The Best Way to Restore the Biodiversity of Our Planet - Compilation of Supreme Master Ching Hai's lectures   
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With diverse flora and fauna, magnificent natural landscapes, and an ecological biosphere that supports life, this wondrous planet is our earthly home. From our animal co-inhabitants to the lush rainforests and life-giving soil, we cherish all these as gifts from the Creator. It is a common theme in the world’s major faiths that during our temporary stay here, we should be good stewards of Mother Earth.

Throughout the years, Supreme Master Ching Hai has shared the message of leading a balanced life while following a spiritual path. Not only must we nourish our spirits, but we share the responsibility to care for nature and our fellow beings. In light of recent scientific evidence which pinpoint the raising of livestock as the number one contributor to climate change, Supreme Master Ching Hai affirms the important message she has noted for over the past two decades: we must be vegan and practice sustainable living. We invite you to listen to a compilation of excerpts from Supreme Master Ching Hai’s lectures entitled “The Best Way to Restore the Biodiversity of Our Planet.”

Thank you, Earth-loving viewers, for your company for today’s episode of Between Master and Disciples.

Join us again tomorrow for part 2 of “The Best Way to Restore the Biodiversity of Our Planet.” And now, Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants is coming up next, right after Noteworthy News. Please stay tuned. We wish you a peaceful and blessed weekend.

It’s a joy to have your eco-conscious presence for today’s episode of Between Master and Disciples. Part 3 of “The Best Way to Restore the Biodiversity of Our Planet” will continue next Friday. Up next is Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants right after Noteworthy News here on Supreme Master Television. Please stay tuned. May your days be filled with brilliant Lights and the Music of Heaven.

We appreciate your happy company for today’s episode of Between Master and Disciples. Join us again tomorrow for part 4 of “The Best Way to Restore the Biodiversity of Our Planet.” Up next is Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants right after Noteworthy News here on Supreme Master Television. Please stay tuned. May you be guided by wisdom and kindness in your everyday life.

Thank you, gracious viewers, for your company for today’s episode of Between Master and Disciples. Join us again next Friday for the conclusion of “The Best Way to Restore the Biodiversity of Our Planet.” Up next is Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants right after Noteworthy News here on Supreme Master Television. Wishing you many happy moments every day.

Gracious viewers, thank you for your heartfelt presence for today’s episode of Between Master and Disciples. Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants is coming up next, right after Noteworthy News. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television. May Heavens bless you and your loved ones with a joyous weekend.
What effect does meat consumption have on biodiversity? Charlie, meat consumption has a huge destructive impact on biodiversity, which is essential for our Earth to function and thus must be preserved. No matter how small, each species has a role to help balance our ecosystem, scientifically proven. And yet, consumption of both fish and animal flesh continue and are wreaking havoc on biodiversity around the globe. In the oceans and fresh waterways, so many species of fish have already been lost, with complete aquatic environments such as coral reefs being decimated by such practices as trawling and fishing with explosives. On land, meat consumption is responsible for vast regions being cleared for grazing crops, such as soy, that are fed to livestock.

One example is seen in the deforested Amazon areas that have gone from lush forest to bare fields used for cattle grazing or primarily animal-feed crops. With these activities essentially robbing our biodiversity, there has been an alarming rise in the disappearance of plants and animals. The 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report noted that some 30% of the mammal, bird, and amphibian species currently are threatened with extinction – all due to human actions. And one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted in the field is now forecasting that over a million species will be lost in the coming 50 years. Isn’t that a sad affair? Besides the land being cleared for livestock raising, the livestock itself causes further biodiversity loss due to potent greenhouse emissions, which accelerate global warming.

Many studies have documented declining populations of penguins, polar bears, plants, trees, migratory birds and many others – all linked to rising temperatures on the planet. Even desert animals have been affected, like the Malian elephants that have been perishing in high numbers because their trunks can no longer reach the sinking ground water. The answer to all of this is quite clear: Stop the meat consumption. Stop it yesterday. This will eliminate the so-called need for livestock raising, which will immediately return immense amounts of land to natural sustainability or to natural growing methods that allow biodiversity to be replenished. This is the way we need to go, and fast.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said that the livestock industry is the major cause of the most pressing world problems, namely, global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Can you believe this? It’s like that. For example, global warming, with no animal breeding industries, we immediately stop the number one cause of greenhouse gas emissions. Not just CO2, not just carbon dioxide, but also methane, nitrous oxide, black carbon from burning down the trees for the livestock, and also toxic gases like hydrogen sulfide. This kind of gas, even if you just breathe once, you die immediately, if it’s a strong enough concentration.

Some of them are much more potent than CO2, like nitrous oxide. The livestock sector is the number one source of nitrous oxide emissions, and it is almost 300 times more heat-trapping than CO2 over a 100-year period. Now, methane and black carbon are what scientists call short-lived gases, meaning, although they are very potent climate warmers, they dissipate and exit the atmosphere very quickly. And it’s not just global warming we are talking about. If we are vegan, we don’t have to worry about avian flu, which was found in 22 out of 33 provinces in Indonesia alone, and has caused millions of poultry deaths and caused many human fatalities in Indonesia – more human deaths in your country than in any other country due to the deadly form of avian flu.

