November 30, 2009

UK government supports reducing meat for the planet and human health

Following a year’s investigation by 55 scientists in nine countries,the report “Public Health Benefits of Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse-gas Emissions” was published in the prestigious British medical journal the Lancet. It concluded that reducing livestock production by consuming fewer animal products would provide the greatest benefit for reducing emissions, improving health, and containing climate change mitigation costs.

The new report, which described the health benefits of various global warming mitigation strategies, including lifestyle changes, was officially endorsed during a launch event in the United Kingdom by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and leaders of the World Health Organization, the UK Department of Health and Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the US Department of Health. Supreme Master Television spoke with lead author Professor Sir Andrew Haines, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Professor Sir Andrew Haines – Director of London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK (M): You can't ignore the food and agricultural sector if you're serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions quite dramatically, which is what we know has to be done. So we look first of all at the potential for technological change. Could it all be done just by improving technology of farming? And we concluded that that would be not sufficient.

VOICE: The report found that a 30% reduction in the number of livestock animals had the benefit of reaching 50% greenhouse gas reduction goals by 2030 and improving overall health. In particular, heart disease rates alone would be reduced by 15%, saving 18,000 lives in the UK per year from the country's #1 killer.

Sir Andrew Haines (M): Since we already consume sufficient nutritional content from the Western diet, we can quite safely reduce our saturated fat consumption by let’s say, 30%.
There's many people who don't consume very much animal products and meat and other animal products, some who are purely vegetarian and vegan, and all these different dietary patterns are compatible with a healthy lifestyle.

VOICE: We thank the dedicated world scientists and The Lancet medical journal for this very important study integrating climate change and health. We also laud the British government and United Nations officials for supporting this call to global action in reducing meat production and consumption.

May world citizens enjoy the multifold benefits of a plant-based diet including longevity, vitality, and above all, a saved planetary abode. Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently discussed the effective role of governments in reducing global warming, as in an interview published in the September 2009 edition of the British Parliament's The House Magazine.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The government can support organic vegan farming through subsidies. They can also redirect the funds away from the meat industries and instead toward encouraging citizens to plant, to buy and to choose organic vegan food. And when they do, we will soon have a lot of healthy, happy, productive people, a restored green environment, and minimum climate mitigation costs – something all governments can look forward to and gain the enthusiastic support of all citizens.

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