June 25, 2009

Vegan trend for the Earth is expanding

As the world faces pivotal times, people are speaking up on behalf of the planet’s welfare. During the “Vegan Earth Day for A Vegan World” conference, hosted by Go Vegan Radio host Bob Linden, Supreme Master Ching Hai, who had been invited as the special guest of honor, conveyed her encouragement via video-message to take the step forward toward a wholesome Earth.

Video message from Supreme Master Ching Hai
June 21, 2009 – Woodland Hills, California, USA

Supreme Master Ching Hai: For the sake of all that lives on this planet, let us make a wiser choice. For example, instead of meat, we be vegan. Instead of polluting the world we go green. Instead of intoxicants we will be merged in the blessing of God, through prayers, yoga, meditation, etc. And instead of planting drugs, we plant organic vegetables and fruits. I wish you all the best in the embracing love of Heaven.

VOICE: Sharing this vision were many celebrities and distinguished community leaders, such as animal advocate and founder of Animal Acres, Lorri Houston.

Lorri Houston, Founder of Animal Acres, Vegan (F): People are becoming sensitized to this issue, you know, all of the work that everybody is doing together is having an impact. I mean you can get vegan food now everywhere. So it’s really exciting.

VOICE: And as more and more people awaken to the benefits of being vegan, a vibrant and harmonious Earth is just around the corner.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Together, let's envision this future, our well deserved beautiful future, in which all lives are upheld and cherished as one and the same. Let’s be happy, because it seems that this day is already dawning.

VOICE: Many thanks again Mr. Bob Linden and all distinguished participants and attendees of this uplifting event. Our heartfelt gratitude to Supreme Master Ching Hai for inspiring people the world over to do their part in fostering a brighter tomorrow. May all of humanity quickly join the vegan circle so we may all see our peaceful dream come true.

Scientists raise alert levels of the link between meat and cancer

UK cancer researchers conducted a survey that found that up to one third of heavy meat eaters were not aware of the harm created by eating meat. With what are now clearly increased health risks that include cancers such as bowel, liver, esophagus, and even lung cancer, the scientists say there is a need to create more awareness. Chief Executive Marilyn Gentry of the World Cancer Researh Fund said, “It is a concern if over two-thirds of people are not aware of the link because the evidence is very strong. This is why advice from experts is that the best amount of processed meat to eat is none at all.”

Thank you Chief Executive Gentry and World Cancer Research Fund for this revealing research as well as your stated concerns. We, too, pray that more and more make the connection of the harmful health impacts of meat and shift their lifestyles towards the beneficial plant-based diet.

When chickens suffer, so do we

People who have been eating chicken for its comparative health benefits might want to reconsider. According to a recent report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), poultry is the number one source of food-borne illness in the United States. This is due to a combination of intensely confined living conditions that breed disease and a meat production process that passes it along.

During processing, the slaughtered birds are placed in tanks of cold water to keep the carcasses from decomposing. If one bird is infected, all the chickens in that tank are at risk of being similarly contaminated with fecal material containing bacteria such as Campylobacter and Salmonella, some of which can be lethal. The packaging process further compounds the problem because the tank water is retained with the chicken.

Organic chicken contains the same health hazards, as “organic” only refers to what the chickens are fed, not to the slaughtering process. In December 2008, the nation’s largest poultry producer filed for bankruptcy protection due to the unpredictable fluctuation of feed grain prices, grains that could otherwise be fed to starving people worldwide.

Although these descriptions of the poultry industry and the suffering of chickens are truly distressing, we are glad for these illuminated truths. Let us all turn to the most sustainable way to live – health-wise, economically, and environmentally – the vegan way!

Eating fish could cause fatal mad cow disease

Eating fish could cause fatal mad cow disease. An article recently published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease warns against eating farmed fish that could transmit Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, more commonly known as mad cow disease. Food from farmed fish commonly contains by-products from rendered cows, which, according to one of the report’s authors, Dr. Robert P. Friedland, a neurologist with the University of Louisville in the USA, makes it possible for humans to be infected if they consume fish carrying the pathogen. Dr. Friedland thus advocates the removal of all rendered cow in fish feed to prevent the possible spread of the untreatable, universally-fatal Creutzfeldt Jakob disease.