If we are vegan, Indonesia’s coral reefs, known as the “Amazon of the Seas” for their thousands of marine species, will be left in peace and beauty, and will protect us. The coral reef is a protector of our lives, of the sea. Right now it is endangered, the coral reef, due to overfishing, which includes a destructive form that uses gruesome methods like cyanide poisoning and blasting the fish with bombs and dynamite. My God. The World Resources Institute stated that these types of fishing only bring short-term profit and will cost the Indonesian economy more than US$600 million in losses over 20 years.

Moreover, around the world, countless enormous ocean dead zones will have a chance to return to life, because the rivers and the lakes that were polluted by manure and toxic fertilizers for animal feed will be left alone to purify themselves and recover. Also, when we stop vacuuming all the poor fish out of the sea, they will have a chance to restore the balance in the oceans. We desperately need the fish in the sea to balance the ocean; otherwise, our lives will be in danger. God puts them there for a reason. By the way, at least one-third of all the world’s fish caught and murdered today is fed to livestock – not to us humans even. On land, millions of hectares will be spared livestock’s serious effects of soil erosion, deforestation, poisonous water pollution, and displacement of wildlife - if all turn to vegan.

Scientists found that forests are resilient and can grow back if given a chance – very fast. We have seen that evidence in some parts of the world. The scientists also observed that when the ocean is healthy again, even the dead coral reefs will revive themselves. Imagine! Nature is miraculous and incredible. But in order to witness nature’s recovery, we must not let our current way of life continue. We cannot continue this way, or else we will pass the point of no return and then we will have a runaway planetary crisis; then we might lose the whole planet or the life on the planet.

Fortunately, we have the solution ready at hand, which is the organic vegan solution. It’s so simple, so easy, we might overlook it. We might not believe it, but if we look into all the scientific and the physical evidence so far, we have to accept this organic vegan solution as the one and only to save our planet right now. Instead of spending more money on new technology, we even save money from having to buy meat and subsidize meat with our tax dollars. We simply cannot depend on green technology alone.

Now, there is also an invisible aspect to the reversal in the destruction. A compassionate person harms no one and, therefore, brings no harm upon himself. That is why in Buddhism, they say that the moment we drop the butcher’s knife, then we are protected, then we can become the Buddha, the saint. It’s really like that. We hear real stories about hospital patients who had a terminal sickness like cancer, turned vegetarian or vegan, and then the tumor disappeared, so operations were cancelled and doctors were very astonished. So, people turned vegans and the terminal cancer situation was gone and operations cancelled and the doctors were very surprised.

Because the vegan diet protects us from inside out, starting immediately, so that all kinds of calamities will avoid us, stay away from us. And on a bigger scale, our planet will also be healed. Just like an individual being healed by turning to a compassionate diet – like attracts like. The good, loving, compassionate energy will ward off the darkness that is looming toward us, that is next to us right now. We will, in short, have a paradise on Earth. If you have ever wondered what that might be like, we may soon live to see the day when all beings will truly live by your nation’s motto, that is “Unity in Diversity” – in oneness, understanding, caring, faith, and happiness. I invite everyone to share the hopeful vision that we will save the planet, and will make it a Heaven one.

Besides destroying our precious forests, livestock farms also contaminate or even completely kill our water systems.

They degrade once-fertile soil, they destroy our biodiversity, and they release vast amounts of extremely dangerous methane and nitrous oxide, and what you call hydrogen sulfide as well, which are heating up the planet now 100 times, 300 times more than carbon dioxide. So, please keep your airplane, keep your car, keep your train, keep your ship; leave them alone for the time being – just take out the meat from our diet. And stop blaming the CO2 for every problem of global warming on our planet. We are to be blamed. The meat industry is to be blamed. The meat industry is the one we have to focus on to stop, to abolish, to stop the climate change and to stop the waste of the forests and land, stop talking around the subject. Talk to the point: meat industry must stop.

Apart from destroying our planet, it is destroying our human quality. It is destroying our compassionate nature. It is destroying the spark of God, the part of God that we belong to. We must stop the livestock industry.

Stop the livestock industry - that would be the most effective way to halt global warming and restore our planet. It will save our precious forests, which takes decades to grow, and create more natural forests that we need to reduce global warming.
Most people would like to reduce their carbon footprint. What difference would it make if they change to a vegetarian or a vegan diet? A very big difference, Ben, big difference.

