July 24, 2009

Leading US climatologist calls for urgent action to avoid planetary disaster

Dr. James Hansen, Director of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has said that climatic tipping points are rapidly approaching with potential irreversibility if greenhouse gas emissions are not promptly slowed. He points out that we are on a present course to reach 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, which would incur a several meters rise in sea level and runaway climate change. On the SolveClimate website, he stated, “This is a problem that demands strong leadership. The only special interest that should be calling the tune is the public’s special interest.”

Our earnest appreciation, Dr. James Hansen for your persevering efforts to raise awareness about the immediacy of this dangerous warming trend. Let us all become leaders by adopting the planet-cooling organic, plant-based diet to sustain both our lives and others.

Supreme Master Ching Hai often shares her insights to help us as we face the dangers of global warming, as in the following excerpt from an October 2008 videoconference in Thailand.

Supreme Mastet Ching Hai: We cannot prepare much. Even if we stockpile some food and all that, it is not always helpful. It just makes the world food shortage worsen. So we can only rely on the good karma that we can create. And that we can do.

We can save ourselves right now by turning into vegetarian diet which is benevolent, which is very compassionate, and by being compassionate to others, Heaven will be compassionate to us. That’s the only thing I can tell you. The way we are doing right now, we cause suffering to others; we cannot expect happiness in return.

What we have been doing will bringing us disaster and trouble and maybe mass destruction in the very near future. So, if we want to have a good result, we have to start doing good. Be veg, go green, and do good deeds.

http://solveclimate.com/blog/20090715/james-hansen-climate-tipping-points-and-political-leadership http://www.giss.nasa.gov/staff/jhansen.html

IPCC Chair Dr. Pachauri leading the way in climate change

Alleviating climate change is estimated to have significant costs, but Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel Peace Prize winning United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has affirmed that appropriate actions now would bring higher gains to balance the costs. According to Dr. Pachauri, a longtime vegetarian himself, one effective source of such favorable changes is reduced meat consumption.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri (M): It’s a ready and quick way in which we can cut down on emissions, particularly when a lower meat diet has much greater health benefits than eating anything else. As I always tell people, if you eat less meat you will be healthier and so will the planet.

VOICE: Many other leading scientists agree.

Dr. Dale Jamieson - Director of Environmental Studies at New York University, USA, Vegetarian (M): Reducing our meat production is the probably the single most effective thing that individuals can do immediately to reduce their greenhouse gas impact. For a long time, this message hadn’t gotten out. But it’s now starting to get out for many reasons. One reason is because the president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a vegetarian and he’s been making some strong statements lately.

VOICE: For his courageous efforts, visionary leadership and far-reaching care for public health, Dr. Pachauri was recognized withthe Shining World Hero Award from Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri (M): I would like to salute Supreme Master Ching Hai for the remarkable efforts that she has mobilized across the planet to create a sustainable future for the human race and all beings who live on this planet.

And I want to also convey my thanks for this award which I’ve been given. I accept that in all humility, and I hope all of us can work towards a sustainable green and nature friendly future, because we really don’t have a choice. So thank you again Supreme Master, I salute you for all that you're doing...and I hope I have the privilege of meeting you sometime. Thank you very much.

VOICE: Congratulations Dr. Rajendra Pachauri and our heartfelt thanks for your tireless efforts to ensure global survival and wellbeing. We convey our gratitude also to Supreme Master Ching Hai for her encouragement of brave endeavors for the planet.

With Heaven’s blessings, may we all soon unite in the veg circle to enjoy our life-giving, unique Earth together.

Tibetan Buddhist guru and devotees engage in eco-pilgrimage

The 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, along with 750 monks, nuns and other followers have completed a six-week, 400 kilometer walk through the Himalayas where they picked up plastic and other waste to raise public awareness on environmental issues.

During their trek, the group gathered some 60,000 discarded plastic bottles and 5000 carbonated drink cans as they visited more than 30 villages, distributing recyclable canvas bags as alternatives to plastic along with talks about the environment.

Your Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa and devotees, we laud your noble efforts to restore the purity of the legendary and life-giving Himalayas. May we all be reminded to care for our beautiful planetary home.


Two-thirds of the planet’s species may soon be gone

Dr. Peter Raven, an accomplished US conservationist, professor of Botany at Washington University in Missouri, USA and president of the Missouri Botanical Garden, gave a keynote speech at the 23rd International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in Beijing, China, where he stated that because of habitat destruction, climate change and other human related activities, many of the world’s species could disappear even before many of them have been formally discovered. Dr. Raven said, “Currently, several thousand species are lost every year and very soon the number could rise to more than 10,000.”

