makes a strong case that a vegan diet will yield dividends for the environment.

“Your Holiness, we must act,” writes Butler. “Moving towards a plant-based diet will have substantial environmental benefits. It will protect our land, trees, oceans, and air, and help feed the world’s most vulnerable.”

Should the pope accept the offer, the million-dollar donation would be made by the Blue Horizon International Foundation, which seeks to “accelerate the removal of animals from the global food chain.”

In her letter, Butler also cited the pope’s 2015 encyclical Laudato si’, wherein he calls for collective common action to fight environmental degradation.

“In your encyclical letter, Laudato si’, you stated that every effort to protect and improve our world will involve changes in lifestyle, production, and consumption. I agree with all my heart and seek your support in tackling one of the largest underlying causes of the problems we face: animal agriculture,” wrote Butler.