Organic Farming Restores the Healthy Balance of the Planet - compilation of excerpts from Supreme Master Ching Hai's lectures Part 3
Organic Farming Restores the Healthy Balance of the Planet - compilation of excerpts from Supreme Master Ching Hai's le…
I think if you have a garden, you should plant more fruit trees and food. Make it become a habit. Food that is easy to plant, short term harvest, and plenty of vitamins and nutrition already.
You try to plant those vegetables that bear fruits, like beans, pumpkins and stuff, cucumbers – those things that bear fruit and are simple, easy. So it becomes a habit, and then you will eat your own produce and it’s also good for the time being because we’re short of food everywhere. It’s good to be independent. In case something happens, you will have sufficient food for yourself. Plant a lot of fruit trees wherever you can – different seasons, okay? – and those vegetables that are easy to harvest and quick and do not take too much water.
Right now we still have water, but then you plant also all kinds… what’s simple. Corn and all that takes too long, but beans you can eat and live well with it. It’s a vegetable as well as a protein provider in one. For example, beans – any kind of beans – and all kinds of fruits – fruit trees that give you fruits – and if you don’t eat it enough, you make it into, like, jam or pickled fruits. Chutney.
You make chutney. You make something and put it in a jar or deep-freeze, something like that, or like pickles, and it lasts long. Then you can eat them when the season is out. It’s better to eat your own produce. God says in the Bible that you should sweat, yourself, for your food. That’s why one of the happiest marriages is for the farmers, according to research. It’s serious, you plant your food. Plant whatever’s easy, simple but plentiful of nutrition and always easy and always can plant again and again.
Of course, you can plant a variety, but to be sure concentrate on those that have protein and fiber…and vegetables at the same time, like beans and fruit. Beans are easy to plant. If you have a fence, you just put your finger in the ground and put a bean and then it will grow in no time, and a lot of beans will come out – and you eat some and you leave some for the next planting season; and very cheap, easy to plant. You don’t even need to take care much. I remember I planted some beans when I was in Germany. I just put them around the fence and they grew so much. Yes, so easy, easy. They grow so fast. I did not remember I had to water them. I did not; it just came out. And tomatoes and all that grow in abundance, especially if you have trees.
Of course, when you plant trees there are also leaves falling down in the fall, and you rake them together, you put them in a hole that you dig in the ground – some leaves and some earth, some leaves and some earth, like that – and after a while it becomes beautiful compost. And then you just put it to your use again, planting vegetables. Or if you have to cut grasses then you use the grass also. And your waste of vegetables, the peel and the old leaves and whatever, you put them all together in there and it becomes a very, very useful compost. Try to be independent from now on. Do not complain about food shortages and food expenses: do it yourself. Even if you have a balcony, you can plant it. From now on, try to use useful trees and plants together with beauty.
For example, the cherry trees, they are so beautifully flowering in season. And apple trees – also beautiful flowers. All kinds are like that. And on your balcony, instead of planting something for fun, you can plant it for eating as well. I have a little pot like this and it’s a tangerine, My God, he keeps growing, growing, growing! So many tangerines in such a small tree about this size. So much! So much! Hundreds of them! And so beautiful. Just in a pot.
And nowadays, maybe you could even buy fertilizer if you don’t want to make compost or if you don’t have. Buy those organic fertilizers. They make it very simple, easy and it doesn’t smell that bad or anything. So you can even plant it on your balcony. Make it a habit, okay? Make it a habit. Don’t wait. Don’t wait until you don’t have food. Do it now. Even if the world goes back to normal and has food, at least you’ll always have your food. No harm, no? It takes a few minutes to do these things, even half an hour a day, then you have plenty on your balcony. Your favorite food, simple ones. Not like potatoes and all that on the balcony, please! Salads or herbs, just experiment and have fun. Have fun.
Read some books on how to plant or go to the supermarket. On every packet they tell you what year or what month of the year to plant and from when to when they will grow and harvest so you know the timing of it. If you don’t want it too long, three months, you pick those with two months, two weeks or three weeks. It’s fun to grown your own vegetables. Even growing salad on the balcony is plenty for you to eat. You don’t eat salads every day so you just grow some and then it lasts you at least a week or a month. And then you plant another one. Take turns like that and you will always have something to eat. So it’s a better way to be independent. Or if you have a flat roof, you plant up there. You don’t plant everywhere but you can use some plastic box or something, or ceramic box and fill it with earth, fill your compost and just keep planting, planting – very fun. You go out and see the whole roof is green and edible – beautiful. It’s really beautiful. I don’t have much time, otherwise I like to plant things myself. It’s very, very nice.
You can use your hand, magic hand, like every day turn the empty plot into something useful and nutritious. Even if you don’t have much land, sometimes just a little bit of garden, you can do it and take turns – you see? – and plant it and then pick it and plant another one. If you don’t eat right away, you can pickle it and save it in the cellar or something, or put it in a cold area. In Europe, almost everywhere is cold so don’t even need a fridge.##You put outside. I also tell Miaoli people to do that. They are planting something and I have eaten some of their stuff for the first time. Before, we planted but the worms ate them and now they are doing something so the worms don’t come. There are some plants you can mix together with your plants to repel those insects or something if you don’t want them.
