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4 Outstanding Books, 1 Compelling Point: The Diet-Planet Connection    
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Halo, esteemed viewers. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting and talked-about books on a matter that affects us all in a profound way: the diet-planet connection. The five fascinating individuals that authored or edited these books range from a celebrity musician to an advisor to the European Union to the former heir of a giant ice cream company. In compelling words excerpted here on our program, they ask us to dare to see things in new ways.

For his intriguing book, “Eating Animals,” award-winning US author Jonathan Safran Foer was invited to speak on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. His book also inspired Academy Award- winning Hollywood actress Natalie Portman to write an article, titled “Jonathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals” Turned Me Vegan.” Mr. Foer was motivated to explore the topic as a new father concerned about whether it was right to feed meat to his son. The following is an excerpt from the book’s profound discussions about meat eating and environmentalism.

“In other words, if one cares about the environment, and if one accepts the scientific results of such sources as the UN (or the Intergovernmetnal Panel on Climate Change, or the Center for Science in the Public Interest, or the Pew Commission, or the Union of Concerned Scientists, or the Worldwatch Institute…), one must care about eating animals…

Virtually everyone agrees that animals can suffer in ways that matter, even if we don’t agree on just what that suffering is like or how important it is… Another thing most people agree on is that the environment matters. Whether or not you are in favor of offshore oil drilling, whether or not you “believe” in global warming, whether you defend your Hummer or live off the grid, you recognize that the air you breathe and the water you drink are important. And that they will be important to your children and grandchildren. Even those who continue to deny that the environment is in peril would agree that it would be bad if it were.

“In the United States, farmed animals represent more than 99 percent of all animals with whom humans directly interact. In terms of our effect on the “animal world” – whether it’s the suffering of animals or issues of biodiversity and the interdependence of species that evolution spent millions of years bringing into this livable balance – nothing comes close to having the impact of our dietary choices. Just as nothing we do has the direct potential to cause nearly as much animal suffering as eating meat, no daily choice that we make has a greater impact on the environment.”

In 2010, multi-platinum international musician and singer-songwriter Moby published a new book on a topic unrelated to music but nevertheless close to his heart.

“Gristle: From Factory Farms to Food Safety (Thinking Twice About the Meat We Eat).”

The main message is for people to be more aware of the ramifications of animal production, specifically animal production on factory farms. We’re just sort of presenting the facts and hopefully letting people make up their own minds.

“Gristle” is a concise yet thorough presentation of the far-reaching impacts of animal consumption on adult and children’s health, as well as the tolls to animal welfare, the environment, taxpayer costs, animal industry workers and communities, global hunger, and animal-borne disease.

In addition to providing his own writing, Moby has edited pieces by 15 notable policymakers, food business leaders, vegetarians, and activists, including Ms. Ms. Frances Moore Lappé, Mr. Wayne Pacelle, Mr. Brendan Brazier, and Ms. Christine Chavez.

The following are excerpts from Moby’s easy-to-read fact-filled book’s Chapter 5 on climate change, contributed by US climatologist and US-based Worldwatch Institute senior researcher Danielle Nierenberg and Meredith Niles from the Center for Food Safety.

“Animal agriculture, including billions of pigs, chickens, and cattle raised with industrial-style methods, contributes more than one-third of all annual methane emissions, with the rest coming from landfills, rice cultivation, and other natural sources. While individual cows don’t emit that much methane – just about 80 to 110 kilograms each year – the more than 1 billion ruminant animals worldwide produce untenable amounts of methane during enteric fermentation, the digestive process that breaks down food in their multiple stomachs. In fact, ruminant animals produce 86 million metric tons of methane worldwide.”

“Animals raised in industrialized operations …are fed a diet consisting mainly of corn and soybeans that require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides, and particularly, artificial fertilizers. Indeed, fertilizer production for feed crops alone contributes some 41 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) annually – the equivalent of that produced by nearly 7 million cars.”

“Animals raised for meat, eggs, and milk also generate significant amounts of nitrous oxide through their manure. A 10 percent rise in nitrous oxide emissions in the United States between 1990 and 2005 has been traced, at least partly to changes in the poultry industry, including an increase in the population of birds raised for meat and eggs.”

“Heating and cooling the massive confinement operations that dot the US landscape – and increasingly parts of Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean – also results in several million tons of CO2 emissions.”

Eloquent lecturer, music composer and author, Dr. Will Tuttle, is known for his #1 bestselling book, “The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony.”

John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, who is also a known meat-free advocate, read Dr. Tuttle’s book and commented: “I am grateful for this powerful and cogent book. It has stretched my thinking (and heart) about animals, compassion, and our society and will probably be catalytic in furthering my personal growth.” Now, let’s read an excerpt from the eye-opening book, “The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony.”

