MC(m): The next question is from Mr. Teguh Wibowo who is a Red Cross volunteer.
Mr. Santino (m): Thank you, Madam.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Welcome! Welcome.
Mr. Santino (m): Dear Supreme Master Ching Hai, we have been together with your Association members doing some humanitarian missions at disaster areas recently. We were very touched and admire the sincerity and enthusiasm of your disciples in helping those people, the victims of natural disasters. They are always enthusiastic even though they eat only simple vegan food. Our question is: if we shift to a vegan or vegan organic diet, will our good humanity side be developed more? Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, hallo.
Thank you for doing the good deeds with the Red Cross, helping your countrymen. God bless you. Allah bless you.
Thank you for your kind words also about our Association members. They are trying to be the best humans that we want to be. And I am glad that you are happy with the stamina and vitality of their vegan nutrition. I also appreciate very much your efforts and those of the Red Cross in offering comfort and aid to those in the most needed hour in Indonesia, and of course for the Red Cross around the world. In answer to your question about whether the organic vegan diet will help develop our good humanity side - yes, of course it will.
Meat poisons the body, first of all, and that leads to inevitable disease and heartaches for both the individual and their loved ones. And also, because it makes us sick by poisoning our body, our mind will also be clouded. So we cannot always think straight, we cannot always follow our instinct to be the best human that we want to be. So, even from a purely physical perspective, foregoing animal products is a choice of goodness. Consciously turning to veganism for reasons of compassion means that the good humanity side is developed even more.
And it's so easy. It's just expanding a little more of what you are already doing. In your work for the Red Cross as a volunteer, you offer your free time, your physical aid, to care for the people in times of disaster. You give them food and basic necessities with, perhaps, a kind word, a comforting gesture, and you see that they feel heartened and uplifted with hope to have the strength to continue in such a dire situation.
If you were not there, if the Red Cross were not there, maybe they'd have lost their spirit of fighting, maybe they would die also, of sorrow and hopelessness. So you are saving lives by being there. Well, you just do a little bit more, saving animals' lives, and you'll be perfect. Well, the choice of the vegan diet is like doing the same thing with the animals, you see. Same thing with humans: you save human lives, give them love, give them help to continue to live.
So now, we're doing the same with animals. Just leave them be, let them live. Only in this case the so-called disaster site is what we can call the massacre site, or mass-murder site, where the animals are brutally killed en masse, usually in windowless places where we cannot see so we don't know what's going on, we don't know how horrible the place is inside. We don't know how they're treated. They're screaming, they're dragged alive, they are stabbed, they're hung upside down - every possible cruelty is inflicted upon them.
If we don't eat animals' meat, these things will not happen, so we save their lives indirectly. Some animals are shocked electrically to supposedly stun them to no feeling, but this often fails, so they are still conscious while being suspended upside down from a hook, and their throats mercilessly slit - bleeding to death. Some are dragged screaming to their death, while others have been filmed having their heads crushed by the boots of a human. Imagine. We are civilized people.
Even if we do not directly partake in this killing, we are still responsible if we eat the meat or dairy products or even fish for that matter. Even eggs are being bred very cruelly, very cruelly. Milk, eggs, they're all very cruelly bred. We cannot imagine what cruelty we humans inflict upon the innocent harmless animals. Even just a little chick like this, so puffy, so cute, so sweet. I have talked about that in other lectures, in other answers, so I would not want to elaborate further here to make pain in your heart. But we have all this information on Supreme Master Television and www.SupremeMasterTV.com, if you care to look at how humans treat innocent, harmless and helpless animals.
Okay, even fish, since they are produced with the similar cruel practices as meat; we should not consume fish. If we engage on any level in the unspeakably inhumane practices of the animal industry, we also carry the burden of the animals' murder - I'm sorry to say - indirectly. We carry the murders, the effect.
Scientists find more and more that animals are just like us in feeling pain and even knowing when they are being taken to their massacre. To know for ourselves that this is true, we only need to see pictures showing the anguish of the animal as he or she is led to the final stop in his or her tragically short and horrible life. To deepen our compassion - for these and other horrors endured by our endlessly forgiving, loving animal friends - anyone can watch videos available from www.SupremeMasterTV.com/Stop-Animal-Cruelty
It's all free of charge, free of obligation, free of any strings attached. Or you can watch them from organizations such as PETA and the like, animal protection groups. The animals are not only like us in having intelligence, emotions and intuition, they are our friends and helpers. So many blessings from Heaven come through their very existence! Truly it's like that. Through meditation, through inner knowledge, I understood this, and I'm telling you the truth. We do not kill our benefactors or our friends.
Making a vegan choice is thus a true advancement in the evolution and goodness of our humanity. And then we also know that like attracts like, goodness attracts more goodness. As we share this compassionate truth with others, not only will our own humanity be further uplifted, so will the world's. Thank you very much for your sincere and caring question. May Allah bless you in your work and your life. And bless the Red Cross of Indonesia.
MC(f): Thank you, Supreme Master Ching Hai, for such a beautiful answer.
MC(f): The next question comes from Mr. Hardianto. He is an Indonesian travel agent, as well as a vegan.
