On Thursday, December 1, coinciding with the COP 17 in Durban, South Africa, the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association hosted the special gala at the Olive Convention Center.
Grant Nash, vegan radio presenter at 5fm, one of South Africa's largest radio stations, was on location.
Grant Nash, Radio presenter, 5fm, South Africa – Vegan (M): Hi, I'm Grant Nash, and I am a radio presenter here in South Africa for a nationwide radio station called 5fm. Welcome to our beautiful country! You’re in Durban, South Africa at the Olive Convention Centre. And we are here this evening for the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association “Veganism to Save the Planet” gala dinner.
And we have some incredible guests that are going to join us here this evening: our very own Director General of Kwa- Zulu Natal, Mr. Ngidi, we have His Majesty the King Thobejane of Bapedi joining us this evening, and we have IPCC scientist and vegetarian Dr. Kirk Smith. So the formalities are about to begin, the speeches, we’ve got some entertainment, and then a delicious vegan 5-course meal.
VOICE: With some 400 guests from across the globe attending, distinguished speakers for this unique event described the link from animal agriculture to climate change as they highlighted the necessity of adopting the Earth-saving plant-based diet, including a message from Supreme Master Ching Hai.
Grant Nash (M): So we’re ending the formal part of the this evening. And we started off by hearing from Supreme Master Ching Hai herself today. She spoke about the urgent crisis that is facing our planet and then the most effective solution, an organic vegan diet, that me and you can adopt.
Grant Nash (M): We also heard from Professor Harold Herman, who is the Secretary General of the UN Association of South Africa. We heard from the vegetarian movie producer Stephan McGuire, and then Indian Member of Parliament Ms. Maneka Gandhi spoke to us as well about the urgency that me and you face, and her shared vision for the world at this very critical part.
Maneka Gandhi (F): The good news is that methane, as the Supreme Master said, is a relatively short-lived gas. The answer to global warming lies beneath your nose. You can help reduce both methane and nitrous oxide simply by choosing from tonight not to eat animals and animal products.
Bando Gaven, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment, North West Province, South Africa (F): Today it has completely changed my perspective in the effect that you know you can actually be healthy and live longer without harming the environment and harming yourself. Be a vegan and heal the world, and heal yourself.
Grant Nash (M): So, the audience of course enjoyed vibrant entertainment from Zulu singer Tu Nokwe, as well as the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir that is coming past me right now - fantastic evening. And it was also complemented by an incredible 5-course vegan meal. It was absolutely delicious. It’s a great, meaningful evening, shedding light on a truly vital solution on this planet.
Sastri Ramiah, CEO, Olive Convention Center, South Africa (M): My view is that this has been the most significant event of COP 17. It is by far the most effective event, and we are so proud to have hosted it with you. And I was quite amazed just listening to the video, and the entire atmosphere was so amazing. And I think there were many people converted tonight, including ourselves. 2012, I wish the World Vegan, World Peace.
Stephan McGuire, Film producer, “The 11th Hour” – Vegetarian (M): Well, the experience was multi-layered in the sense that it’s amazing and beautiful. Look, the energy, the vibration here is really high; they are singing in the hallways as they’re leaving.
Grant Nash (M): As COP 17 continues, let us wish that everybody – leaders and co-citizens – will do their part before it’s too late. This is Grant Nash, reporting from Durban, South Africa, for Supreme Master Television.
VOICE: Our appreciation for the insights of Supreme Master Ching Hai as well as the distinguished speakers, VIP guests, and all concerned participants of “Veganism to Save the Planet.” May such vital information and uplifting events motivate all people to quickly join the vegan circle for the protection of our unique Earth.
Sources: COP 17