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SUPREME MASTER CHING HAI ON THE ENVIRONMENT Stop Soil Erosion and Desertification: Make the Switch to the Animal-free Lifestyle - P3/3, A compilation of Supreme Master Ching Hai's lectures    
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Thank you for accepting to be here with us tonight to share this so important message. I have two questions. The first question: According to you, what will be the benefits of organic farming regarding the current agricultural issues in Africa such as erosion, drought, deforestation, and infertile soil? The second question: What are the constraints and benefits of such agricultural practices? Thank you.

Thank you. Hallo, Dr. Tounou, thank you. That’s a very good question. As you may realize from your research that the vegan diet is the real key and is the essence of the change that is needed for saving our planet. Organic vegan is like a great bonus because organic growing methods benefit not only human health but also the environment. For example, a study conducted in the United States found that organic farming preserves topsoil and keeps water bodies clean, and if used worldwide, would have the potential to absorb and store approximately 40% of all present-day CO2 emissions each year.

This would be a direct benefit to our Earth. The other aspects of vegan organic farming that are beneficial include things like crop rotation, mulching, and natural fertilizers. Crop rotation means that a field is planted each season with different crops. This variety approach helps keep the plants healthy and also restores fertility and nutrients to the soil. Other methods such as mulching and even a new method called no-till organic farming help retain moisture and reduce soil erosion considerably.

Deforestation is mostly caused by animals’ feed as forests are cleared to plant crops are for raising livestock, while hundreds of millions of people are starving in the world. So, in general, vegan organic farming follows a philosophy of living in harmony with nature and protection for the planet and all beings. The methods employed support the natural balance between farming and the environment. Over time, the combination of this care and practice through the techniques available can go a long way toward restoring the balance from problems that may have arisen in the past.

Also, there are many successful stories for organic farming already across the continent of Africa. For example, in the area surrounding Cape Town, South Africa, the townships are growing 100% organic gardens, with crops that are sold locally. A similar operation has begun in Kenya. And in Uganda, where organic fertilizers were recently introduced, they are already seeing success with the soil and harvest – on your own continent. There are more and more, just too many to list here. So the benefits are immense. I highly encourage you to pursue vegan organic farming methods, if at all possible. Of course, it is possible; everything is possible when we want to save our planet.

Everything is possible. It has to be possible, for our own survival. You can bring manyfold benefits in doing so, and you can be one of the growing success stories as it becomes more and more popular.

Regarding your efforts to fight global warming, you know that we need a stronger involvement from politicians. Their involvement is necessary. However, we noticed that it is not their primary concern. My question is: What can we do? Or in your opinion, what can we do so that politicians get more involved in matters concerning global warming, environmental issues, and in the fight against global warming? Should we send them all to a university of environmental sciences?

Hallo, Mr. Secretary. You are correct. It is best if government leaders can be part of the solution. They can assist in helping people to understand why it is so important to make the change to the veg diet. To approach the political leaders, you can first get together with others of like mind. Then you let the leaders know that you and others like yourself are very interested in this subject. Tell them you want to save the planet, that’s it.

Write to your government leaders about the veg solution, go and visit with them, if that is possible. For supporting materials, you can ask our Association members to provide you with the information you might need. From what we are reading in the news, it seems that more African leaders are now becoming interested in halting climate change and realizing the need to act on global warming. Sadly, global warming is affecting African countries in all the severest, and some of the most visible, ways.

The world’s second largest freshwater lake, Lake Victoria in Eastern Africa, is now being jeopardized due to over-fishing, pollutants and climate change, which are interrelated anyway. Rivers and lakes are drying up in Africa. Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro’s glaciers and ice are almost all gone and coral reefs are dying, bleaching. There are water crises from Sierra Leone to South Africa. Zimbabwe, Somalia, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Sudan – just to name a few – are experiencing worsened droughts that make it difficult to plant crops, thus adding to food shortages and prices rising. Add to this, desertification and deforestation that further degrade the land.

Increased temperatures mean erratic rainfall – either too little or too much at a time - so we have ravaging floods that drown the crops and fires that burn the forest. Likewise in West Africa, home to 43% of the total population of sub-Saharan Africa, if you’re a farmer, you already can feel that the climate is in trouble. There are more frequent droughts, heat waves, floods, storms, frosts, freezes, and locusts than before. These impacts of climate change increase food insecurity and the food crisis in Africa. There is also increased risk of diseases such as malaria because the mosquitoes spread to higher altitudes. The United Nations is afraid that hundreds of millions of people in Africa are at risk. This is just a handful of all the news reports coming out about global warming in your land. I’m sure there are more.

For leaders, they are aware of these grave problems facing their countries. Now, if the citizens also support them, remind them that they’re concerned and that this is for their best interests, then they will be even more energized to address climate change. Then they will remember that global warming is the most important agenda, that it’s their duty, not only professionally, but also personally, because it affects themselves and their children as well. So let us try our best to help remind and encourage our leaders to do something. Thank you, and Heaven bless the majestic land of Africa and preserve it.

I’ve learned from Ayurveda that we become gentler and less violent if we become vegetarians. If all humans become pure vegetarians, could we prevent global warming and various disasters on Earth? In addition, wouldn’t it be a problem for our ecosystem if all humans become vegetarians? Thank you. Thank you.

Yes, Professor Jeong, welcome. To your first question, if humans become purely vegetarian, we would not be able to prevent global warming at this time, because it has already begun, but we would be able to stop it in its tracks in time so that it won’t get worse and that we don’t have a planetary runaway crisis, like what they call the “irreversible point,” the “point of no return.” For the question about whether it would be a problem to our ecosystem if all people become vegetarian: it is the opposite, madam. The real problem to our environment is meat eating, the way we are doing now. All our planetary problems including climate change, food crisis, soil erosion, pollution, etc., can be solved by turning to the organic vegan diet. We have all the evidence pointing toward this answer. We have proof. It’s proven and it is like that. We are now consuming meat and experiencing

so many harmful effects. It is destroying our health, damaging our environment, endangering the lives of our animal co-inhabitants, killing our noble human quality and our physical existence. According to the United Nations report “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” raising animals for food is very detrimental to the ecosystem. Some examples as follows: Livestock occupies the single largest human-used sector area of land. Livestock is the cause for loss of 70% of previously forested land in the Amazon.

Livestock is probably the largest source of water pollution from any industry. It causes dead zones, erosion, sediment runoffs, compact soils, etc. Livestock may well be the leading player in the reduction of biodiversity of our planet. So why not just try to make a change in the opposite direction to see if things will improve. It will improve. It will be better for sure. If we walk away from violence and hatred, we will meet peace and love awaiting at our destination. If all humans became vegan, it will become a paradise on Earth. We hope one day we will experience that paradise on Earth in our lifetime.
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