Our sincere gratitude, Dr. Friedland and colleagues for raising our awareness about this hazard associated with fish consumption. May animals and humans alike flourish in health and longevity as more and more people turn to life-sparing practices like the plant-based diet.

June 23, 2009

Swine flu on the rise in Asia-Pacific

The fatal strain is proving its virulence as it now has spread across 94 countries and sickened more than 52,000 people while causing the loss of over 230 lives.

Two more countries, Brunei and Iran, have diagnosed their first-ever occurrences of the swine flu.In the Asia-Pacific region, New Zealand reported 258 new cases within the past week, and health officials said they expect a large increase in the coming months with currently an additional 728 suspected cases
needing evaluation.

Hong Kong and Bangkok, Thailand each have approximately 300-some confirmed cases, while China and the Philippines have around 420 each. Even the South Pacific islands of Samoa, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea are affected. Like many other first-ever cases, travel to and from another country seem to be a factor
of swine flu infection.

Meanwhile, Australia now has more than 2,400 confirmed cases after seeing over the weekend its first swine flu-related fatality, the second outside the Americas, of an Aboriginal artist.

Concerns have been raised as to whether the virus could be more fatal for such remote communities with relatively high rates of other health problems.

We continue to be saddened by the reality of this distressing and costly trend.

Our sympathies for those who have suffered loss as we pray for the quick recovery of persons stricken by the swine flu. Meanwhile, may governments worldwide implement the best policy to protect public health, by putting an end to raising animal operations and promoting the organic plant-based diet to fulfill a promise of
vitality and well-being for all.

Reference
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124561706314035211.html
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/world/world/general/asia-to-battle-rise-in-flu-cases/1546754.aspx
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/city-journalist-has-swine-flu-after-trip-to-australia/479595/

June 19, 2009

Organic Farming 1, 2, 3's



Organic farming: simple, healthy…the way to save the planet? Indeed, as our world faces an alarming global warming crisis, more and more people are awakening to the benefits of organic farming.

Ever concerned for the welfare of Earth and all her inhabitants, Supreme Master Ching Hai frequently calls for the world to embrace the practice of organic farming.



Videoconference with Supreme Master Ching Hai and Former Philippine President Fidel Ramos
Act Now! - For a More Peaceful and Safer World Taipei, Formosa (Taiwan) February 21, 2009

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The benefit of organic farming is immense, including great advantage to both human health and the environment. Organic farming actually restores the topsoil and cleans the air and water supplies even. It is even good for animals, all beings on this planet, including even trees and land, in part because it does not use chemical fertilizer or pesticides

Now, scientific studies have found that organic farming not only reduces energy usage and produces less CO2, which helps lower greenhouse gases, but it actually allows the soil to absorb even 40% of presently in the air CO2 emission. Before we even invent any technology to reduce CO2, or before we even reduce all the cars and transportations, if we go organic we reduce 40% of the current CO2 in the air already, and the daily emission.



Considerate viewers, on today's Planet Earth: Our Loving Home, we are joined by one of our Association members who is an organic farmer in South Africa. Mr. John Lefferts has been kind enough to guide us through the basics of organic farming, so let's go take a look!

John Lefferts Organic farmer Our Association Member from South Africa

Lefferts (m): I'm from the Western Cape, Plettenberg Bay, a place called Wittedrif. We've been here for two years. And We had to tackle a farm that was used as a grazing land. And We found that the land was very depleted of goodness. And for us the most important element was to try and put back humus compost back into the soil mulch.

Humus is decomposed organic matter which helps plants to grow. Mulch is a protective covering put in the soil to lessen water evaporation, to inhibit weed growth, to keep soil temperature steady, and to enhance the overall richness of the soil.

Lefferts: The soil that we have here is very clay-rich, so it requires air. And The only way we get air into it, because it becomes very compacted with rain, is by putting this wonderful humus with it. Obviously it starts a whole worm population because they can breathe inside the soil. All the microorganisms can survive. And basically that is the secret to really growing a good product is to have very healthy soil which has got good aeration, good drainage.

