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World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice - P1/10 Chicago, Illinois, USA August 11, 2011    
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Sarah-Mai (f): Good evening. My name is Sarah-Mai and this is Fred and we're both vegans.

Fred (m): That means we don't… Sarah-Mai (f): Yeah.

Fred (m): Thank you. That means, Sarah, we don't eat meat, but we do live healthily on a plant-based diet.

Sarah-Mai (f): Exactly, and we'd like to welcome you this evening to “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” an interview, via videolink, with world-renowned humanitarian, singer-songwriter, poet, artist and spiritual teacher, Supreme Master Ching Hai, who is also vegan. We are here at the prominent International House at the University of Chicago in the Windy City of Illinois.

Fred (m): This evening's videoconference will be broadcast live on Supreme Master TV, a constructive television channel that broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year. It can be enjoyed on 14 free satellite platforms that reach millions of viewers, in more than 60 languages and more than 40 subtitles. It can also be viewed online at www.SupremeMasterTV.com.

Sarah-Mai (f): Now, I'd like to introduce our hosts for this occasion: Commissioner Frank Avila of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and his lovely wife, Sherry Avila - both vegans - and joining them is Commissioner Avila's colleague, Commissioner Patricia Horton.

Fred (m): Commissioner Avila, who has had over 40 years experience as a professional engineer, was elected to the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in 2002. He is the Chairman of the Engineering Committee and the Committee on Maintenance and Operations.

Sarah-Mai (f): He is an active participant of the Water Environment Federation and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. He served on the External Advisory Board for the Institute of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Illinois here in Chicago.

Fred (m): Commissioner Avila and his wife, Sherry, have produced many Chicago Access Network TV shows entitled “Commissioner Avila Speaks,” “Avila Chicago,” “Avila Making a Difference,” and “Avila Irish Craic.” Now the word “Craic” in Irish means “fun.” Their programs include topics such as “How Does the Environment Impact Our Health?” and “The Future of Clean Water,” which can be found on Google Video, AvilaMediaNFP.Blip.TV, YouTube, and on Comcast Cable TV.

Sarah-Mai (f): Commissioner Avila has set a priority to protect the health and safety of the public, safeguard the water supply, and ensure the water quality of Lake Michigan and other waterways. Because of his sincere endeavors as a Commissioner and a concerned citizen, he has received many honors including the 18th Annual Distinguished Service Award, the Business and Family Award from the Illinois Committee for Honest Government, the Citizen in Action Award, and the Public Service Award. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Commissioner Frank Avila.

Fred (m): Sharilyn Avila, fondly known as Sherry, has been married to Commissioner Avila for 46 years. She is a 10-year docent for Loyola University Museum of Art and a 5-year docent for the Irish American Heritage Center, both in Chicago. Sherry was a former Board Member of the Education of St. Andrews Lutheran School, and a current Administrative Board Member of Edison Park United Methodist Church. She is also a member of the Irish Heritage Singers in Chicago. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mrs. Sherry Avila.

Sarah-Mai (f): Commissioner Patricia Horton was elected to the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in 2006. She serves as Chair of the Committee on Industrial Waste and Water Pollution and the Committee on Public Health and Welfare. Commissioner Horton has extensive experience in community and economic development with DevCorp North and the Women's Self-Employment Project. Welcome, Commissioner Patricia Horton.

Fred (m): We look forward to a lively discussion with Supreme Master Ching Hai who has set aside time to address questions about love, peace, and the current state of our planet. Also in store for you is enlightening and uplifting entertainment. So sit back, relax. We thank you for your presence and we trust this will be an event that will inspire us to achieve our common goal of love, peace, and the protection for our planet. Again, welcome all!

Sarah-Mai (f): Over 20 years ago, young Clinton Hill was concerned about what we were doing to our planet: polluting our skies and rivers, neglecting our precious plants and animals. He took action: he started a club called Kids for Saving Earth, for children who were dedicated to peaceful Earth-saving measures. Since then, Kids for Saving Earth has become a non-profit organization, inspiring instructors, children, and parents across the country. Out of this movement came the Promise Song.

Fred (m): Here to perform “Kids for Saving Earth Planet Promise Song” is a newly formed group of Chicago Public Schools and college singers called Chicago Sings for Planet Earth. They will be performing under the direction of Ms. Josephine Poelinitz, a vegan, and accompanied by the combo group G-III. Let's welcome them with lively applause.