Mongolia, as with the rest of the world, is experiencing more severe weather, a more fatal pattern of climate change due to the effects of global warming. So you can see in Mongolia droughts, harsher winters, more frequency of dust storms and blizzards. With livestock raising, we deplete Mongolians’ already limited natural resources and even put Mongolia more in danger of desertification. Instead of grazing animals, we can begin planting organic vegetables, which are more healthy to everyone. We have to choose a vegetarian diet over animal breeding.
If more and more people choose organic farming as well, we help each other to the best possible of our ability and the most gentle way for all beings and the Earth. From then, we can share food since we have so much food. We have an abundance of food, more than enough for everyone without even having to buy it, and we save time and other resources to go toward other things, like ending disease and helping those in need. By not subsidizing the meat diet, we save trillions of US dollars per year in tax. We save a lot of suffering from meat-related illness. We save a lot of food to share with all the hungry in the world, so our conscience will never have to wake up in the middle of the night and bite us anymore.
We can do that through such a method as hydroponics. You can even plant and harvest indoors, so we can do it also by ourselves. There’s no need for, even, farmers; if we have a little garden, we can plant it ourselves. Or if we have a balcony we can even plant it in water. We must start now so that you can have your own vegetables. It’s very easy. If you just have a little pot even, on the balcony, the size you want, and you just sow some seeds in it. A few days later, you already have some vegetables. Salad, for example Some are grown in three days or one week or two weeks, and you can always take turns to grow it again. And in the garden, it grows quicker. In the old time, if we look into the Mongolian history, the people of Mongolia did not eat so much meat, then we should be convinced that the meatless diet sustained our ancestry, and still can sustain us. And nowadays, even evidently through medical and scientific research, that vegetarian diet is absolutely healthy. It’s just people don’t know about this and don’t have time to do research, so we have to inform them. Please do inform your people. We are doing that, but we need your help. We cannot do everything, even though we have Association members everywhere. But, it’s not like the whole planet is my Association member, is it? So, we need your help. We need everybody’s help. We need all the help from the government.
What are the benefits of organic vegan farming, and in what ways can MPs (Members of Parliament) and the government push forward to boost this sector?
There are so many benefits from organic vegan farming, as well as many benefiting parties. First, for the farmers, organic vegan farming is productive, saving 37% more energy and even more water than conventional farming methods. Next, there are environmental benefits, like, the topsoil stays and proves better at withstanding floods and hurricanes. Wildlife and ecosystems also win. According to the largest study done on organic farming in the UK, your country, compared to conventional farms, organic farms contained 85% more plant species, with 71% taller and thicker hedges, and a healthy return of native animals across the species.
Furthermore, organic vegan farming will halt the runoff of chemical fertilizers that have created monstrous dead zones in the ocean. Organic soil matter also absorbs CO2 so effectively that the Rodale Institute calls organic vegan farming a powerful strategy to reduce global warming, by up to 40% of all CO2 emissions now in the atmosphere. Imagine? Then we will be clear of CO2.
Otherwise, it will stay here for thousands of years and continue to heat our planet. Finally, we all benefit from better health because it’s free of toxins and abundant in nutrients, without genetic modification and cancer-causing pesticides. In contrast to animal products – which are known to cause cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, etc. – organically farmed fruits and vegetables contain abundant nutrients that help us to avoid all these modern conditions. Surely organic vegan food is the only food we should feel safe and would feel safe and will feel safe with. In fact, we will feel it’s the safest food to give to our children, the best food to give to our children.
The MPs (Members of Parliament) and the government can support this organic vegan farming through subsidies. They can also redirect the funds away from the meat industries and instead towards encouraging citizens to plant, to buy, and to choose organic vegan food. And when they do, we will soon have a lot of healthy, happy, productive people, a restored green environment, and minimum climate mitigation costs – something all governments can look forward to and gain the enthusiastic support of all citizens.
I am glad to see you. I am chairman of one of Korea’s biggest organic farmers’ group. To adopt a vegetarian diet, I think an essential step is to avoid pesticide and chemical fertilizer. I hope to see organic farming and the vegetarian diet boom in Korea. If it happens, I suppose I will have to work more. How does organic farming contribute to global warming? What mindset should organic farmers work with and what products should consumers have? Organic farming produces a less bountiful harvest. Could you say a few words about the government supporting the crop yield reduction or consumers’ role? Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you for your question, Mr. Lee. Actually, it has been found that a large scale change to organic farming could feed the world. Research in Denmark and elsewhere has shown larger yields from organic farming on land that was previously underutilized. The producing of less harvests that you mentioned may be from fields that were previously cultivated with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, or trampled by livestock for a prolonged period of time.
These can show a drop in crop yields when switching to organic farming, but that is only initially because the yields are shown to increase again over time. In fact, the large yields produced by conventional farming are taken at the expense of the soil, of our health, and of the environment. And these enormous single crops, such as soy, are mostly produced to feed animals for meat production, not for humans’ consumption.
In Africa, the United Nations Environment Program did a study in which they found crop yields were doubled when the small farmers used organic farming methods. In this case, since the organic practices such as composting and rotating crops improve the soil – make it healthier – instead of buying fertilizers and pesticides, the organic farmers can use their money to buy better seeds. I have said before that governments should also subsidize organic farmers until there is enough volume of demand to naturally sustain good yields. Another research in the US found that organic farming methods could be used to triple farm yields.