A ridge-style arrangement of the land has many advantages.

Lefferts (m): The second step is to make ridges on this land. Then we fill that with some of the mulch to be able to get better drainage, because the soil here, as mentioned, has been a little bit overworked. And it compacts because it's very clay-rich. So in order to give the plants a better drainage, what we do is we ridge it up and then we put mulch inside it. That gets mixed and the plants get planted on top. And obviously the healthier the soil, the better the product.

And If you look behind me you'll be able to appreciate that the ridging in itself creates the drainage that the plants so desperately need. In addition to that we then cover the top of the beds with a straw. And that obviously conserves water. It allows us only to spray twice or three times a week instead of having to spray every day.

Lefferts (m): This is a bale of the wonderful hay that I'm talking about. And What we do is we take this hay and we spread it not too thickly. We spread it on the top of our ridges, as you can see, on the eggplant, in order to conserve moisture.


Lefferts (m): So now as mentioned we put a nice layer of this straw inside, conserving the moisture. And if you look it's so beautiful and wet and easy to dig with your fingertips. That's how wonderful the soil becomes. And Then you put this nice straw, or hay as we call it, around the base of the plants to conserve water.

Strawberry cultivation is a fine example of where the use of hay is immensely beneficial.

Lefferts (m): Our strawberries are finished, but this is an interesting fact about strawberries. They're called strawberries because when the plant throws out little flowers and they become berries, if you don't put straw the berries will land on the soil. And The insects and the worms and everything else will eat it from the bottom. But when you place a nice bed of straw, the strawberries land on it and they ripen beautifully without insects getting hold of them, hence the word "strawberries."

When we come back, Mr. Lefferts will tell us about the wonders of companion planting. You are watching Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to Planet Earth: Our Loving Home. Organic farming means no chemical fertilizers or pesticides are used during cultivation and thus the environment is spared from having to absorb these harmful unnatural substances. Also, the soil on organic farms is able to absorb CO2 from the air, thus helping mitigate global warming. Our Association member in South Africa, Mr. John Lefferts, is showing us the art of organic farming on today's show. He will now discuss the important concept of companion planting.

Lefferts (m): The spray program that we have obviously does not include insecticides or pesticides or any herbicides. We use a system called companion planting. The companion planting allows us to combine plants, which will help with the insects.

Because we give them something else that will attract them or with these pungent smelling khaki bush and marigold plants, or these strong onion plants which keep the insects away from our produce.


Some of the examples of companion planting would be: spring onions with strawberries, yarrow with beans, stinging nettle amongst your spinaches, khaki bush and marigold where all your spinach is, and tulbaghia, which is a wild garlic plant which you plant almost all the way around your vegetables patches. A lot of the insects don't like the pungent smell of the tulbaghia flower.

Things like khaki bush and marigolds are also planted generally all the way around your vegetable patches. We also use things like lemon verbena, which we put one on each corner, because that too has this wonderful pungent smell. Things like lavender are used as well extensively in the rows to be able to detract a lot of the insects. .

Organic farming done right means few to no insects eating the crops.

Lefferts (m): What I've noticed with having planted in this wonderfully mulched, very healthy soil, and with moon, there are no insects. If the plant is weak, it would naturally attract insects. So remember the secret is very good soil and to time your planting. Obviously good water, preparation of your soil, mulching of the ground, straw inside keeping the water retention, all of these elements make up a very healthy plant, and the healthier the plant is, the less insects are attracted to it.


Lefferts (m): The other thing that's quite vital is the type of mulch that you use. For example, potatoes, tomatoes and strawberries love acidic mulches. These mulches are made from pine needles. Whereas, a lot of the other plants which are alkaline, like the leafy vegetables, spinach, lettuce, they like the alkaline mulches. And it' amazing, the tomato tastes completely different when you're using an acid mulch with it.

Another key element of organic farming is selecting the correct time for planting.

Lefferts (m): It's so important to follow your planting regime according to the moon and the zodiac signs. The moon controls the tides and the gravity. So at a full moon the water has come up to its maximum.

