Vegetarian Elite
 
Paul Blanchard, Compassionate Councilor of York      
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Halo, and welcome to Supreme Master Television. We’re here in London in the UK with Mr. Paul Blanchard. Mr Blanchard is a councilor of York City Council.

On today’s Vegetarian Elite program, we are joined by one of the most promising allies for animals on the United Kingdom’s political stage. Well supported by his peers and public citizens, Mr. Blanchard was re-elected for a second four-year term as a councilor in 2007 with greatly increased votes. In a sit-down with Supreme Master Television, we find out why Councilor Paul Blanchard is truly an example of kind-heartedness with a vision of the world to come, one that is free from animal abuse and cruelty.

You are a vegan, you are a member of the Vegan Society.

Indeed.

Could you tell us why you went vegan?

I went vegan because initially I was vegetarian and frankly I didn’t know enough about veganism. So I thought, like many vegetarians do, I thought that was enough. I didn’t realize the intrinsic cruelty involved in dairy and egg production and so on. When I met a few vegans, I was listening and interested to what they had to say. I realized that vegetarianism kind of wasn’t enough and that’s why I went vegan.

Have you noticed any health benefits since changing your diet?

Very much so. I mean, when I went vegan it wasn’t for my own health reasons, it was because of what had been brought to my attention, the cruelty involved in dairy and egg production. But yes, an amazing kind of side benefit of going vegan of course was the weight fell off me. I feel a lot more healthy, I have more energy, and yes, things are absolutely great.

Inspired by another’s act, Paul Blanchard’s determination and compassion succeeded in restricting the sale of the unbelievably cruel animal product, foie gras, in the City of York. This gained enormous press attention, including a special feature on Sky News. Since then, at least five other councils have followed suit.

I’m a member of “Compassion in World Farming,” and have been for many years, and I get their supporters newsletter. And I was on a train two or three years ago, and I just happened to be reading their newsletter.

And it mentioned a campaign from a chap called Joe Moore, who’s a city councilman in Chicago, and he’d actually successfully banned the sale and production of foie gras within the city of Chicago, which I thought was an absolutely fantastic idea. There was my equivalent, the local council in Chicago that had done something extremely progressive in terms of animal welfare. And my first thought was, “That’s an excellent idea, let’s copy it.”

I’m very proud of it because we had seven restaurants in York that were selling it and now you can’t buy foie gras in any restaurants in York. So that’s important. But secondly, a very big aspect of the campaign was frankly, was raising awareness of foie gras And that was a very, very important part of the campaign because we had a web site at and we used the fact that there was a campaign in the council to raise awareness of this.

We got great coverage in the national and international media, and it drove almost 40,000 people to the site to actually see for themselves the evidence. We weren’t just saying please ban foie gras— we say it’s cruel. We were saying, “Here’s the evidence about it, look at the horrible gavage, the steel pipe that is forced down the poor bird’s neck and see for yourself, and then if you don’t, if you’re disgusted by that, A) stop eating it, and B) can you write to your local MP and so on and so forth.”

In recognition for his campaign to ban foie gras, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) honored Councilor Blanchard with the “Most Progressive Politician Award” in 2008. We will return in just a moment after this brief message. You are watching Vegetarian Elite on Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to Vegetarian Elite on Supreme Master Television. As a councilor, Mr. Paul Blanchard keeps himself very much informed and is aware of the “Livestock’s Long Shadow” report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) that assesses the full impact of the livestock sector on the environment.

Well, in fact the key conclusion of that report was that people’s dietary habits contribute more toward climate change than all forms of transportation combined. And I think that that is a huge message that the kind of great British public and beyond need to hear because I don’t think that hits home. People still think of it in terms of, “I want chicken three times a week,” but they don’t realize that in order to have the factory farming processes to deliver cheap, cost-effective chicken to the plate three times a week, is costing a huge amount to the environment.

And in terms of water resources, damage to the environment, and indeed all the soya that we’re growing that’s effectively just being fed to pigs and cows and so on so that we can eat them. It’s a terrible waste of the Earth’s resources. And I don’t think again that people realize that; it does need to be brought to their attention as strongly as possible. Because there are people of good conscience out there; I think the majority of people have a conscience. And I think once they actually realize the damage that factory farming in particular is doing to the planet, I think naturally there will be a reduction in consumption of meat.

Councilor Blanchard comments on the growing trend in ethical consumerism.

We can already see that consumers are looking for more ethically sourced products, in terms of fair-trade, in terms of animal welfare, and so on and so forth, so the demand is there. I think the supply just needs to change to react to that demand, and indeed take a lead. People didn’t realize the fact that if you want a whole chicken for £1.99, it’s going to have lived an absolutely terrible life.

And I think that again it’s awareness raising, the more that people are aware of that, the more that will go to higher welfare standards. I think the governments all around the world are becoming increasingly more driven by an animal welfare agenda. So I think that we do need a global solution to this, but there’s nothing wrong whatsoever in Western governments showing a lead on this.

As a councilor, Mr. Blanchard believes that in order to foster peace and progression for humankind, one must include care and consideration for our animal constituents.

I have a variety of issues that I campaign on, one of which is animal welfare. I think it’s rapidly becoming much more topical, given the impact on the environment. People are starting to realize that their diet has a huge impact on the environment, so I think it’s going to become increasingly more topical over the next 10, 20 years even, or possibly even sooner than that.