One of the main factors in enabling the high yields was that the farmers were planting legumes, like beans or soya beans, as cover crops between growing seasons, which fixed enough natural nitrogen in the soil to ensure high crop yields. In terms of global warming, many practices that come from organic farming remove carbon from the atmosphere. Even with climate change and soil variations around the world, recent studies have verified that organic agriculture, if practiced on the planet’s 3.5 billion tillable acres, could sequester nearly 40% of current CO2 emissions.
So, Mr. Lee, please continue what you're doing to spread the benefits of organic farming and encourage and train more organic farmers. I dream of a day when we need not worry what we are feeding our children, whether it has chemicals, it has harmful substances, or is unnatural in any way which is harmful to the health of us and of our children. Organic farming is the way to go. It helps to maintain our robust health and reduce global warming. Thank you for what you're doing, sir.
It’s nice to see you. I am an environmentalist, Park Byung Sang.
I agree that it’s really urgent to inform consumers about vegetarianism in order to stop climate change. However, I believe the vegetarian diet would only help stop global warming when we have organic and seasonal locally grown vegetables. What do you think about the export competition of agricultural products that excessively consume petroleum? Thank you.
Yes, thank you also, Dr. Park. I definitely agree with you that it is important to eat from local organic vegan products. That is the best for our health and for our planet. But remarkably, eating vegan, and especially organic vegan, represents such an incredible savings for the planet that eating local is not really as important. But, of course, the food that is grown nearby is better and fresher all the time – that, we should choose, if we can.
A study conducted recently in Germany showed that the emissions of a meat eater over a one year period were equivalent to driving a mid-sized car 4758 kilometers, like almost 3000 miles per year. By contrast, a vegetarian diet was found to reduce these emissions by half. Moreover an animal-free vegan diet produced less than one seventh the greenhouse gases, representing an emissions savings of 86% by being vegan. But if you are an organic vegan person, then your diet was calculated at 94% less emissions. So we save 94% of the pollution for the planet. While we, of course, want to minimize emissions to be green overall, they are not as much compared to the heat-trapping effects of greenhouse gases caused by the meat industry itself. So please, just be vegan, plant organic, and save the planet. Thank you, sir, Dr. Park.
Just be an organic vegan, then you reduce 94% emissions of pollution for the planet – 94%! So we could still drive our car until we have better cars, we could still fly our airplane until we develop a better technology. Just be vegan, everything else stays almost the same until we can invent something better. ##And we are safe. If we are all vegans, the planet is saved and our lives will be saved, our generations in the future will be saved. Thank you, sir, thank you, everyone. Please be vegan, organic vegan.
I want to report that the Shanxi provincial government wholeheartedly approves of organic farming. Fellow initiates have already cultivated 140 acres of land there. It is also very successful. That’s great! That’s a poor county. Their provincial government considers this to be a key initiative. That’s great! Good. If there is a water shortage, you can plant more beans or fruits. Beans are very easy to grow. They grow very fast, right? And they don’t need that much water, right? They can grow without water. In Âu Lạc (Vietnam), they grow beans without water. In arid areas, they always plant beans. You can learn how to grow things by watching TV, Supreme Master TV. It teaches us how to plant vegetables. In Âu Lạc (Vietnam), they grow beans without water. The harvest is very good and they can be sold at a good price. That’s great. Good. You can grow and sell them yourselves. Good.
The government is very good. The government is helping the farmers. That’s great. (Yes.) That’s most important: that they support organic farming.
Very good. The soil is very fertile. Wonderful. They have good blessed rewards. There is an abandoned school next to the farm. They are planning to rent it to promote organic farming nationwide. They already have all the know-how. Congratulations.
I have asked people here to plant things themselves.
Anyone with a small plot of land or a yard in the back or in the front of the house can grow vegetables instead of grass. It’s also very green and looks nice and you can eat them. If you have extra, you can sell them or give them to your neighbors and friends and advocate the plant-based diet at the same time. Set an example for them, “You see, I planted these. They grow up.” It’s very easy to grow. Even when I was in elementary school, I grew tomatoes. I grew tomatoes when I was young. They had very good yields. It’s very simple. Later, after I got married, I also planted a lot of things that are easy to grow, such as cilantro, tomatoes, mint, etc. Mint, the kind that is easy to plant, grew very well. It was very easy for me to grow it. My husband also helped me. He collected leaves and trimmed grass and put them in a small hole in the yard for me.
Then, when I was planting vegetables, I used that as fertilizer. We didn’t purchase fertilizers from outside at all; they were all from our own trees, dried branches, leaves, and grass. Every time we cut grass, we left it there. All trimmed leaves from our yard were put there. Then they became compost. They grew so fast… so fast that we couldn’t finish eating them. I used to invite monks to come to eat the vegetables. I also grew flowers. They grew so fast. The few Buddha statues of mine had new flowers every day, because I had too many flowers. I changed new flowers for them every day. I grew different kinds of flowers. Okay, continue doing it. Yes. Congratulations. Very good. (Thank you.)
