Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai “The Premiere of the Books The Noble Wilds, German and French Edition, and The Dogs in My Life, Polish Edition” Frankfurt, Germany - October 18, 2009
MC (f): Good afternoon, ladies and gentleman.
MC (m): It is a great honor for us to be here with you and our global viewers today for this unique, catalyzing global event. First and foremost, we would like to extend our special thanks to Supreme Master Ching Hai for the opportunity we now have to enjoy the international bestseller The Noble Wilds in German and French. We are also here to celebrate the premiere of the Polish version of the bestseller The Dogs in My Life.
MC(f): We extend our appreciation to our invited guests for attending today's seminar, and we also welcome our worldwide viewers on Supreme Master Television, on which this significant event is broadcasting live today on 6 continents, 14 satellites, 26 cable TV and IPTV networks, and 18 streaming video websites. Supreme Master Television is a free-to-air satellite channel broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with a variety of engaging programs in English with over 30 subtitles and 60 languages.
MC(m): Today's guest of honor is Supreme Master Ching Hai who will participate via live videoconference. A Gusi Peace Prize Laureate, world renowned humanitarian, pioneer in constructive global satellite television, artist and spiritual teacher, she is also the author of three international bestselling books The Dogs in My Life, The Birds in My Life, and The Noble Wilds.
MC(f): Ever a champion of the rights of all beings to live in peace and harmony, her campaigns to promote a healthy vegan lifestyle and to stop the effects of climate change have mobilized countless people to act for the greater good of all life. As part of this effort to spread love to all beings, Supreme Master Ching Hai has succeeded in her new role as bestselling author of books featuring animals. All of her books have reached international bestseller lists, not only the English editions but also in French, Chinese, Korean, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Japanese and Spanish. And there are many versions that have been translated and will be released in the future, like Dutch, Swedish, Arabic, Telugu, Portuguese, Philippine. Isn't that amazing?
MC(m): It really is! Master Ching Hai's first two books, The Dogs in My Life and The Birds in My Life, portray an engaging and illuminating account of life with her adopted animals and birds. Her third bestseller, The Noble Wilds, illustrates Supreme Master Ching Hai's extraordinary experience with her animal friends who live in the wild. The books, with beautifully illustrated pages, reveal the loving communication among animals and between animals and their human caregivers. They unveil the wondrous inner world of animals in order that we may enter. They bring to light the deep emotions, purpose of being, and blessing energy of our animal friends.
MC(f): The breathtaking books of Supreme Master Ching Hai reveal and remind us of the simple secret we always knew deep down in our heart - that the love of animals for humans and for other animals stirs affection, love, and joy in all of our hearts. The kind of unconditional love that animals bring into our lives is one of the most appreciable aspirations for the future of this planet and its inhabitants. We now would like to show you a short video clip of Supreme Master Ching Hai together with some of her animal friends whom she encountered in the wild. Please enjoy.
“The Noble Wilds” is a universal favorite across cultures. Supreme Master Ching Hai's “The Noble Wilds” has ranked as an international #1 bestseller at the world's largest online bookstore, Amazon.com.
First released in February in Formosa (Taiwan), the Chinese version of “The Noble Wilds” was instantly ranked as #1 bestseller, continuing the tremendous popularity of Supreme Master Ching Hai's first two books, “The Birds in My Life” and “The Dogs in My Life.”
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Being around the wilds expands our hearts and leading us to a beautiful meadow of life that was totally untouched by prejudice and blame. We will just be there, in the now, merging with nature, unspoiled and uncomplicated, ever so grateful for the knowledge of the unknown, delighted in the indulgence of Mother Nature's love.
VO: In 450 pages, filled with vibrant photographs and all printed in environmentally-friendly ink, Supreme Master Ching Hai shares the most touching stories and reveals some of the secrets of God's creatures for the very first time. Following are a selection of enthusiastic comments for The Noble Wilds from readers around the world.
VO: Vivian in Germany shares her response: “We humans proclaim to be the crown of the creation, the most civilized being. But look at these noble souls in animal forms. We should learn from them, love them, respect them, with our honor. Thanks God that they are here.”
“This book for me is like God's gift,” writes Su Love, a reader from Formosa (Taiwan). A reader named C. R. Tumminaro expressed: “The book is truly heart- melting. The photos are romantic, which conveys the deep love that the wilds have. The actions are something that we do not get to witness often, and when paired with beautiful poetry, it definitely shows true tenderness. A healing and redemptive book that's full of love!” From Iemmanuel in Paris, France: “I could feel such a very surprising and delicate and unknown joy... Like a deep truth being shared with others - absolute heartwarming; not just about animals but about ourselves, humans, too.”
VO: A university professor in the US reads and ponders: “The Noble Wilds, written and photographed by Supreme Master Ching Hai, exemplifies an alternative, compassionate way of living during an age of the ever increasingly growing environmental crises. One cannot help asking: Why humans have not been able to live in peace, love, and harmony with these wonderful beings?” “It is so interesting to record the life of the swan family.
Especially we learn that the swans have their own names just like we do. So animals are just like us,” writes Shuton, a reader from Formosa (Taiwan). From South Africa, another reader writes: “After reading The Noble Wilds, I can truly see how incredible God is in his purpose of sending us such wonderful animals to inspire us to treat one another with love and dignity.”
VOICE: The book shares with readers insights into the natural world, such as the dedicated parenthood of wild ducks and swans, the friendship of a neighbor horse, and the deep love of creatures large and small who place their trust in “the Lady.” Now, through The Noble Wilds, their love is transformed into a single purpose: to expand humans' understanding and care for all life and Mother Nature.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: A fairy tale that unveiled itself, to let us know that life is the same to humans and animals, insects and trees and minerals alike. Because life embraces all with love and nurturing, and that we all can communicate and understand each other, thus we understand ourselves in a deeper level of consciousness.
MC (m): Ladies and gentlemen, and viewers of Supreme Master Television around the world, we are delighted to announce that our honored guest is with us right now. Supreme Master Ching Hai, we are privileged that you could join us today via live videoconference here at the world's biggest International Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany.
MC (f): Ladies and gentlemen, let's give a big welcome to Supreme Master Ching Hai!
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo. Hi there! The beautiful people.
MC (f): Supreme Master Ching Hai, we want to inform you of some great news. We are pleased to tell you that the German version of your book The Noble Wilds has reached No. 1 ranking in sales at Amazon.de in the category of "Children and Youngsters" in all German books.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: My God! MC(f&m): Congratulations!
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you. Thank you all of you. Thank you all of you, and the publisher and the distributors and the printers and all the people involved to make this a wonderful Sunday news. I congratulate myself also and especially because I see you so clear like you're sitting next to me. Isn't that wonderful technology nowadays? We are just so lucky, we're so lucky to have all this. Thanks for coming. Hallo.
MC (f): Hallo.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: You are fine, yes?
MC(m): Supreme Master, we appreciate your kindness and willingness to join us today at the release of the German and French version of your book The Noble Wilds and the Polish version of The Dogs in My Life.
MC(f): Supreme Master, to congratulate you on the launch of the German version of The Noble Wilds, two distinguished German artists - a movie director Mr. Helmut Nitzschke and actress Mrs. Heidemarie Wenzel - send their greetings from the capital city Berlin with this short video called “Impressions about The Noble Wilds.”
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you! Berlin is always good for surprises. Like this little park. Like how fast the swan babies grow whom I've known since they hatched. Another surprise is coming up. But first it's my little cygnets' turn. You get something, too. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Look at that!) You get it like that. And the father!
Look at this, you're vegetarians, of course. Do you want to make it wet? Beautiful, come! On weekdays, one finds undisturbed places around the pond where one can think or occupy oneself with a book. You beauties!
Swans possess perfect grace. Poets have sung about their mysterious beauty. But my ability to communicate with them is very limited. I don't even know their names. Did you know that swans name themselves? How and when you can learn from this book. Thank you. That's the surprise: “The Noble Wilds” is now also available in German. ”Die edlen Wildtiere“ In this special volume one can learn previously unknown things about wild animals or things that we haven't yet seen.
For example, its author, Supreme Master Ching Hai, tells us how she persuaded a female swan, nesting on her own, to accept food from her so that she would keep her strength. Once Master found a stray goat who told her that she was pregnant. How does Master learn these things? She can talk with all animals in a universal language, without words. This wonderful book makes us marvel, comprehend and, at the same time, feel how deeply related we truly are to these noble beings.
Here, in this small park, in the middle of the big city, one can see many animal-lovers of Berlin loving animals in their own way. But their love is not yet deep enough and lacks enlightening insight that all animals are sentient beings just like us humans. Or else they would all became vegetarians on the spot. What a blessing that would be for animals, for nature and, not least, for us humans! Beautiful! So beautiful! Such a beautiful surprise. So wonderfully done. Thank you very much.
MC(f): Supreme Master, without further ado, we would like to begin today's seminar. We have some very special guests here today and they have very great questions for you.
MC(m): First of all, we will focus on animals as our co-inhabitants. It, therefore, gives us great pleasure to introduce our first speaker on this topic, Linda Roosloot from the Netherlands. Linda Roosloot is a Master Integrated Energy therapist, Angel therapist, kynologic behavior therapist, owner of Bella Vitalis, a spiritually based holistic company. In addition, she is an animal communicator, spiritual messenger, teacher and a caring mother.
Her divine purpose is to enable powerful healing treatments for animals and their caretakers around the world, using our energy, work and educational services that lead to a vital balance in mind, body and soul through the loving energy of our angels. Linda's speech today will be “Animals, Our Noble Friends, Bring us Messages and Gifts from Heaven.” Ladies and gentlemen, Linda Roosloot! (Speech in ENGLISH) Ms. Linda Roosloot (f): Good afternoon, everybody.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Good afternoon.
Roosloot (f): Dear Supreme Master Ching Hai, as you know, animals are here for a reason. They have a task on this Earth and when they are able to fulfill their task, they are happy and contented. One can compare animals' role with them, of humans, following their true divine life purpose. Joy, happiness, great love are what our animal friends have in their natural being and they are trying to bring those qualities into our lives and into our world.
