The 1st Middle East Vegetarian (MEVEG) Congress - P4/5 December 7, 2010 Dubai, United Arab Emirates (In Arabic)    
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Commercially-fished species in the United Arab Emirates have declined an alarming 80% in 30 years! These fish we cannot find anywhere else except in your sea. Now they are going, gone. In addition, the sheer excess of fishing vessels and fishing gear also lead to a huge by-catch and damage to even more species. This is part of the global decline of marine life due to overfishing. It's everywhere, not just in your country. Everywhere marine life is declining, extinct, or going to be soon, sooner than we can imagine. Even if you love fish, I am not sure how much longer you are going to have fish on your table. So please be prepared to have vegetarian food. That would be a very wise choice.

MC(f): Well said, Supreme Master.

I'm sorry I have more news for you. We go to number 8 issue, which is “Coral Reef and Other Marine Habitat Destruction.” Now, one-third of the fish in the Persian Gulf are supported by its coral reefs; however, the Persian Gulf coral reefs are now among the most endangered in the world. About 35% might have been already lost due to bleaching pollution from desalinization plants. And it will not stop if we continue to have desalinization plants. It will just increase the damage, you see? But without desalinization plants, we have no water in your country. So, you see the trouble. Effects from past wars in the region also add on to this problem.

And also ongoing mega-construction projects, though they look beautiful, though they are an attraction to the locals as well as the tourists, they do cause a lot of damage for the environment. Now, for example, the building of large artificial islands in Dubai, which is really a masterpiece of architecture - I also am very impressed by it - but it has hugely damaged the Gulf's coral reefs, mangrove trees, and sea grass ecosystems. Please forgive me for stating the true facts, because you need to know now.

Number nine, we go to “Air Pollution.” Many of us now live in the cities and we cannot avoid the pollution, like the ozone smog, which takes away our health and sometimes even our precious lives. One in five Emirati children has asthma, and hundreds in the country lose their lives to pollution-related problems every year.

Number 10, we go to discuss the topic which is in your heart today and which is the major theme of your Congress. That is “Meat Consumption,” the subject that not many people want to talk about, even at the United Nations summit. I'll tell you what, yesterday, I was at the meeting and the President of Mexico - he was the advocate for lessening methane - and he said methane is caused by livestock raising. He knows all that and he advocates for reducing it, even through animal industry section. So he's well aware and he's not covering up anything like that, but he has a long speech. I don't want to repeat his speech here. If you want, you can log onto the UN website and find out what he said. Okay? I'm just saying just one little thing that I have observed.

One of the participants, she was from China, I think. She looked like Chinese to me, and she spoke with a Chinese accent, in English. She was mentioning about all the damage that the meat industry is causing to our world and the environment and the health of the people and the health of the children and every other thing, etc., and even causing disasters in our world. And she was just mentioning it, I mean, really to the point, honest, and not trying to show off. She was just really very emotional and passionate about the meat issue that she wanted to remind all the participants, and particularly the President of Mexico, to see how they would deal with this, how they would stop it, or how would they kind of decide about the meat industry. Then I heard that she was told not to talk anymore. Look. And the President also did not answer. Perhaps he was short of time, he had to leave.

But, you know what I mean? (MC (f): Yes. We can understand.) We have to be honest and truthful about the main topic. We cannot run around the circle and avoid the meat industry question like we avoid a sore thumb or avoid a boil on our body, and “Don't touch it! Don't touch it!” We have to touch it in order to heal it. Especially, we know that it is a very dangerous boil, which could affect our life, which could be fatal to our life, and even infect others, and even in this situation, infect the whole planet, could kill the whole world. Then we have to touch that boil and let the doctor heal it. Or we heal it ourselves if we know how. And we do know how. We have technique, we have power. Each one of us can do this, just by being vegan.