What do you propose for livestock farmers about changing their activity without affecting their livelihood, Master? That’s a good question. That’s a good question, concerning question and, of course, it’s a very right question. The livestock farmers can easily change to something like organic vegan farming which will reduce 40% of the CO2 that exists on our planet right now. If all people, all the farmers, and all the arable land on our planet turn to vegan farming method, then first, immediately, 40% of the CO2 will be absorbed by the farming method alone already – 40% of it. They already have the land already readily available, and to switch to organic farming will restore the health of the soil which has been depleted by conventional growing practices.
Studies have even shown that organic faming methods, besides using less energy and reducing carbon emissions, are more financially profitable than conventional ones. With the world food shortage continuing to worsen, more people are going hungry every day, so if we just stop the animal raising practices and turn instead to growing organic vegan food for humans, everyone in the world will benefit and we can save our planet. If we don’t feed all the corn and all the cereals and vegetables to the animals, all the food that we produce right now could feed two billion people already. So, there’s even no worry about a food shortage, and then we have a better future, a better conscience; and our planet will have a bright future if everyone turns to organic vegetarian diet and organic vegan farming.
The Irish Department of Agriculture reports an 80% rise in the number of new applicants applying to convert to organic production. How does organic farming benefit the environment and our health?
I am so happy for your country. Congratulations! You have good government, Ben. It’s a nice statistic.
Truly enlightened government. It’s something positive for a change. Yes. I mean, my God, how many countries do this? Ireland is the first one in the region to ban smoking. That’s right, yes! We remember that. And now it seems like it’s the first country to encourage organic farming. You see, it doesn’t just happen from nowhere. It is your government who does this. I remember your government, the Minister of Agriculture, he wrote to all the farmers asking them to consider the organic farming method. Is that right, Ben? Yes! That’s right, yes.
Bless him, bless him, bless your country. I am so glad to hear of this good news for Ireland, and I hope that many other countries follow suit. Yes, so do we all. If you can, please convey – please don’t forget, maybe you can print it out please – my heartfelt thanks to your government’s bright leadership and the Irish people who support it, especially the smart, responsible, organic farmers as well.
I want them to know my appreciation. Could you please print that? We will, we’ll pass that on, absolutely. Yes. People who do good things deserve some feedback so that they know that they are appreciated.
Every one of us is the same, right? Yes. We want to know that we’re doing the things that are pleasing to people and that is very good to hear that. Organic vegan farming is what should be promoted, actually. The so-called organic farming of animals is still cruel and unhealthy and unjust to both animal and human. What I mean is organic vegan farming vegetables, yes? Yes. This one benefits our health because it avoids hundreds of pesticides, as well as insecticide residues in our food, the antibiotics, the unnatural additives which have been linked to countless diseases.
Organic farming absorbs CO2 as well. Compared to animal products, organically farmed fruits and vegetables contain high levels of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which protect us from cancer. Moreover, they taste better – everyone will tell us that. For the environment, organic vegan farming protects and even enriches the soil, helps to preserve wildlife habitat, creates much less pollution. The Rodale Institute found that it even helps to overcome greenhouse gases by absorbing 40% of carbon dioxide in the soil if it is practiced worldwide. Forty percent is absorbed already! We don’t need to wait even for solar technology or anything else. We have 40% CO2 absorbed by organic vegan practices – I mean vegetables, yes. That is 1,000 pounds of carbon per acre absorbed and stored. Isn’t that good, Ben? That’s brilliant. That’s incredible. Yes, incredible. So, for our health and for the planet, organic vegan/vegetarian farming is the solution. Well, “vegan” means “vegetarian” already, just to over-emphasize.
Dear Supreme Master Ching Hai, what is the farmer’s role, especially small farmers in poor countries, in this entire spiritual and ecological movement concerning the vegan society? Can we help them so that their life will be more prosperous through this movement? Thank you. Thank you, Madam, for your time and your concern.
Yes, the small farmers have an important role to play. You’re right to be concerned and want to help them, especially during this urgent time and in the future. They have a role in the veg trend to feed the world with nutritious and sustainable plant-based food. And wherever possible, all farmers should become organic vegan farmers to help restore the planet to a healthy balance, while improving people’s health and helping to stop the suffering of both humans and animals. I pray this will be the multifold, noble role of all the farmers of the world. The climate scientists are advising us that we must cut our meat consumption if we want to save the planet.
Because the animal farms are too inefficient, too costly, depleting natural resources, polluting the environment, creating huge medical costs, water shortage, world hunger, and conflicts. In contrast to animal raising, growing organic vegetables, fruits and legumes yields more and better nutrition, is harmonious for humans, animals, and the environment, and is more profitable. Organically farmed soil is also healthy and even absorbs a lot of the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. In fact, if tillable land was globally used for organic farming, it would absorb 40% of all greenhouse gases, at least. Can you imagine? Forty percent would be absorbed by the organic farming method, then we have another 50% that would be cut off by abolishing the animal industry. Then our planet will be healthy. Very simple, logical, scientific and quick. Contrary to some beliefs, organic farming is quite profitable, and especially for small farmers.
We have examples everywhere and we have shown some of these examples on Supreme Master Television, where the farmers just sprinkle the seeds on the land. That’s it. No water needed, no fertilizer needed, not much work to do even. They just sit there and wait for the rain to come – or even not rain much – then they will harvest, and harvest in abundance. Now, we have also multiple studies in the United States, India, and New Zealand.