So when the first sliver of the moon starts pulling, that's when you would plant all your leafy vegetable plants. And when the moon is pushing, you plant your root vegetables. The reason for that is the root vegetable follows the water or the leafy plants get water to actually to be pulled out of the ground.

Organic foods are truly rewarding to grow and to eat!

Lefferts (m): When you pick a spear directly off the plant, within 6 hours the sugars have changed and this is no longer sweet and crunchy, but quite bitter because the whole sugar composition of the plant changes. And That's why it's important that everybody grows their own organic veg. Picking an asparagus spear out of your own garden or a tomato or pulling a potato out of the ground, you will never compare the taste of what you've just pulled out of the ground to something that's traveled extensively. And That is why it's so important to try and grow your own produce. "Mmmm, mmm, mm" Wish you could taste this!

That sure does look fresh and full of flavor!

Lefferts (m): Finally, the difference that you will notice in picking a fresh asparagus or picking fresh produce out of your garden is obviously because they're so healthy. There is no substitute for healthy vegetables. We've noticed, for our kids and our family, that having the blessing of being able to eat our own organic vegetables, unbelievable how our children never need doctors and antibiotics and they don't get sick. Try it.

John Lefferts' farm is flourishing with happy crops. Anyone can start growing organic produce, no matter how small one's available space is for cultivation.

Lefferts (m): It's been really nice spending a little time with you talking about organic farming. But you don't have to have a farm to do organic plants, you can plant tomatoes in pots on your balcony, you can put potatoes in them. You can have these shelf pots that you can plant all your herbs. You can plant your lettuces. Try something. Just experiment. Obviously remember it must get a bit of sun because that's what causes the photosynthesis.

But you don't really need a farm. You need to actually have a passion to grow your own vegetables without insecticides, and herbicides and pesticides and chemical fertilizers. All you need is natural products, give it a bash, try it. It's healthy. Be Veg, Go Green. Thank you.

We thank John Lefferts for all the wonderful tips on growing organic fruits and vegetables. Not only is it fun and simple, but it is the best way of raising food for the health of our Earth!

Swine flu cases too many to test in Australia

Only a fraction of potential swine flu cases are being tested in Victoria, Australia, because the significant increase in cases has overwhelmed the public healthcare system’s ability to test all of them.

Acting Chief Health Officer Dr. Rosemary Lester stated that although only 1,210 cases have been confirmed, the actual number of infected people is higher.

The Victoria healthcare system has moved to testing only those most at risk, including the elderly, expecting women, and people with underlying medical conditions.

Because 40% of those admitted to the hospital with swine flu in New York, USA also had asthma, the National Asthma Council of Australia is encouraging asthmatics especially to be careful and seek testing.

Supreme Master Television interviewed by phone Dr. Anne Marie Kimball, MD, a leading epidemiologist at the University of Washington’s Department of Health Services in the US.

Dr. Kimball highlighted her concern about the significant increase in swine flu cases in southern hemisphere locations such as Australia, which has also entered its regular flu season.

Dr. Anne Marie Kimball – Epidemiologist, University of Washington Department of Health Services, USA (F): We are a global community, we are really interconnected with one another, not only in terms of travel but also in terms of trade. And that is a trend that makes us more vulnerable, as we are basically as safe as the weakest public health system in the world, in terms of flu.

VOICE: The swine flu has taken more than 170 lives in the past few months, as infections worldwide are surpassing 36,000 in 81 countries. Meanwhile, companies such as Baxter and Novartis have developed and begun to produce swine flu vaccines, although it still remains for countries to decide which group should receive the limited supply of vaccinations first.

Dr. Kimball we thank you for your insights, and offer our sincere gratitude to healthcare workers and officials across the globe for helping to protect and treat people for the swine flu. As we pray for those suffering and in mourning at this time, may all of us shield ourselves and one another by enhancing our immunity through the balanced, nutritious vegan diet.

REFERENCES
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25643335-5006785,00.html

Swine flu cases too many to test in Australia

Only a fraction of potential swine flu cases are being tested in Victoria, Australia, because the significant increase in cases has overwhelmed the public healthcare system’s ability to test all of them.