Therefore, I would like to speak of them as friends, as teachers, and as loved ones and we humans as their caregivers or caretakers. We don't own our animal friends. We are not their bosses nor entitled to rule over them in any way. However, it's necessary that we teach our pets, our animal friends who are living in our homes, some Earth-bounded rules so we can live together in harmony in this wonderful world we live in.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.
Roosloot (f): In the universe, we don't know time; time is made up by humans. If one looks at a cat who is lying in a garden and enjoying the sun, just take a moment and watch. Let's see what's given you. Watch, see, and let it come into your feeling, because that feeling is telling you a lesson and that lesson is enjoy - enjoy the moment, be in the moment because that's all there is.
Cats are very sensitive. Dogs are more grounded and give us a lesson of what unconditional love means. If dogs experience great domination or aggressive behavior from humans, they'll still love us. But at that moment, their hearts are aching because what's happening at that moment is just a reflection of how we humans are treating each other. Horses have a special role, just as dolphins. And they are both so magnificent, especially when they are working with children of special needs or with grownups who have experienced big trauma in their earlier years, especially during childhood.
And they both have a healing gift. For example, horses on a higher level are connected and bring awareness to humans through their aura. So, if a horse has got a problem at their left extremities, one needs to take a look at their own left side, their feminine side, and check it out for any emotional blockage. I used to be a lover of riding horses, but my vision has changed during my own spiritual journey.
And at this moment, I'd like to communicate with horses on a higher level of understanding and enjoying their true nature. Dolphins are also my big love. Dolphins communicate with each other on a very high spiritual level. They don't need words to express themselves. They carry with them great healing gifts and great lessons. And they are little angels swimming in freedom with the capacity of really being in the now and experience great joy and love with everything they touch. And they are also healing sea life.
Whales and dolphins have great wisdom, just like a big library, such as the Library of Congress in Washington, and even bigger. And we can learn from this wisdom. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) And if humans are able to view dolphins and whales as our memory, as our professors, then we would not harm them anymore. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Correct.) Supreme Master Ching Hai, I could talk for hours about the great messages and lessons our pets and other wildlife are telling and teaching us.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right. Not hours, you could talk for months and years.
Roosloot (f): Oh yes. Sure I can, sure I can. If we want a happier and healthier life for ourselves, we must take care and love all our animal friends. We are all connecting and living on the same planet. It's not ours alone and it's not our property. And if we want to follow our divinity, live from your heart, love yourself, love all human beings and animals alike, and love our planet. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) Our planet is our divine temple so we must take care of it now. I bow to the divine in you.
MC(f): How wonderful and how true! Thank you, Mrs. Roosloot.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: She knows so much about animals, I am very impressed. Thank you for sharing with us your knowledge. This is rare, not everybody knows this, and this is rare. Thank you so much for your diamond wisdom. Thank you.
MC(f): Our next distinguished guest is Luis Perez Garcia, the Chairman and spokesperson of DefensAnimal, an organization which focuses primarily on defending animals while promoting veganism as the true way to live righteously. Luis Perez Garcia also works as a tax advisor and he graduated as an economist at the Faculty of Economic Science in Valencia, Spain. Let's welcome him to talk about veganism as the best way to stop abuse and cruelty to animals, our co-inhabitants on this planet. Ladies and gentlemen, Luis Perez Garcia.
Hallo, good afternoon. My name is Luis Pérez, and I am Chairman and spokesperson for DefensAnimal.org. DefensAnimal.org is an "abolitionist" nonprofit organization defending the interests of all non-human animals, no matter which species they belong to. We try to inform and re-educate people so they will stop being "speciesist," which means stop discriminating against individuals depending on what species they belong to.
No animal, be it human or not, should be discriminated against because of criteria such as race, sex or the species it belongs to. In every country, children are educated to be speciesists, creating in their minds a mental scheme with two categories, animals and humans, just as if humans were not animals. And it seems to be forgotten that on this planet, actually, hundreds of billions of animals coexist, that belong to different species - different breeds, different sexes, but having something essential in common, which is the fact that all of us animals have a nervous system, so each one of us animals has the capability of feeling pain, pleasure, etc.
Unfortunately, we have been educated to believe that non-human animals exist to serve humans and we value their lives according to the profit that we can get from them. Just like a sexist education creates the wrong and unfair thinking that women exist to serve men, a speciesist education makes us think that non-human animals are born for us to eat them, to make shoes, belts, or handbags from their skin. We are educated to think that they are born to be experimented on or carry goods or humans on their backs.
We are educated to think that they exist to entertain us in circus performances, popular celebrations, or for us to visit them in prisons for non-human animals known as “zoos” or “aquariums.” We at DefensAnimal.org try by all means to make people aware of the fact that no animal, human or not, has been born to serve anyone, and all of us animals want to live and enjoy our lives in freedom. So we say, for the sake of justice, that all of us must be vegan, that is to say, we must stop using other animals in any aspect of our lives.
Therefore, we must eat without including any animal ingredients in our diet. A lot of people think that being vegetarian is enough and they believe that there's nothing wrong in consuming milk, cheese, eggs or honey. But they don't know that consuming by-products is even worse because it entails prolonging the agony and exploitation of the non-human females. They forget that due to the whim of savoring a glass of milk or a piece of cheese, they are asking for a cow to be deprived of her freedom, to be inseminated in order to make her pregnant against her will, to be separated from her baby when it is born, and for her milk to be stolen.
And what about the baby cow? Well, it is imprisoned for about four months in a place where he can barely move, to prevent him from strengthening his muscles, and after that period he will be carried off to the slaughterhouse to be murdered, chopped up and sold as veal meat, which is the muscles and sinews of baby cows. On the other hand, the cow doesn't give milk, but rather, it is stolen from her until almost nothing is left. Then they make her pregnant again against her will, and they murder the new baby again.
This process is repeated four or five times, so, despite the fact that cows are able to live for around 25 years in freedom, the dairy industry kills them at the age of 5 or 6 years. Once exploiting them is not profitable anymore, they carry them to the slaughterhouses where their children were carried to sell their carcasses by weight. And let's not forget that hens don't give eggs either, but they are stolen.
And hens are regarded as laying machines, so they are killed and chopped up when it is not profitable to keep on exploiting them. Veganism also means that we should use clothes and accessories with no leather, wool, silk or feathers, because wool means preventing sheep from having their freedom, inseminating them against their will, and killing them to sell their carcasses as meat, when they are not profitable anymore from stealing their hair.
Silk entails killing millions of worms by putting them into boiling water, and feathers are pulled out from individuals who are, in most cases, still alive. Additionally, we must use products which have not been tested or experimented on non-human animals, regardless of whether the involved individuals are primates or mice. And definitely, we must reject any product, service or show using non-human animals.
DefensAnimal.org is an "abolitionist" association because it gives a voice to and represents the non-human victims, and therefore it does not support nor ask for reforms or regulations regarding the use of non-humans. If we were the victims, we would never ask for bigger cells, or being enslaved in a different way; we would not ask either to be slaughtered in a less painful way in the slaughterhouses, fish farms or fishing boats. We are at a historical moment, similar to that in the time of slavery for black humans. At that time, there were some well-intentioned people who asked for better treatment of slaves, such as not to beat them, or to give them a suitable place to sleep, etc.
But fortunately, there were others who addressed the root of the problem and pushed for the abolition of slavery. Nowadays, there are more and more well-intentioned people who demand welfare measures and reforms so that the non-human animals have a better treatment in the farms, slaughterhouses, laboratories, etc. But for their sake, we should not demand better treatment for them, but rather the abolition of farms, slaughterhouses, fishing boats, animal experimentation, etc. We must demand the abolition of all speciesist activities, that is to say, those activities that would never be done if such individuals belonged, for example, to the human race.
Fortunately, there are some people who are demanding the abolition of the murder of bulls in the bullrings or the seals in Canada, but they say that we are radicals for demanding, for example, the abolition of slaughterhouses. To that, we answer that it is totally unfair to demand the abolition of the murder of bulls or seals and not to demand the same for cows, pigs, tuna or mice. All of us animals deserve the same consideration and it is not fair to demand more respect for some of us than for others.
The important thing is not how, where or why someone is deprived of freedom, enslaved or murdered, nor should it be important the species to which the individual deprived of freedom, enslaved or murdered belongs to. From DefensAnimal.org we promote veganism and the end of speciesism through various means: through informative websites, lectures, vegan cooking courses, video forums, a monthly radio program called The Vegan Corner, a program about vegan cooking on TV, an online bi-annual magazine, information desks on the street, performances, peaceful protests and conscientious awareness-raising acts in very busy locations in large cities. At DefensAnimal.org we work every day to achieve a fairer world for everyone where no one is discriminated against based on what species they belong to. Thank you very much for your kind attention.
MC (m): Thank you. Thank you so much, Mr. Garcia.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you, thank you indeed. Thank you. It's horrible. It's absolutely horrible how we behave as humans. It's unimaginable. The more we do research into all this animal treatment, the more we cannot imagine how we, as a human race, are behaving in such a way. My God! Oh, my God! We must change, we must change fast. We can't live like this, we can't. We just can't go on like this. It's just killing our heart.
MC (m): We are further honored today to have the Founder and Deputy Director of ČSVV (Czech Vegetarian Society), Mr. Jaroslav Škvařil, with us also. Mr. Škvařil, we believe you have 2 questions for Supreme Master Ching Hai?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes?
JS(m): Hallo, on behalf of the members of our society, I would like to ask Master two questions. On one hand, I have encountered the opinion of the Food and Agriculture organization, which says that it is necessary to decrease the meat consumption by half just to ensure that the current situation, the ecological situation on the planet, won't deteriorate further. That was in 2006. Isn't this statement exaggerated?
And how do you see the current situation? And the second question: Nowadays, we perceive the growing deterioration of our current climatic situation. We also see that the economic crisis is increasing and, furthermore, witness a growing moral crisis. Does any connection exist between these crises and the current diet of the people?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo, sir. Welcome to our meeting, Mr. Škvaril. How are you? I think you are correct that reducing meat production by 50% is a very underestimate, in part because we have waited so long to change. So our time has become too short in fact, and the situation is too dire. Just in case you are not aware, or maybe others viewers are not, I will share with you some of the facts of where we are today.