He encouraged greater public awareness on species protection along with more parks and nature reserves. Dr. Raven and the International Congress for Conservation Biology, your efforts to raise awareness of the plight of all species and our planet are much needed and appreciated.

Let us all join in promoting sustainable living that honors and preserves all life. Ever-concerned for Earth’s survival, during a videoconference in August 2008 with our Association members in Canada, Supreme Master Ching Hai suggested steps that humanity can take to protect our co-inhabitants.

Supremem Master Ching Hai: If we just protect our environment and we turn our hearts into a compassionate way of life, then like attracts like. If we treasure life, then life will be coming back in abundance.

I'm also sorry, like you, because some beautiful animals, some beautiful species are just gone. If we don't do anything to protect the animals and the planet, maybe in the future, we will be only looking at them from photos, like a history, like dinosaurs or something.

But we are doing what we can. We just have to remind everybody to be veg and to be kind to the animals. That's the only way we can protect them.



Meat consumption devastating world’s waters.

A study by the US-based World Resources Institute (WRI) shows that the rise in meat consumption and demand for fossil fuels is a direct cause of oxygen depletion in the world’s coastal and freshwater areas. Saying that close to 500 coastal areas now suffer from hypoxia, the report indicated that this number is expected to rise.

The researchers also found that a full 80% of the nitrogen used in factory hog farm production is being returned to the environment as a pollutant through pig manure and the growing of animal feed. Lead author Mindy Selman said, “One swine operation in the Black Sea region that is now closed had more than 1 million pigs and generated sewage equivalent to a town of 5 million people.”

We appreciate your endeavors, Ms. Selman and associates at World Resources Institute in bringing more understanding of our aquatic environments’ critical plight. Let us all turn to the life-saving and green vegan lifestyle for the safety of the waters and the planet.

http://www.wri.org/press/2009/07/worlds-waters-choking-meat-consumption-and-other-human-activities, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Resources_Institute, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eutrophication

UK Parliament questions consumption of fish, meat and dairy.

A report published on Tuesday by the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee of the British Parliament said that the government should rethink its previous advice favoring fish consumption. Citing a perilous decline in the marine environment, the report recommended ensuring food security by growing more fruits and vegetables instead.

In acknowledging the adverse effects of meat production as well, the report stated, “UK consumers buying meat and dairy products should be encouraged to consider the environmental, as well as the health, impacts of their choices.”

A big thank you, British Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, for your interest in safeguarding both humans and the environment. We look forward to your country’s exemplary leadership in advocating the wholesome plant-based diet for the good of all.


Canadian man resistant to swine flu antiviral medicine

A 60-year-old Quebec gentleman is now the fifth person believed to have contracted
swine flu prior to being given a precautionary dose of the antiviral medication Tamiflu, after which he developed a resistance. He is one of five people as far apart as Japan, Denmark and Hong Kong, who developed an antiviral resistance, leading experts to fear the implications for protecting public health from swine flu.

A new mother became Tonga’s first fatality after undergoing an emergency delivery to save her baby, while Laos and Hungary also reported their first fatalities. The number of cases in Egypt has swelled to 145, raising further public health concerns during the upcoming Muslim Hajj pilgrimage. Countries with the highest numbers of confirmed cases include Australia at 14,037, Mexico at 14,229 and the United States at 40,617, as well as United Kingdom, Chile and Canada, all at more than 10,000 confirmed illnesses in their nations. The official global number is 151,656with 868 fatalities across 139 countries.

However, health ministries and the World Health Organization indicate that actual numbers are at least 10 times higher.This past week alone, new swine flu cases in England doubled to 100,000, with 840 people hospitalized, 63 of whom are in critical condition.

To help relieve some ofthe pressure on doctors, the UK’s London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has partnered with the Health Protection Agency to provide swine flu information as well as collect it through a website called flusurvey.org.uk. Emulating an approach being successfully used by four other European nations, the website describes latest treatment medicines along with showing the spread of the illness and symptoms so that people can obtain tentative diagnoses for themselves.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and British Health Protection Agency, we appreciate this helpful tool for keeping people better protected and informed. It sorrows us to seethe deplorable state and devastating effect of factory farms, which virtually breed such pandemics, causing grief to countless families. We envision the day when all animals are free and all humans liberated from disease through the most healthful organic vegan diet.

_Numbers_And_Spread http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N20135408.htm

Hog farm owners ordered to pay for revolting smell.

A court in Missouri, USA has ruled that the factory hog farm owners have to pay Ed and Ruth McEowen US$1.1 million for the debilitating effects of its air and water pollution on their neighbors’ lives. The couple had been living in the home for 40 years when their peace was disturbed by the establishment of a pig farm nearby.

