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Animal Activist and Vegan Russell Simmons Makes Plea to Pontiff

Entrepreneur, producer, and the music mogul that founded Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Public Enemy and Run-D.M.C. tells Pope Francis that animal agriculture is “senseless and unholy.” First of all, you have some serious cojones to “tell” the Pope anything. Second of all, Russell Simmons has enough clout that the Pope just may listen.


Music icon and long-time vegan Russell Simmons recently wrote an open letter to the Holy Father asking him to include the suffering of agriculture based animals in his teachings on ethics and climate change. Simmons appealed to Pope Francis’ forward thinking views and commended his decision to not wear fur-trimmed papal capes, but pointed out that Francis’ preaching fell short when it came to animal rights.

Simmons quoted the Bishop of Rome in saying that “it is contrary to human dignity to cause any animals to suffer or die needlessly,” and “all creation has an intrinsic value that is independent of its usefulness” before providing examples of how animal agriculture is contrary to these statements. Simmons also detailed how Pope Francis embodies “blossoming hope” before concluding his letter with a plea to the pontiff: “I only humbly ask that you continue to spread the word, Your Holiness, of doing no harm.”