The Confederation of Farmers of Portugal (CAP) regretted on Thursday that the World Youth Day pilgrim’s manual contains a recommendation to abstain from meat consumption for a year to offset carbon emissions, calling for its elimination.
“It was with great surprise that CAP learned of a ‘Pilgrim’s Handbook’, produced for participants in World Youth Day (WYD), which suggests – based on a ‘carbon footprint measurement calculator’, developed by entities totally unrelated to the food chain – that young people become vegetarians for a year as a way to offset the carbon emissions resulting from their journey by plane to our country “, it pointed out, in a statement.
CAP stressed that this recommendation was made without “any care or context on the part of the companies Novo Verde and ERP Portugal, and may induce young people to adopt an “extreme and radical eating behaviour, with consequences that can be serious for their health and physical and cognitive development”.
Therefore, the confederation wants the WYD organisation to eliminate this suggestion, which it classifies as “absurd and radical”.
For farmers, maintaining this recommendation would be “extremely irresponsible and would represent an incomprehensible subordination to an animalistic agenda”.
On the other hand, CAP asked that the reduction of carbon emissions not be confused with sustainability, to which, it noted, agriculture and livestock “make a fundamental contribution”, through, for example, animal production models, such as extensive grazing.
The confederation also welcomed the pilgrims who are arriving in Portugal, hoping that they will find “a place of celebration and religious dialogue and a full experience – aware of and committed to the values that WYD proclaims, and open to all the good experiences that make every journey an event. Including tasting the rich and healthy Portuguese gastronomy, made of so many ‘made in Portugal’ products, of recognised excellence at the international level and produced locally. This is also called sustainability”.
World Youth Day, the largest event of the Catholic Church, will be held for the first time in Portugal, from 1 to 6 August, in Lisbon, where about 1.5 million people are expected.