December 21, 2009

Climate hazards of meat considered in Copenhagen

As heads of state convene in the final days of the Copenhagen Climate Conference, decisions have been forming on main issues that include industrialized countries' greenhouse gas reduction goals and financial assistance to developing nations for adapting to global warming.

Also at the summit, a side event hosted by the Dutch government called the Holland Climate House featured relevant public presentations such as “Meat: How Far Can Governments Go in Influencing Lifestyles?” Supreme Master Television’s correspondent in Denmark tells us more.

Supreme Master Television COP15 Correspondent: The session was chaired by Dr. Maarten Hajer of the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, who stated, “Current meat consumption patterns in industrialized countries are unsustainable from both a land use and a climate perspective.”

Further supporting this concept are results from a Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency study, which has estimated that 80% of the costs for addressing climate change could be eliminated if humans switch to a plant-based diet.

We also asked some of the public officials at the Copenhagen Climate Summit for Mayors for their thoughts on the government’s role in facilitating planet-cooling veg lifestyles.

Shri Rakesh Mehta - Chief Secretary of Delhi, India (M): It is now medically proven that a herbivorous diet is certainly healthier than a carnivorous diet. Even now the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report has brought out that cattle growing is one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gases.

So therefore, both from the health and the sustainability point of view, a vegetarian diet is certainly better.
Honorable Ritt Bjerregaard – Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Denmark: We have a program, especially for the schools, where we try to be ecological. We are heading towards 80% of ecological food and use very many vegetables and a lot of fruits. So I hope that we will give our children good habits.

Supreme Master Television COP15 Correspondent: It seems many of the summit participants are more readily accepting the healthier, eco-friendly vegan lifestyle, based on what we're hearing from members of the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association, who have been actively promoting the veg diet at the venue.

Tens of thousands of SOS information bags and free vegan sandwiches have been received with much interest. Of the police officers who have been monitoring the event’s activities, over a dozen have asked for materials, with one officer openly expressing his plan to become a vegan.
In addition, the COP15 Post, the widely read newspaper covering the conference,has been publishing announcements featuring excerpts from interviews and videoconferences with Supreme Master Ching Hai.
The most recent article appears in the COP15 Post on December 18. From Copenhagen, Denmark, reporting for Supreme Master Television.

VOICE: Our sincere thanks, Dr. Hajer, Honorable Mayors, and all leaders for your caring participation in this forum on the important topic of ways to achieve much-needed veg communities to save our planet.
May this simple, effective climate- and life-saving solution be assimilated by decision-makers at Copenhagen and beyond. The COP15 Post announcement on the veg solution to climate change is available for free pdf download at

In a November 2009 videoconference in Mexico, Supreme Master Ching Hai explained how government leadership can be highly beneficial to society in realizing a safer world.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: A good leader stops what is bad for the people, and facilitates what is good for them. They can facilitate, namely, through public campaigns, the media, and schools to inform about the benefits of the healthy, lives-saving, planet-saving way of life. The governments of the world have the power to make the veg trend an exciting movement for everyone toward a healthier lifestyle.

Studies show that the smoking bans actually helped people to quit smoking. And the quitters were happier because of the ban, because they know that their habit was bad for them. Similarly, a ban on meat, which we all now know from the studies is a very bad habit, which kills us and our children, our loved ones, and it’s killing our planet. So a ban of meat will be a strong current to carry the trend toward a vegan world.

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