November 11, 2010

Diverse sectors support a plant-based society as climate change solution

During the November 3 conference, “Leaders Preserving Our Future: Pace & Priorities on Climate Change,” held at the Central Hall Westminster in London, United Kingdom, distinguished scientists explained how the production of food, and in particular livestock raising, is seriously impacting global warming, biodiversity loss, water shortages, and more.

Geoff Tansey – Trustee, Food Ethics Council, UK (M): The Food Ethics Council along with WWF has been looking at consumption of meat and dairy, because this is a significant part of our greenhouse gases in the UK.

Dr. Pat Brown – Biochemist, Stanford University, USA, vegan (M): Most of the developed world in northern hemisphere’s crop cultivation isn’t crops to feed humans, it’s to feed that huge population of animals that we bring along with us.

Anthony Kleanthous – Senior policy advisor on Sustainable Business and Economics WWF (M): We have lost 30% of the biodiversity on this planet in just 40 years. And in the tropics we’re talking about 60% declines in biodiversity. That just cannot continue. If it does, we won’t have anything to eat and we won’t have anything to fuel our economy. Food is one of the three greatest impacts on our environment. And as we’ve heard today, you know meat and dairy really are the primary concern here.

Prof. Arjen Hoekstra – Scientific director, Water Footprint Network (M): So forget about this water-saving toilet, forget about this showerhead. It’s not where you save the water, because the water footprint is in the supermarket.

Philippe Cousteau, Jr. – Founder and CEO of EarthEcho International, Grandson of Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau (M): My grandfather said, “We can find happiness in protecting the world around us not only because we cherish it for its awesome beauty, power and mystery, but because we cherish our fellow humans, those who live today and those who live tomorrow, human beings who, like ourselves, will increasingly depend on the environment for happiness, health and life itself.”

VOICE: As the priority issues were defined, solutions were also presented, urging government and the food industry, as well as individuals, toward constructive actions. Speakers included vegetarian Swedish Member of Parliament Mr. Jens Holm; Vice Mayor Tom Balthazar of Ghent, Belgium; leading South-Africa based vegan food producer, Mr. Wally Fry of Fry Vegetarian; vegan physician Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, (MD) and American CNN TV news network legal analyst and vegan Ms. Lisa Bloom.

Jens Holm – Member of Swedish Parliament, vegetarian (M): The European Union subsidizes the meat industry, with direct subsidies, with about €3 billion a year. This is a huge amount of money, and imagine what we could do with this big amount of money, if we put it where it could cause some positive effect for the world: production of vegetarian foods, etc.

Wally Fry – CEO and Co-founder, Fry’s Vegetarian, vegan (M): Let us awaken the intellect in industry, and by using it as our master instructor, start the environmental revolution, which will go down in history as a far greater thing than the industrial revolution ever was.

Lisa Bloom – CNN & CBS TV News Network Legal Analyst, USA, vegan (F): As a lifelong vegetarian I have quietly enjoyed the good health and enormous energy of my plant-based diet for three decades. But I can remain quiet no longer. Diet can no longer be a matter of private choice, when the choice to buy meat and dairy products causes unspeakable cruelty to sentient beings, and when the choice is destroying our planet.

VOICE: Invited as the special guest of honor, Supreme Master Ching Hai shared encouragement via video message urging leaders and co-citizens alike to make courageous Earth-saving changes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The way we are going with our consumption rate, the World Wildlife Fund researchers said that we’d need a second planet. It’s high time that we advance to better ways as a society. A nobler way as a society. And governments could use their subsidies for people’s greatest benefit, by supporting the Earth-saving organic vegan farming practices and promoting a healthy, sustainable, resource-efficient food industry. Now, some of us might question: Can our world really eliminate the global meat industry and become all vegan? The facts tell us yes, we can. And our humanity’s survival instinct tells us we must.

VOICE: At the end of the conference, participants expressed their thoughts about the presentations.

Georgina Fitzalan-Howard, Duchess of Norfolk (F): It'd have a huge impact if more people went vegetarian, I mean, everyone would be lighter and happier and they wouldn't need so much medication, wouldn't need such huge healthcare. There's huge implications!

Dr. Karl Roberts – High Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda (M): Certainly, if we can move away from the meat-based or animal-based consumption, to greater consumption of vegetables that we will be able to grow rather than having them imported in, suddenly we will see a more rapid benefit to the quality of life and also to the negative effect of climate changes.

Kerry McCarthy – British MP, vegan (F): If this can help raise it up so that people are aware that they shouldn’t just be lobbying their MPs about aviation and things like that, they should also be lobbying them about the livestock sector, I think that’s really important.

VOICE: We thank all respected speakers, dignitaries, and participants for this meaningful conference, as well as Supreme Master Ching Hai, for her loving encouragement of humankind at this time.

May we each do our part to save the planet and together create a healthier, happier, and nobler world for all.Please tune in to Supreme Master Television’s Words of Wisdom at a later date for the full broadcast of this conference with eminent experts, scientists, leaders, and Supreme Master Ching Hai, with multi-language subtitles.

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