One 6-ounce beefsteak costs 16 times as much gasoline, or fossil fuel energy, as one vegan meal: one cup of broccoli, one cup of eggplant, 4 ounces of cauliflower and eight ounces of rice, to be exact, according to research. Sixteen times — 6 ounce beefsteak only, costs 16 times more than that whole vegan meal. Now, many scientists would thus describe meat as being hugely carbon intensive, including Dr. Pachauri, the chief of IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). If all the people in the world became veg, vegan, we would eliminate at least 50% of greenhouse gas emissions. Fifty percent, Ben, greenhouse gas emissions! But I know it’s more than that, karmically speaking as well. It would be significantly more than removing all the world’s transportation which is only 13.5 %. Really?

Yes. So, if we are vegan we don’t even need to worry about CO2 yet. We do worry – it’s better to have cleaner air – but CO2 by transportation and all that is not the grave urgency like methane gas and nitrous oxide and all the gases that are produced out of animal industry. From my calculations, from my inside knowledge, and also scientifically speaking, 80% of global warming would be stopped if we stopped the animal industry. The well-known study by Eshel and Martin at the University of Chicago found that being vegan saves more in emissions than switching to a hybrid car. Scientists from Japan calculated that not eating one kilogram of beef saved the equivalent of driving an average European car for 250 kilometers.

Can you imagine one kilogram of beef is equivalent to driving 250 kilometers and burning a 100-watt light bulb for 20 days non-stop?! So we should know where our problem lies. Now, a study by the Institute for Ecological Economy Research in Germany found that emissions from an animal-free vegan diet are 87% less than those of a meat-based diet, while emissions from an organic vegan diet are reduced by 94%. Again, as the top climatologist Dr. James Hansen said being veg is the single most effective thing a person can do to stop global warming; that’s without government even, without ado, without protocol, without any trouble.

If the goal is to be a truly carbon-free society, we should consider all the major sources of greenhouse gases emissions. You see, we are emitting greenhouse gases not just through the fumes from factories, houses, and cars, but also through the products that we choose to consume. Besides, CO2 is cancelled out by aerosols, which are released at the same time from burning fossil fuels. So it means that even though we have CO2, the CO2 also has been cancelled out by the aerosols at the same time. Even though aerosols are very detrimental to our health, they actually have a cooling effect that cancels out the CO2 heat in the atmosphere. So up to now, the climate warming heat is not from CO2 – is not from CO2. The warming climate problem is not from CO2, is not from carbon dioxide. I repeat, it’s not from carbon dioxide. It is from other sources, mainly methane.

At least 50% of total greenhouse gas emissions are coming from animal meat and dairy products. And it’s not I who said this; it’s all proven, researched, confirmed and published by the top scientists of the whole world.

If we only focus on the green energies, like solar panel, wind power, etc., it won’t have much of an effect, I’m so sorry to say. I have to tell you the truth because this is also my planet. Your island could be my residence at any time in the future. I might love your island, I might want to go there. So, I want to protect your island, I want to protect my planet, so I have to tell you everything, although I might offend somebody or I might not be very popular for doing this, but I have to tell you the truth because green energy is not an urgent task for us to handle right now, because green energy only tackles the effect of, maybe, aerosol or CO2, which is not the urgent issue of global warming, the producer.

The global warming effect comes from raising livestock, from animals. So if we continue on the green energy, then we don’t have much of an effect to stop global warming. Because their effectiveness will be cancelled out by the large amounts of greenhouse gases that we generate by consuming meat, and the meat industry. Besides the livestock methane that is responsible for a portion of 50% of greenhouse gas emissions – but 50% is still a low estimate, I would say 80% – there is also the burning of forests to make pasture land, to grow food for the animals, and making the chemical fertilizer and pollution to grow the feed, the transportation involved, the constant refrigeration involved, etc., etc. And all the medical effects, all the costs of the sickness of the people – billions, trillions of dollars goes into the treatment of the people for meat-related diseases.

And it’s not always even effective, it doesn’t always even cure people permanently or perfectly even. Even we spend so much money and people have to go through so much suffering, the diseases are not always completely cured, or in many cases, not at all. So people suffer, people die for nothing, also, because of the meat diet. So, to produce the meat for consumption, it costs us too much: it costs sorrow, it costs suffering, it costs trillions of dollars. All these add up to many more times greenhouse gas emissions than all the world’s transportation combined, and apparently, more than all the heavy industries and fossil fuel power stations combined even.

So, in order to call ourselves a low-carbon or carbon-free society, we must eliminate our meat consumption because that is the number one cause, we could say that is the only cause, for our climate change – that is, our meat consumption. This is in line with the recommendation of the world’s leading climate experts, like the Chair of the IPCC, Dr. Pachauri, who is a vegetarian himself for the environment’s sake. In fact, if we focus on shifting people to be vegetarian or vegan, it will save us much more money than green technology, and of course it’s much more effective. And I urge you, the government leaders, because our time is running out, we have to act on this now.

Please explain to your co-citizens this important truth and tell them we must work together to become animal-free consumers. We have a very short time to save our planet. We have a great planet to save. We have a great precious treasure – that is, our children – to save. And besides, the government and the people have nothing to lose by being vegan. For the environment, the absence of livestock will bring about much less pollution and less waste of water and food resources. For the citizens, there are perfectly nutritious, delicious alternatives to animal products nowadays, and, as we heard in the doctors’ lectures, the vegan diet is also the best for our children. It’s a win-win solution as stated by Dr. Pachauri, and necessary to save the planet.

