Animal-rights campaigner People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has named Pope Francis as its “Person of the Yea” in recognition of his animal-friendly teachings.
PETA Asia vice president Jason Baker said in a statement sent to The Manila Times that the Pope’s constant teachings against cruelty to animals is crucial in reaching the billions of Catholics worldwide.
“His Holiness is PETA Asia’s Person of the Year for spreading the message of showing kindness to all, regardless of their religion or species,” Baker noted.
In his 2015 treatise Laudato Si’, Pope Francis pushed for better animal rights and general improvement of the environment.
The Pope said, “We are not God… [W]e must forcefully reject the notion that our being created in God’s image and given dominion over the earth justifies absolute domination over other creatures.”
A year ago, he called the current state of the environment a “sin of our time,” and urged people to convert themselves “to a type of development that knows how to respect creation.”