Nobody wants to touch this subject, I don't know why. Maybe you could advise me later on. Why? Because I really do not understand. I don't mean to intrigue you or to pretend innocence. I really do not understand, when the problem is as clear as the nose in front of me here. I do not understand why people don't discuss and immediately get the solution going to save all lives on the planet, because we don't even have time anymore to discuss much further, too long, or to be polite to each other until it's too late. Okay. Sorry. I get carried over. Forgive me. I'm just too passionate about this subject because it's in my heart. It concerns all of us.

Yesterday, I was watching the President's speech and question-and-answer there, just as I was just mentioning to you. And one of the, I think, journalists or something, with a big camera, came and said, “Oh, can I take your picture?” I said, “Why? I'm just listening to this.” And she said, “Because you're so passionate and looks like you are only… Very interesting. It seems like a one-man campaign or something.” I said, “Yes, yes. I am very passionate about this, because it's my planet!”

Zaufyshan Haseeb, MC (f): I think that's a wonderful idea. It starts with one man, doesn't it? And then it carries on to the other, and that's how your passion can go on to other people as well, and it's our own common world that we live in.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, because I sat there just alone, watching the TV, outside the corridor, and I was so fixed on the TV. That's why she was attracted and she came and watched me for half an hour or something before she asked me. I said, “Oh, go ahead. Take what picture you want, I am all yours.” And then she left after a while. Okay. We go back to your country. Forgive me. My God. Forgive me. The United Arab Emirates is one of the main countries in the Middle East that imports live sheep from other countries. Millions, millions of these animals arrive on ships, with tens of thousands that have died each time from extreme crowding and other conditions along the way. Poor sheep. They have done nothing wrong to us, ever.

We have a saying in English, “as sweet as a lamb.” I don't know how about your country, if they have such a saying or not. How can we kill such sweet, living animals, tear their limbs apart and consume it? Allah would not be very pleased with this, I imagine. And the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, when he was alive, tried to save a little lamb at one time. I am sure he saved many other animals whenever the opportunity arrived, but not all are recorded in the Hadith or in the Qur'an.

Enormous quantities of meat are also imported, especially from Brazil, India, Australia, also Sudan, Kazakhstan, etc., etc. All of these exporting countries mentioned above have environmental and even economic struggles due to livestock overgrazing - meaning that the meat habit worsens drought and desertification in many other countries as well. So the piece of meat that we put in our mouth is responsible for many disasters around the world. I am so sorry that you are not well informed.

Zaufyshan Haseeb, MC (f): We can see now how it is connected. Zaufyshan Haseeb, MC (f): I mean, we could see the connection even when we (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Okay.) heard your topic, so…

Supreme Master Ching Hai: All right. Maybe it will come back later, with Allah blessing, yes? (MC (f): Yes.) If Allah wills. It will come back. Okay. Thank you! Okay. Plus, on top of all this, the raising of livestock animals such as sheep, goats, and cattle generates huge amounts of methane and other greenhouse gases, which in turn cause and accelerate global warming. I'm sure you can see the logic.

In fact, livestock raising for meat production is known to be a significant factor in global warming, with scientists now saying that it is, the livestock sector, is the number one cause of global warming. I'm sorry again if you are not well-informed.

Zaufyshan Haseeb, MC (f): Were you informed, delegates, about this? That it's the major cause of global warming? Excellent. Thank you. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Maybe some of them know.) Yes.(Supreme Master Ching Hai: Maybe some…) I was not. I thought maybe petrol emission and all those gases, or whatever that might be, the major cause than actually livestock farming.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Livestock farming is the major cause. It's more than all the transportation combined, more than all the ships, the aeroplanes, the cars, the railway, whatever transportation, you name it, it's nothing compared to livestock raising, in pollution rate. Okay, now you know it. You can log on to all kinds of scientific facts or the UN's Livestock's Long Shadow website to see all this. I am not making it up. It's the fact, 100% accurate. Conservatively, the pollution is more than stated. More. And it's getting more and more each day.