Saving the world’s tropical forests, the lungs of the Earth, is one of the very important priorities, because when the tropical rainforests are destroyed, there are many frightening side effects. It’s not just the permanent changes to the world’s temperature, rainfall, and weather patterns which the forests regulate. It’s not just about the millions of people who might lose their livelihoods that depend on the forests. There is more to it than that. There is the extinction of plant and animal species that is 100 times faster than what is natural, and it ruins our ecosystems. And there’s also the rainforests themselves; this is important.

The rainforests themselves normally are our protectors, but as the climate gets warmer, instead of absorbing CO2 to protect our planet’s climate, they will be emitting back CO2 as well, and that will be harmful to us. By harming the rainforest, by destroying the planet by raising animals, we are turning our protector, which is the rainforest, into a harmful agent.

They will not be helping us, the rainforests. They will not be helping us, if the climate gets warmer, but instead, they will be worsening the global warming problem because they cannot absorb the CO2, but they will release all the CO2 that is already contained in their kingdom. Now, we need to look at the main reason why there is deforestation. Yes, we all know. There is a whole industry behind it in most of the cases, namely the livestock industry. For example, 91% of the Amazon deforested since 1970 was used for what? For grazing pasture, meaning that the number one reason for the deforestation of the Amazon – which is the greatest lung of our planet – is to raise cattle.

And the second biggest reason, also for cattle: they grow the soy to feed the cattle and, of course, other animals as well, by the way. NASA reported that once the forest is cleared for pasture or feed crops, the soil itself becomes a large source of emitting carbon – the soil itself even. So not only that, the fires that burn down the trees also release a lot of carbon dioxide, CO2. The Amazon rainforest alone contains more carbon dioxide than 10 years worth of all human-produced greenhouse gases. Plus, when we burn the forests, we release black carbon, which are particles of soot that trap 680 times the heat of the same amount of CO2. Now, blame whom? Don’t bother blaming CO2. (Yes.)

Especially because they are black – these soot from the burnt rainforest – they hold a lot of heat. According to researchers in Brazil, 60% of the black carbon measured at the Antarctic Peninsula came from burning the rainforest in Brazil for livestock raising. So, we have to put the blame, the finger on the right spot. I hope the leaders understand where to put their finger, not just talking around the subject and trying to avoid the burning spot, which is livestock raising, which is animal production.

How is the sun beneficial to our meditation practice?

If you sit in the sun to meditate, it's very, very, very good for your spiritual progress. It could increase hundreds of thousands or millions of spiritual points if you concentrate well, if you deserve it. But cover yourself, or you sit in the shade and with the sun nearby, is shining in, also good enough. Tune in to Supreme Master Television Tuesday, November 30 for the videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai titled “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe” on Between Master and Disciples.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe,” on Between Master and Disciples.

Any denomination – Catholic, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Islam, Buddhist – if they just sit in the sun and pray, they will get also the same, more or less 200,000 spiritual points per hour.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television Monday, December 6 for the videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai titled “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe” on Between Master and Disciples.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe,” on Between Master and Disciples.

During the videoconference with Supreme Master Television staff on October 3, 2010, Supreme Master Ching Hai revealed the practical function of wormholes.

It's like a portal that connects between different dimensions. If UFOs go, it's quicker through this way, like a universal highway, okay? – for material means only. For spiritual portal, we have to practice the Light and Sound.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television Monday, December 13 for the videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai titled “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe” on Between Master and Disciples.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe,” on Between Master and Disciples.

There are parallel universes, so that we can choose our action and choose the outcome. If we choose this, then it’s a different outcome, different future, for you. And if you choose that, then it’s a different future for you.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television Monday, December 20 for the videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai titled “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe” on Between Master and Disciples.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe,” on Between Master and Disciples.

How could we improve our techniques to travel further and discover more parts of universe?

Improve first moral standard and spiritual levels and then all will come. Just like in the Bible, it says, “Seek you first the Kingdom of God and all the things shall be added unto you.”

Tune in to Supreme Master Television Monday, December 27 for the videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai titled “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe” on Between Master and Disciples.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe,” on Between Master and Disciples.

If we practice spiritually, if we change our life into more morally fit, if we are more virtuous and more selfless, more spiritually elevated, then our destiny changes, even if it’s fixed.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television Monday, January 3 for the videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai titled “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe” on Between Master and Disciples.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe,” on Between Master and Disciples.

If we keep breaking Spiritual Blessing Lines and not making new ones, or lengthen or widen them, I don’t know if we have hope. We all have to work together to tell people, to let people know that it’s time to change.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television Monday, January 10 for the videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai titled “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe” on Between Master and Disciples.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “Revelations on the Magnanimous Sun and the Universe,” on Between Master and Disciples.
Animal industries are the number one killer of all killers on this planet. Forget about the war, forget terrorism, they are just small numbers compared to the meat industry. The meat industry is the number one killer, is the number one murderer, and a legal murderer – and we endorse it! We accept it!