Mr. McEowen explained, “Night was always the worst. It's like the monsters come out at night. The sickening stench just lays down here in the valley once the sun goes down. You could never invite anybody over because you never knew how bad the stench was going to be.”

One of their attorneys, Mr. Charlie Speer, is involved in 350 other cases across the state regarding offensive air and water pollution created by factory farms. Besides the terrible stench, the atrocious filth of pig factory farms has triggered the deadly worldwide swine flu pandemic.

In France, 64 summer school students were quarantined after being confirmed with the virus, 47 at a school in Issy-les-Moulineaux and another 17 in a language academy west of the capital. British researchers now recommend against closing schools, saying that even this would not halt the spread of the illness, while South Korean health authorities have raised the national swine flu warning to the second highest level. The number of cases in Wales jumped from 500 to over 2,300 in just the past week, and Panama announced her first death.

Officially, the tally of people infected is 143,841 from 138 countries, with 813 fatalities, although the
World Health Organization has acknowledged that the actual numbers are too high to calculate.

We are grateful to Mr. Charlie Speer and all the advocates striving to ensure clean air and water for people like the McEowens who are coping with loss of health and quality of life due to the disgusting effects of factory farms. We sorrow for those who have lost loved ones to the swine flu and pray for the quick and full recovery of persons who have fallen ill.
May the grace of the divine quickly lead us to a vegan world free of the inhumane meat industry for the vibrant health and safety of all.


July 8, 2009

WHO traces antiviral resistant swine flu.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has begun investigating the potential spread of what appears to be a new form of the swine flu that is resistant to the antiviral medication Tamiflu. A woman arriving in Hong Kong, China from California, USA is now the third person known to have been confirmed with this antiviral-resistant form.

At least 124 countries globally have now been affected by the illness as Macedonia reports her first two cases ever, with afflicted persons that have surpassed 94,500 in number and over 425 lives lost to the disease as reported officially.

However, British Health Secretary Andy Burnham has stated he expects swine flu cases could reach 100,000 per day in the United Kingdom alone by the end of August. In Asia, cases have been growing by dozens in places such as Hong Kong and Âu Lạc (Vietnam). The Philippines’ Department of Health announced that nearly half of the country’s confirmed 1,709swine flu victims are between the ages of 10 and 19.

Concerns are also being raised in Muslim countries about the November Hajj pilgrimage, which is forecast to bring three million people to the Saudi city of Mecca from 160 countries. Meanwhile, Tunisia’s health officials have forbidden all but the main Hajj pilgrimage this year, to help reduce the risk of swine flu.

Our continued thankfulness for the myriad governments, organizations and individuals cooperating to further understand and prevent the spread of the swine flu. It saddens us to know of the most recent losses and pray for the recovery of sufferers. We look forward to the day when all animal agriculture as the source of this illness has been eliminated, and the vitality-building organic vegan diet is the norm for all.


Antarctic shows more warning signs of climate change

At the recent 2009 Annual Antarctic Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, Dr. Peter Barrett of the Antarctic Research Center at Victoria University said that Antarctic’s rate of ice loss had increased 75 percent since 1996. He went on to say that when Greenland and other glaciers are included in this evaluation, a rise in sea level of 80 centimeters to 2 meters by 2100 is expected. Marine life would also be adversely affected by the resulting warmer and more acidic oceans.

Another study conducted by fellow Antarctic Research Center colleague and Director, Dr. Tim Naish, found that if the West Antarctic ice sheet melts, sea levels could rise by a full five meters.

We appreciate this crucial information, Drs. Barrett, Naish and colleagues. May we quickly heed the urgent call for sustainable lifestyles to halt global warming and save our ecosphere.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently expressed her concern about the dangerous rise in sea levels that is already affecting coastaland island countries. In an August 2008 videoconference with our Association members in New Zealand, she responded to a question about political leaders, conveying her confidence in governments to act on
behalf of fellow citizens.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: What encouragement can we give them to stand up and spread the message to the people to be vegetarian?

I think they will have to, in time. And I hope they do it soon, so that we still have
a chance to save millions, billions of people or the whole planet. What is the useof having economy or political power when everybody is dead?

Even if the leader is still alive, whom would he or she rule if there’s no citizen left? I am worried about your country; it’s a small island surrounded by water. And if the water level
rise then…I don’t want to talk about it.

But I’m sure your leader will realize it sooner or later, that survival is number one. Political position, economic power is number ten, very low, low, low, low down there. First we have to survive.


Ancient plant extinctions came from global warming

A report recently published in the journal Science details findings that the loss of up to 80% of plant biodiversity in Greenland 200 million years ago occurred at lower levels of greenhouse gases causing climate change at that time.