They all have confirmed this, that some of the reasons for the greater profits are that the production costs are lower than conventional farming. There are more crop varieties that could be rotated, such as corn, soybean and alfalfa. Also, the organic system is naturally more resistant to drought than conventional farm systems. In the United States, crop yields were at least the same and even up to three times higher than normal after the switch to organic, vegetable farming. Can you imagine? We harvest three times more on the same piece of land if we do organic farming. At the same time, the environment is more protected, the produce is healthier and tastier. The good news is more and more people are realizing the many benefits of organic, vegan products, making it a trend in many countries, and many cities, including Indonesia.
Besides, we are facing a food shortage with high food prices. Small farmers can help us develop our economies in a better direction that is no longer dominated and hampered by the meat industry. The United Nations announced that as of 2009 the world is now seeing the highest number of hungry people in four decades.
To be exact, there are 1.02 billion people with not enough food in the world. Hungry. 1.02 billion people are hungry in the world right now. That is one in every six persons, including children, the elderly...women. While we are sitting here in safety and comfort, and have sufficient food for ourselves and our family, our neighboring people, our world co-citizens – more than one billion of them – are living in poverty, in hunger, in thirst. No sufficient water, no clean water, no food to eat. Children are dying every few seconds. Statistically, every five seconds one child dies of hunger.
I’m sorry to inform you of all this bad news, but I guess some of you already know and the truth has to be told. Organic vegan farming is also part of the solution to solve hunger. Small farmers have a spiritual role in veganism as well. The vegan diet itself is a spiritual movement because it is the single most effective way to expand our human compassion and noble quality and loving quality. It can reverse the cycle of violence and bad karmic retribution, “as we sow, so shall we reap,” and it places us within a circle of love, protection, and mercy from any negative happenings in the physical realm.
So, the vegan organic farmer supports countless others to have this great merit by providing them with food that has minimal, or is free of, violence, and through that he surely gains many spiritual merits himself. In many cases, organic farming is not different at all from conventional methods. Not much. So, besides some labor, the technologies to become organic vegan don’t require a lot of investment. But in case the farmers need help, the government can provide, because the government subsidizes the meat farmers anyway. So, instead of subsidizing the meat industry, we subsidize the organic farming industry.
So the government can give them vegetable seeds and training on better ways to farm without using chemical fertilizers, because sometimes the farmers are just not well informed about the harms of livestock raising or the chemicals or the fertilizers or insecticides. They are not informed about a better way to grow vegetables and make more profit. The government can help them implement the measures to conserve the land and improve the quality of their products so that their buyers will have trust in them, etc. The government can also set up a certification and quality standardization system to further promote the organic vegan industry.
Now, regarding your question on how we can help the small farmers, we can ask the government to support them in becoming organic vegan, by letting them know that this is what the citizens want, and this will save the world. We can encourage our supermarkets, our schools, our companies, etc., as well as consider this healthier, more practical way of nourishing people.
Ultimately, as consumers, we, the ordinary citizens, have a lot of power in our hands, and it’s up to us to create the demand for the right foods and boycott the wrong ones – the harmful foods, the dangerous foods to us and to our children, the foods that are leading our planetary home to destruction. Instead, we should choose to buy organic vegetable and fruit products to save our lives and those of our families, save the animals and the planet.
Even if organic vegan is not yet possible or available to you, the most important first step is to stop buying and eating meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and any animal products for you and for your family’s sake, for the natural resources’ sake, and to plant the seeds for a better agricultural system for everyone. In this way, not only can all the farmers prosper – we help them in this way – but everyone will prosper and enjoy a long and thriving life.
For the majority of the workers in the meat business, it’s not a safe working place either. It’s one of the most dangerous jobs with some of the highest rates of injury and exposure to chemicals and diseases like influenza, swine flu, bird flu, etc., etc., and mad cow disease, which is always fatal, always deadly.
Mad cow disease, up to now, we can’t even cure it. Anybody who contracts mad cow disease, their life is terminated. Now, we have to ask ourselves: Is it all worth it? This is not to talk about the effect on the meat consumers in terms of all the sickness – cancers, diabetes, and health problems, heart diseases – almost all diseases that you can name come from the meat diet or related. So, given a better choice for livelihood, wouldn’t we choose the one that helps ourselves and others stay healthy over a profession that made people and ourselves sick and die young? Would you say yes or no? Yes! Thank you. Thank you so much.
I have suggested before that we should talk to the farmers, write to them, even going to them one by one if you can afford it, to try to show them that there are better alternatives, such as growing organic vegetables. Nowadays, organic food is very in demand, very “in.” Many people turn to vegetarian or vegan now, and everybody knows organic vegetables are very healthy.
You see, if you eat organic vegetables, you will hardly have to go to the hospital, and all the money we can save for a better education for the children, better care for the elderly, and building more beautiful roads, more equipment, inventions, and use it more for sustainable energies, for free for everybody. Free energy for everybody, free education for all the children, free care for all the elderly, and free food for all the 1 billion, at least, hungry people in the world. The benefit has no end. I can write 10 thousand books about the benefit of the vegetarian diet and the harm of the meat industry, but I’ll let you do research a little bit, because you know all the good technique nowadays with computers and information on the internet.