This is all our wrongdoing, it’s all our fault. If the planet is to be gone forever, we cannot blame anything else, anyone else, except ourselves if we don’t do anything at all to change this. Furthermore, it’s not only the Amazon. NASA states that the single biggest direct cause of tropical deforestation is livestock grazing land.

The livestock sector is the single largest human use of land. We have only 30% of land that covers the Earth. The rest is 70% –it’s water, it’s ocean. We have only 30% of land, and of that precious 30%, one-third of it is used, not for our true survival, but for livestock pasture or growing tons of grains for animal feed – all to produce a few pieces of meat. And you swallow it in two seconds. And that few seconds will bring you tons of sicknesses, diseases and suffering, sorrow, for yourself also. Even if we don’t have compassion for the animals, please do have compassion for ourselves. Do not eat poison and continue to suffer more in the hospital with all kinds of treatment related to it. In fact, we are losing 55 square meters of rainforest for every beef hamburger patty. Every little beef hamburger patty, that costs 55 square meters. This is a pity, because we have better, more delicious, more nutritious, more healthy, and safer alternatives to hamburgers to nourish ourselves anyway. How can we, as very intelligent human beings, do this to ourselves? Not to talk about the cruelty that we committed to animals which degrades us to this level. I’m so sorry to have offended you, but I also take responsibility as a human being here on this planet for this – for all the things that I have not known before, for all the things that I’m doing with you, I have been doing with you, in this respect. So, please do forgive me for being straight, honest, and “just the facts.”

Supreme Master, is it true that there are links between industrial farming of animals and global warming? And what are the actual effects of climate change? Yes, yes, absolutely, Louise. The link from the livestock industry to global warming has been clearly established. In fact, earlier this year the Irish government even considered creating a cow tax in order to meet the European Union’s new strict climate goals. Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated in a report that the agricultural sector is the largest producer of greenhouse gases in the country. With livestock production accounting for 93% of Ireland's agriculture sector, Louise – livestock production in your country accounting for 93% of Ireland's agriculture sector – it is crucial that the animal-raising sector is addressed to stop global warming.

The world’s scientists fear that if we pass certain tipping points, the next stages of climate change would not only be fast but irreversible and catastrophic, Louise. So, there are already signs of this dangerous time approaching, through observations of lakes and elsewhere bubbling with methane gas that used to be stored safely below a frozen layer of the Earth.

No one knows when the day might be that enormous amounts are uncontrollably released, causing a sudden spike in temperature that could then catalyze runaway warming. That would be catastrophic for us, Louise. Over-devastating effects of climate change have already been occurring: the heat-reflecting Arctic ice is on its way to completely vanishing in a very near summer; rising sea levels and dozens of submerged or threatened islands;

oceanic regions that are lifeless with dead zones are becoming too acidic to be livable due to excessive levels of CO2; more frequent deadly wildfire; entire wildlife species going extinct 100 times faster than normal; more intense and destructive storms; disease-carrying mosquitoes spread by warming regions; disappearance of the world’s glaciers; drying or disappeared lakes and rivers by the tens of thousands and the spreading of deserts.

And as a consequence of these environmental impacts, 2 billion people are facing water shortages and 20 million people are in a desperate state – like refugees except with no official protection. Very sad things. All these situations are getting worse and worse and won't stop until we really change the way we live our life. So, what's to be done? The solution is quite easy: simply stop eating meat. Simply stop eating meat – that is the best solution. This is imperative now because of the perilous state of our planet and our limited time.

Stopping meat production will lower greenhouse gas emissions in the fastest possible way and halt the unspeakable environmental damages, ranging from climate change to land and water misuse, pollution, loss of wildlife and threats to human health. Each new scientific study finds that livestock production, this killing of animals for meat, bears increasingly more responsibility for the climate change crisis of our planet. In fact, the most recent calculations have concluded that livestock emits at least 51% of the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. And soon after this new report, researchers from NASA just announced that methane, the potent, greenhouse gas whose largest human-created source is the livestock industry, traps a hundred times more heat than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

This is an astonishing increased update from the previous number of 72 times. Until now, most studies used the fact that methane is 23 times more heat trapping than CO2, over 100 years, which gives a less accurate picture about methane in its actual life span. Therefore, the powerful methane is actually a greater cause of the warming than previously estimated. The good news is that methane dissipates from the atmosphere in approximately 12 years, whereas it takes carbon dioxide thousands of years to disappear.

So, if we want to make a rapid, effective difference now, we must stop the methane generation at its largest, original source - that is, the livestock industry. The livestock industry is also the top source of another, major greenhouse gas – nitrous oxide. Sixty-five percent of all human-made nitrous oxide is found in the manure and fertilizer for feed crops, which traps a hugely damaging 289 times more heat over a 20-year period. Next, the livestock sector is the single largest human use of land, and the top driving force behind rainforest destruction. In the Amazon alone, over 90% of the deforested land since 1970 was for livestock.