With melting that has caused the biggest ice loss ever known in the Arctic, scientists now tell us that the region is warming at the rate twice as fast as the rest of the world. As you may already know, two German ships have just traveled through the Northeast Passage because the ice all melted, and that is the first time in known human history that the ships could pass through.
So the vast ice beneath Greenland is also melting even faster than previously predicted. Many researchers are saying that at the rate of current warming, there is almost no way for our world to stay within the limits of a 2 degree Celsius temperature rise, which is the maximum that will still ensure the safety of most life on the planet. But even though our predicament is very grave, we do still have time if we act now. And the solution is still very simple. Well, you know it, right? It's the vegan diet - no animal products.
No more killing, no more torturing, no more even experimenting with animals, no more raising animals for meat or any other purposes, except to protect, love, and take care of the animals. This is the key. If everyone switches to this beneficial lifestyle, our planet will be cooled in no time, scientifically speaking and my promise. One reason for this is that the main contributing gas from livestock, which is methane, traps 72 times more heat than CO2 over a 20-year period. And then there is the other gases, nitrous oxide for example, which comes from the unregulated waste contamination and fertilizer runoff of crops that are primarily grown for livestock to consume.
This gas traps 289 times, 289 times, more heat than CO2, more than carbon dioxide. According to the most recent figures from scientists, livestock raising is actually responsible for more than 50% of global warming. More than 50% is coming from meat and dairy production! Imagine that? So, with 55 billion animals currently being murdered every year for meat consumption, you can imagine how much the Earth would be restored if this is stopped. The original United Nations report in 2006, “Livestock's Long Shadow,” spoke in bold terms even already about the damage caused by the livestock industry, saying that, “It is one of the topmost significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems at every scale, from local to global.”
Furthermore, I would mention a few of the problems the United Nations and others have noted are coming from livestock raising and meat consumption. First, depleted land and forests. According to the United Nations, livestock is the main reason for deforestation and the loss of our vital trees, which in turn is causing tragic declines in natural biodiversity. Livestock raising is also among the top factors in degrading our lands through soil erosion and pollution, as well as climate change. Second, wasted resources. For every kilogram of animal protein produced, livestock are fed about 6 kilograms of plant protein. The US livestock population currently consumes more than 7 times as much grain as the entire American population.
Third, wasted water. With current droughts and water shortages already affecting millions and only expected to get worse, worse and worse. Scientists have found that each person eating a meat and dairy based diet uses around 4,500 gallons of water per day, compared to 300 gallons per day for a vegan diet. This also means that 1 pound of animal protein requires 100 times more water to produce than 1 pound of grain protein. Over the course of a year, the vegan diet saves approximately 1.5 million gallons of water per person.
Fourth, wasted energy. Now, the artificial indoor environment of the factory farm and slaughterhouse use massive amounts of energy. In fact, it takes 8 times as much fossil fuel to produce animal products as to produce plant food. Fifth, environmental contamination. 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 outbreak, those green moss that grow in the water. One such event just occurred in Brittany, France, where a majority of the country's livestock and a third of the dairy farms are located. On the Brittany coast, this waste and chemical runoff coming into the sea causes outbreaks of toxic algae, which emit the lethal, deadly gas hydrogen sulfide.
So, recently in news we heard of a horse that died within half a minute of stepping into the algae and now the health concerns of over 300 people are being investigated for the same reason around that area. 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 drive 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. Another reason to stop livestock raising is the horror of disease linked to eating meat. There are many bacterial infections that come from eating meat, some of which are deadly. And then there is cholesterol, which originated only from animal products and has been linked to stroke, heart disease, obesity and so on.
Another meat-related disease is cancer. Scientists have documented a rise in cancer rates with increased meat consumption. The more meat we have, the more cancer risk there is. And certain cancers, like colon cancer, have been directly linked to eating meat, with one study on red and processed meat finding a 50% higher chance of contracting cancer with meat consumption. Another research conducted in your home country, Mr. Škvaril, stated that the life expectancy of the Czech people, your country's people, had actually gone down in recent years, from 10th to 22nd place among 27 European Union nations. Why?
The report said that this was due in part to environmental problems that included disease-contaminated meat. This is so sad, Mr. Škvaril. The beautiful Czech people deserve so much more from their life, as do all the animals and all the beings in this world. 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. If you need any information at all or any materials, we are very happy to help through Supreme Master Television.com. Everything on our TV or website is free to download and share with as many people as possible. We still have a lot of work to do, sir, and not much time. Thank you for your very present and thoughtful question. I wish you and the Czech people all the best. God bless. Thank you. Q(m): Thank you.
MC (m) : Thank you, Master.
MC(m): Our next theme will be “Save Our Planet, Everybody Can Do It.” Just before we begin, we conclude “Vegetarianism: The Noble Way of Living” by enjoying some traditional Chinese pipa music, a piece entitled “Yi Zu Wu Qu,” which means “Dance of the Yi People.” This piece describes the spirit of the folk tradition, with the human community and Mother Nature coming together in harmony.
MC (f): Remarkable. What an enriching and soul-resonating performance. Thank you so much. Thank you.
MC(f): Our first VIP to speak on “Save Our Planet, Everybody Can Do It” is Dr. Astrid Sieglinde Kaplan. Dr. Kaplan acquired a Ph.D. in psychology and is an animal rights author and artist. She is employed as a psychologist by "Volkshilfe Salzburg" and "Evangelisches Diakoniewerk Gallneukirchen," associations, providing alternative kinds of social services, such as for senior citizens and people with physical and learning disabilities.
Astrid is also a puppeteer for children's puppet theatre called Sindri. In addition, she is author of two books: "Die Mensch-Tier-Beziehung. Eine irrationale Angelegenheit," which in English, "The Relationship of Humans and Animals, an Irrational Issue" and "Solange es Schlachthäuser gibt, wird es Schlachtfelder geben," or in English, "As Long as There are Slaughterhouses, There will be Battlefields,” which investigates the relationship between violence towards animals and towards humans, and is soon to be published in German. It is our great honor to welcome Dr. Astrid Kaplan.
Dr. Kaplan (f): Thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to be here and to talk about the subject which is so dear to me. My presentation is about our power in everyday life. Everyone, including all of us here, have an influence every day on the life of our planet. Each one of us has individual power and strength to shape our environment as well as the way we treat our fellow human beings and our co inhabitants. If we become aware of this personal power, we can voluntarily decide to contribute to peace or to violence. We have the opportunity to contribute to peace or violence in every situation in our daily lives.
For example, in our interactions with our fellow humans, including children, our partners, friends, colleagues, parents and people we do not know; our interactions with our animals - our pets, so-called farmed animals, animals in laboratories and in the wild; through our food choices, whether they be vegetarian, vegan or meat; through our transportation, and the way we spend our free time - imagine for a moment how each one of you in your daily lives consciously chooses to make decisions in so many situations that lead to peace.
All together there are millions of us who are generating peace and can save our planet if we consciously choose. I would now like to talk a bit more about three of the above areas in our daily lives: treatment of our fellow humans, our animals, and our food choices. For people and animals to experience peace, the meaning of compassion is essential. To implement compassion means to feel the unhappiness of others just as we experience all other feelings such as joy, fear, happiness and pain. Compassion is the counterforce to cruelty. It appears to be the only counterforce to cruel, violent behavior. To practice compassion means most of all to stop harming other beings. We begin with people and animals that are near to us.
For example, we stop feeling distrust towards our neighbors, colleagues, friends and supervisors. We stop our competitive, elbowing behavior in general and cease devaluing other people and give no grounds to harassment. Furthermore, for example, we do not acquire any animals if we cannot care for their needs and we do not submit any animal to active or passive violence. In this way our fellow humans and animals will receive peace from us. We can also develop our compassion by doing good things to others, people and animals, and thus spread joy.
True compassion is not limited to certain life forms. On the contrary, it encompasses people of all races and all animals as well. Teaching compassion - children should be raised from their earliest years to have compassion for all beings, because only then real compassion fundamentally can prevent violence. To do this, a child need only know that other creatures exist and that they are capable of suffering just as are we.
Children who have learned to be fair, friendly and loving towards animals will also treat other children and adults in a more fair, friendly, and attentive manner. Experts agree that children and adolescence who harm or kill have never learned compassion or the ability to put oneself in someone else's shoes and to empathize with another's feelings. If we are lacking in compassion, it becomes easy to reduce animals or people and to objectify them as things without emotion. We feel more compassion towards those beings that are closer to us; less the more distanced they are.
Because children, by their very nature, identify with animals and because animals are living beings just as we are, through our relationship to animals, we can teach children how we should treat other people. When we demonstrate to children our friendliness and compassion towards animals and teach them to respect even the smallest creature, they learn to appreciate and respect one another. Especially parents and instructors, because of the examples they are providing, they have an enormous responsibility.
Therefore, parents and instructors definitely should go to extra lengths to teach children compassion to all living creatures. Another important point in contributing to peace or violence in our daily lives is our food choices. If we eat meat, we are exerting passive violence, as usually we allow others to kill for us. Yes, around the world, billions of animals are killed for meat. This generates immeasurable suffering. Furthermore, for psychological and moral reasons, eating meat poses a constant danger to our fellow human beings. About this, I have written in my book in more detail. With the title, as you've already said, “As Long as There are Slaughterhouses, There will be Battlefields.”
In brief, I will say here the following, regarding to animals, there is a moral vacuum which is accepted by society at large. This moral vacuum facilitates the psychologically desensitization towards suffering. In addition, and I say it again, this moral vacuum also provides the danger that we place any being to a space outside of our morality, be it animal or human, that we would like to enslave, exploit or kill. In this space outside of our morality reigns the principle of “might makes right” or “the law of the jungle.”