This collaborative effort of international scientists from University College Dublin in Ireland, The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC, USA and Oxford University in the UK concluded that the public must seriously consider the current atmospheric warming before history repeats itself and small increases in greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide lead to massive and sudden collapses in biodiversity.

Lead researcher Dr. Mc Elwain from University College Dublin cautioned, “If we continue with the current intensive use of fossil fuel energy, some estimates calculate that carbon dioxide levels in the earth’s atmosphere will reach 900 parts per million by the year 2100.

This is exactly the same levels at which our study identified the mass biodiversity collapse in ancient Greenland.” International researchers, many thanks for your valued work in studying our planet’s climate history. May your insightful findings be the catalyst of change in our call to action for the sake of planetary sustainability.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has often caringly warned of the effects of human activities on global warming, as in the following excerpt from an October 2008 videoconference in Thailand.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: What is in the atmosphere if we do not continue the way we are living our life right now and we will not continue to overload the atmosphere, then it will decrease with time, maybe long time, but it will decrease. And what is important is not to create any more, or not so overwhelmingly that nature cannot handle.

Nature can help to absorb some of the carbon dioxide but we overload nature, so we have problems right now and we’ll continue to have problems if we are not doing anything to prevent further destruction of the planet.

And any new technology takes so long to develop and to be in the market. The best solution, the quickest, the most benevolent that can change everything from black to white immediately is the vegetarian diet because compassion begets compassion.


Arctic permafrost could release vast amounts of greenhouse gases

A four-year study by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has revealed that the carbon stores beneath the vast Arctic tundra, or permafrost, are much higher than previously estimated. CSIRO’s Global Carbon Project Executive Director, Dr. Josep Canadell, stated, 『Projections show that almost all near-surface permafrost will disappear by the end of this century, exposing large carbon stores to decomposition and release of greenhouse gases.”

He went on to state his own observations on a recent trip to China that the permafrost at the Arctic’s southern limit had nearly disappeared in the last 20 years. It is estimated that even a 10 percent permafrost melt would result in a 0.7 degree Celsius increase in temperature, causing more intense storms, droughts and rising sea levels, with further warming that could be irreversible and catastrophic if the thaw happens too quickly.

Dr. Canadell and colleagues at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, we appreciate your efforts in providing this alarming report. Let us all awaken now and act in bringing sustainable Earth-saving measures to preserve the environment for ourselves and all beings.

In a July 2008 videoconference with our Association members in Seattle, Washington, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai warned of the planet’s imperilled state, offering her insights on how to best ensure our stable future.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: If the ice melts and the sea warms, then the gas will be released into the atmosphere, and it does already according to scientists’ research and pro of. So the gas that release into the atmosphere might affect you.

And you see, if it is not cold then even all the permafrost, which is the cold hard mud layers, will be melted also, and then the gas from the permafrost also will be released. And that’s the reason maybe you feel more tired.

And some places may have more mental illness, and all kind of other illnesses, and diseases go where they have not been before even.

So everybody has to join to into the vegetarian diet, and stop the killing, stop the harm to other people and the animals and save energies every way possible and go green wherever possible.


Swine flu update and factory farm connection.

About 90,000 cases of the swine flu have been confirmed across approximately 122 countries, with a first-ever case being diagnosed in Syria. More than 380 people have lost their lives to the virus, three of which were the first fatalities for New Zealand. With over 5,000 cases confirmed and sometimes hundreds of new afflictions that appear overnight, Australia has the highest number of people stricken in the Asia-Pacific region along with nine swine flu-related deaths.

Also of concern are countries in the southern hemisphere where the flu season has just set in, such as Argentina with at least 44 who have perished and Chile’s 19 fatalities with approximately 7,400 cases confirmed.

Meanwhile, two recent US-based Huffington Post articles by Deirdre Imus and Nicolette Hahn Niman highlighted the need for more government and media attention to swine flu’s suspected origin in industrial-scale animal farms.

In her June 15 story titled “Reaping What We Sow: How Industrial Animal Farming is Contributing to the Risk of a Swine Flu Pandemic,” Ms. Niman wrote “…this pandemic reminds us that the current method of raising farm animals is fraught with risks to human health… As part of its efforts to mitigate the risk of a catastrophic flu pandemic, Congress should adopt a national moratorium on industrial animal operations.” Ms. Imus also urged for investigations into what she called “these toxic disease breeding grounds.”

Thank you, caring journalists Ms. Imus and Ms. Niman for helping bring a greater awareness of the real pandemic risks we face today. We also pray for the swine flu patients and loved ones, and send our sympathies for those who have been lost, as victims of today’s animal raising system. May we hasten to prevent a worse situation by ending all livestock raising practices and choosing health and happiness through the organic vegan diet.