So the people of the United Arab Emirates could accomplish the most effective green change by removing all animal products. I know I'm asking for the moon, but you have the power to do it. You have to. You must. We all must. All countries must do this. Otherwise, we will suffer too much, too much. Very soon. I'm not a psychic. I am not predicting the future from clairvoyance or from the crystal ball in front of me. No, no. I don't need that. The scientific finding, research facts, is enough to scare all of us.

Even suppose I am a meat-lover, even if I am, I would immediately drop that meat like a hot potato and run away from it. (MC (f): That's true. That's well said, Supreme Master.) Yes. This could help revive barren lands in many other countries, as well as yours. In addition to stopping climate change globally, we could have a lush planet again, because we will have no more deforestation. Instead we will reforest. And who knows, we can even reforest the United Arab Emirates. I'm sure we will have time to do that after we save the planet by stopping all kinds of poisonous gases from the livestock industry. And it is crucial to stop eating fish as well for the seas to survive, as I have mentioned before the reason why.

The United Arab Emirates has had the good fortune to prosper, and is blessed with peace, abundant sun - precious, the sun is precious - and talented people. The discovery of abundant oil reserves has allowed your residents to enjoy a high standard of living in a short time. It was your wise and visionary leader, the nation's founder, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He was the one who reminded us that the ancestors survived in this environment, on land and sea, because they knew they had to conserve it. They had to take care of it in order to continue the survival rate. And he also said we should take only what we need, and no more, to conserve the environment.

Your government indeed has been looking ahead to the future, since a long time. Not just recently. Not just now. By planting so many trees and green areas to block desertification - well, we could do more of course when we have more time- building solar energy, promoting organic farming, and developing clean, alternative energy technologies such as through the world-famous Masdar City project. I'm sure you know. (MC (f): Guys, you know?) Yes. (MC (f): Yes. The audience is aware of it.) Yes. Yes, that's a miracle that your government is creating. I applaud them. Yes. And I'm sure many other countries are looking to the United Arab Emirates as a pioneer and a role model, and a shining example in this environmental protection endeavor.

Zaufyshan Haseeb, MC (f): Excellent. That is a very good initiative, that can be.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. Yes, ma'am, it is. It is an excellent initiative. Your government is very wise. Now you have to support your government to go one more step further, that is, to support the vegan alternative to save the United Arab Emirates, as well as the world. The United Arab Emirates has been for many years a provider of abundant energy for the world.

At the same time, the government of the United Arab Emirates is generous in charitable giving, all the time, all the time. If you don't know about it we have a list of recent charitable deeds from the United Arab Emirates on the Supreme Master Television. You can log onto Every month we list all the charitable countries and people in the whole world. And you can always look backward to the older broadcast to find anything you want, ever since our television exists.

And today, the country would be able to make a historic philanthropic contribution to save the world if we go one step further: that is to support the organic vegan solution, because that's the only one we have right now in this urgent situation. And other technologies we can slowly develop when we have time. The thing is, green technology takes time to develop and takes time to implement all over the world. Also, we cannot be too sure because these are new technologies, have not ever been tested. So, at least we are safe if we go on the vegan lifestyle to save huge, dangerous, amounts of methane gases and other gases, which speed up our global warming danger.

So, as your country has already thought of her future beyond fossil fuels, which are non-sustainable and polluting anyway. There's a more beneficial way, as you know, is to provide for humanity through sustainable, peaceful means - meaning obtaining our energy from limitless sources like wind power, sun power, and plant-based food. I think this is more befitting the United Arab Emirates' royal race of people - the people with talents, the people with technological intelligence, and God blessing. I think it's more befitting that we change to a compassionate, God's creature-loving lifestyle, such as vegan diet.

And, I'll tell you a secret, before I forget. This is a little part of my spiritual diary. When I meditate, visions or wisdom or information come through to me, myself. Sometimes I share it with my Association members. Sometimes I share it with the world. This secret, I have not told; I tell you today. Suppose you promote organic plant-based food, now, whoever, the government, whoever decided to approve this plant-based diet solution, just approve it only, he will earn, my God, thousands of zillions of spiritual merit points. And we need a lot of points to go back to Heaven.