The manner in which people and animals become victims of violence depends on their unique economic and sociopolitical situation. As long as there is a moral vacuum for animals, this poses an enormous, constant threat to humans and animals. Because just as ethics is not divisible, neither is violence divisible. That is why the only true solution for securing non-violence and peace lies in converting the moral vacuum in our psyche into a space of compassion.
Certainly this is one of the most important and difficult tasks of humanity of our entire evolution. Nonetheless each one of us can immediately choose to take decisive steps in this direction, for example, being a vegetarian or vegan. If we follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, this has an extremely positive effect on our animals, our fellow humans and the environment.
Global warming is, to a great extent, the result of the meat industry. And did you know that livestock has a greater impact on global warming, than do all forms of transportation put together? I quote Dr. Pachauri, Chair of the UN council on climate change who says, “Please, eat less meat. Meat is a very CO2 intensive product.” This is what he said. Vegetarianism and veganism are an expression of a peacefully implemented antidote towards environmental destruction and killing.
I would like to appeal to you to reflect on the choices you make in your daily lives. Be conscious what options you take in various situations that contribute to peace and joy in your living on this wonderful planet. After all, “If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change.” Together we can heal the world. Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you.
MC (m): Thank you so much, Dr. Kaplan, for your very insightful speech.
MC (m): It is our pleasure to introduce our next speaker, Mr. Wim Coenen. He's from Belgium. He is the partnership coordinator of EVA or Ethical Vegetarian Alternative, a Belgian organization promoting a healthy vegetarian lifestyle in a positive and appetizing way since the year 2000. In May 2009, the city of Ghent, inspired by EVA, chose to permanently promote Thursdays as a day for avoiding all animal products. Many cities around the world are following this example with São Paulo in Brazil, being the biggest one so far. MC (f): Wow, How amazing is that!
MC (m): Mr. Coenen´s wife, Ms. Jovanka Steele, has also come from Belgium to be with us. She is an EVA volunteer. Let's give a big welcome to Mr. Wim Coenen.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. Wim Coenen Partnership Coordinator, EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative) Vegan Belgium Coenen (m): Thank you very much, thank you. Thank you. Hallo, Supreme Master Ching Hai.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo there!
Coenen (m): Hallo, everyone. First of all, my wife Jovanka and I would like to thank you for your gracious invitation. And we also bring you warm greetings from Marie-Jeanne Frédérique who started Belgium's first vegan sanctuary that was awarded your Shining World Compassion Award for her organization, ASBL Fabienne, where both of us volunteer regularly. So thank you. But allow me to turn to EVA - EVA as it's called - the organization which we represent here today. EVA stands for Ethical Vegetarian Alternative, and it's also the Dutch translation of the name “Eve” which, according to biblical tradition, is the first woman and possibly the first vegetarian on Earth, judging by her appetite for forbidden fruit! So, who knows?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Very good.
Coenen (m): EVA has been active in Belgium since year 2000 as we just heard, promoting the healthy vegetarian lifestyle in a positive and appetizing way, with minimum means but with maximum of enthusiasm. EVA has helped to turn its home city of Ghent into a true vegetarian example with 13 vegetarian restaurants, of which at least 3 are completely vegan. So, statistically, that comes down to one vegetarian restaurant per 18,000 inhabitants, which we think might be a world record.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Bravo! You are all awarded, from my heart. Coenen (m): Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: It was just symbolic, like, maybe for the head of the organization, but all the members are, of course, appreciated, yes? Appreciated and grateful and awarded. Coenen (m): Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: We could give 1000 award to each of you, but I mean, we are not working for award anyway.
Coenen (m): By all the means. Thank you. The man has been already addressed, but in 2008, we were able to invite Mr. Rajendra Pachauri, who is a Nobel laureate and the IPCC Chairman to Ghent, and we convinced him for the very first time to devote an entire talk to the effects of meat and meat production on climate change. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Bravo.)
Six hundred people attended and interviews appeared in all the major newspapers. But our proudest moment up till now has undoubtedly been the declaration on May 13, 2009 of Thursday as the official weekly vegetarian day in the city of Ghent. The rationale behind this is that if every woman, man, and child in Ghent stops eating meat or fish one day a week, the impact on the climate will be massive, comparable to let's say taking 20,000 cars off the streets of Ghent every day of the week!
Mr. Coenen (m): The reaction to our Weekly Veggie Day, as we called it, Thursday Veggie Day, has been beyond our own and anyone else's expectations. Interviews with the BBC, The Guardian, TIME magazine, Japanese, Russian, German, Italian, French and Dutch TV-specials and most importantly, appreciation from people all over the world for this initiative, and more questions by phone and e-mail than we could ever possibly answer.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Wow. Congratulations!
Coenen (m): We have no ready-made answer to the question: Why is this Thursday Veggie Day such a success? But I'll try and venture a guess. First of all, our tone is always positive. We do not judge people for eating meat, but we encourage them to sample, to taste, eat and keep eating vegetarian food, which brings me to the fact that no one is ever forced to eat vegetarian - we can only stimulate people's awareness.
But the idea of Thursday Veggie Day is based on a motivated choice - so, not on pressure, not on guilt or stories of gloom and doom. In others words, we invite people to try new things by presenting appetizing and 100% vegan recipes in our publications and magazines. Thirdly, we always try to be playful and fun. And as you can see here, most of our publications are full of colorful cartoons, humorous pictures and content. This one being mainly colorful, not so much funny, as you can see. Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, we do not focus on one particular reason for eating vegetarian food.
We always present five, not ten, five important reasons to eat less meat, and they are: One, eating vegetarian food will be a treat for your taste buds - you will discover beautiful, rich and previously unknown taste sensations.
Secondly, you are taking care of your own health. The average European eats massive, massive amounts of animal protein, and replacing these partly or completely by vegetable proteins will help you get fitter and helps you to prevent physical problems, like heart disease, high cholesterol, etc.
Thirdly, you're saving the planet as we've heard today. Meat production is, after energy, the second biggest cause of global warming, an even bigger contributor to global warming than transportation. And according to the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization), it's in the top two or three causes as Supreme Master has already said, of every major environmental problem.
Fourthly, you're helping other people. For 1 kilogram of beef, you need 7 to 8 kilograms of grain and 15,000 liters of water. And if we use these resources to feed people, more people in the third world would have sufficient food and access to clean water. And fifthly, the fifth reason we present, very simple, you save animals, because an average person in Belgium eats over 1,800 animals during their lifetime. That's 891 chickens, 42 pigs, 5 cows, 789 fish, 7 sheep, 43 turkeys and 24 rabbits and other so-called game meat. Now, probably everyone on this planet can be convinced to diminish his or her meat intake when they are presented with one or all of these 5 reasons.
Now, a lot of people, here and elsewhere, are keen to find out the secret to our little success: how did we do it and is there a magical EVA formula? I'm glad to reveal to you that there's no secret and that the magic formula simply consists of hard work, a positive outlook on life, and a bunch of dedicated staff and volunteers who have one thing in common - they are willing to give up a bit or a whole lot of spare time for a wonderful and worthy cause. Now, how did we do all this? This is how we went about it. In 2008, we started with publishing a small booklet, Donderdag Veggie Dag,
Thursday Veggie Day. It's a guide for people who want to try and have one vegetarian day a week. So, our original 20,000 copies were supposed to last for two years, but thanks to the huge success of Thursday Veggie Day, we recently ordered 30,000 more copies.
Coenen (m): Our most important task was then to convince restaurants to become more vegetarian and to add more vegetarian options to their menus. At this moment, I am very proud to say that in our small town of 240,000 inhabitants, more than 100 restaurants, diners and snack bars offer at least one wholesome and nice-tasting vegetarian meal on their menu.
Coenen (m): We put all of those places … thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Very proud of you. Coenen (m): Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: We're very proud of you.
Coenen (m): I didn't do it myself, but thank you very much.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: All of you. Coenen (m): I thank all my colleagues.
Coenen (m): Thank you. So all those places, all those 100 restaurants, we put on a vegetarian street-map of Ghent. So you can see it here. So that everyone who visits Ghent can easily find their way to a restaurant of their taste. At present, almost 100,000 of these maps have been distributed and we recently had another reprint due to the incessantly popular demand.
Coenen (m): Since May of 2009, thanks to the cooperation of the Ghent city council, two city cafeterias where a lot of the civil servants have their lunch, have started to serve an extra special vegetarian meal on Thursdays. And from October 1, 2009, World Vegetarian Day onwards, the children's lunch in Ghent's 35 city schools will be vegetarian every Thursday. The campaign to launch Vegetarian Thursday in schools, it features Little Red Riding Hood, who's relieved because she doesn't have to be afraid of the wolf on Thursday, he's simply eating carrots. (SLIDE LITTLE RRH, caption reads: “PHEW! I'M GLAD IT'S THURSDAY”) (Audience and Master laughs.)
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Very smart! Very funny.
Coenen (m): We're very proud of everything we've achieved with this campaign and we are proud that three other important Belgian cities, Hasselt and Mechelen, and now also Aalst have asked us to help them with their own Thursday Veggie Day.
Coenen (m): But we are also proud and we're humbled by the reaction in other cities around the world. São Paulo, as it has been said, one of the biggest cities in the world with more than 15 million inhabitants, they have declared Monday as their Veggie Day and we hope it becomes the first in a series of cities around the world to follow the example of Ghent. We continue to do our job in the firm belief that being vegetarian is one of the most powerful things an individual can do to change the world. Through eating vegetarian, one improves one's health, the health of the planet, and the fate of the animals. But most of all, the individual person changes, allowing him or herself to open their heart to others. Veganism is perhaps the single most important step towards a new world, in which we can all live in peace. Thank you very much.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Bravo. We like your group. Bravo, bravo. Thank you.
Coenen (m): Thank you very much. We have also a question for you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Please.
Coenen (m): As a small organization, we've accomplished more than we could dream of in such a short amount of time. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: That's right.) And as I've said, we rely on a positive attitude, creativity, a lot of volunteers, but our organization, with a small staff of only 5 people, is under intense pressure to help and advise more people and organizations than it can realistically handle. What do you think we can do to further develop our organization and spread our message to an increasingly larger audience?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: You ask me? I was going to join your group and now you ask me? Hi, Mr. Coenen. Mr. Coenen, I'm so proud of you guys and thank you ever so much. God bless you so much. When there is a will, there is a way, Mr. Coenen. I hope your group is doing fine under pressure, although, I can imagine how heavy a burden it is now. Success is a burden. Yes, I know all that, I know all that. But nevertheless, we have to continue, we have no other choice, we must. Yes. I'm also in deficit of staff.