July 6, 2009

Pizza restaurant sales soar with vegan offerings

One month after eliminating veal from the menu and switching to pizza toppings with a Daiya Foods’ cassava-based vegan cheese along with vegetarian ham, sausage and pepperoni, Cruzer Pizza saw sales increase by a remarkable 63 percent. Mr. Sam Khalaf, owner of the Los Angeles, California, USA restaurant eliminated veal from the menu at the request of Farm Animal Sanctuary. His success inspired the upscale restaurant next door, Desert Rose, to transform one-third of its menu to vegan offerings as well. And Mr. Khalaf said the popularity of the pizza toppings encouraged him to add vegan calzones, macaroni and ‘cheese,’ spaghetti and ‘meat’ balls, and lasagna to the menu.

Bravo and congratulations, Mr. Khalaf and Cruzer Pizza staff! We admire your courage and leadership in making these transitions and inspiring other restaurants to do the same. Our gratitude also, for the compassionate Farm Animal Sanctuary and all the vegan food companies designing delicious meat and cheese substitutes to make these options possible. We look forward to the day that such delectable plant-based treats are enjoyed by people worldwide.


Swine flu continues its rapid spread

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), confirmed cases of swine flu are now approaching 90,000 across approximately 121 countries, with 382 people who have lost their lives to the illness.

During a forum in Mexico on Thursday, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan stated, 『As we see today, with well over 100 countries reporting cases, once a fully fit pandemic virus emerges, its further international spread is unstoppable.” Indeed, Kenya, Uganda, and Croatia this week reported their first cases of the disease. In the United Kingdom, more than 1,000 people have reported swine flu symptoms in London’s East End, while in the Philippines, confirmed cases have more than doubled to over 1,700.

Our hearts continue to be saddened by the rising incidence of this pervasive illness. We send our sympathies to those who have lost a loved one to the grip of the swine flu as we pray for the protection of the afflicted. May humanity quickly awaken to the freedom that can be found in the considerate vegan lifestyle, which restores wholesome health to all.


Superfood Soy Linked To Reduction In Smoker's Lung Damage Risk

Soy linked to strengthened lung function. A new study from Japan shows that consumption of soy products reduces the risk of lung disease, especially in the case of long-term smoking. Conducted by Dr. Fumi Hirayama and Professor Andy Lee from Curtin University of Technology in Australia, 300 Japanese patients with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) from 6 hospitals were examined regarding their intake of soy. Dr. Hirayama said that the flavonoids from soy foods appear to act as anti-inflammatory agents in the lungs, thus helping protect from tobacco carcinogens. Although the study did not examine this specifically, the protection would likely apply to second and third-hand smoke effects as well.

Dr. Hirayama, Professor Lee and colleagues at Curtin University of Technology, many thanks for this good news about the safeguarding qualities of soy. Wishing people everywhere the gift of being tobacco-free with fresh air and robust health for all.

Smoking shortens lives by 15 years

In an international study on the mortality rates of smokers, the New Zealand Medical Association (NZMA) has revealed that people who smoke face premature death with an average of 15 life years lost. Highlighting the suffering of loved ones, Association Acting Chairman Paul Ockelford said, “What is often forgotten is the impact these deaths have on the people left behind. If you continue to smoke, your grandchildren might never get to know you, and you'll miss seeing them grow up... The best thing you can do for you and your family is quit smoking.” Chairman Ockelford also observed that there are many options available to help people stop the habit, such as inexpensive nicotine replacement therapy.

Our gratitude, Chairman Ockelford, New Zealand Medical Association and all involved in this important study, for helping the public understand the detrimental costs of tobacco use. With Heaven’s grace, may this harmful substance soon be a thing of the past, for the benefit of families worldwide.


High animal fat diet linked with pancreatic cancer

A recently published report by the US National Cancer Institute followed the dietary habits of over 500,000 American people over a six year period and found that men and women consuming high amounts of animal saturated fats were 43% more likely to develop the disease. Pancreatic cancer is typically fatal, making it the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. This study corroborates the findings of research conducted in 2006, which also found that a diet high in red meat was associated with a higher risk for pancreatic cancer.

Many thanks, scientists at the US National Cancer Institute for this revealing information about the deadly risks of a meat and/or dairy consuming diet. Our earnest prayers that all people soon opt for the life-saving vegan lifestyle to benefit themselves, their loving families and the animals with whom we share the planet.

http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition /Diet/280620090829_fatty_diet_linked_to_high_risk_of_pancreatic_cancer.html

Vegetarian school lunches now more prevalent in US

A recent survey completed by 1,200 school nutrition directors throughout the US revealed that vegetarian meals have increased as a regular school lunch option from 22% in 2003 to nearly 67% in 2009. Additionally, the US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, which subsidizes the meals, received over 10,000 public comments in 2008 requesting an increase the availability of vegetarian foods at schools. The survey also showed that 20.5% of the lunch programs nationwide offer vegan meal options, meaning foods with no animal-based products. In an effort to feature even more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in lunches, the School Nutrition Association is calling for an increase in government subsidies for its programs.

