St. Francis is famously pictured preaching to the birds and St. Anthony of Padua to the fishes. Undoubtedly both these saints loved God's creation, but both these sermons were meant for people who rejected the preacher and his message. Only the birds and the fish would listen.
Today it is important to remember St. Francis' radical message of discipleship and his love for nearly everything but money, especially his love for Christ crucified and those cast aside by society.
Let us resist the effort to turn Francis into a kind of modern eco-friendly saint who cared for the birds more than the poor.