We are in the same boat, Mr. Coenen. No matter how many staff I have, no matter how many volunteers I have, I always feel we don't have enough people. And I myself, could do with like what the Quan Yin Bodhisattva does, like 10,000 eyes, 10,000 arms. But, unfortunately, it doesn't grow on my body. Now, no matter what, we just have to do, Mr. Coenen.
But thank you, thank you, all of you guys, the volunteer and the staff, for all the hard work, all the pressure that you undergo to spread the veg trend and in such a positive way. I am so impressed, so impressed, and I am so happy, truly. It was really funny, smart, and positive and successful. Maybe everyone should learn a little bit from this EVA program. So, thank you for showing people this exciting, compassionate way of life, and helping countless loving, defenseless animal as well. We are going in the same direction and, of course, we are having the same problems.
Now you know the problems, I don't have to tell you, you know my problems by now. Everyone who is working to better the environment, or the welfare of all beings on this planet understand your problem. Believe me, they understand more than 100%. Whatever it is, we have to do it. Your organization does excellent work anyway. No wonder you are inundated with requests from all over for your advice and services. The same with us. I wish I could go shake hands with everyone that ask me questions, and encourage us or support us, and hug them in person. But this is impossible. Even God comes down here, Hes couldn't do it. That's why we have to do it. Hes gives us the push, the power, and the means and the ways, somehow, and then we would do it. And you will just pray.
I like your group very much, whatever it is. I really like your group, the way you do it is wonderful. I like your group so much. I guess we just have to do our best. As they say, from small beginnings come great things. Many, many small little groups with great ideals have been in the historical record of success. So, you are just one of them and you may be the best of them. You may be one of the best. From what I understand, your group, EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative) is very, very creative, respected, smart, and successful in promoting the vegetarian lifestyle to the mainstream world. And you are smart, you are smart, because you make a smaller goal, achievable goal, like one day a week.
My heart is just burning with pain and sorrow for the animals and for the spiritual degradation of our planet. I don't know how to advise you, because I am also in the same situation. Namely, we're always short of staff, we're always short of volunteers, we're always short of time. And the world always changes too slow for my patience. But we just have to accept, whatever we can do, and we do the priority, and we do the most urgent task first. And we do what we can, the best first, and from there it's a stepping stone for us to go further.
I am sure you and your staff know what it is to do. The entire world now, at least, knows about your Thursday Veggie campaign, everybody knows, and that is really a very, very encouraging sign and motivation for everybody. Now, it is even made into an official program for the city of Ghent. It's a shining small example like a lamp that lit the whole room up. No matter how dark it has been for 1000 years, just one lamp it would lit up. And then slowly there're more rooms would be lit up. Just like you have mentioned, there are some more cities already beginning to ask for your help to start the same Thursday Veggie program.
So you can ask our Association members in where your country is, if they can help you in any way. We are doing our best also, but if we have more chance to help you, we would be willing to. Please continue, no matter how hard it is. And please pray every minute that you have a chance. Please pray, because this is the power that can help you to overcome all the difficulty and the setback and the physical exhaustion also. Praying. Praying or meditation is the same kind of contemplation that will help us to walk forward with more inner strength and outer radiance that convince others.
And it will radiate love from your conviction, and your good-hearted intention. I am so happy that even the city council and the deputy mayor are supported by celebrities, and well publicized by international media, even in BBC in UK, and CNN and the TIME in North America. My God. Other cities in Belgium, and groups in Germany, UK, etc., etc., they approached you to find out how you did it. I am so happy, I'm so happy for you. My God. God bless you so much. God planted you there. God sent you here to do this work.
So, we just have to do it whether we are short or long of staff! Thank you so much. You'll be very busy, busy already, and you still take time to come here to share your opinions and encouragement with us. You are just wonderful, I love you so much. I love you, your group. I love all of you - the volunteers and everybody. That's all I can say, get more volunteers, grab them on the streets, restaurants, whatever you can. And try. Okay? Coenen (m): Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: We do what we can, okay? And all my love to you. Coenen (m): Thank you very much.
Coenen (m): Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Bless you, bless you. And by the way, you're good looking also, outside! You're also handsome outside, not only inside. If that helps to make you work further, encouraged and feel a little bit more cheerful. Thank you anyway - you, your wife, and the rest of the company.
MC (f): Thank you. Our final speaker today is Mr. John Carmody. He has come all the way from Ireland where he founded the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN). This organization is the most successful animal rights group in Ireland and he is responsible for overseeing all the activities of the organization across Ireland, including fundraising, organizing volunteers, campaign work, education and programs.
MC (f): We extend a heartfelt welcome to John. We are proud to have you here.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, we are!
John Carmody Founder, Animal Rights Action Network Vegan Ireland
Carmody (m): Well, hallo Supreme Master, how are you? I was waiting for this for a long time.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo!
Carmody (m): Well, I finally got it. Okay, well I just want to say thank you very much for having me here today, like your colleague had just said there, I am head of the animal advocacy group, the Animal Rights Action Network, and we are based in Ireland. And what we do is we work to educate and promote a cruelty-free, compassionate and kind lifestyle. I am delighted to be here this afternoon. And like I said, I am excited that I have been given an opportunity to express my delight and appreciation for your new book The Noble Wilds.
When I first learned about your book launch, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to come here today, not only to talk about all the wonderful work your organization is truly doing, but also to the work your organization is doing across the globe to help animals, promote veganism and to reverse the danger of climate change, but because I have wanted to meet you for quite some time. So, I am grateful that I have been given an opportunity to speak today. In Ireland, I formed the Animal Rights Action Network when I was just sixteen years of age.
Carmody (m): Yes, it was almost 12 or 13 years ago. My life changed after I'd seen images of Canada's seal hunt on the front cover of an Irish newspaper and I knew that I had to do something to help stop that cruelty I'd observed in a morning newspaper. It changed my life forever! Since then I've led the Animal Rights Action Network into becoming Ireland's largest and most respected animal protection group there is in the country.
From the beginning, ARAN has had enormous amount of positive achievements in Ireland. Just recently we've convinced one of the top department stores in the country to go fur-free and we also helped to persuade the Irish government to support the EU trade ban on the Canadian seal products into Europe, which was a huge achievement. And more good news for you as well, Master Ching Hai, is that Ireland has just recently said that they are going to ban fur farming in Ireland within three years, and stag hunting is also going to be banned too, which is a huge, huge achievement.
Carmody (m): One of our priorities, ARAN, focuses on, we also reach out to children and students nationwide, educating them about cruelty and critical situations facing animals today and, of course, helping them to know that there is a kinder, more compassionate way of living. And thankfully, we are seeing a genuine huge change in attitudes in Irish people. Already we are seeing a large increase in the amount of people being vegetarian in Ireland and those who are, were already vegetarian are now opting for the vegan diet.
Our organization is also seeing a change in the way people view animals. Nowadays, there is far more press coverage talking about cruelty to animals and more than whatever I can remember since I formed the organization. And today we receive calls almost weekly from Irish radio stations requesting interviews from ARAN and national newspapers demanding comment on animal issues, which is really good, too.
Carmody (m): This is just a snapshot of what's really happening, and although we are working hard to reverse an age-old way of thinking about animals, Animal Rights Action Network is devoted to moving Heaven and Earth to help stop the cruelty and protect our animal friends on this planet. When I read your book The Noble Wilds, I could not help to be taken in by your message of being kind to animals.
Much of what you say and convey makes so much sense. What I like about your book was that you impart many touching stories that are bound to touch the hardest of hearts and to reach out to those who have a heart. In The Noble Wilds book, you enlighten the reader about a female goat and how, when she became pregnant, ran away from her human caretaker. This loving little mother goat telepathically told you that she was concerned for the lives of her unborn babies, as she feared her human caretaker would eat her baby goats after they were born.
Thanks to your intervention, the story was a happy ending. I now realize that animals completely understand the thoughts and intentions of humans around them. Your book makes sense, and makes the case that we, as humans, should end our view that animals are nothing more than commodities, and start realizing that they are just like us - capable of feeling pain, fear, suffering, loneliness, sadness and joy. It was great to see the pictures of animal families living their lives in peace and tranquility, which always lead me to ask a question, “What do animals really want?” And I think my answer is they just want to be left alone.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.
Carmody (m): For me, I believe that animals have nothing but their lives and their skins and even at that there are people out there who want to take those from them. But your book truly did bring me comfort whilst reading it. I received a great sense of peace reading your touching stories. I was taken in by the beautiful pictures of animals who share our planet. I have no doubt that anyone who reads this book will find it hard to put down.
Here I am today, lucky enough to tell you all how grateful I am for all the work your great organization contributes across the country. I have been lucky to see firsthand how devoted and hard working, Supreme Master, your Irish center really and truly is. They do so much good work. Much of the work Animal Rights Action Network does in Ireland would not be possible if it was not for the kind support we receive from your Irish center.
So I am so grateful that they're lending out and helping us do so much more. As we go forward we know that there is quite an amount of work that still needs to be done. In the coming weeks we've got the Copenhagen climate change conference which will genuinely give world leaders a real chance to make positive change to help the climate. It's also a wake-up call to all those who attend to know that when they sit down to dinner that their meal may very well have come from an innocent animal who suffered to be that person's steak or ham sandwich, and that eating meat is known to be far more deadly to the Earth's climate than pretty much any other industry on the face of this planet to have connections with greenhouse emissions.
And finally, my dream is to see this world reverse all the suffering, all the cruelty, all the exploitation and to start working towards a society that respects everyone, including our animal friends. I leave you with a quote from Henry James, and that quote is: “There are three things in human life that are important: One, is to be kind. The second, is to be kind. And the third, is to be kind.” (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) Thank you.
