On November 3, the non-profit World Preservation Foundation hosted a unique gathering at the historic Central Hall Westminster in London, with speakers from government, science, media and advocacy organizations, to discuss the increasingly evident effects of climate change and its important connections to food production and consumption.
"Leaders Preserving Our Future: Pace & Priorities Climate Change," which held a press conference at the British Houses of Parliament, was attended by experts and dignitaries such as the Duchess of Norfolk; High Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda, Dr. Karl Roberts; Dr. Ester Van Der Voet, a representative from the United Nations Environment Program, and the ambassadors of such countries as Russia, Bolivia, Nepal, and others. The session began as respected international experts presented some of the pressing issues of global warming and their links to agriculture.
David Vaughan – Climatologist, British Antarctic Survey (M): There are, in the polar regions, two large ice sheets: one in Greenland, and one in Antarctica. Each has the capacity, the ice in it to raise global sea level by many meters.
Prof. Jefferson Simoes – Director of Brazilian National Institute for Cryospheric Sciences (M): You have the red curve that are the number of fires reported in the Amazon forest. And at the same time, we have the concentration of black carbon, and it really goes together – we are having the transport of black carbon to Antarctica. It’s really related to the expansion of cash crops and cattle farming.
VOICE: Speakers further addressed meat production’s impacts on the environment, as well as the opportunity to resolve them through changing diet and farming practices on a wide scale.
John Topping – Founder and President, Climate Institute, USA (M): There are a remarkable number of win-win aspects when we talk about reducing methane: moving to a plant-based diet which would reduce both CO2 and methane and probably doing that primarily on a health basis.
Dr. Ester van der Voet – Industrial ecologist, Leiden University, The Netherlands (F): So on the left you see a lot of different crops, while on the right you see the animal products. And if you’ll just look at it, through your eyelashes you can see that the greenhouse gas emissions per kilogram are a lot higher for these animal products than they are for the crops.
VOICE: During the conference, national-level legislators, including British Members of Parliament Mr. Chris Williamson and vegan Ms. Kerry McCarthy, discussed necessary government actions.
Chris Williamson – British MP (M): We’ve also I think got to win the hearts and minds of the wider general public, and that means, I think, looking at how we can encourage people to look at lifestyle, how they can encourage people to perhaps eat less meat, given that the livestock industry does contribute to a large extent to climate change emissions.
Kerry McCarthy – British MP, Vegan (F): While we’re trying to fight the battle for adopting a more environmentally friendly diet in this country and across Europe, we need to be trying to take that argument to the developing world too and issues like deforestation, climate change and lack of water supply.
VOICE: In addition, health, social, humane, and industrial benefits of shifting away from animal products were also advocated by such expert as esteemed American physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman.
Dr Joel Fuhrman – Physician and Director of US National Health Association (M): It’s the fountain of youth. When you follow a plant-based diet rich in micronutrients with vegetables, and beans and mushrooms and onions, which all have particular and specific ingredients, which target the cell’s repair mechanisms to increase the DNA repair from broken cross-links which could lead to cancer, these foods have healing properties to protect the body against diseases that ravage modern society.
VOICE: The event’s special guest of honor was Supreme Master Ching Hai, who delivered a message via video on solving the large environmental crises of concern in the meeting. Touched by her heartfelt words, some attending VIPs later requested copies of her message.
VOICE: Our appreciation, all dignitaries, distinguished speakers, and participants of this conference on planetary priorities, with thanks as well to Supreme Master Ching Hai for sharing her timely thoughts for this discussion.
May we all recognize the organic vegan lifestyle as the rational, effective way to save our only home, the Earth.Please tune in to Supreme Master Television’s Words of Wisdom at a later date for the full broadcast of this conference with Supreme Master Ching Hai, with multi-language subtitles.