What heartening news! Bravo, School Nutrtion Association and US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, for your efforts to expand offerings of vegetarian and vegan meals! We look forward to the day when such delicious fresh veg meals are the norm for students worldwide.

Smoking declines in Victoria, Australia

A Cancer Council Victoria survey found that the number of smokers in Victoria has reduced from just over 21% in 1998 to 16.5% in 2008. Ms. Fiona Sharkie, Executive Director of Quit Victoria, a program designed to help smokers overcome the life-threatening habit, said, “Women now have the lowest smoking rates on record in Victoria (14.7%); however, men’s smoking rates have also reduced from almost 25% in 1998 to 18.5% in 2008.”

Congratulations, Victoria, on the improved well-being of your citizens. May more and more individuals choose healthful habits for a vibrant life.

July 2, 2009

Potential tsunami puts millions at risk along the Mediterranean coast

According to the World Disasters Report by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the lack of an early warning system in the area renders it highly vulnerable to damage and loss of life. The risk of such disasters as hurricanes, cyclones and tsunamis has been found to increase due to climate change.

Mr. Peter Rees-Gildea, a disaster expert from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, said, 『If you look at population density along the Mediterranean coast and the topography and what could happen with a major tsunami, the figures are self-evident. It would be absolutely catastrophic.』

Many thanks, Mr. Peter Rees-Gildea and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, for your thoughtful assessment and timely warning.

Our prayers for the continued safety of those in the Mediterranean region and that our return to a kinder, gentler existence meanwhile minimizes dangers such as these.

Ever concerned for humanity’s welfare, Supreme Master Ching Hai addressed global warming and its grave prospects during an April 2009 videoconference in South Korea.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It is true exactly as you have said that we are facing a very serious situation.

However, the most effective effort that can be made by any country to avoid further catastrophe, whether natural or manmade, is to promote a compassionate, noble lifestyle. Not only does this benefit the planet in its reduction of greenhouse gases, but being veg opens up land and delivers crops to humans that were previously being grown for animal feed.

Swine flu develops resistance to Tamiflu

The World Health Organization reported that the number of confirmed cases has surpassed 77,200, with at least 332 known fatalities. After an alarming surge in lives lost this past week in Argentina, with 14 new fatalities over a two-day period, the nation’s government is closing schools in an attempt to protect millions of children from the swine flu virus.

Meanwhile, recent fatalities include a 29-year-old Brazilian man,a 20-year-old expectant Moroccan mother in Spain and a nine-year-old child who became the third loss in the UK, where swine flu numbers jumped in a few days to about 6,500.

Pharmaceutical company Roche Holding AG has also announced the first known swine flu case for which the antiviral medication Tamiflu was ineffective.

Although the patient was able to recover with another medicine, this indicates that the virus is developing resistance by mutating its form, which could lead to a deadlier version of the swine flu. Virology experts say that this evolution has been occurring through the accomplice role of pig factory farms.

We thank all health officials, governments, and healthcare groups for your efforts to alert the public to the persistence of the swine flu problem and safeguard health.

Our heart goes out to all those afflicted or suffering due to loss of loved ones. As we pray for the virus to diminish, we know that the root solution remains in the adoption of an organic vegan lifestyle, to eliminate the risk of animal-related infections and restore the vitality of all humanity.

Buenos Aires mayor declares emergency
http://www.examiner.com /x-3122-Chicago-International-Travel-Examiner~y2009m6d29-Swine-flu- claims-first-victim-in-England-shows-resistance-to-Tamiflu, http://www.examiner.com/x-3122-Chicago-International-Travel- Examiner~y2009m6d26-Swine-flu-takes-a-deadly-turn-in-Argentina-12- deaths-in-Illinois

Tainted beef sickens at least twenty-four

In what is now the seventh widening of scope since May, a Colorado meat company in the United States has updated its recall to include over 400,000 pounds of beef products that are suspected of contamination by the potentially deadly E.coli bacterium.

At least 18 illnesses so far have been linked to the meat, which has been distributed nationally and internationally. According to the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the type of E. coli bacteria that causes illness in humans comes from the intestines of ruminant animals, mainly cattle, and can result in symptoms ranging from intestinal disorders to kidney failure that can result in death.