Carmody (m): I've got just two questions here for you, too. One is: Do you think the Copenhagen climate change conference that is coming up will make it a priority to stop the destruction of the world's tropical forests which in turn can help climate change? And secondly, in terms of the world being vegan or vegetarian and the importance of such, what do you think will most inspire or encourage people across the country to adopt this important diet in order to avert a global crisis?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. Yes, Mr. Carmody, thanks for coming. And thanks for sharing with us all this positive change in your great country. Ireland seems to be the first in many things. Carmody (m): Yes.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Even stopping smoking, and the first in a record of organic farming, etc. You see, it does have an effect, all your efforts. And just now Mr. Coenen and his wife have reported to us about their success, EVA, in Ghent city. Because right after the Ghent city declared Thursday is a meat-free day, for example, then many others are also starting similar meatless programs.
Like São Paulo, Brazil, and the mayors of many cities like, Hsinchu of Formosa (Taiwan), Santiago, Philippines, are encouraging their citizens to be veg for the planet. We also have the famous vegetarian celebrities using their fame and name to promote the compassionate way of life. And according to my inner meditative knowledge, we have at least more than 40% of the world's population now are vegetarian or vegan. I mean, less cruelty. Let me think. We have almost 50% or something now. Really?
MC(f): That's great news! I can hardly believe it. MC(m): That's even better! Oh God, thanks, God. Thanks, Heaven. Thanks, Heaven.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. That counted also those who are part-time vegetarian. But nevertheless, it's already a very encouraging sign. Put altogether we have like 50%, my God. Okay. And more and more schools are giving vegetarian and vegan options for lunches. Like in the US, since 2003, 40% more schools now offer regular vegetarian meals. That is 2 out of 3 schools offer regular vegetarian meals. Isn't that a good sign, yes? MC(f):That's great.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: That is great.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: But of course, it's not enough to save the planet. Of course, it's not enough. Nevertheless, we continue. We continue and pray and, regarding your question, I also wish that the leaders of the world at Copenhagen will really make it clear this time what is the priority and what is the most urgent decision to make and what is really not. So I really pray to all the divine power to enlighten them, to wake them up because we need them to make good decisions to save our planet.
Truly, the planet also is in their hands. They are that powerful. I hope they do realize the power they possess, and I hope they realize the consequences of not using that power for a noble cause, because that will be a disaster for them in thousands or millions of years to come. Because of the law of “as you sow so shall you reap,” because of the law of cause and retribution, because of the law of karma (retribution). You are right, sir, 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. They will not be helping us, the rainforests, if the climate gets warmer.
But instead, they'll worsen... 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 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, yes. 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.)
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Especially because they are black, these soot from the burnt-black 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 Copenhagen 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. 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. 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, yes? 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 sickness, disease 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.” This is not to mention that 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. I hope the leaders of the Copenhagen conference will do this, otherwise I don't know what else to say anymore. If they won't do this, I don't know what else to say anymore. I really will be speechless.
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. Without our lungs, we cannot survive. So Prince Charles has lately been highly active about climate change, and particularly about protecting the tropical rainforest.
He said to the European Parliament, “The lives of billions of people depend on your response and none of us will be forgiven by our children and grandchildren if we falter and fail.” I'm sorry to say, but I cannot even guarantee that our grandchildren will have a chance to be born to say that, if the Copenhagen climate change conference leaders don't agree together to stop the meat industry. Talk direct to the subject, not talk around it. It's really that urgent. I pray the world leaders will awaken to this reality, immediately, and act properly, now, even before the Copenhagen meeting in December.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: I could talk forever, but only the main point is that we must stop the meat industry. That's all there is.
Your second question that you asked: What will most inspire or encourage people to adopt the vegetarian or vegan diet to avert global crisis? How about that we still have our planet? How about that we still can live here? How about that we don't have sickness again? How about that our children will be healthy, beautiful, intelligent, loving and kind? We all wish our children to grow up intelligent, loving and kind, but what do we teach them from the beginning of their very fragile life? What do we teach them?
We push the symbol of violence into their mouth. Even if they spit it out, we force them to put it back in again until they get used to it. Violence is a part of our life, up to now. Violence is what we teach our children, and we expect them to be loving and kind. Not only violence, that piece of meat or fish or animals, stuff that we try to stuff into our children's unaware stomachs, that also decreases their intelligence, decreases their loving quality, humanity. So we expect our children to be the best, and we give them the worst. The worst of all the worst is the meat diet. So, how about promise that our children will be what we expect them to be without a meat diet? Intelligent, loving and kind, and noble beings.
And how about the promise of a repaired planet, with lush green forests thriving from horizon to horizon, clear rivers, clean streams, healthy living ocean, pure water to drink, without having to put chlorine or any chemical into it, to even destroy our health further.
How about all that picture of paradise? If we just put down that piece of meat and fish and dairy, whatever the animal piece that we want to put in our mouth. How about cleaning our system - make it healthy, alive and not as a graveyard? You know sometimes if we go through a graveyard, we feel so scared, right? As a kid, I was scared. How about you? Any of you are scared when you walk through the cemetery, the graveyard at night or even daytime? (Q (all): Yes.) Yes, okay, okay. Imagine you yourself are a graveyard. Isn't that scary? MC(f):Scary. Andrew(m): Very.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. And day in and day out, 24 hours a day, a graveyard you carry with you. And, so okay, we talk more positively like EVA do, okay? Okay, we picture, we show them, we invoke their imagination of such a revitalized and calm environment, healthy world. All the inhabitants will live together in peace and harmony. I know we're all reciting that since time immemorial, but we have to do it now, we have to realize the harmony and peace, not just talk about it. We will live in peace and harmony as we never did before.
Because in a vegan world, we think differently, we act differently, we live differently, we treat each other differently, our mind functions differently, our heart feels differently, our intelligence activates differently. There is no more reason that we can see for animals to fear humans, there is no more reason to make anyone suffer, for animals and humans alike. We will see no reason; we will see only reason to love, to protect and help each other, and no more grounds for humans to fear one another, because everyone will honor life and protect both theirs and others' life, simply by being vegan.
Your life will change, your thinking will change, your whole being will change. Believe me, I know it because I've done it. You will change, completely. You will love yourself more, you will have more self respect and you'll be glad that you walk the noble way of the compassionate vegan diet. Without this deep-seated fear for one another or from the animals, there will only be love, peace, both with animals and humans. The wise sages and thinkers like Pythagoras said, “For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.”
And Leo Tolstoy, the famous Russian author that every one of us knows, also said, “As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.” It is like that, truly like that. In the USA, for example, the FBI, Federal Bureau of Intelligence, the famous FBI of America, they officially consider animal cruelty as part of how much a criminal is a threat to society. Many serial killers in their childhood tortured and abused animals. They practiced this first on the animals, and later on humans. You see? And so, the opposite will be true. If we are kind and loving to animals, we will also be even more kind, more loving to our human companions or human co-inhabitants. Without slaughterhouses, we won't participate in the habit of killing, or even have the subconscious participation of the habit of killing, the habit of oppressing the weak and the defenseless and innocent just for our palate. It is really below our dignity.
Our minds won't be in conflict so much between our wish to be compassionate, to be loving and peaceful, and our behavior that speaks louder than our words - the opposite. And further, with no weapons, no armies for battles, only time and energy and financial power remaining for constructive works to better our society - imagine what a society that will be.
Of course, it's a Heaven on Earth. We will have the means and the fearless heart to solve poverty and hunger, which themselves are in many ways a product of meat-eating. We will live in beauty and health and so much joy, the whole atmosphere will be brimming with happiness like a real paradise. If we become vegan, such a simple, easy step, we don't just win our beautiful planet back, we stand to gain an even more beautiful, wonderful, elevated world.
Because the vegan lifestyle carries such a powerful energy - all positive, all loving, all constructive, all blessing, all intelligence - that could melt all the negative energy away, destroy it forever, and neutralize the destructive forces in our environment and in our lives in the shortest time that you could imagine; and then replace them with constructive energy and peaceful vibrations. It will be just like the difference between walking into a slaughterhouse and into a vegan café, which you could try yourself to compare the atmosphere and the feeling - you will see what I mean.
Actually, there is also very strong motivation for people to be vegan when they see the animal cruelty that occurs with their own eyes. The horrors that take place behind the factory farm, behind the walls of the of the massacre house door - I don't call it slaughterhouse, I call it “massacre house.” Behind the door of those massacre houses, there are horrifying actions going on. Or if they go on the massacring fishing boat or the bloody whaling boat to witness it for themselves, I wonder how anybody could ever do this for a living?
But, of course, they have been cheated into doing that. We have all been cheated into doing the things that we should have never done, should have never even imagined. Because our hearts are originally full of compassion and love, but we just ignore our feeling. If you ever wondered if hell exists, just go into those massacre houses or the boats that kill the whales and go to the seal-massacring areas. Go there to find hell, then you'll believe that hell will exist.
Our original God Nature is compassion and love. I repeat again and again and again: You are not that. You are compassion, you are love incarnate. Please return to it. So when we force ourselves to watch the videos of animal cruelty, which by the way are purposefully hidden from us for a reason so that we don't know, we flinch when we watch this cruelty even on video, or even when we heard reports about it. Just like before, we heard one of our brothers report about the cruelty everywhere - we flinch, we cringe, we look away, we cry, or we scream. We have nightmares. We cannot bear to see the cow, the pig, the chicken's throat punctured or slit so they bleed to death.
And other more gruesome, unimaginable ways of torturing animals. Or the force-feeding of a foie gras goose, or purposeful underfeeding of a baby veal calf, of confining him so that he has to keep his tender meat, that he could not even move his body for the rest of his tender short life. Or the gruesome fate of baby chickens where the females have their tender beaks cut off while hanging upside down and males are grinded alive or suffocated to death, or the non-stop misery or panic of the pigs, who are so intelligent and loving and clean, yet forced to stand knee-deep in their own filth and choking on their own toxic fumes of their own waste and screaming out of madness.