Acting Chief Health Officer Dr. Rosemary Lester stated that although only 1,210 cases have been confirmed, the actual number of infected people is higher.

The Victoria healthcare system has moved to testing only those most at risk, including the elderly, expecting women, and people with underlying medical conditions.

Because 40% of those admitted to the hospital with swine flu in New York, USA also had asthma, the National Asthma Council of Australia is encouraging asthmatics especially to be careful and seek testing.

Supreme Master Television interviewed by phone Dr. Anne Marie Kimball, MD, a leading epidemiologist at the University of Washington’s Department of Health Services in the US.

Dr. Kimball highlighted her concern about the significant increase in swine flu cases in southern hemisphere locations such as Australia, which has also entered its regular flu season.

Dr. Anne Marie Kimball – Epidemiologist, University of Washington Department of Health Services, USA (F): We are a global community, we are really interconnected with one another, not only in terms of travel but also in terms of trade. And that is a trend that makes us more vulnerable, as we are basically as safe as the weakest public health system in the world, in terms of flu.

VOICE: The swine flu has taken more than 170 lives in the past few months, as infections worldwide are surpassing 36,000 in 81 countries. Meanwhile, companies such as Baxter and Novartis have developed and begun to produce swine flu vaccines, although it still remains for countries to decide which group should receive the limited supply of vaccinations first.

Dr. Kimball we thank you for your insights, and offer our sincere gratitude to healthcare workers and officials across the globe for helping to protect and treat people for the swine flu. As we pray for those suffering and in mourning at this time, may all of us shield ourselves and one another by enhancing our immunity through the balanced, nutritious vegan diet.

REFERENCES
http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25643335-5006785,00.html

Water use by factory farms threatens local community

Numerous confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) on and near the Yakama Reservation in Washington, USA have left the Native American community chronically short of water.

With decreased water supplies an ever-growing threat in a warming world, many organizations, including the Stockholm International Water Institute and Waterfootprint.org have reported that animal products require significant water stores, while a plant-based diet is highly water efficient.
During a visit with Supreme Master Television, a member of the Yakama tribe shared her community’s experiences and concerns.

Resident of Yakama Reservation, Washington, USA (F): We also know that one of the local dairies, who has 12-14,000 cows, uses approximately 33,000 gallons of drinking water a day. And these often, in our area, don’t have permits to do it.

They’re getting the waterfor free. And what we’re saying is that our water is not here for these factory farms to come in to destroy.

These factory farms are ruining our air, our water, and consuming the water that’s here, with total disregard to the people or the animals involved.

We’ve been told by one of the local experts along the hills south of here, the water table has dropped a hundred feet.

If we have no water, I would like to quote one of the Yakama elders; he said, “With no water there will be no Yakama people.”

VOICE: Understanding the enormous water requirements of meat production is just one way of grasping the comprehensive societal costs of consuming animal products, including pork. Pig factory farms have been linked to the current swine flu outbreak, which represents another social cost. The swine flu has now caused a total of about 36,000 illnesses across 81 countries, with more than 170 fatalities.

First-ever cases have just been announced in Sri Lanka, Yemen, Jordan, and Qatar. So far, the most vulnerable groups have been overweight individuals, expectant mothers and those with underlying asthma or diabetic conditions.We thank those community members who have courageously spoken about the impact of factory farms on their quality of life.

Our sorrow for the victims of the swine flu and their loved ones, as we pray that all humans join in the humane action of choosing a plant-based diet for the good of public health and sustainability of countless communities.

References
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124502116646013713.html?mod=googlenews_wsj
http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_06_15/en/index.html

June 12, 2009

Swine flu reaches pandemic level

During an emergency meeting held on Thursday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the escalation of the swine flu to the highest epidemic level 6, of global pandemic proportions. Speaking during a press briefing, WHO Assistant Director-General of Health, Security and Environment, Dr. Keiji Fukuda stated, “In terms of what we are seeing right now, we continue to see the spread of this virus evolve and we continue to see new countries report the virus, and we continue to see evolution of activity within countries.” Nations worldwide are now urged to gear themselves for widespread infection.