Q(m): Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Happy, happy!
Mr. Hardianto (m): Dear Supreme Master Ching Hai, climate change brings new questions to the modern society. From economic development, increasing standards of living to luxurious ways of living, even for daily activities, compared to the earlier ages. All these are now challenged once again by the catastrophic climate change that is believed to be caused by human activity. One phenomenon that is also very contributive to GHG emission to the atmosphere is the rapid increase in global population, also as one of the consequences of increased living standards. The question is: How should we human beings develop? Is there or will there be a limit for this development? How should the society be built? Thank you, Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you, sir, thank you. It is true that we must be careful of our way of life, and try to be more frugal and protective of our precious resources. We should not lose ourselves in the material aspects of life without paying attention to our moral standards and spiritual development as well. This is important also, even more important than material development. Or else, we will be in trouble sooner or later. We might even lose everything, including our material development, our lives and our planet, like we are, in fact, facing now. I am glad to see that you walk the talk because you are a vegan.
Thank you, thank you. The animals thank you. And you look so handsome and healthy. Can you stand up and let everybody look at you? Turn around. He really looks handsome, yes. Look at him. Please don't be shy, you must save the animals at all cost.
Now, if we, the human race, develop as a vegan society, and better yet, a spiritual vegan society, there will be no limit to our material development. Because then, sir, we will have the wisdom and the love to propel us on a balanced, straight course for the future, bright future, for our planet and our children. If we have the spiritual eye, we will find that past civilizations, both on Earth and other planets, sometimes developed too quickly in the technological sense.
But the spiritual development, their store of love, was low or empty. And what do we see? We see the pattern is that no society can last long if they refuse to sustain the lives of their own members and fellow beings; I mean, including all the beings, like animals and trees. Or, if they destroy the environment they live in, then that society cannot live long. We can see that also in historical records. Just like the proverb that says, “The frog does not drink up all the water in the pond in which he lives.” Because he needs the water, you see? So we cannot destroy the environment and live in it as well. It is not the rapid increase in global population that is the problem, sir. It might contribute, but a little bit; we have enough to sustain everybody, more than that.
We have enough food to feed the world twice over, right now even, if we don't feed all the food to the animals. Yes, you know that. The real problem is our meat consumption, the tendency of mass killing that we have made a part of our lives, and we look at it as a normal life. It is not normal. It is not normal that we cause suffering to others who have feelings and who shed red blood, and call that “food” or “earning a living.” We cannot earn a living or sustain a living by death.
Meat consumption is the way of not just cruelty but of waste on an unimaginable, gross scale. To illustrate, let's compare a meat eater to a vegan. One meat eater requires two hectares - that's four acres of land - to support him. But that same two hectares, or four acres of land, could support the healthy lifestyle of 80 vegans. Compare that. Now, let's look at water. A meat eater uses up 15,000 liters of water per day, because of the meat diet, which is 15 times as much water as a vegan would use. Because we use a lot of water to raise cattle and to wash them, to clean them, etc., and to water the crops that feed the animals as well, so we use a lot of water, just for one piece of meat.
Now, there is also a dramatic difference in terms of emissions from the diet. The meat-based diet's emissions is equivalent to driving a car 4,758 kilometers - that is 17 times the emissions of an organic vegan diet, which is equivalent to only 281 kilometers. In other words, an organic vegan diet produces 94% less emissions than a meat-based diet -94% less emissions! So if we just choose the vegan diet, we will save the world in no time. Ninety-four percent less pollution emission from a vegan diet, compared to meat diet. Now, vegans also save immeasurable pollution costs, energy costs, resource costs, disease treatment costs, global warming costs, tax costs, plus the emotional costs related to the sorrow and suffering of the people.
That is much more than money or anything we can imagine. Now, added together, the impact of a meat-eating population is just unimaginably huge and wrong, whereas the impact of a vegan population always comes out to be a tiny fraction of the meat eaters' terrible impact. So, if we don't eliminate meat consumption, we could never reach even a low, low impact on the environment, no matter what else we do.
We must stop the most inefficient, unsustainable, life-destroying practice of murdering animals and stop it now. Stop it yesterday.
The animal-meat industry has to go - be it animals from the air, the land or the sea. Can we imagine? The animals they're just flying in the air, they don't even touch us, they don't do anything to us; we shoot them down, we trap them, drag them home and eat. We call that food. The fish swimming in the sea, minding his own business, doing nothing harmful to us ever, doesn't even know us, doesn't even see us - we net them up, suffocate them, drag them to our table and we call that food. That fish might have a lot of babies waiting for him. That bird might have a lot of babies waiting for her.
And the land animals, they have not been so many. It's just we breed them - meaning inviting them to our planet. Now, if we invite somebody to our home, what do we call this person? A guest, no? Is that true? MC(m): Yes.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Okay. Now, we invite these poor innocent animals to our planet and then we torture them all their miserable lives. Confine them in a little cage that they could not even turn around in, all their lives, including pregnant animals, including little baby animals. We invite them to our planet by breeding them, by inseminating, by using all kinds of techniques to invite them to our planet, then we torture them, molest them, suffocate them and murder them en masse. What kind of hosts are we?