Or the sheep with the broken bones from being transported thousands of miles to the massacre house. We look away because it's not our nature to want to be hurt, nor is it our nature to inflict pain and agony or sheer terror on others. Health is also another very strong motivator that we can show other people to encourage them and inspire them. In a vegan world, there would be no more sad news about someone's child dying of brain damage or paralysis due to E. Coli, the deadly bacteria which originally almost always comes from farmed animals.
There would be no more heartache due to deadly swine flu pandemic, or mad cow disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes and heart attacks, salmonella, Ebola, etc., etc. Even AIDS that we fear so much is originally also from hunting animals to eat. Animal diseases from the horrid, filthy livestock raising environment are responsible for 75% of all the emerging, infectious human diseases, and they are often contracted by us hunting after the animals, or forcing them to stay in a crowded, filthy place to be massacred for us to eat.
This is not the way God intended for us to live with our co-inhabitants. This is not the way we should behave as children of God. We have been really deluded into doing all this, and degrading ourselves thus into this level. The animals are our helpers, our friends, and Heaven's beloved. I hope whatever most motivates us, we change, and quick. We are running out of time anyway. If we wait too long, I'm afraid we won't be left with a choice, if we want ourselves and our children to survive. Now we still have a choice. But if we wait too long, I'm sorry, maybe no more choice. Thank you, Mr. Carmody. I know I talk a lot but I can never talk enough.
Carmody (m): Thank you, Supreme Master, and thank you for all that you do. Thanks.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you, for being such a caring animal activist.
After over twenty years of sharing her knowledge on how to live a balance life while pursuing a spiritual path, Supreme Master Ching Hai continues to dedicate her time and effort to uplift and enhance the life of all beings.
In recent years, she has written and published three animal books - The Dogs in My Life, The Birds in My Life,and The Noble Wilds – to introduce humankind to the magical world of animals.
Supreme Master Ching Hai shared that the books she wrote are works of love: Motivated by her unconditional love and overflowing compassion for our planet and all of its inhabitants, Supreme Master Ching Hai continues to selflessly accept invitations to share her insights and wisdom on a kinder, nobler, and more loving way of life at gatherings with our Association members, symposiums, radio interviews, or via videoconferences and the like.
We now invite you to enjoy the 5-part series rebroadcast of the videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai at the premiere of the German and French edition of The Noble Wilds and the Polish edition of The Dogs in My Life at the 61 st Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany on October 18, 2009.
The Premiere of Supreme Master Ching Hai's Books "The Noble Wilds,"German & French Ed., & The Dogs in My Life, Polish Ed. Oct. 18, 2009, Germany
Even though I know some of the cruel treatment to animals， but it seems to be no end to the suffering and agony that we，the strong and intelligent and capable humans，are inflicting upon the defenseless， weak and very pure creatures of God. I just beg all the people，please don’t do it anymore. Please find some other thing to do，some other job to earn your food，to earn your living. Please wash the blood from your hands， please. No matter how much money we have， we can’t live with this conscience，we can’t sleep with this，we can’t eat, the blood of all the beings. knowing that they suffer so much. How can we do this？ Please， just stop all this; there are many jobs to do. Even if we have to die，don’t inflict suffering upon others just to earn your few meals a day. That’s really not worth your dignity and your status as the crown of the creation of God.
Because no matter how you torture the animals，they will die only once. Just like us. We will die only once no matter how we die. It’s just how we live our life，how we live our life，and how we will answer in the Kingdom of God when we face the Creator of all these beautiful beings that we are blessed to live with. You don’t have to believe that animals can communicate，you don’t have to believe that animals have feeling，you don’t have to believe that they bless us，you don’t have to believe that they are beneficial，but just look into their eyes. Just see how weak they are，how meek they are，just see how innocent they are，just see how defenseless they are，then you can tell yourself that this is not right to torture them in any way at all，with any excuses at all.
Even the wild beast，they don’t torture their victims like this. They only have to kill when they are hungry; they have no choice. We have a lot of choices，to survive. Please， just stop this. Just stop doing this. You will be sorry the day you die if you don’t stop this. I promise you. You will be very， very sorry， I promise you. I’m telling you with all the honor that I have in my life，that if you don’t stop killing or torturing the animals you will be very sorry. You will be in a place that you wish you have never been born. Please stop it. Thank you.
The poem of the Supreme Master Ching Hai『Words of a piglet』
The day I met you first Was the day of my birth/Pink and round，me oh so plump With Mom I gaily frolicked. Lovingly you looked at me Praising，『Oh， so round， what a cutie！』 Every day you came by to visit Bringing cool water and delicious veggie treats. Mommy and I were so touched Your kindness worth more than gold I lived a peaceful life/Under your care and protection Growing more plump with each passing day Just eat， rest and play So lovely was this early morn As clouds were drifting across the sky Cuddling together， Mommy and I Unaware of the befalling tragedy！ Two brawny young men Strong like tigers and elephants/Squashed my tiny body Flat into a cage of horror！ There was no way to escape！ O God， what purgatory was this？ I wailed in fear and terror/Mom， oh Mom， please save me！ Oh caretaker，please come protect me quickly！ Rescue my life， I’m still at a tender age！ Mom was crying out in sorrow Tears of desperation filling her eyes The immense Heavens cannot contain This horrendous emotional pain！ My caretaker turned away Hands busy counting a stack of money Haplessly I rolled around in the car trunk Breaking heart more painful than bodily misery！ The two young men bantered: 『This piglet will be so tasty！ Tomorrow we’ll slaughter him To celebrate the birth of the wife’s newborn baby！』 Oh， how ironic this life/My soul is shattered Tears flow in my heart/Like blood running in rivulets. I thought you loved me/Nurturing me to maturity But all this was a sham For you，it’s just profit and gain！ Tomorrow my body will be cut to pieces My flesh and bones turned to sheer torture Just so people can laugh in merriment At their happy feast and gathering. To your children and others’ too/I wish them all long lives So the family can stay together/Not endure the same fate as mine I pray the whole family lives nobly To be human in many lifetimes And never be reborn as pigs Paying forever karmic debts！ Alas， good-bye life I ache for my gentle suffering mother In tears I am overcome Oh， Mommy！ Mom Mom
『Vegetarianism:The Noble Way of Living，』
Mrs. Polina Marinova, As the Coordinator of the Vegetarian Society of Bulgaria in Sofia: I conceived the idea about registering a non-governmental organization and the need for legislative amendments having repeatedly faced the choice of eating meat or going hungry. In this regard，my human rights have been infringed upon on numerous occasions. A year ago， I had to stay for a while in a hospital to give birth， and all the meals offered there were actually meat dishes. I had informed the hospital staff that I was a vegan in advance， and asked if vegan dishes could be provided for me.
The reply as I received from them was that for my sake alone， they could not make any changes. Exactly the same things happen with our vegetarian and vegan children who have no possibility of choice at the kindergartens they attend. The situation is almost the same at the school canteens where， okay， there is a vegetarian or vegan dishes， the dish looks quite unattractive and there is no end on to such examples there and elsewhere. All this makes vegetarians and vegans in Bulgaria discriminated people. I consulted attorneys at law who are experienced in the area of human rights protection.
They told me that human rights law is on our side and we should seriously consider filing a possible lawsuit against the state. They also indicated the possibility of launching some legislative initiatives for the purpose of securing the equal rights of vegetarians and vegans and protecting their equitable access to their normal nutritional regimen.
In accordance with the text of the Article ６ of the Bulgaria Constitution， all people are born free and equal as far as their dignity and rights are concerned. Besides， all citizens are equal before the law. No limitation of rights or privileges is admissible on the grounds of race， nationality， ethnicity， gender， origin， family backgrounds， religion， education， convictions， political affiliation， personal and social or material status. Following this line of thought， the rights of quite a sizeable part of Bulgarian people are systematically infringed upon， simply because the by virtue of their convictions or religious denominations， they have become vegetarian and vegans. It’s absolutely imperative that Parliament pass a law stating that all hospitals， kindergartens， creches (daycare centers)， all schools and prisons， in short， all public institutions where catering is provided shall have vegetarian and vegan meals on offer.
Mr. Lubomir Stoyanov，a nutritional scientist，student of Bioinformatics and member of the Bulgarian Vegetarian Society:The UK Cabinet Office Strategy Unit documented that ７０，０００ premature deaths in the UK could be prevented annually by the vegan diet. The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition found that greater consumption of vegetables and fruit increases the probability of being cancer-free. Similarly， the World Cancer Research Fund has， recently， called for complete avoidance of all processed meats to avoid cancer. The World Health Organization states that premature deaths could be avoided through healthy ways of living and through a healthy，vegetable-rich diet，and the American Diabetes Association is highlighting the fact that vegetarian diets protect against the risk of type-２ diabetes.
the Founder and Deputy Director of ?SVV (Czech Vegetarian Society)，Mr. Jaroslav ?kva?il:On one hand，I have encountered the opinion of the Food and Agriculture organization，which says that it is necessary to decrease the meat consumption by half just to ensure that the current situation，the ecological situation on the planet，won’t deteriorate further. That was in ２００６. Isn’t this statement exaggerated？
Rreducing meat production by ５０％ is a very underestimate，in part because we have waited so long to change. So our time has become too short in fact，and the situation is too dire. Just in case you are not aware，or maybe others viewers are not，I will share with you some of the facts of where we are today. With melting that has caused the biggest ice loss ever known in the Arctic，scientists now tell us that the region is warming at the rate twice as fast as the rest of the world. As you may already know，two German ships have just traveled through the Northeast Passage because the ice all melted，and that is the first time in known human history that the ships could pass through.
So the vast ice beneath Greenland is also melting even faster than previously predicted. Many researchers are saying that at the rate of current warming，there is almost no way for our world to stay within the limits of a ２ degree Celsius temperature rise，which is the maximum that will still ensure the safety of most life on the planet. But even though our predicament is very grave，we do still have time if we act now.
the main contributing gas from livestock，which is methane，traps ７２ times more heat than CO２ over a ２０-year period. And then there is the other gases，nitrous oxide for example，which comes from the unregulated waste contamination and fertilizer runoff of crops that are primarily grown for livestock to consume. This gas traps ２８９ times，２８９ times，more heat than CO２，more than carbon dioxide. According to the most recent figures from scientists，livestock raising is actually responsible for more than ５０％ of global warming. More than ５０％ is coming from meat and dairy production！ Imagine that？ So，with ５５ billion animals currently being murdered every year for meat consumption，you can imagine how much the Earth would be restored if this is stopped.
