The Season of Creation is a time to reflect on, pray for, and take action in loving gratitude and protection of our bountiful home. The Lord blessed us with what St. Francis of Assisi called our “Sister Earth, our Mother,” and together we recognize creation as God’s precious gift. Let’s take this time to celebrate all its blessings—including all our brothers and sisters who swim, walk, slither, or fly.

All animals—including humans—are part of God’s perfect creation. He gave each of us the capacity to think and feel. Surely then, His intention was that all of us should be allowed to live in peace and not be exploited. The 34 days from September 1 to the Feast of St. Francis on October 4 mark a holy period when we unite in care for our common home and, in keeping with the theme for 2022, “Listen to the Voice of Creation.”

A mother hen and her chicks

Take time to learn about and reflect on the suffering of animals. Heed Pope Francis’ call from his Laudato si’ to nurture a “loving awareness that we are not disconnected from the rest of creatures, but joined in a splendid universal communion.” Often, we can become disconnected from the beauty surrounding us because unlike our phones and computers, cows and fish don’t ping incessantly for our attention. During this month, ask yourself how conscious you are of the natural world and allow yourself to consider the suffering of God’s creation. Perhaps ask yourself Pope Francis’ question “In what way have I made a conscious effort to care for creation and its creatures?”

Meditate on St. Francis of Assisi’s sermon to the birds he addressed as “brothers,” and consider how this patron saint of the animals would respond to contemporary forms of abuse like vivisection and dissection at religious universities and schools, bullfighting in countries like Spain, and cruelty to animals at celebrations for other patron saints, like Brazil’s Farra do Boi festival. Once we are conscious of such suffering, we must pray and vow to take action to end it.

A mother cow and her calf embrace

Pope Francis offers this prayer: “Oh God of the poor, help us to rescue the abandoned and forgotten of this earth who are so precious in your eyes. God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love for all the creatures of this earth.” In fact, while we remember all animals used for experiments, food, fashion, and entertainment in our prayers this Season of Creation, let us also be led to take action.

We are called to be more like Christ, who became human and walked the Earth with sinners. He came to save and commissioned us to share His good news. Therefore, in this Season of Creation, may we follow His steps to make meaningful change on Earth. Pope Francis charges us to “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 first step in accepting his charge is to go vegan.

A mother sheep feeds her lamb

There’s no better time to prepare an animal-friendly holiday season than during this month. You can start planning a vegan Thanksgiving feast by requesting our vegan starter kit here and sharing it with your church community. Also, ask your church to use cruelty-free candles during the holidays, forgo the live nativity, use PETA’s animal blessing hotline, and celebrate Palm Sunday without a live donkey parade. Finally, sign and share these action alerts to support PETA campaigns for all God’s creatures.

Together we can honor and celebrate our “Sister Earth, our Mother.” We want to hear how you’re putting your faith into action during this Season of Creation. E-mail us and we’ll compile a list of all your actions and post a follow-up celebrating the change we’ve made together.

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