Currently, a total of more than 27,700 27,735 cases have been confirmed across 74 countries, with Colombia’s first declared fatality joining the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Costa Rica, and Dominican Republic in raising the deaths from this illness to 141. Along with the sometimes deadly consequences of consuming animal products, which occur from bacterial infections as well as viruses like the swine flu, is the emotional toll that can be seen in people who live near large livestock operations.

Dr. Kendall Thu, an associate professor of anthropology at Northern Illinois University in the US recently spoke with Supreme Master Television about some of these less obvious consequences of meat and dairy consumption, which can include an increased sense of hopelessness leading to stress, tension and even humiliation.

Professor Kendall Thu – Associate Professor of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University, USA (M): I know of cases where children who board school buses from standing on the rural street corner waiting for the school bus to come, absorb the smell, and they're taunted on the bus once they get there because they smell terribly.

VOICE: Factory farm odors are more than just unpleasant; they can disrupt an entire town’s activities. Not only that, as Dr. Thu points out, consumers anywhere in the world buying the farms’ products are also implicated in the problem.

Professor Kendall Thu (M): I remember interviewing a pastor in North Carolina who lives next to a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) and she was giving her sermon in church and then she suddenly realized she smelled something and it was herself. She absorbed the hog smell and she was so embarrassed within the church setting that she went home to change in order to continue with the sermon. So many of the social impacts are invisible to so many people who buy meat in the grocery store and don't realize that eating meat of this sort and being connected to this pathological system of meat production impacts directly the lives of people who work inside of them and who live near them.

VOICE: Professor Thu, we appreciate your research on the debilitating emotional toll of industrial farmed animal operations. We are thankful for the World Health Organization's careful monitoring and commitment to safeguarding public health. Our heartfelt sympathies for the minimizing of this illness and for those who have been afflicted by the swine flu, as we pray for the recovery of dignity and health to humans and animals alike through the life-sparing vegan diet.

Reference:
http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_06_10a/en/index.html http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jTkkEKE5LtPih_5Jcc-3MpD0gOYQD98O1NF80

Animal farms imprison families

Supreme Master Television spoke with residents in California’s Central Valley in the USA, to understand some of the wider effects of consuming animal products. With one of the highest concentrations of dairy factory farms in the country, the region is subjected to large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants such as methane, hydrogen sulfide, and ammonia. Some of the odors are intolerable and dangerous, causing human and environmental harm. There is a social impact as well. A common theme in surrounding neighborhoods is the depression felt by families who find themselves unableto breathe fresh air and enjoy the simple pleasures of spending time outdoors in their gardens.

Resident (M): Well, there, there is a lot of flies, and sometimes the smell is so bad that I can’t even come outside and play with my kids. (SupremeMasterTV (M): How bad is it?)

Unbearable. Well you’re going to throw up like, like someone went to bathroom. That’s how bad it smells.

Resident(M): There’s a lot of fleas here.

SupremeMasterTV(M): I am getting the same response from your neighbors, too.

Resident(M): Fleas?

SupremeMasterTV(M): Yes, fleas, flies, and the smell.

Resident (F): The smells really affects us. We can’t come out to get the fresh air, especially for my kids, and for me who is pregnant. I can’t come out get fresh air, because I need fresh air. And sometimes it’s hot, and we can’t come out. My kids, they don’t call it a home; they call our home is where the cow smell’s at. I don’t want my kids to grow up knowing that we live in this house where all it does is smell like cow.

VOICE: As meat and dairy consumption degrade the quality of life for communities where the animals are raised, the public health threat from the swine flu virus, which had been bred within the animal agriculture industry, continues to extend its reach. More than 25,300 26,500 victims worldwide have fallen ill in 73 countries, with fatalities about to surpass 140. Places as far apart as India, northern Canada, and the Philippines are seeing jumps in the numbers afflicted, with persons contracting the virus that include prominent sports athletes and government officials, a reminder that few of us are immune.

May an emerging awareness of the full impact of meat and dairy products grow rapidly across the planet, so that communities currently bound by these animal operations may reclaim their rightful chance to enjoy fresh air and lives with loved ones. We send our sincere prayer for the safe recovery of all those enduring the swine flu and comfort for the mourning, until this global ordeal passes, with Heaven’s grace.