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 outbreak，those green moss that grow in the water.
One such event just occurred in Brittany，France，where a majority of the country’s livestock and a third of the dairy farms are located. On the Brittany coast，this waste and chemical runoff coming into the sea causes outbreaks of toxic algae，which emit the lethal，deadly gas hydrogen sulfide. So，recently in news we heard of a horse that died within half a minute of stepping into the algae and now the health concerns of over ３００ people are being investigated for the same reason around that area. 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.
『Save Our Planet，Everybody Can Do It』
Dr. Astrid Sieglinde Kaplan, acquired a Ph.D. in psychology and 'an animal rights' author and artist:Experts agree that children and adolescence who harm or kill have never learned compassion or the ability to put oneself in someone else’s shoes and to empathize with another’s feelings. If we are lacking in compassion，it becomes easy to reduce animals or people and to objectify them as things without emotion. We feel more compassion towards those beings that are closer to us; less the more distanced they are. Because children，by their very nature，identify with animals and because animals are living beings just as we are，through our relationship to animals，we can teach children how we should treat other people.
Another important point in contributing to peace or violence in our daily lives is our food choices. If we eat meat，we are exerting passive violence，as usually we allow others to kill for us. This moral vacuum also provides the danger that we place any being to a space outside of our morality，be it animal or human，that we would like to enslave，exploit or kill. In this space outside of our morality reigns the principle of 『might makes right』or 『the law of the jungle.』The manner in which people and animals become victims of violence depends on their unique economic and sociopolitical situation.
As long as there is a moral vacuum for animals，this poses an enormous,constant threat to humans and animals. Because just as ethics is not divisible，neither is violence divisible. That is why the only true solution for securing non-violence and peace lies in converting the moral vacuum in our psyche into a space of compassion.
Mr. Wim Coenen, the partnership coordinator of ＥＶＡ or Ethical Vegetarian Alternative，a Belgian organization promoting a healthy vegetarian lifestyle in a positive and appetizing way since the year 2000:In May 2009，the city of Ghent，inspired by ＥＶＡ，chose to permanently promote Thursdays as a day for avoiding all animal products. Many cities around the world are following this example with Sao Paulo in Brazil，being the biggest one so far.
Why is this Thursday Veggie Day such a success? But I’ll try and venture a guess. First of all，our tone is always positive. We do not judge people for eating meat，but we encourage them to sample，to taste，eat and keep eating vegetarian food，which brings me to the fact that no one is ever forced to eat vegetarian ? we can only stimulate people’s awareness. But the idea of Thursday Veggie Day is based on a motivated choice ? so，not on pressure，not on guilt or stories of gloom and doom. In others words，we invite people to try new things by presenting appetizing and 100% vegan recipes in our publications and magazines.
Thirdly，we always try to be playful and fun. And as you can see here，most of our publications are full of colorful cartoons，humorous pictures and content. This one being mainly colorful，not so much funny, as you can see. Fourthly，and perhaps most importantly，we do not focus on one particular reason for eating vegetarian food. We always present five，not ten，five important reasons to eat less meat，and they are: One，eating vegetarian food will be a treat for your taste buds ? you will discover beautiful，rich and previously unknown taste sensations. Secondly，you are taking care of your own health. The average European eats massive，massive amounts of animal protein，and replacing these partly or completely by vegetable proteins will help you get fitter and helps you to prevent physical problems，like heart disease，high cholesterol，etc. Thirdly，you’re saving the planet as we’ve heard today.
Meat production is，after energy，the second biggest cause of global warming，an even bigger contributor to global warming than transportation. And according to the FAO (Food and Agricultural Organization)，it’s in the top two or three causes as Supreme Master has already said，of every major environmental problem. Fourthly，you’re helping other people. For 1 kilogram of beef，you need 7 to 8 kilograms of grain and 15,000 liters of water. And if we use these resources to feed people，more people in the third world would have sufficient food and access to clean water. And fifthly，the fifth reason we present，very simple，you save animals，because an average person in Belgium eats over 1,800 animals during their lifetime. That’s 891 chickens，42 pigs，5 cows，789 fish，7 sheep，43 turkeys and 24 rabbits and other so-called game meat.
It’s a shining small example like a lamp that you know，lit the whole room up. No matter how dark it has been for 1000 years，just one lamp it would lit up. And then slowly there’re more rooms would be lit up. Please continue，no matter how hard it is. And please pray every minute that you have a chance. Please pray，because this is the power that can help you to overcome all the difficulty and the setback and the physical exhaustion also. Yes? Praying. yes? Praying or meditation is the same kind of contemplation that will help us to walk forward Yes? with more inner strength. Yes? and outer radiance that convince others. Yes. And it will radiate love from your conviction，and your good-hearted intention.
Mr. John Carmody, has come all the way from Ireland where he founded the Animal Rights Action Network(ARAN):Just recently we’ve convinced one of the top department stores in the country to go fur-free and we also helped to persuade the Irish government to support the EU trade ban on the Canadian seal products into Europe，which was a huge achievement. And more good news for you as well，Master Ching Hai，is that Ireland has just recently said that they are going to ban fur farming in Ireland within three years，and stag hunting is also going to be banned too，which is a huge，huge achievement.
Ireland seems to be the first in many things. Even stopping smoking, Yes. And the first in a record of organic farming, etc. You see, it does have an effect, all your efforts. And just now Mr. Coenen and his wife have reported to us about their success yeah, EVA, in Ghent city. Because right after the Ghent city declared Thursday is a meat-free day, for example yeah, then many others are also starting similar meatless programs. Like Sao Paulo, Brazil, and the mayors of many cities like, Hsinchu of Formosa (Taiwan), Santiago, Philippines, are encouraging their citizens to be veg for the planet. We also have the famous vegetarian celebrities using their fame and name to promote the compassionate way of life.
And according to my inner meditative knowledge, we have, at least more than 40% of the world’s population now are vegetarian or vegan. I mean, less cruelty. yes. Let me think. We have almost 50% or something now. Oh God, thanks, God. That counted also those who are part-time vegetarian. But nevertheless, it’s already a very encouraging sign. Put altogether we have like 50%, my God. Okay. And more and more schools are giving vegetarian and vegan options for lunches, yes. Like in the US, since 2003, 40% more schools now offer regular vegetarian meals. That is 2 out of 3 schools offer regular vegetarian meals.
There is the extinction of plant and animal species that is 100% 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 not helping us.
They will not be not helping us, the rainforests, if the climate gets warmer. But instead, they’ll worsen... 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. 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. Especially because they are black, you know, these soot from the burnt-black 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. Animal industries are thenumber one killer of all killers on this planet. Forget about the war, forget terrorism, they are just small numbers compared to the meat industry. Meat industry is the number one killer, is the number one murderer, an illegal 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. see?
That 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, Yeah? 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.
We all wish our children to grow up intelligent, loving and kind, but what do we teach them from the beginning of their very fragile life? What do we teach them? We push the symbol of violence into their mouth. Even if they spit it out, we force them to put it back in again until they get used to it. Violence is a part of our life, up to now. Violence is what we teach our children, and we expect them to be loving and kind. Not only violence, that piece of meat or fish or animals, stuff that we try to stuff into our children’s unaware stomachs, that also decreases their intelligence, decreases their loving quality, humanity. So we expect our children to be the best, and we give them the worst. The worst of all the worst is the meat diet. Okay? So, how laughs about promise laughs that our children will be what we expect them to be without a meat diet? Intelligent, loving and kind, and noble beings.
In the USA, for example, the FBI, Federal Bureau, you know? of Intelligence, the famous FBI of America, yes. they officially consider animal cruelty as part of how much a criminal is a threat to society. Many serial killers in their childhood tortured and abused animals. They practiced this first on the animals, and later on humans. You see? And so, the opposite will be true. yes? If we are kind and loving to animals, we will be also be more, also be even more kind, more loving to our human companions or human co-inhabitants. Without slaughterhouses, we won’t articipate in the habit of killing, or even havinghave the subconscious participation of the habit of killing, the habit of oppressing the weak and the defenseless and innocent just for our palate.
Or if they go on the massacring fishing boat or the bloody whaling boat to witness it for themselves, I wonder how anybody could ever do this for a living? But, of course, they have been cheated into doing that. We have all been cheated into doing the things that we should have never done, should have never even imagined. Because our hearts are originally full of compassion and love, but we just ignore our feeling. If you ever wondered if hell exists, just go into those massacre houses or the boats that kill the whales and go to the seals-massacring areas. Go there to find hell, then you’ll believe that hell will exist. Our original God Nature is compassion and love. I repeat again and again and again: You are not that. You are compassion, you are love incarnate. Please return to it.
Or the sheep with the broken bones from being transported thousands of miles to the massacre houses. We look away because it’s not our nature to want to be hurt, nor it is it our nature to inflict pain and agony or sheer terror on others. Health is also another very strong motivator that we can show other people to encourage them and inspire them. In a vegan world, there would be no more sad news about someone’s child dying of brain damage or paralysis due to E. Coli, the deadly bacteria which originally almost always comes from farmed animals. There would be no more heartache due to deadly swine flu pandemic, or mad cow disease, cancer, diabetes, strokes and heart attacks, salmonella, Ebola, etc., etc. Even AIDS that we fear so much is originally also from hunting animals to eat.
Animal diseases from the horrid, filthy livestock raising environment are responsible for 75% of all the emerging, infectious human diseases, and they are often contracted by us hunting after the animals, or forcing them to stay in a crowded, filthy place to be massacred for us to eat. This is not the way God intended for us to live with our co-inhabitants. This is not the way we should behave as children of God. We have been really deluded into doing all this, and degrading ourselves thus into this level. The animals are our helpers, our friends, and Heaven’s beloved.