Whoever approves this even, just one time, enough for him to fly to Heaven already, after he leaves this world. He doesn't even need any more pilgrimage, doesn't even need to do anything else even. Whoever approved of that, and whoever makes sure that it's carried out, will obtain the same spiritual merit points, that Heaven will bestow upon it. For example, just like financial merit in this world, if we have spiritual merit points in our bank account, it multiplies, multiplies. This is the thing. And the more we have, the more interest rate we earn.

This is a very good thing. I was smiling alone by myself in the tent when I knew this. And I was asking Heaven recently that if I could tell people of the world, and I have the permission. Not everything I am allowed to tell, but when I asked for the permission, and I could tell, I was so happy, I was so happy. When you are happy, and you have some good news, you want to spread it all over, right? All of us, right? (Audience (all): Yes.) Yes. f: (Sure.)

Yes. So, promoting organic, plant-based food is, of course, the most urgent because we need to stop global warming in order to save ourselves, in the near term, by reducing the methane and other also toxic gases even, to poison us even, not just only global warming, but it will poison our atmosphere. Maybe if it's too much, we cannot bear, because these poisonous gasses will speed up the global warming.

Many. Nitrous oxide, which is about 300 times more potent to warm the climate than the carbon dioxide that we talk about from the cars and from the aeroplanes and so on. And methane is 72 times more dangerous, more potent in warming the climate than carbon dioxide. So, even if we have more carbon dioxide than methane, it's not equivalent in the degree of danger.

Therefore, I said we still can have the cars; we still can use the fossil fuel for a while until we develop enough green technology to replace it; we still can fly an aeroplane, we still can use the car, the train, the buses, whatever transportation you choose. Of course, the less, the better. But carbon dioxide is not as dangerous as methane or nitrous oxide, for example. And there are more gases, more dangerous and poisonous gases, coming from animals, livestock, because they emit these through their waste. They put lagoons after lagoons of animals' waste out there in the open.

These gases, they are short-lived compared to carbon dioxide. So if we stop these short-lived gases, our planet cools fast, faster than stopping carbon dioxide, because carbon dioxide will stay in the atmosphere for 1000 years. Something like that. But methane and other gases, methane's short-lived, maybe 12 years only. So if we stop the methane, in a short decade, a few, maybe even shorter, we have the planet cooling, and not warming more.

So, all governments must stop all animal raising and animal products, first of all. They will not only cut the greenhouse gases drastically and at a very low cost, they will also save a lot of the water used globally for growing the fodder for animals, the way it is. But also in the long term, you see all this food we can feed the world, double times over. Also, in the long term, organic vegan agriculture will sustain your country and the world.

The United Arab Emirates government is currently working to increase the country's food security, to be less dependent and more self-sufficient, which is laudable. So they have been buying farmland in other countries to grow food supplies. Good idea. But more importantly, they are investing in technology to grow, say, like fruits and vegetables in the better way. Thank you so much, the government of the United Arab Emirates, for such intelligent approach.

Zaufyshan Haseeb, MC (f): No, no, thank you so much, Supreme Master Ching Hai. Thank you (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, yes.) for your profound insights and words of wisdom and sharing your research with us as well. Some of the delegates were already aware of it, and some were new information to us, but thank you for making it clear and I personally wanted to thank you for letting us know what's the direct stairway to Heaven. All those million, billion points that we can go straight to Heaven if we start doing all this goodness, and sharing that secret with us. I wanted to thank you (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) especially for that.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Okay, okay, yes. Your government is going to Heaven for sure. For example, recently the United Arab Emirates government opened a state-of-the-art farm even, that uses hydroponics - meaning no soil is needed - while saving up to 70% of irrigation water. Your government is really trying hard to be up to date in the climate change fighting, yes, and they succeeded in growing all kinds of vegetables. Isn't that a good news? Yes. The main crops of the country are dates, fruits, and vegetables of all kinds, and this is wonderful, wonderful, because this is everything we need to have a complete, healthy nutrition.

