With diverse flora and fauna, magnificent natural landscapes, and an ecological biosphere that supports life, this wondrous planet is our earthly home. From our animal co-inhabitants to the lush rainforests and life-giving soil, we cherish all these as gifts from the Creator. It is a common theme in the world’s major faiths that during our temporary stay here, we should be good stewards of Mother Earth.

Throughout the years, Supreme Master Ching Hai has shared the message of leading a balanced life while following a spiritual path. Not only must we nourish our spirits, but we share the responsibility to care for nature and our fellow beings. In light of recent scientific evidence which pinpoint the raising of livestock as the number one contributor to climate change, Supreme Master Ching Hai affirms the important message she has noted for over the past two decades: we must be vegan and practice sustainable living. Today we present to you a compilation of excerpts from Supreme Master Ching Hai’s lectures entitled “Veganism: The Way to Peace.”

It’s been a joy to have you with us for today’s episode of Between Master and Disciples. Join us again next Friday for part 2 of “Veganism: The Way to Peace.”

Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants is coming up next after Noteworthy News on Supreme Master Television. Please stay tuned. We wish you and your loved ones an abundance of joy and fulfillment.

We appreciate your company for today’s episode of Between Master and Disciples here on Supreme Master Television. Join us again tomorrow for part 3 of “Veganism: The Way to Peace.”

And now, Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants is coming up next, right after Noteworthy News. Please stay tuned. We wish you a safe and blessed weekend.

Thank you, enlightened viewers, for your company for today’s episode of Between Master and Disciples.

Up next is Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants right after Noteworthy News here on Supreme Master Television. Please stay tuned. With God’s blessings, may our planet flourish with peace and loving kindness.
Dear Master, I’m really joyful and grateful to be here, knowing of your compassionate and humanitarian work. This is the question: It is obvious that global warming is not caused by natural factors but happens due to the wrong action of humans. What is the cause of human wrongdoings? The cause, I believe, is a faulted mentality and wrong view. The wrong thinking leads to the wrong actions; more specifically, the fire of human greed and desires is warming up this Earth. Today’s world economic crisis also is the undesirable outcome of our producing goods in order to make more profit, isn’t it? Again, the reason for this is the fire of desire. In these circumstances, what could be the way to save humankind from modern-time disaster? How should we subdue the evil of the greedy mind that the majority of humankind possess?

Dr. Sharav, it is true that scientists have already proven that the accelerated global warming is not due to natural causes but human-related activities. The cause of this is that we have forgotten our noble nature, our original divine Self, our Buddha Nature. So, we must return to a virtuous way of life. There is now an abundance of data available to help inform people. Because people have not been informed well; it’s not just due to greed or evil-mindedness, just lack of information that makes people not aware of the consequences of what we have been doing. So, now is the time that we must inform people, and we must quickly inform people, and we must quickly reverse this trend so that our world remains for our children to stay.

So, we have to turn away from animal products now that we know that is the main cause of global warming. To your question about greed and wrong actions: yes, I have already mentioned that it is true that part of the global economic crisis is a result of overproduction and over-focusing on profits. These so-called “profits” can include things like grain that is fed to livestock animals, instead of directly feeding the hungry in the world. Such a focus can lead to the appearance of greed. However, people have been misinformed. The person who lives this way is truly not happy, even if he doesn’t know why, even if he wasn’t informed correctly, but he’s unhappy inside. And often, really, often he’s not aware of the harm this meat operation causes.

So, even scientific studies have revealed that only through giving and sharing do we gain inner peace of fulfillment. Only by living a peaceful life can we enjoy peace. So, to be saved from this modern-time disaster, we, humanity as a whole, must turn to a greater consideration of others. This is the reminder of virtue. That is truly of the greatest importance, because adopting the vegetarian diet lifestyle is the only way, in fact, to preserve any world, not just our world. The Buddha’s teachings never fail; Jesus’ teachings never fail: we must be compassionate.