Nowadays, there are more and more good opportunities for the farmers, retailers, transporters. They just do the same: instead of transporting pigs, they transport organic vegetables, etc. Or the farmer retailers, they could switch from the meat business to organic vegetable farming. Returning to traditional organic farming methods is already proven by success in Africa, for example, and in some places like the Americas, Europe, and Australia. Organic vegan farming is growing very, very fast, and very, very profitable right now, because there is a growing demand. People are more informed about the harms of meat and more informed about the benefits of a vegetarian diet. So organic vegan vegetable farming should be very, very, very good for anyone who wants to switch business. On the Supreme Master Television, we also feature a whole section about organic farming; on our website as well,
On this website, we share a lot of info about how to do organic farming, which is very profitable, costs less water, a lot less work and is very beneficial to our health, to the workers and to the planet. So please, feel free to take a look and discover for yourself the great benefits of harmonious farming. It’s high time we turn away from the harmful, unsustainable meat business and go toward a more civilized, more efficient, more sustainable, more humane means to earn a living, namely organic vegan farming, or vegan restaurants, vegan products, vegan product selling, etc. Everything to do with compassionate living is good for you and it’s pleasing to Heaven. And it will save the planet. It’s not just good business, it will save the planet, and it will save countless lives, now and in the future, including the ones involved in the meat business. That’s why the Buddha named the meat business as one of the five businesses that people should not engage in. Do you want to know another four as well? Yes.
Okay. The meat business is a bad business. It’s very bad for you. And the other four are business in weapons, business in human trafficking, business in intoxicants and business in poison. All these harmful businesses are bad for you, now and in the future.
If you believe in the life hereafter, if you believe in Heaven and hell, you should stop the meat business immediately, like yesterday, because nothing good awaits you in the life after if you cause suffering to others, be it human or animal. You will have multiple suffering in return, and for a long, long time. So instead, these people in the meat industry should join in the trend, which has already begun and expands hugely every day, I am happy to say. Thank you. Be veg! Go green! Plant organic vegetables!
I agree with Supreme Master Ching Hai’s words that all humans should change to a vegetarian diet to prevent global warming. I am confident that organic farming is eco-friendly and life-saving, and the most suitable farming method that can prevent climate change, but many people still do not realize how important it is. After changing to organic farming, I feel much more at peace mentally. I feel the soil, living beings, and crops all reviving healthily, and feel respect towards all lives. If we eat organic agricultural products that save all living beings, it will offer peace and coexistence; therefore, this is the farming method and diet style for our future. I would appreciate it if you could share your words on the inner or spiritual aspects that organic farming has to offer to us. Good question. Good question, Mr. Kim. Thank you.
Good question. Thank you so much for this thoughtful question. When you speak about organic farming and the Earth, your love for living beings is very clear and evident. So you have already conveyed some of the inner spiritual aspect of organic farming through your deep care. That really is the most important principle: the love for all beings. But we can talk about it to perhaps clarify a little bit more. Of course, when we say organic farming, we are talking about vegan – fruits, vegetables, legumes and other plants only – no animal products, because this clearly already indicates a spiritual high level of living standards.
When we live and let live, when we love all beings as if we love ourselves, then that is already very highly spiritual, and of course, that is in line with all the greatest religions on Earth. That will be very pleasing to Heaven. This allows us more to completely extend our respect and care to all life. And that’s why you feel more peaceful, you see? You feel more connected with the surroundings around you because they all pulsate with life. The Earth is pulsating with love and life – the trees, the plants, they are pulsating all this love for life and life. When we sit under a tree, we feel this protective love from the tree. When we enjoy a delicious fruit, we feel the connectedness of this unconditional love from the tree to offer us nutrition and a pleasing taste. If we are in the organic vegan trend or planting organic vegan farming method, then you will feel that more and more – the love from nature, the love from the planet Earth, the love from the trees, the love from even a blade of grass, from flowers. We will feel so much love in the air that we breathe. We feel so much love from the earth that we walk on. This we cannot even explain in human language. We must feel it. I always feel it, but I can’t transmit this spiritual message to other people. Everyone must experience it for himself. Once we turn to a compassionate Heaven-intended lifestyle of a vegan diet, then we will feel more and more love, more and more connected all the time. Just like the way you feel. So you have your own experience to speak of and to tell people.
The way you describe organic farming, Mr. Kim, sounds quite like a spiritual principle known as “ahimsa,” or non-violence. Ahimsa means not harming any sentient beings, beginning with a vegan diet. Organic vegan diet is the best. “As we sow, so shall we reap.” If we sow these benevolent seeds on the Earth, as well as in our heart, as a vegan, we avoid all animal products. For example, most of the milk production causes suffering, first of all because the babies of the mother cows are taken away at birth. Not many people know that, including myself, before. And these baby cows will soon be killed. Deprived from mother’s milk and mother’s love, they’ll be killed as soon as they’re taken away. Then, the mother is forcefully hooked up to a machine that can cause tormenting pain along with illness, just so that humans can take her milk.
Another example of a practice causing harm to both animals and Earth is the use of chemical pesticides. If you can imagine, over 5 billion pounds of pesticides are used throughout the world each year! And only about 10% – 10%! – of these chemicals even reach the areas where they are intended for. So the rest, what happens? They go into the air and water where they have been linked to everything from cancer of humans and animals to oceanic dead zones. In Europe, one pesticide was found to be the reason for billions of bees dying across the continent, while others are known to make the eggshells of birds become thinner, resulting in the death of their babies because the shells crack and break before the baby is ready to “be born.”