“It would not be possible for us to eat the high quantities of inexpensive animal foods that we do today without a massive infusion of fossil fuels into our food production system… The collision of soaring demand for fossil fuels with their permanently diminishing availability will cause unremitting upward price pressure as demands continue to expand and conflicts over limited oil escalate. With the coming unavoidable decline in fossil fuel availability, the days of cheap animal foods are numbered.”

“…Poisoning the earth with massive doses of toxic chemicals and petroleum-based fertilizers is highly profitable for the petroleum and chemical industries. These toxins cause cancer, which is highly profitable to the chemical-pharmaceutical- medical complex. While the world’s rich omnivores waste precious supplies of grain, petroleum, water, and land feeding and eating fattened animals, the world’s poor have little grain to eat or clean water to drink, and their chronic hunger, thirst, and misery create conditions for war, terrorism, and drug addiction, which are extremely profitable industries as well.
The richest fifth of the world’s population gets obesity, heart disease, and diabetes, also highly profitable for industry. The transnational corporations profit from animal food consumption, as do the big banks, which have made the loans that have built the whole complex and demand a healthy return on their investments. The system spreads relentlessly and globally, and while corporate and bank returns may be healthy, people, animals, and ecosystems throughout the world fall ill and are exploited and destroyed.”

John Robbins is an author widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on the close links between diet and environmental and personal health. He is the author of the revolutionary book “Diet for a New America,” which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, as well as the updated “The Food Revolution” and “Healthy at 100.” John Robbins was the only son of the co-founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream company, which he decided to relinquish in pursuit of a deeper dream of peace, harmony, and health. The following is an excerpt from Mr. Robbins’ acclaimed book, “The Food Revolution.”

“What We Know: World’s mammalian species currently threatened with extinction: 25 percent.
Leading cause of species in the tropical rainforests being threatened or eliminated: Livestock grazing.
Leading cause of species in the United States being threatened or eliminated: Livestock grazing.

Today, cattle and other ruminant animals (such as sheep and goats) graze an astounding half the planet’s total land area. As vast reaches of the American West have been given over to cattle grazing, wildlife has paid a terrible price. Pronghorn sheep have decreased from 15 million a century ago to less than 271,000 today. Bighorn sheep, once numbering over 2 million, are now less than 20,000. The elk population has likewise plummeted.

Tens of thousands of wild horses and burros have been rounded up because they competed with cattle, many ending up in slaughterhouses. Meanwhile, cattle ranchers have sought to block the reintroduction of wolves into the wild, despite the fact that it’s required by the Endangered Species Act.

…today’s unprecedented extinction rate is estimated by some biologists to be 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than existed in prehistoric times. …When the Union of Concerned Scientists analyzed the environmental impact of human activities, they concluded that the damage to wildlife habitat from producing 1 pound of beef is 20 times greater than that from producing 1 pound of pasta.

A cultural shift toward a plant-based diet would save many of the species that are currently endangered and threatened. It would be a statement that we no longer hold ourselves above the rest of Creation, with the right to do to other life forms anything we might want, including extinguish their very existence. It would be a statement that we are ready to accept with humility and honor our role in preserving and protecting other species, rather than playing the conqueror and ending up ourselves destroyed.”

The messages in these books are full of empathy, concern, wisdom, and important truths about the grave state of our planet as well as the survival of our own and other species. Supreme Master Ching Hai has frequently urged humankind to be informed and act immediately to save the Earth. The following was one occasion during a November 2010 video message at a climate change conference in London, United Kingdom.

So please consider what is really at stake now, what is really our foremost-urgent priority at the present time. It’s not just political reputation or economy. It’s the lives, real lives, of all inhabitants on Earth; humans, animals, plants, trees, etc.

An organic vegan diet would immensely improve the quality of our lives, spiritually also. It can curb the water and food crises and restore nature’s life-support systems. It also happens to be the most rapid, cost-effective, and the only feasible climate solution, one that every nation can easily implement. In sum, only with the organic vegan solution can we still save our planet. Respected and honorable ladies and gentlemen, I beseech you and all the leaders, to please, help our world, please save our planet.

Thank you conscientious viewers for joining us today. Now, please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News. May our future world be bright, clean, and kind.

The books featured on today’s program are all available at www.Amazon.com
as well as these other websites:

Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals www.EatingAnimals.com www.Amazon.com
Moby’s Gristle: From Factory Farming to Food Safety www.Gristle-Book.com www.Amazon.com
Dr. Will Tuttle’s The World Peace Diet: Eating for Spiritual Health and Social Harmony www.WorldPeaceDiet.org www.Amazon.com
John Robbins’ The Food Revolution www.FoodRevolution.org www.Amazon.com
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