Reference:
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3727596,00.html, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/swine-flu/5473240/Swine-flu-mayor-of-New-Orleans-Ray-Nagin-quarantined-in-China.html
http://www.thetechherald.com/article.php/200924/3811/Australian-sports-stars-quarantined-due-to-swine-flu-fears

Sentient beings how experience a wide range of feelings, including joy and grief

Through his extensive study of the emotional lives of animals, University of Colorado ethology professor Dr. Mark Bekoff has concluded they are sentient beings who experience a wide range of feelings, including joy and grief.

Dr. Bekoff spoke with Supreme Master Television about how animal emotions compare to those of humans, highlighting that when we acknowledge the emotions of animal companion pets, we can’t deny that animals raised for food also have the same range of emotions.

Dr. Marc Bekoff – Ethologist and author of “The Emotional Lives of Animals” (M): and The simple notion is that the differences among species, the differences in degree rather than differences in kind. It means there are differences in kind of shades of gray, not absolute differences. So if you’re a good biologist, if you say a human feels joy then you can’t deny joy to other animals. And if you think dogs feel joy, then you can’t deny joy, or grief, or other emotions to cows, or sheep, or chickens. And that’s one of the big messages and it seems to be very, very compelling, that if you think your dog feels emotions, then you’re being inconsistent to say that cows don’t.

SupremeMasterTV (F): So you’re vegetarian?

Dr. Bekoff (M): Yeah, I’m pretty much a vegan.

VOICE: The fact that animals, and especially farmed animals are sentient beings with a wide range of emotions highlights the lack of ethics involved in raising and killing animals for food. Swine flu, which originated and evolved on pig farms, is yet another external indicator that the practice of consuming animal products has taken us out of balance with our values.

Over this past weekend swine flu fatalities rose in the US and Dominican Republic, adding to about 130 losses of life across North and South America. Many victims have been children or younger adults. Total cases that have been identified are around 22,000 in 71 countries. However, these do not include cases that have not been medically tested and identified. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated the actual number of cases in the country is closer to 200,000, almost 20 times the current tally of 13,000.Our deep appreciation,

Dr. Bekoff, for your compassionate research demonstrating the sentience of our animal co-inhabitants. We send our prayers and condolences to those individuals, families, and communities affected by the swine flu, and look forward to a widespread shift toward wellness through a life-affirming vegan diet.

Porcine companions show the incredible intelligence of pigs



After falling in love with a pig as a child, Priscilla Valentine later brought two potbellied pigs into her life as animal companions. She soon began teaching them tricks, and proved what scientists have been telling us for some time: that pigs are some of the most intelligent animals on the planet.

Today, Ms. Valentine and her partner have introduced their beloved pigs to the public through many venues as well as US television, including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Animal Planet, and the Late Show with David Letterman.

SupremeMasterTV(F): What is it that the audiences love the most about these charming animals?

Priscilla (F): I think it is the humanness of the animals. That they can look into their eyes and can see that they are bright animals – that they can just look in there, and that the animals have personalities. Each pig has a different personality. We want to make people respect pigs. They are cleaner than dogs and cats,they are all potty trained and they are so intelligent; we want people to respect pigs, and give them that respect and treat them with respect.

VOICE: As we learn more about pigs, it becomes increasingly clear that consuming them as food is both inhumane and unnecessary. In particular, pigs raised through intensive farming systems have played a key role in the evolution of viruses, making swine flu for example, a perhaps avoidable source of human suffering, and loss of life. Experts say the number of people affected is probably many times more than the official count, which now has reached around 22,000 in 71 countries, including those newly afflicted, such as the island nations of Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. Meanwhile, health authorities warn that children and adults over the age 60 are at greater risk, especially as many of the approximately 125 fatalities have been younger aged persons.

Thank you, Ms. Valentine and your valued porcine friends, for helping us better appreciate their wonderful nature. We pray for all persons who have been adversely affected by the swine flu and convey our sympathies for those who have suffered loss. Surely our world will
improve in manifold ways as all turn to the plant-based diet to respect and save lives.