Trees are vital to help absorb greenhouse gases, but trees, when they are burned, also release, rather than absorb, greenhouse gases, thus making the problem worse. Forest burning for making pasture is also a major source of black carbon, which is soot, particles capable of trapping 2,000 times more heat than CO2. Oh, God! Believe this? The super hot particles end up on the world’s ice caps and accelerate their melting.

The livestock industry causes a large part of the world’s soil erosion. It is a leading driver of desertification, biodiversity loss, and water waste, and water pollution – despite water becoming scarcer each day due to global warming.

Moreover, the livestock sector inefficiently drains our fossil fuel and food grain resources. In short, we throw away 12 times more grain, at least 10 times more water, and 8 times more fossil fuel energy to produce a portion of beef compared to a nutritionally similar or even greater amount of vegan food. By the way, fishing is also horrendously wasteful and murderous. A major study predicts that all fished animals will be 90% gone by 2050 due to overfishing and over-wasting bycatch.

It means those fish and other marine lives that they don’t need, but while catching other fish, they kill them as well, by the billions. Moreover, it is such an alarming picture when we think about the billions of animals killed each year for so-called food: 55 billion, which is not even counting fish and other species! That is 8 times more innocent beings murdered each year than there are people on the Earth.

How can our planet and our conscience support such unsustainable, damaging, and criminal practice? And all for a piece of dead flesh every day, which we now know isn’t even healthy and, in fact, kills us. I pray that our world’s leaders will take swift actions to ban the destructive meat production and, instead, use subsidies for organic vegan farming which helps absorb emissions. Then, we can have an immediate effect on climate change and have more time to develop and perfect our green technology to address CO2. I call upon the media to help as well, and thank you and the Irish Dog Journal for their part.

And, most important, individuals must turn to the planet-saving, organic vegan lifestyle, because the dangers are mounting and time is urgent. If every one of us would only switch now, we would ensure a future for our children and generations to come.
: Supreme Master, here in Ireland, we are very concerned about our beautiful world and sincerely strive to do our bit to conserve it, and indeed to preserve the planet. What do you feel are the best ways that we can go about doing this, on an individual basis?

It’s like everywhere, Louise. But first of all, I commend Ireland for her leadership in improving our world, as the first country in Europe to implement a smoking ban in workplaces, and the Irish government is working hard to promote organic farming. Bravo. A lot of work must be done still to have a beautiful and healthy planet. We have to stop the planetary climate change, stop depleting our water supplies, stop deforestation, desertification, ocean pollution, river pollution, species extinction, etc., etc.

But all these can be accomplished to a vast degree and very quickly by individuals changing to an organic vegan diet. And the leading voices in global warming, like former US Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mr. Al Gore and UK climate expert and economist Lord Nicholas Stern have also made statements that being vegetarian for the environment is important. As an individual, by choosing the organic vegan diet, we will save 1.5 tons of carbon emissions per year, which is more than the savings from driving a hybrid car for the whole year; we will save 5 to 10 times the amount of grains; and by not eating just one pound of beef, we save more water than by not showering daily for 6 months to a whole year!

Imagine! Yes. So, as a whole, we can shift our food system to organic – not to an “organic” animal system. My God! They use “organic” for everything. We have to switch to organic vegan diet because the “organic” animal system could even cause more emissions than the conventional way. For example, the Rodale Institute has found that 40% of the CO2 in the air can be absorbed if all the tillable land on the planet were organic vegan. So, in fact, one study calculated that the organic vegan diet saves 94%, Louise, of the greenhouse gas emissions per person per year!

That’s all we have to do, switch to organic vegan, 94% is saved per person and the little 6% nature can eat it up in no time. Because nature is also made to protect us, but we just overload nature. Moreover, if all the people in the world are veg, it would preserve the lives of over a billion fellow human beings suffering from hunger. There would be no more climate refugees, Louise. The Earth would heal itself and there would be more than enough for all the children to grow in health and safety. I am sure that this day will come Louise, very soon, as humankind joins hands to make it happen, just like we do now. Please have hope, Louise, and pray. (I do.)

I will ask the next question on behalf of Mr. Danyo Koami Hagbalé who is Chief Division Supervisor of Prefectures and Regions at the Ministry of Territorial Administration, and the question is: Charcoal is an energy source regularly used in Africa, mostly in household activities because it is cheaper compared to gas. However, its use has caused many parks to be deforested and not reforested, while the burning of charcoal also increases air pollution. Please, Master, could you give us advice about other energy sources that would be affordable and could help us avoid deforestation and air pollution?