Recently, members of the media such as independent journalists, Dan Flynn and Andrew Shain at The State newspaper in South Carolina have requested that the public be informed of retail locations receiving the tainted products.

Caring Journalists, we laud your request for the release of information that would enable greater protection of public health.

At the same time, we pray for humanity’s quickly advancement towards the more assured safety and manifold benefits of the plant-based diet.


Alcohol a lethal substance globally

Researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada have found that alcohol is responsible for one in 25 deaths internationally, one in 10 deaths in Europe, and one in seven deaths in the former Soviet Union countries.

Although moderate intake is often touted as an effective protection against cardiovascular disease, the researchers also noted that these so-called benefits were far outweighed by the significantly greater risk of disease associated with alcohol consumption, including mouth and throat cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, depression and stroke.

Professor Ian Gilmore, president of Britain’s Royal College of Physicians, stated, “This study is a global wake-up call. We need an international framework convention for alcohol control, similar to that on tobacco, as soon as possible, to put into practice the evidence-based measures needed to reduce alcohol-related harm.

These include increasing the price of alcohol, reducing its availability and banning advertising, and the action needs to start now."

Our grateful thanks, University of Toronto scientists and Professor Gilmore for this comprehensive study and compelling call to action. We look forward to seeing successful policies of governments worldwide that bring the freedom of alcohol-free lives to societies everywhere.


July 1, 2009

South African advocate working to save seals

Head of the organization Seal Alert-SA, Mr. Francois Hugo is calling for a halt to seal hunting in Namibia where, beginning July 1, the world’s largest seal cull is expected to begin.

The hunting season is scheduled to last until November 15 and is seeking a quota of 85,000 pups and 6,000 bulls, which will result in the brutal slaughter of 91,000 endangered Cape fur seals.

Francois Hugo – Head of Seal Alert-SA, South Africa (M): in english On the first of July when the seal babies are seven months of age weighing 12 kilograms each, the Namibian government issues a sealing quota for the sealers to go into the colony and round up 85,000 baby seals and club them to death.

VOICE: According Mr. Hugo, this annual practice has caused the former seal colonies that had inhabited 23 islands off the Namibian coast to become 97% extinct.

Seals that do manage to escape the cull instinctively abandon the islands and do not return to their homes.
Francois Hugo – Seal Alert-SA (M): The problem with the conservation of the species is the seal industry. So that is the first hurdle that has to be removed, and once the seals are no longer clubbed, we then need to reverse the damage man has done over the past few centuries.

Our next endeavor is to repopulate those extinct islands with the seals that are being killed on the mainland beaches in Namibia.

VOICE: Mr. Hugo has worked tirelessly for the past 10 years to rescue this endangered species. In 1990, seal culling was halted for good in South Africa. If the same could be done in Namibia, the entire species may still have a chance to be saved. Seal Alert-SA is now negotiating the purchase of the seal industry itself in order to halt the cull by raising US$14 million by July 1st.

Once the seal hunting has been stopped, Mr. Hugo plans to begin repopulating the abandoned Namibian islands with the 60 seal pups he has rescued so far.

VOICE: Our heartfelt appreciation and support, Mr. Hugo and Seal Alert-SA for your dedicated perseverance in saving the Cape fur seals.

We too pray for the immediate protection of these gentle beings and that humanity fully awakens to our compassionate nature to live in peaceful co-existence with all species on Earth.


Mekong dolphins at the brink of extinction

An intensively polluted Mekong River has resulted in alarmingly low populations of the freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin. Numbers are now less than 100, with more than 50 calves who have lost their lives since 2003 from toxic levels of pesticides, mercury, and other pollutants that suppressed their immune systems.

The species has been listed as critically endangered by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) since 2004, and Seng Teak, Country Director of WWF Cambodia, stated, “A trans-boundary preventative health program is urgently needed to manage the disease-affected animals in order to reduce the number of deaths each year.”

We shed tears to know of the suffering of these aquatic co-inhabitants, and pray that they may remain strong as we strive to restore their habitat to healthy purity through our more caring stewardship of Earth.

During a July 2008 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan), Supreme Master Ching Hai reminded once again of our impact on the lives of others, saying that it is through our consideration of other beings that we can ensure the welfare of all inhabitants.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Farm animals get sick due to pesticides. Fish die because of farming insecticides, pesticides, etc. Wild species suffer similar fates because we also drain our chemical substances, insecticides, pesticides into the rivers, into the lakes, into the oceans.

So we lost many of these precious species, we lost many, many of us, because they are us.
And we also lose ourselves, many of us humans, because of these poisonous substances – even from the farm industry -and we still did not wake up yet.

So we must protect the environment. And the wild, they can take care of themselves. If the environments are friendly and conducive to a healthy lifestyle, then the wild will never get sick. The wild will have no problem.