And the number of organic farms is growing all the time. Your country has 13 organic farms as of March 2010 and will have 23 more by June 2011, for a total of 40 registered cleaner, eco-friendly farms. Yes, go ahead, go ahead clapping them, clapping the government. I also applaud them. At the same time, I hope and encourage the farmers; they hope, I hope, the government encourages the farmers to forgo the cattle and poultry raising, to be vegan, organic vegan. Because, for one, it is still much more costly in terms of food, energy, water uses to raise animals Whereas, it costs less and less to have organic farming, especially the hydroponics that your government is progressing to promote.

Senior executive at a top oil and gas firm Food Coordinator, MEVEG CongressTony Satinder Pal Singh (m): Supreme Master Ching Hai's talks today, and the interaction, were really a remarkable inspiration for me. To hear her passion, to see and feel her passion and her commitment to what it means to planet Earth if we could all move towards a vegan diet, is a source of inspiration and a message of extreme importance to all of us, because she's absolutely right, that you know indeed most of the world's greenhouse gases, the largest source of emissions actually come from farms that breed animals for human consumption.

We need to have the personal commitment, and that personal commitment needs to be strong enough to actually translate into a call for action by our leaders around the world. And by combining those 2 things which Supreme Master so clearly has done, I think we can move towards her stated very noble objective. Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!

Zaufyshan HaseebTelevision host, Geo TVBehavioral PsychologistHost, MEVEG CongressZaufyshan(f): She (Supreme Master Ching Hai) has a wonderful energy, a lovely aura, and the way she speaks so softly, her message really hits home, and you feel that she is concerned, and she gives good percentage of research about the region that she's talking about, so that made a lot of sense.

Her message was really wonderful, that we can save the planet by such a simple choice as changing our diet. I come from a culture which are primarily meat eaters, but today after Supreme Master's message, I'm really thinking deep about it that how a little bit we can make a difference in the world. So I will be sharing this message with not only family, friends, and whenever I get an opportunity on the media, I would share this message. I'm Zaufy, and I'm a TV show host, keep watching Supreme Master TV! I have a message for you: Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save our Planet!

Biodiversity: Life on Earth Achim Steiner - UNEP Executive Director (m): When we talk about biodiversity, we talk about life on earth. When we talk about biodiversity loss, we are talking about destroying life on earth.

Janez Potocnik - European Commissioner for Environment (M): Biodiversity is sometimes in the shadow of climate change, which is extremely important, but we should understand that biodiversity is actually the other side of the same coin.

Harrison Ford - Oscar-nominated US actor & producer, Conservation International Board member (M): Biodiversity; it is the foundation of life on earth.

Edward Norton - Oscar-nominated US actor, screenwriter and director; UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity (m): Human wellbeing is intertwined fundamentally with biodiversity.

Dr. Harold Mooney - American ecologist from Stanford University ; Co-chair of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (m): The impact of human activities on biodiversity is influencing feedbacks to the climate system.

Anthony Kleanthous - Senior Policy Adviser on Sustainable Business and Economics at WWF-UK (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.

Edward Norton - Oscar-nominated US actor, screenwriter and director; UN Goodwill Ambassador for Biodiversity (m): At the end of the day the things that are causing the most catastrophic collapse to biodiversity: climate change, deforestation.

His Royal Highness, Prince Charles of Wales (m): And without adequately addressing tropical deforestation we cannot have an answer to climate change. Saving the rainforests is not an option.

H. E. Paulo Alberto da Silveira Soares - Brazilian Ambassador (m): The Amazon is nowadays the lungs of the world.

Paulo Adario - Greenpeace Amazon Representative, Brazil (m): Cattle is the main driver of forest destruction, and 80% of the area that is destroyed in the Amazon is occupied by cattle today, this is growing.