Reference:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hxkl-bfeN-nUlN5MczlLHpVHhdmAD98K4VTO0

[CAFO INVESTIGATION] Firsthand experience of factory farms turns farmer vegetarian





Although she was raised in a meat-eating environment, Ms. Helen Reddout, cherry farmer and president of the Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE) of Yakima Valley in Washington, USA explains that seeing the damage and abuse on industrial farms made her decide she could no longer support them, even in her daily life.

Helen Reddout – President of the Community Association for Restoration of the Environment (CARE) (F): I was definitely a “meat and potatoes” person, until on my trip to the market in Sunny Side, I had to pass by a dairy lot and a beef feedlot. By the time you drove the two miles down there, looking at how the animals were treated, and smelling the smells, and seeing the dust…sometimes so bad, coming off of those yards, that you had to actually turn your lights on in the middle of the day, it was that heavy. After a year or so of that, I began to think, being a part of buying these commodities is encouraging their operation.

VOICE: Ms. Reddout has not eaten any meat nor dairy for 20 years, and is still glad of her choice.

Helen Reddout (F): And to my surprise, it wasn’t very difficult at all. In fact my body kind of responded positively to it.

VOICE: Helen Reddout is part of a growing trend of people who, once confronted with the disturbing reality of raising animals, have decided that the best approach is a humane, more eco-friendly plant-based diet. Meanwhile, the swine flu, another byproduct of animal agriculture, has spread to such an extent that the World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to declare a pandemic within days.

With cases approaching 20,000 worldwide in 67 countries, some 120 people have lost their lives, with the more than 870 who have fallen ill fallen ill in Australia being the highest number outside of North America.

We thank you, Ms. Reddout and the Community Association for Restoration of the Environment, for your compassionate and intelligent choice of a meat-free existence. Our sorrow for those who have suffered loss through the swine flu and the devastating effects of animal farming operations as we also pray that people everywhere realize the health and mental security that comes from consuming a plant-based diet.

Reference:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1524225764500964289
http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2009/06/03/Woman-may-be-Vas-first-swine-flu-death/UPI-17451244070506/

Animal agriculture ruins dreams for indigenous Americans



The Yakama reservation in Washington, USA has been the ancestral home of the Native American Yakama tribe for hundreds of years. However, the recent nearby construction of a factory farm complex has turned their homeland and homes into prisons.

To understand the more widespread effects of animal farming operations on the people living nearby, Supreme Master Television recently met some of the residents who are forced to live with the reality of a factory farm environment.

(Interview in English)
Resident living near dairy factory farm (F): I live a fourth of a mile from a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) and it’s really affected my family. I’ve been there a little over 20 years. It’s the flies, the smell, the dust, everything. We’re just trapped inside of our house. In days it stinks, we don’t turn the air conditioner on because the air comes in, we can’t open the windows.

VOICE: As is common for many people living near concentrated farming operations, when measurements were taken over the course of a week for the presence of ammonia from waste and other air pollutants at this resident’s home, the particle levels were so high that the measurements were off the scale.

Interviewee (F): Then the trucks, pulling that manure out, and then when they drive by they don’t cover it. So it’s on our road and when the cars drive by, it picks it up, and it is in the air. My kids only go outside once in a while when it’s nice. I always wanted to have a nice yard and have my kids outside, playing. But it’s not like that.

VOICE: As the animal farming operations take away the happiness from their neighbors, the most recent virus to have passed from farmed animals to humans continues to gain a foothold across the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), confirmed cases of swine flu have risen close to 20,000 people who are now afflicted, including a first-ever case in Saudi Arabia, with 117 who have lost their lives, most recently in the countries of Mexico, US, Canada, and Chile. WHO interim assistant director-general for health security and environment, Keiji Fukuda, stated that if cases continue to spread, the agency may declare a pandemic, the highest alert level.

We thank the World Health Organization and all other organizations working to alleviate the swine flu as we pray for the victims of this worrying trend, especially loved ones in mourning.

Our sorrow too for the unwilling neighbors of factory farms as well, and pray that the practice of animal farming will soon cease altogether, so that all may enjoy health and life to the fullest.