"Kids For Saving Earth Promise Song" Performed by Chicago Sings for Planet Earth (group):

The Earth is my home, I promise to keep it healthy and beautiful I will love the land, the air, the water, and all living creatures. I will be a defender of my planet, United with friends, I will save the Earth. United with friends, I promise to keep it, United with friends, I will love the land. United with friends, I'll be a defender, I will save the Earth.

The Earth is my home, I promise to keep it healthy and beautiful I will love the land, the air, the water, and all living creatures. I will be a defender of my planet, United with friends, I will save the Earth. United with friends, I promise to keep it, United with friends, I will love the land. United with friends, I'll be a defender, I will save the Earth. I will save the Earth. I will save the Earth.

Sarah-Mai (f): Thank you, Chicago Sings for Planet Earth, for your beautiful performance. Sarah-Mai (f): Upon reading one of Supreme Master Ching Hai's newly released poem anthologies, “The Love of Centuries,” Commissioner Frank Avila fell in love with it.

Fred (m): And since he has known of her loving and compassionate environmental work, he requested time to speak with Supreme Master Ching Hai and ask questions regarding “The Love of Centuries” as well as the pressing issues of saving our planet. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Commissioner Frank Avila who will share with us his thoughts about the environment.

Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you very much for the introduction. The song that they just sang is the song that we play, our introduction song for our TV, “Kids For Saving the Planet” and that's who is going to save our planet - it's the kids. My name is Commissioner Frank Avila and I am a Commissioner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. We are responsible for treating wastewater in the greater Chicago area. The district has seven wastewater treatment plants.

Three are the largest in North America and one is the largest in the world. People come here from all over the world to see how we treat wastewater. Our mission is to protect our water supply, Lake Michigan, protect public health, and the water environment. Of all the surface water in the world, 1% of it is drinking water. Twenty percent of that 1% is right here in the Great Lakes. Ninety percent of all the surface water in the United States is right here in the Great Lakes. We are living in God's country because we have water, we have excellent soil to grow crops, and we have the means to treat wastewater.

Since God has given us abundant precious resources in this region, I feel we have an obligation to protect the resources that God has bestowed upon us. As we will discuss later tonight, our diet has a tremendous impact on our environment and our health. When I was first elected as a Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, my wife, Sherry, said I should set an example for others. Therefore, with Sherry's encouragement and help, I became a vegan together with her about 7 years ago. Since then I have seen my health improve, with my blood pressures going down. Now, look at me now: I'm good-looking, a good dancer, a good singer. It's all because of being a vegan!

As a Commissioner, I often go out to give talks about the environment issues. Several years ago, Sherry and I started producing environmental shows on Chicago Access Network TV, or CAN TV. One day when I was at CAN TV, I saw Supreme Master Ching Hai's disciples explaining the very topic I am concerned with. I made a point to know more about the Supreme Master. What I came out with knowing about Supreme Master Ching Hai is her big love for the whole world and her passion. I have… I have the same passion as Supreme Master Ching Hai; however, my passion has been with the greater Chicago area as an elected official. But her passion is for the world. That touched me and that is why I made it a point to know more about her, and I want to help her save the planet, which in turn helps the people here in the greater Chicago area.

As I am learning more and more about Supreme Master Ching Hai's work, I feel that she is like Mother Teresa. Supreme Master Ching Hai is concerned about the less fortunate and all beings; she wants them to survive and live happily on this planet. That is her love and her goal. In over three decades, she has done more worldwide than anyone I've ever known. As mentioned above, I often go out and give talks. Sometimes I get frustrated because I do not know if people understand what I am talking about. Nevertheless, here is Supreme Master Ching Hai; she really makes people understand the importance of how to save the planet.

That is why I am so happy to meet people from the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association. It is hard to change people, but Supreme Master Ching Hai is doing it every day. That is why Sherry, my fellow Commissioner, Patricia Horton, and I are interviewing Supreme Master today. Thank you for coming and I hope you enjoy our conversation with Supreme Master Ching Hai. Thank you very much.

Sarah-Mai (f): Thank you, Commissioner Avila. At this time, we would like to hear from our guest, Commissioner Patricia Horton, who is also from the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Please welcome Commissioner Patricia Horton.

Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you. Good evening. Thank you Supreme Master Ching Hai, performers, audience, and Commissioner and Mrs. Avila. Again, my name is Patricia Horton, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago As you may or may not know, I've traveled halfway around the world. I've spent time in Bangladesh and saw firsthand the impact of poverty. That journey still resides in my mind and has made an impression on my life ever since.