Michelle Rodriquez - US Actress in Oscar-winning film Avatar (f): They're making room just to feed cows, so they're chopping down a bunch of trees.

James Cameron - Oscar-winning Director; Avatar (m): Yeah, but they're not just chopping down any trees, they're chopping down the most beautiful, majestic, bio diverse rainforest on the planet.

Anthony Kleanthous - Senior Policy Adviser on Sustainable Business and Economics at WWF-UK (m): You know meat and dairy really are the primary concern here.

H. E. Paulo Alberto da Silveira Soares - Brazilian Ambassador (m): Brazil is a net producer of meat.

Yannick Jadot - European Parliament Member, from France (M): Animal feed is coming from Latin America which is also contributing to deforestation and so to climate change.

H.E. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva - 35th President of Brazil (m): We have been discussing the climate change issue and more and more we see that the problem is even more severe that we could have ever imagined.

H. E. Paulo Alberto da Silveira Soares - Brazilian Ambassador (m): So we have to strike a balance, for instance instead of producing so much cattle, so much livestock, in all this devastated area where they are breeding cattle, why not produce more soya? We should consume much more. And this would benefit the health of us, of me, you and everyone in the world. Less consumption of meat only helps your health and the climate change.

Her Excellency Claudine Schneider - Former US Congresswoman, Board Member of US Climate Institute (f): We would be addressing not just deforestation but the problems of erosion and loss of clean drinking water. We would also be enabling people to live a healthier and longer life.

Ben Ten Brink - Program Manager, Nature, Landscape and Biodiversity, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (M): So that's I think three good reasons, biodiversity, climate change and personal health to reduce the consumption of meat.

Pavan Sukhdev - Study leader for The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), Head of UNEP's Green Economy Initiative (m): Today something like 25% of all land is in some form or the other used for meat food. So if you could somehow think of more efficient ways of making use of the same land, I think that will be a huge favor that we do ourselves. So we should reduce our meat consumption in my opinion as well.

Dr. Ann Larigauderie - Executive Director, DIVERSITAS - Vegetarian(f): Yes, being a little more vegetarian that would be a really major contribution to the biodiversity problem.

Jo Leinen - European Parliament Member, Chair of Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (M): The protection of biodiversity means that we have to reduce emissions and the consumption of resources; and that means we have to change our lifestyle - our lifestyle is much too heavy for the nature and the ecosystems, and especially our eating habits have to be changed. I think we eat too much meat and we eat too much fish, and we have to reduce both and be more vegetarian.

Sir Paul McCartney - Former Beatles Member & meat-free advocate (m): Join us in this effort: reduce meat.

Kerry McCarthy - British MP, vegan (f): People shouldn't just be lobbying their MP's about aviation and things like that; they should also be lobbying them about the livestock sector. I think that's really important.

Mary Robinson, 7th President of Ireland (F): It is important, as you know well in this room, that we change our behaviour, and that we learn how to be better stewards of this earth. So I admire the way in which you are also putting a lot of emphasis on your own lifestyles, what you eat, what you grow, how you behave.

José María Figueres Olsen, former President of Costa Rica (M): One of the important contributions that we could make to lower carbon emissions is a change in our diets. That is the change we need, the change that will guarantee us a much better quality of life on a much better cared-for planet than the one we have today, which is what we all want.

Mayor Jaime Hernández Zaragoza, Cancún, Mexico (M): This night is an exceptional night, a night of lights, a night in which Supreme Master Ching Hai enlightens us with her presence to bring help to those who are already suffering the consequences of this terrible phenomenon, which threatens our planet and all its inhabitants. I will disseminate what is agreed on here, what is proposed here, and all the solutions that are put on the table and in this organization; I shall make them as my own, with my family and with all the inhabitants of the municipality.

Ben Ten Brink: Be Veg, Pavan Sukhdev: Go Green Ben Ten Brink: 2 Save the Planet! Pavan Sukhdev: Save the planet!
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