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Supreme Master Ching Hai on the Environment: The True Solution for a Carbon-free Society -P3/4 Compilation of Supreme Master Ching Hai's lectures    
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Animal industries are the number one killer of all killers on this planet. Forget about the war, forget terrorism, they are just small numbers compared to the meat industry. The meat industry is the number one killer, is the number one murderer, and a legal murderer – and we endorse it! We accept it!

This is all our wrongdoing, it’s all our fault. If the planet is to be gone forever, we cannot blame anything else, anyone else, except ourselves if we don’t do anything at all to change this. Furthermore, it’s not only the Amazon. NASA states that the single biggest direct cause of tropical deforestation is livestock grazing land.

The livestock sector is the single largest human use of land. We have only 30% of land that covers the Earth. The rest is 70% –it’s water, it’s ocean. We have only 30% of land, and of that precious 30%, one-third of it is used, not for our true survival, but for livestock pasture or growing tons of grains for animal feed – all to produce a few pieces of meat. And you swallow it in two seconds. And that few seconds will bring you tons of sicknesses, diseases and suffering, sorrow, for yourself also. Even if we don’t have compassion for the animals, please do have compassion for ourselves. Do not eat poison and continue to suffer more in the hospital with all kinds of treatment related to it. In fact, we are losing 55 square meters of rainforest for every beef hamburger patty. Every little beef hamburger patty, that costs 55 square meters. This is a pity, because we have better, more delicious, more nutritious, more healthy, and safer alternatives to hamburgers to nourish ourselves anyway. How can we, as very intelligent human beings, do this to ourselves? Not to talk about the cruelty that we committed to animals which degrades us to this level. I’m so sorry to have offended you, but I also take responsibility as a human being here on this planet for this – for all the things that I have not known before, for all the things that I’m doing with you, I have been doing with you, in this respect. So, please do forgive me for being straight, honest, and “just the facts.”

Supreme Master, is it true that there are links between industrial farming of animals and global warming? And what are the actual effects of climate change? Yes, yes, absolutely, Louise. The link from the livestock industry to global warming has been clearly established. In fact, earlier this year the Irish government even considered creating a cow tax in order to meet the European Union’s new strict climate goals. Ireland's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated in a report that the agricultural sector is the largest producer of greenhouse gases in the country. With livestock production accounting for 93% of Ireland's agriculture sector, Louise – livestock production in your country accounting for 93% of Ireland's agriculture sector – it is crucial that the animal-raising sector is addressed to stop global warming.

The world’s scientists fear that if we pass certain tipping points, the next stages of climate change would not only be fast but irreversible and catastrophic, Louise. So, there are already signs of this dangerous time approaching, through observations of lakes and elsewhere bubbling with methane gas that used to be stored safely below a frozen layer of the Earth.

No one knows when the day might be that enormous amounts are uncontrollably released, causing a sudden spike in temperature that could then catalyze runaway warming. That would be catastrophic for us, Louise. Over-devastating effects of climate change have already been occurring: the heat-reflecting Arctic ice is on its way to completely vanishing in a very near summer; rising sea levels and dozens of submerged or threatened islands;

oceanic regions that are lifeless with dead zones are becoming too acidic to be livable due to excessive levels of CO2; more frequent deadly wildfire; entire wildlife species going extinct 100 times faster than normal; more intense and destructive storms; disease-carrying mosquitoes spread by warming regions; disappearance of the world’s glaciers; drying or disappeared lakes and rivers by the tens of thousands and the spreading of deserts.

And as a consequence of these environmental impacts, 2 billion people are facing water shortages and 20 million people are in a desperate state – like refugees except with no official protection. Very sad things. All these situations are getting worse and worse and won't stop until we really change the way we live our life. So, what's to be done? The solution is quite easy: simply stop eating meat. Simply stop eating meat – that is the best solution. This is imperative now because of the perilous state of our planet and our limited time.

Stopping meat production will lower greenhouse gas emissions in the fastest possible way and halt the unspeakable environmental damages, ranging from climate change to land and water misuse, pollution, loss of wildlife and threats to human health. Each new scientific study finds that livestock production, this killing of animals for meat, bears increasingly more responsibility for the climate change crisis of our planet. In fact, the most recent calculations have concluded that livestock emits at least 51% of the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming. And soon after this new report, researchers from NASA just announced that methane, the potent, greenhouse gas whose largest human-created source is the livestock industry, traps a hundred times more heat than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

This is an astonishing increased update from the previous number of 72 times. Until now, most studies used the fact that methane is 23 times more heat trapping than CO2, over 100 years, which gives a less accurate picture about methane in its actual life span. Therefore, the powerful methane is actually a greater cause of the warming than previously estimated. The good news is that methane dissipates from the atmosphere in approximately 12 years, whereas it takes carbon dioxide thousands of years to disappear.

So, if we want to make a rapid, effective difference now, we must stop the methane generation at its largest, original source - that is, the livestock industry. The livestock industry is also the top source of another, major greenhouse gas – nitrous oxide. Sixty-five percent of all human-made nitrous oxide is found in the manure and fertilizer for feed crops, which traps a hugely damaging 289 times more heat over a 20-year period. Next, the livestock sector is the single largest human use of land, and the top driving force behind rainforest destruction. In the Amazon alone, over 90% of the deforested land since 1970 was for livestock.

Trees are vital to help absorb greenhouse gases, but trees, when they are burned, also release, rather than absorb, greenhouse gases, thus making the problem worse. Forest burning for making pasture is also a major source of black carbon, which is soot, particles capable of trapping 2,000 times more heat than CO2. Oh, God! Believe this? The super hot particles end up on the world’s ice caps and accelerate their melting.

The livestock industry causes a large part of the world’s soil erosion. It is a leading driver of desertification, biodiversity loss, and water waste, and water pollution – despite water becoming scarcer each day due to global warming.

Moreover, the livestock sector inefficiently drains our fossil fuel and food grain resources. In short, we throw away 12 times more grain, at least 10 times more water, and 8 times more fossil fuel energy to produce a portion of beef compared to a nutritionally similar or even greater amount of vegan food. By the way, fishing is also horrendously wasteful and murderous. A major study predicts that all fished animals will be 90% gone by 2050 due to overfishing and over-wasting bycatch.

It means those fish and other marine lives that they don’t need, but while catching other fish, they kill them as well, by the billions. Moreover, it is such an alarming picture when we think about the billions of animals killed each year for so-called food: 55 billion, which is not even counting fish and other species! That is 8 times more innocent beings murdered each year than there are people on the Earth.

How can our planet and our conscience support such unsustainable, damaging, and criminal practice? And all for a piece of dead flesh every day, which we now know isn’t even healthy and, in fact, kills us. I pray that our world’s leaders will take swift actions to ban the destructive meat production and, instead, use subsidies for organic vegan farming which helps absorb emissions. Then, we can have an immediate effect on climate change and have more time to develop and perfect our green technology to address CO2. I call upon the media to help as well, and thank you and the Irish Dog Journal for their part.

And, most important, individuals must turn to the planet-saving, organic vegan lifestyle, because the dangers are mounting and time is urgent. If every one of us would only switch now, we would ensure a future for our children and generations to come.
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