Formosan (Taiwanese) city launches vegetarian school meal program

In efforts to promote a low carbon emission diet, Tainan city is encouraging self-catering schools to begin with one vegetarian lunch per month, moving to once a week while at the same time developing organic vegetable gardens on the school grounds. Amongst 51 elementary and middle schools in the city, 48 have adopted the program.

The city’s Director of Education, Mr. Suie-Wen Wong and Deputy Secretary of the Environmental Protection Bureau, Mr. Jen-San Lin, joined the students in Rihsin Elementary School for its launch of the eco-friendly lunches.

What encouraging news! We thank the Tainan City Education Department and Environmental Protection Bureau as well as the participating schools for your veg endeavors.

Wishing many teachers, students and families the manifold benefits of living in health with the compassionate and Earth-friendly vegan diet.


Oceans found to be rising faster than predicted

A newly published report by the International Alliance of Research Universities, “Climate Change –Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions,” states that the rate of polar ice caps disintegration as well as sea level rise are both substantially faster than what the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted two years ago.

The paper, which was prepared by researchers from 10 international universities, predicts the ocean levels to rise 1 meter by the end of the century, a nearly 70% increase over what the IPCC previously projected.

Similarly,oceanic temperatures are climbing 50% faster than forecast by the IPCC. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, Director of Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, stated, “We have to act immediately and we have to act strongly. Time is clearly running out.”

Our sincere gratitude, scientists of the International Alliance of Research Universities for this report that clearly highlights our imminent global crisis.

Let us all quickly transition to nobler lifestyles to protect the future of our unique and beautiful planet. During the March 2009 Juice Fast for Peace seminar in California, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai acknowledged the reality of the world’s changing oceans, offering at the same time a way to truly transcend this planetary dilemma.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Where are we going with this kind of rising levels? Even if we dig a hole… Nowadays, they have something like the tube ready for you, like a room, and then you can put it in the Earth to protect yourself from climate change, from gases and all that, but how can we protect ourselves in this case when the sea level rises 70 meters and bury everything in its wake?

And no more food, no more agriculture, nothing! No animals even to eat. Even if we want to eat meat, there will be nothing left for us.

We have to change to a vegetarian diet, animal-free diet. Animal industry must be out. That’s it.


Natural disasters are on the rise

According to a report just released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), weather catastrophes have increased over the past decade. The average of 200 per year in the 1990s has increased to 350 per year this decade. Last year there were over 235,000 fatalities from disasters linked to weather such as Cyclone Nargis.

Speaking of the impact of global warming through these extreme events, IFRC Secretary-General Dr. Bekele Geleta said, “The disasters which climate change will trigger potentially threaten more lives and livelihoods than any before.”

Our sincere appreciation, Secretary-General Geleta and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for this disturbing reminder of our planet’s fragile state.

Let us safeguard all lives on Earth through the loving vegan, meaning animal-free, lifestyle. In a July 2008 videoconference with our Association members in Washington, USA, Supreme Master Ching Hai conveyed her deep regard for humanity’s plight in facing global warming, as she offered a way to address its effects.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: If the planet is polluted and poisoned, then people will die slow and in agony. So many disasters happen, and people will suffer so much.

Everybody has to join to into the vegetarian diet, and stop the killing, stop the harm to other people and the animals and save energies every way possible and go green wherever possible. Then we still can save the planet.


Earth may be headed for sixth mass extinction

Using risk factors and computer modeling to predict the rates at which mammals will become extinct, Dr. Ana Davidson of the University of New Mexico, USA and other animal conservationists state that a quarter of all mammals are now at risk of vanishing permanently.

With 83% of the Earth’s land surface now impacted by humans, the species included for consideration were drawn from a list of over 1,100 endangered mammals, compiled by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUC N).

Factors considered in the extinction risk calculations included climate change, deforestation, and illegal poaching. While it saddens our hearts for the loss of precious beings, we offer our gratitude, Dr. Davidson and associates, for these insights to help us further protect

our precious co-inhabitants. Blessed be endeavors such as yours to safeguard all beings in the ecosphere.
In a March 2009 climate change videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai conveyed once more her care for Earth’s inhabitants, including a reminder of the irreplaceable enrichment provided by animals on our planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Just return to compassion and respect for all the life. That is the principle we must uphold to ensure that the animals do not disappear, because, that would be tragic for us humans, too.
Imagine our planet without animals at all. All the dogs gone, cats gone, birds gone, fish gone, buffalos gone, elephants gone; imagine, none of the animals survive, how would we live?

If all humanity lives with the animal-free diet, and lives in respect to nature and other life, then we will have a Heaven on Earth.