Hallo, Monsieur Chief Danyo. Yes, I understand, and I am glad people such as yourself are concerned about preserving our forests. We must protect the trees as much as we can. According to the environmental organization Greenpeace, 8% of the Earth's forest-related carbon is stored in the vast rainforests of the Congo River Basin in Central Africa. Scientists predict that continued deforestation of the Congo will release the same amount of CO2 as the United Kingdom emitted over the last 60 years! Imagine that. So, it is important to preserve the forest while we still can because it helps in addressing global warming.

Another alternative that could be used to avoid deforestation is something called green charcoal, or biochar, which has been introduced in Senegal. This is made from agricultural waste products, is affordable and prevents deforestation. It also absorbs CO2 as well, which is why climate scientists support the use of it. It absorbs the CO2 very well. So this is one alternative. And, of course, if possible you can use a sustainable energy alternative such as a solar oven cooker, which is safer and causes no air pollution at all. So, these are just some examples of affordable energy sources we can try and share with one another. I’m sure there are more. You can do some internet research to see any better solution up to date.

But the most important and most urgent, once again, is the veg diet. V-E-G diet. This is the good deed that you can do to help save the planet as a whole, because this will most quickly reduce global warming. And it’s not just that. Truly, being veg is not just about reducing greenhouse gases, it is about stopping the suffering of the animals and their cruel inhuman mistreatment. We have to be a noble species. We have to be noble human beings. This is what it is all about. We have to stop inhumane treatment of animals.

And if we, in Africa, join together to be veg, we will be blessed by all the Heavens. I’m totally in support of the compassionate vegetarian solution that you lovingly propose. Could you explain further: is the organic vegan lifestyle the most effective solution to save the planet, and also a vision of a noble lifestyle in the future, when Earth merges with other enlightened beings in the galaxy? I’m glad to hear that you support the vegan solution. It is a true solution, yes, and it is the most effective way to save the planet. The reason is based on the significant planet-cooling effect of removing methane from the atmosphere, which happens when we switch to the organic vegan diet. And, besides removing the harmful methane emissions, organic tilling methods can actually store 40% of the carbon back into the soil. So to be veg is a way to not only eliminate significant emissions, but to absorb even more carbon from the atmosphere. The organic approach also does not apply harmful chemicals like the ones used for conventional farming. This is very reassuring for anyone who has children, especially as a recent study showed that young persons are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of pesticides. So, the organic vegan diet is multifold beneficial. Forests also play a tremendous role in absorbing CO2. For example, the forests in the Pacific Northwest region of the US are able to absorb half of all the emissions of the state of Oregon, USA. So we should protect our forests as well, especially from clearing for cattle grazing and for animal-feed growing, because these activities even add back many times more greenhouse gases. Most of the deforestation in our world is due to animal raising, taking up a staggering one-third of the entire land area on the globe! Now, you ask about a vision of Earth merging with others in the galaxy – that’s a big vision. We only need to look at our own neighboring planets, Mars and Venus, to see that the vision is bleak, is disastrous, ##if we don’t make the right choice, the right change now. Any planetary scientist knows that Mars and Venus went through dramatic atmospheric changes in the past, similar to what we have begun to experience right now. Long ago, Mars and Venus were once a lot like our planet – they had water, life, and people similar to us - but the inhabitants of Mars and Venus destroyed their respective planetary homes because they raised too much livestock, and the gases released triggered an irreversible greenhouse gas effect, plus poisonous hydrogen sulfide in the case of Mars. So, that’s why we see only the traces of the landforms and oceans that once used to be there. And on Venus, the atmosphere is so heated and choked up with CO2 – carbon dioxide – scientists thus called it “runaway global warming” and say this is what the future of Earth might be like. So, let’s not end up like either Mars or Venus, our neighboring planets. Also, once we stop the killing, then we will generate a more loving, kind, and inviting atmosphere for other noble beings in the galaxy to perhaps join us or be in contact with us. But, regardless of the contact with other beings, humanity must uphold a gentler, higher standard for the Earth to continue supporting life. This greater virtue is absolutely necessary for the conscience to be at peace. So, beyond the physical consideration of things like methane gas and toxic chemicals, there is also the spiritual consequence of killing. Killing is stealing life, the most precious gift to any physical being. Animals are killed for meat consumption in the cruelest ways imaginable. That makes us humans the cruelest beings on the planet. We are the cruelest beings on the planet. I don’t know if we should call ourselves civilized, great beings. The degrading practice of killing must stop. The killing must stop and we replace it by virtuous ways of life that are also peaceful and kind. If all of humanity turns to such a standard, this world will be transformed indeed, heralding a true Golden Age of harmony and happiness for all beings. Let’s pray that it will be so.
The United Nations has also recognized livestock as inflicting some of the biggest damage to our dwindling water supplies. Just to give you an idea of the scale: one dairy farm alone with 2,500 cows produces as much solid waste as a city with over 400,000 residents.

This waste, which sometimes contains bacterial contaminants such as E. coli, ends up in waterways that affect drinking water and aquatic life. Along with the waste are chemical fertilizers runoff used on crops fed to animals which have been documented by scientists to cause dead zones in the ocean as well as toxic algae outbreaks, those green moss that grow in the water.

