Catholic Social Teaching and its Implications for the Moral Status of Animals

Emily Fischer

Fischer GoatEmily Fischer's goat, Multi

Care for creation takes a prominent role in Pope Francis' Encyclical Laudato Si' and Catholic social teaching in general. However, not much is being done to minimize the negative impact of animal agriculture on the environment in parish communities.

Because of potent greenhouse gas emissions from concentrated animal feeding operations, the heinous treatment of animals in the commercial meat industry, deforestation caused by land clearing for feedlots and crop raising for livestock, and manipulation of the natural ecological order for profit, the Catholic community should do more to promote a plant based diet for the faithful. In this capstone, I will elucidate how the moral status of animals fits within Catholic teaching and why this issue warrants a Catholic response.