What I witnessed were people who were affected directly by what they consume. Be it here in the Midwest or in Bangladesh, what most people don't realize is, healthier eating and water consumption is the key to disease prevention, along with helping to preserve the Earth's natural resources and saving the environment. As Commissioner for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, I have continued my personal crusade towards promoting a healthier diet as well as disseminating information regarding the impact that water has on our lives.

I am concerned about the water quality, water conservation and the environment. I chair the Public Health and Welfare Committee at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; I sit on the Illinois State Diabetes Commission Board; I give free tennis lessons to any urban child who wants to play tennis and I have already about 200 children to this day. It is for those reasons that I am joining you today. Thank you.

Sarah Mai (f): Thank you, Commissioner Avila and Commissioner Horton. Next, we have a young American soprano with a silvery voice whose interpretive sincerity shines in her performances - Jāma Jandroković.

Fred (m): Accompanied by vegan composer Robin Chiang on the piano, she will be performing an eloquent piece inspired by Supreme Master Ching Hai's poetry anthology, “The Love of Centuries.” “Love is Eternal” is a medley of heartfelt songs adapted from Supreme Master Ching Hai's poems, arranged by Robin Chiang.

Sarah-Mai (f): Let us welcome Jāma Jandroković and Robin Chiang to perform “Love is Eternal” with a round of applause.

"Love is Eternal" Performed by: Jāma Jandroković

Love is vital love poetry is vital brings us closer together as a planetary community as siblings of the same family Love, love, love, love, love Love is really all that we need to have on this planet in order to have peace to bring Heaven to our Earth

The Love of Centuries poetry collection speaks powerfully about Divine Love which expresses itself in the carefree spirit of Youth in the Love of Homeland through Love for All Beings in the heart of that Special Someone with the Love that Transcends Space and Time Love is Eternal

The Love of Centuries, The Ideal Beloved is now here Your arrival elevates myriad worlds Waves of joy reach even the farthest galaxy.

When You Said You Love Me My heart sings through the night All the stars shine brightly And the moon dances within me. Thanks to Precious Stars, Moon of Mine, Song 4 the Sun, love from all beings So that we are aware that the whole universe is blessing us God Loves You So Every day more! We're from Heaven, please don't forget One day we will all go back Home Where we belong, where no sorrow

Let's Love each other Let's gift peace to each other Then people will cease to be in pain Then love will brighten the world In a thousand places angels will dance Glory be Heaven and human! Let's Love

Sarah-Mai (f): Such a lovely voice! Let's give Jāma Jandroković another round of applause.

Commissioner Frank Avila (m): Supreme Master Ching Hai is concerned about the less fortunate and all beings; she wants them to survive and live happily on this planet. It is hard to change people, but Supreme Master Ching Hai is doing it every day. That is why Sherry, my fellow Commissioner, Patricia Horton, and I are interviewing Supreme Master today.

"Kids For Saving Earth Promise Song" Performed by Chicago Sings for Planet Earth The Earth is my home, I promise to keep it healthy and beautiful.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Sunday, August 28, for part 1 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Knowing that we all care for people and the environment, we still may wonder about the best way to preserve it for our children and grandchildren, as you care so much about the future generation. Fortunately, we have people like you, whose work offers an example of benevolence and noble values. We also have the teachings of sages past and present to remind us that being kind and virtuous are important, not only because this is right or pleasing to Heaven, but because loving kindness and virtuous living protect us and our world.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Tuesday, August 30, for part 2 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I am sure everyone on this planet who are parents or not even parents, we all love children, and we're all concerned about children. The question is, what are we going to do for them? Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Love in action. We all want the children to grow up healthy and be happy; not just wanting, make it happen. Do whatever we can. That's how we love the children, the parents, parental love. Action, do something.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Wednesday, August 31, for part 3 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Prevention is better than cure, and it saves a lot of money, then the government doesn't even need to cut because we will not spend so much on healthcare anymore, if people have gone vegan and if you turn vegan, Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.) you live healthy immediately. (Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.)

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Thursday, September 1, for part 4 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: First, charity begins at home. We have to take care of our home. We have to have a stable foundation before we even take care of the world. We could provide in abundance for children's education, parents' healthcare, the things that help improve everybody's quality of life. You know, early retirements, more hobbies, more happiness, upliftment of the disadvantaged neighbors, and investing in green technology or organic farming. In short, prosperity for everyone to enjoy their God-given lives on Earth.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Friday, September 2, for part 5 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

VOICE: Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” on Words of Wisdom.
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