Since organic vegan farming does not use pesticides and does not have anything to do with livestock raising, milk production or any such harmful activity, it could be called a practice of compassion, in line with Heaven, with values that are echoed in many spiritual paths and religious teachings, such as the followers of Buddhism and Confucianism, and as written in their scriptures. Like the Dhammapada Sutra states: “A man is not noble because he injures living creatures. He is called noble because he does not injure any living beings.” And from the noble teachings of Confucianism: How does a saintly king treat animals? It’s stated: “He would like to see them live and cannot bear to see them die. Hearing their wails, he cannot eat their flesh for he does not have the heart to do so.”
I’m just referring to two of the great religions in our world. And many other religions say the same, but I’m not here to be a priestess today and preach to the whole audience, moreover, we don’t have time. So forgive me, other religions, if I did not mention yours, but it’s the same.
Now, organic vegan farming also brings positive benefit to our own karma. Karma means the retribution, bad or good. So karma follows the law of the universe that says: for every action there is an equal consequence. So, if we injure or kill others, we could be injured or killed in return, sooner or later – not could be,##but surely will be. Organic vegan farming, with its approach of causing the least harm to others, offers the least burden of bad karma (retribution).
And we can even go a step further, only harvesting from plants that bear fruit, or harvest in such a way that the plant continues to grow. It is thus much better to grow our own food as you do, Mr. Kim, so that we can, for example, pick the outer leaves of the lettuce instead of killing the entire plant. In fact, some practitioners of one religion called Jainism don’t even eat root vegetables because they wish to avoid unintentional harm to the beings living in the soil, such as earthworms, which are beneficial to our farming. They are there to fertilize the soil, to air the soil so that our plants grow better, our harvest will be more abundant. They risk their lives to save ours. We should even consider their lives and spare their lives and be protective of their lives.
Hi, Master. (Hi.) I would like to ask: To help the planet out, will we eventually all have to be organic farmers, like planting and growing vegetables in our backyard? Is this the most sustainable method?
Yes, it is. It is the most sustainable method and I think everybody should try to do that. Even in your own backyard or in your balcony, wherever you can. And the one who has a garden, of course, do it in the garden, and the one who has a garden but doesn’t want to cultivate can lend it to somebody else and share the food. Because we have to learn to be self-sufficient from now on already. You never know what is going to happen to the planet, truly, because the people’s heart – it’s difficult to predict. If they change to a compassionate lifestyle, then the planet will survive for sure, and we will have better than what we have now, in time.
But if they don’t change, then I cannot tell you what happens. Even if the planet survives, it’s also a good idea to grow your own food. It’s more wholesome. It has your energy, and it will be very good for you, and you can control what you eat, and what kind of food that you have, wholesome or not, organic or not. And also, it’s very economy and it’s nice to watch your food growing by your own labor. It will be like living according to the Bible, “Earn your food by the sweat of your brow.” It will be very nice, and at least for some of us, that will be very helpful. It’s a very good idea, and you will know what kind of cultivation you have.
You can control; it will be less violent, even less bad karma (retribution) – less killing worms and things like that. Although we are practicing the vegan diet already, Master also mentioned in several cooking shows, “Gift of Love,” about karma-less eating. Can Master give us a few examples?
That’s my preferred food. For example, you can eat anything that is from the trees, without harming the trees. For example, all the fruits you can eat. “Fruit” doesn’t mean only sweet like orange, apple, but “fruit” also means like cucumber, lady fingers, zucchini, squash – those things are also fruit that grows from the tree and you can take it without harming the tree, without even taking the leaves from the tree. And fruit that is organic of course, organic fruits, that would be the best. And if you want to eat any plants or any herbs in this trend, you wait until they fall off the trees or wither, and then you can take them and use them. Then there’s no bad karma (retribution) and no harm to the trees. And you can have nuts, all kinds of nuts, from the trees. And there are also other things that you can eat, of course.
Hi, Master. Hi. Can you tell us more details about like what kind of food does Master eat and why?
Yes, I told you already, I eat the fruit-like food – nut stuff and fruits, cucumber and those things – which I don’t have to cut the plant, which I don’t have to break the leaves from the plant. Because they are also getting afraid when we do that, but if we take the fruit from them, they offer it free. They know the fruits are there for us.
If you cut the plant, before you cut, they already get very afraid and nervous and I don’t like to cause them this feeling. And if I eat it, then other people have to cut for me. So, for the sake of everybody… I used to cook all kinds of vegetables, and now I think is the time that people should know my preferred food. If they want to do the same, it’s up to them, but vegetarian’s already very good, the least harmful and the least bad karma (retribution), the least contributing to the global problem; and that’s what I eat.
Even rice or wheat, the plant is already withered and yellow and brown before they harvest, so the plant practically dies already before we get the rice or the wheat, so it’s okay. Fruit means also corn. What about root vegetables, like potatoes? You can eat them. I don’t eat them at the moment because I don’t plant it myself, so I don’t know what kinds of things they are doing to the root. But if you plant yourself, for example, then you plant them on the elevated earth bed. In Vietnam (Âu Lạc), I saw them do that. For example, if you want to plant some sweet potatoes, and you make the airy bed like that, high above the ground, so the soil is very airy and you plant them on the high elevated bed, row after row like that, and there will be no worms to hurt.