But I’d like to see many more vegan councilors, I’d like to see many more vegan MP’s. I put a Viva! DVD in each one of the councilors’ pigeon holes yesterday. So in their green bags tonight when they get their kind of weekly delivery of council business and papers, they’ll have a Viva! DVD.

Fantastic.

Telling, you know, so they can see for them selves the cruelty involved in factory farming. There’s a few people I have spoken to who eat meat, for example, who say, “Oh I wouldn’t want to watch a DVD like that because then I’d never eat meat, I’m sure it’s terrible.” And I can’t see the consistency in that, because if you’re going to actually eat meat, then you should at least know where your food is coming from. And I think that’s a luxury you shouldn’t have really is to deliberately choose ignorance. In a civilized society we shouldn’t have products of torture on the menu in the first place anyway.

Is there a message you’d like to give viewers that are watching now?

I speak to a lot of meat eaters who say, “Well if I went vegetarian, it’s hardly likely to make a difference.” And over the course, over your lifetime, if you were even to cut out meat it would make a huge difference. We need thousands of people to stop eating meat. If we’re going to have real change, it boils down to individuals making the decision not to eat meat. I would welcome any attempt of any meat eater to either stop buying factory farm produce, or cut out meat entirely, or even just reduce their consumption of meat.

And the second message I would say is to vegetarians is, veganism is not that big of a leap. And in fact, I’ve been vegan for nearly two years now and I can go anywhere, into any restaurant without any notice, and I can have a lovely meal. And it’s not that difficult to go vegan. In fact, it’s much more healthier, it’s much better for the environment, and your conscience is clearer because vegetarians do need to know the huge cruelty that’s involved in dairy and eggs.

And I think once they do and they realize that actually veganism is a positive life choice, and it’s not going to be as difficult as they think, I think it will become a lot easier for them. There are nutritious alternatives available to us that, in our diet, so we don’t have to eat meat. Effectively, we’re causing cruelty to animals just for taste, just so that we can have some chunks in a pie. Look at the rapid growth in obesity, in Type 2 diabetes, it’s all driven by unbelievably unhealthy diets, largely around meat and cheese.

Though he acknowledges this reality, Mr. Blanchard has a hopeful vision of the future, one that he is prepared and willing to work diligently towards every day of his life.

I look forward to the day maybe, as soon as it can come really, but maybe 10 years from now, where people look back and think, “Well, why were we so judgmental of vegans and vegetarians?” And yes, but it needs people like us to speak out. And that’s the thing, that’s one of the reasons why I get out of bed in the morning because it does need more and more people speaking up for this cause. I think it’s the next thing that’s going to change in terms of the evolution of consciousness of humanity.

In closing our discussion, Councilor Blanchard thanked Supreme Master Ching Hai for all her tireless efforts in creating a compassionate world.

Well, I’d like to obviously thank you for what you’re doing. Keep up the great work, and I’d hopefully like to meet you one day.

Councilor Paul Blanchard continues to make a difference in the lives of people and animals around the world. He is truly a blessing to have in the political arena. With Heaven’s blessings, may he go far with his noble work and inspire others to take the issue of animal welfare to new heights locally and globally.

Thank you very much for joining us today on Vegetarian Elite with Councilor Paul Blanchard here on Supreme Master Television. And now, charming viewers, please stay with us for Between Master and Disciples. We wish you a comforting weekend in the warmth of loved ones.

You can learn more about Councilor Paul Blanchard and contact him at Paul-Blanchard.info
SupremeMasterTV(f): Halo, and welcome to Supreme Master Television. We’re here in London in the UK with Mr. Paul Blanchard. Mr Blanchard is a councilor of York City Council.

HOST: On today’s Vegetarian Elite program, we are joined by one of the most promising allies for animals on the United Kingdom’s political stage. Well supported by his peers and public citizens, Mr. Blanchard was re-elected for a second four-year term as a councilor in 2007 with greatly increased votes.

In a sit-down with Supreme Master Television, we find out why Councilor Paul Blanchard is truly an example of kind-heartedness with a vision of the world to come, one that is free from animal abuse and cruelty.
 
SupremeMasterTV(f): You are a vegan, you are a member of the Vegan Society.

Paul(m): Indeed.

SupremeMasterTV(f): Could you tell us why you went vegan?

Paul(m): I went vegan because initially I was vegetarian and frankly I didn’t know enough about veganism. So I thought, like many vegetarians do, I thought that was enough. I didn’t realize the intrinsic cruelty involved in dairy and egg production and so on.

When I met a few vegans, I was listening and interested to what they had to say. I realized that vegetarianism kind of wasn’t enough and that’s why I went vegan.

SupremeMasterTV(f): Have you noticed any health benefits since changing your diet?

Paul(m): Very much so. I mean, when I went vegan it wasn’t for kind of my own health reasons, it was because of what had been brought to my attention, the cruelty involved in dairy and egg production.
But yes, an amazing kind of side benefit of going vegan of course was the weight fell off me. I feel a lot more healthy, I have more energy, and yes, things are absolutely great.

HOST: Inspired by another’s act, Paul Blanchard’s determination and compassion succeeded in restricting the sale of the unbelievably cruel animal product, foie gras, in the City of York.

This gained enormous press attention, including a special feature on Sky News. Since then, at least five other councils have followed suit.

You can learn more about Councilor Paul Blanchard and contact him at Paul-Blanchard.info




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