Making all of this worse is the fact that animal waste is largely unregulated - meaning that there is nothing to stop these events of contamination that can cause illnesses or even death for massive numbers of animals and people. Just talking about financial saving alone, scientists in the Netherlands found that of the estimated US$40 trillion needed to stop global warming, a full 80% of this amount would be saved with the vegan diet! That’s a saving of US$32 trillion for the simple step of turning away from the meat to eating plant-based goods.

According to a recent announcement by the United Nations, the number of people going hungry across the world in 2009, this year, has now officially exceeded 1 billion. This is due in part to the steeply rising food costs that are part of our global economic crisis. However, this is directly related to meat consumption. Because if all the grains fed to livestock animals were grown for human consumption instead, then the amounts of food harvested for humans would be higher and prices lower. Logically, no? Moreover, the global warming caused by livestock has resulted in many instances of documented extreme weather and drought, leading to devastating crop losses and also driving food prices sky high.

So, if everyone turns to the plant-based diet, we have more food immediately and an easing of conditions like drought and flooding, with abundant harvests and food supplies quickly restored. In fact, the head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Mr. Yves de Boer, already stated in June 2008 that “the best solution would be for us all to become vegetarians.” He meant vegans, because vegetarians mean people still drink milk and related dairy products. That means we still have to keep a large amount, maybe less large but still a large amount, of cattle, and that will contribute to global warming and further food crisis and security.

You mention also the moral crises of our world and wonder if there is any connection to our food choices? You can guess the answer to that, right? Yes, there is, sir, there is. This is the other reason we must become vegan. We have to stop the cruelty, the inhumane and below-human standard treatment of all the animals that come here to bless our world with their uniqueness and love. I mentioned before that 55 billion animals are murdered every year, legally for consumption. This is not even counting the billions of fish! Can we imagine?

There is no bigger moral crisis than the one that is created by the mass massacring of sweet, innocent, living beings for our pleasure when we have other choices. Such mass murder is a crime of global proportions. And this killing energy in turn breeds and strengthens other negative energy, which is degrading our society and destroying our world.

So, to return ourselves and our world to a purer state, one where all beings can feel safe, protected and loved, and where all humans walk the dignified way of the children of God, we have to stop the killing of innocent animals. Stop it now. Stop it now and turn to the merciful way of life, the natural way of life that God intended us to live, which is the vegan diet. This will restore the conscience of every person who adopts such a lifestyle as well as the planet itself. If the conscience is clear, we have no more moral crisis, sir.

We have peace. We have harmony. We will have abundance. So please, Mr. Škvaril, join in this peace- and planet-building purpose.

We still have a lot of work to do, sir, and not much time. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that livestock raising is the single largest human use of land, the biggest source of water pollution, the number one cause of biodiversity loss, and the top producer of human-caused methane and nitrous oxide.

In fact, the United Nations has named livestock as one of the biggest environmental problems of our time with 90% of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest since 1970 being for cattle and growing animal feed. Lush forests are being turned into barren fields at a rate of 36 football fields per minute – 36 football fields per minute! – of rainforest are being destroyed as we are speaking. If you can imagine how big that is, how detrimental that is to our world... the rainforest is the lung of our planet; it’s the health of our co-citizens. And as the trees are felled and plants become more exposed and dry, they even emit carbon dioxide rather than absorb it. This is another danger that is attacking us.

In which way a vegetarian diet has an influence in the spiritual life of people? Hallo, Ms. Bracesco. Yes. Being veg is beneficial for any kind of spiritual advancement. In fact, all the wise, ancient teachings of sages since time immemorial have highlighted the importance of a benevolent plant-based diet. It is a fundamental requirement of a spiritual practitioner. The concept behind forgoing animal products is ahimsa – meaning nonviolence. By partaking of a vegan diet, we also avoid the bad retribution of killing and thus it will not burden and obstruct our spiritual journey. I’m sure you are familiar with this principle, Ms. Bracesco, in your work to save and protect the animals. Being vegan simply means that we protect all the animals.

This killing of other beings must be stopped for humanity to evolve as a civilization. The benefits of doing so are manifold. Besides the restoration of health, biodiversity will be allowed to thrive, planet equilibrium restored, along with the easing of our own conscience and our capacity for elevated consciousness. All these are the fruits of a more compassionate diet. This loving attitude also creates a more peaceful atmosphere that brings greater comfort to all beings.

At peace with ourselves in the knowledge that we did not cause anguish or pain to our fellow animal brethren, we will have the inner tranquility to pursue our spiritual endeavors wholeheartedly. Before we expect the lion to lay down peacefully with the lamb, we humans must do it first. As long as the humans cannot even lay down peacefully with the lamb, causing all the anguish, fear, sorrow, oppression to weaker beings and defenseless animals, we cannot realize this heavenly dream as the lion will lie beside the lamb. So we must return to our compassionate self. We must return to our glorious status as the children of God. We have to bring Heaven to Earth.

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