The reason I don’t want root is because sometime they dig it and they hurt the worms, and the worms are the diligent workers to till the soil, to make the soil arable, to make the soil cultivatable. And then, just because of that, they sacrifice for us and we accidentally kill them. It just hurts my heart. So, I prefer to avoid it often before even, but now I don’t eat that at all. It’s time that I stop. I have to show people what is preferable, what is the alternative. But if you cultivate it yourself, if I cultivate it myself, on the elevated ground like that, there will be no worms in it, because the worms only go where the soil is clogged, and they dig it to make the soil more airy.
So if the soil is airy, the worms know; they don’t go there. So, first you don’t hurt the worms if you dig the potatoes. Second, you could even just pull it up, you don’t even need to dig anything. Third, you can wait until the plant, like the sweet potato plants, already wither and die. There will be no more leaves, no more green leaves, nothing. It’s only the small stems left and the root underneath, then the plant has already died, then you can take the root. Then you don’t hurt the plant, you don’t hurt the worm, nothing. In that case you can eat the root. Also the same with other roots. Thank you, Master.
If you don’t want to kill just the worms, then we have many techniques, organic ahimsa farming. Like you can plant them in the water, then you don’t hurt the worms, or you can plant them on elevated soil beds like that, and you don’t hurt the worms. But I also don’t even cut the plant to eat, unless it’s already withered and the spirit of the plant’s already left. Then it’s okay in that case. Because you were asking me what kind of root, so there are many organic farming methods that at least you don’t hurt the worms. Thank you, Master. Thanks for asking.
Also, many of the roots are like that. If you can wait until the green leaves all wither and die, then you can take the root. Like carrots, you will not hurt the worm because you just take it from the root, it’s easy just to pull it up. You don’t need to dig or anything, so, accidentally, you won’t kill the worm, for example. But if you really want not to harm the plant, and not to make them afraid, then you wait until they wither and you still have the root under there and then you just pull the root up – no harm to the plant and no harm to the root. In that case, you can eat those. The root will not feel much, will not feel anything. When the plant dies, the root also doesn’t feel anything.
For example, if you like some herbs, and if the leaves, already by wind or by some natural cause, broke and fell on the ground, or are half-broken already, then you can take them and eat. In that case, there’s no himsa (violence) involved at all. The thing is, I don’t want to cause any nervousness or anxiety to any being, even to a plant, that’s why. That’s why I don’t want to eat vegetables anymore. We have enough, actually, even just fruit, even like tofu is from soya. Soya is like the fruit of the plant, can eat them. Beans, all kinds of things, they are the fruit of the plant.
Not just fruit like apples and oranges, but beans, all kinds of beans, they’re also fruit. The sesame nuts, they’re fruit, they grow from above the ground, from the trees, and in Âu Lạc (Vietnam) they cultivate, for example, peanuts in the sandy soil. There’s no soil and no worms at all ever live there.
So the peanuts, they thrive in a sandy area, and these you can wait until the peanut plants die, wither – mostly they go yellow and then brown, then they just dry up – and then you can pull the peanuts up without hurting anything at all. Even if you dig, there is nothing hurt at all. And you can plant, like cassava plants. They don’t need much water, and no worms nearby. That you can plant anywhere. You don’t even need soil to plant that. You can plant in the sand or some kind of very dry soil. There are many vegetables and plants we can plant without water or with very, very little water. It’s very suitable right now because we are short of water. Plant your own vegetables, then you have absolute control about how you harvest and what you harvest, and what you eat.
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 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.
Now you can see, we have to prioritize our choices. Either the abundant, beautiful, peaceful planet, or sorrow, suffering, or worse: loss of all lives. And ALL these crimes of killing – from MEAT, ALCOHOL, DRUGS, TOBACCO – MUST AND WILL stop.
In their place, what will we have? Happy, longevity for animals and humans alike; limitless health and wellness; intelligence and creativity; and a shared love and joy as never before remembered. In short, we will have a newly, wondrously elevated humanity in all aspects.
Together, let's envision this future, our well deserved beautiful future, in which all lives are upheld and cherished as one and the same. Let’s be happy, because it seems that this day is already dawning. May Heaven bless us all. And God loves us. So for the sake of all that lives on this planet, let us make a wiser choice. For example, instead of meat, we be vegan. Instead of polluting the world, we go green. Instead of intoxicants, we will be merged in the blessing of God, through prayers, yoga, meditation, etc. And instead of planting drugs, we plant organic vegetables and fruits. I wish you all the best in the embracing love of Heaven. So be it. Thank you for doing your part. May you be blessed.
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 vegetarian, meaning an animal-free diet, and practice sustainable living.
Today we present to you a discussion by Supreme Master Ching Hai titled “Organic Farming Restores the Healthy Balance of the Planet,”a compilation of excerpts from Supreme Master Ching Hai’s lectures concerning the importance of planting organic vegetables and fruits,the detrimental impacts
of the meat diet on human health,
E-mail this to a Friend