What kind of hosts are we? Why do we invite them here and treat them thus? If somebody invited us to their home and treated us like that, imagine how we'd feel. Imagine if we were in the position of that confined pig or chained cows, or suffocating chickens or ducks in an overcrowded animal factory. Imagine it's us, then you'll understand what I'm talking about.
We have to stop all this cruelty, because we're civilized, humane people. We are civilized, we are educated, we are religious. We have been taught by all the greatest prophets since time immemorial to be a dignified human being. So we have to stop all this mass murdering of the animals from air, from land or from sea, from anywhere at all. That's the only way we can and should develop sustainably for our children and grandchildren and future generations. That's the only way we should develop. And after all, the vegan way of building society is the most befitting to the human standard of compassion. It is truly the way of most peaceful, paradise-like, children-of-God-like civilizations, because we save lives.
Not only do we save the animals, we save our lives, we save the lives of the world, of the people in the world. Then we are heroes.
The planets that were saved from destruction, like Venus, were saved because their societies became vegan - I mean the ones that are saved. I mentioned there are four Venuses - only two of them were saved because their societies became vegan. The other two Venuses were destroyed - one is completely gone, one is boiling hot, uninhabitable, because they have not been vegan. The two Venuses are saved because they have become vegan. Many planets that did not survive, like Mars, perished with meat still in their mouths, between their teeth.
So, it is up to us, sir. If we alone are vegan, we ourselves will change at least, and if there are enough of us, our society will change. You know how it changed your life, the vegan diet. We become smarter, more sensitive, more compassionate, more considerate to other people and the environment and the animals around us. We became a different person; and we are happy to become so different. If everyone in the society becomes vegan, we will develop in an incredible way as a whole planet in the universe.
And that time, there will be no limit to our spiritual development and even our social, technological, material development, once we turn to our compassionate God-like nature. Everything else will naturally be built on this new foundation, and the correct foundation, the only foundation we should have - of loving kindness - and the society will develop itself and manage itself accordingly: in peace, wisdom, compassion, and dignified co-existence among all living beings. Thank you, Mr. Hardianto.
Q(m): Thank you, Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Please advise your clients to do the same.
MC(f): Thank you very much, Master, for your answer.
Adeline Friends of Nature Spoken in Indonesian Adeline (f) : In my opinion, being vegetarian is a good thing because we can reduce the methane effects worldwide which cause a lot of climate change and global warming.
Supreme Master TV (f): Do you have plans to change your diet to a vegetarian or organic vegan one after attending this seminar?
Adeline (f) : I plan to do just that, because I have already witnessed the results before and it's great. I will definitely try, but because since we were born, we were already taught to eat meat, it's kind of hard to change that habit. But, if we care to try, there is nothing that we cannot do. I am Adeline from Friends of Nature.
Be veg! Go green! Save the planet!
Ning Purnomo HadiLandscape architect Spoken in Indonesian Interviewee (f): She (Supreme Master Ching Hai) is so touching, so touching because she is so inspiring.
She works so hard. Seminars like this must be held everywhere. Protect nature, help nature to recover like before.
VJ Surya & VJ AditMTV Insomnia Spoken in Indonesian (m 1): We know the global warming issue is already very grave. It's time for us to start something new. Hopefully through this we can be even faster in overcoming the global warming issue. I am VJ Surya from MTV Insomnia.
I am VJ Adit from MTV Insomnia Indonesia.
Please be veg! Go green! And save the planet!
How much money would we save if the world becomes vegan?
Dr. Joop Oude Lohuis - Team Manager, Climate and Global Sustainability unit, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency: We are now at the point that science has more and better numbers on the effect of changing our diet and eating less meat.
A study by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency found that global dietary change would reduce the cost of mitigating global warming.
The cost to lower atmospheric greenhouse gas levels: US$40 trillion by 2050.
A global shift to a low-meat diet could save 50% of total mitigation cost.
A global shift to a meat-free diet could save 70% of total cost.
A global shift to an animal-free vegan diet would save climate mitigation costs by more than 80%.
That is a substantial cost reduction in getting to the same climate targets.
Not only governments, but individuals save too.
It's a lot cheaper than buying photovoltaic cells on your house, or buying a hybrid car. It's a very easy way to change your buying behavior and have a fantastic quality of your meal.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: We still have a chance to halt global warming and should be optimistic. We don't have much time but we still have time. We meanwhile do our best by adopting the quickest and the most efficient measure to reverse climate change. We must change to a vegan diet ourselves, so that we become a part of the solution. To help the government to change, we can write letters explaining how a vegan diet is a solution for the planetary crisis, is the most practical way to prevent future calamities due to global warming. Because the plant-based lifestyle is more sustainable, and opens up land. It restores the balance of our ocean and forest and preserves our finite natural resources. This is truly the best way to restore our environment and ensure the highest degree of peace. Such a simple solution, being veg, that's it.
Be Veg. Go Green. Save the Planet. For more urgent details, please visit www.SupremeMasterTV.com/SOS