Greetings to Supreme Master Ching Hai. I sincerely appreciate your work for the world. I’m extremely happy to participate in this special event and have the opportunity to ask a question to the Supreme Master. Thanks to our traditional Buddhist beliefs, we Mongols know the benefit of doing more virtuous deeds and abstaining from sinful actions. Every year on Buddha’s birthday, everybody eats vegetarian; every month, on the new moon and the full moon days, people also prefer to eat vegetarian. As for myself, I have been a vegetarian for quite a few years.

It gave a tremendous amount of positive changes to my spirit and body. I do agree with your opinion that if humans become vegetarians, we can save the planet. I think that eating vegetarian food would reduce the karmic hindrances of humans. However, most people think that karma (retribution) is a religious concept only and they fail to understand its true implications. My question is: Supreme Master, could you please explain the deep meaning and reason why vegetarianism would reduce the bad karma of humankind and, thus, be able to save our planet? I am thankful for your great wisdom.

Hallo, Madam Khangai. First of all, I congratulate you, madam, and thank you for your wise, compassionate choice of vegetarianism. The concept of karma – or in the Western terminology, the consequence of our action – “as you sow, so shall you reap” in the Bible – is not a Buddhist or Christian concept alone. It’s a logical term, meaning that for every action, there is a consequence. And the law of karma, meaning the “cause and effect,” is very exact. So, we must stop the killing of other beings, and consequently, our life will be spared. By being vegetarian, our human consciousness is raised up to a higher level, cleaning up and elevating us to our original, noble Self again.

As we plant the seeds of compassion, we will reap the love and peace in return. So, to reduce bad karma (retribution), we must reverse our actions and create good karma (retribution) by being benevolent, being kind and being merciful; then all these qualities will return to us manifold. We will beget mercy from Heaven and be able to preserve this precious planet and our lives. Stop animal raising, as we know by now. And animal breeding is the foremost cause of damage of our planet and the health of the people, even, and the detrimental effect on our environment as well. It will destroy the world if we do not stop eating and producing meat and animal products.

Animal and meat production has been found by scientists to emit more greenhouse gases than all the transportation sectors combined. Methane, which is one of the primary gases emitted, causes up to 72 times more heat to be trapped in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. However, methane also disappears much more quickly than carbon dioxide. So if we stop eating meat, we stop producing animal products, then the then the planet will be able to cool down almost immediately. This is scientifically very logical also. There is no need to even talk about the moral issue. So, the vegetarian diet is the fastest, easiest and most effective solution for a life-sustaining planet.

Many people have the wrong notion that spiritual practitioners are selfish in motive, looking only to liberate themselves from suffering and neglecting other people, or that renunciates are very selfish and run away from society to practice in seclusion. There could be some practitioners like this, but the genuine ideal of renunciation or spiritual practice is to save the whole world; we might not dare to say the whole universe, but the world and the universe are one – they are inseparable. Each individual person is part of the universe.

Our Earth is part of the universe, just like our eyes are part of our body. Our stomach and intestines inside are of course very ugly and stinky, but they are also part of our body. If we don’t have either one of them we cannot function. Our body would break down and would not be able to functionor move. It’s the same: each person, each sentient being, each blade of grass or plant, is related to all the other entities in the universe. So we practitioners do not practice for ourselves alone.

Why do we have to practice spiritually? Not to run away, not for us alone to be liberated from suffering, but really to change the world, to make it better and more comfortable so that people can live happily together, instead of hating, killing, or abusing each other. We may say, “Well, that doesn’t concern me. I didn’t abuse anyone, I mind my own business, and I earn my own money. I never controlled anyone; I am just a nobody, it is all right if I do not practice spiritually. I never hurt anyone.”

It is easy for us to say that, but the truth is, we do not realize our power of influence. Things are not that simple. As most humans do not practice spiritually, our mind is truly chaotic: sometimes it has greed, sometimes it has anger, sometimes it has lust, sometimes it has hatred, sometimes it has animosity. We may want to kill, rob, or steal. Sometimes, we may want to compete. All these thoughts will generate energy. Understand what I mean? It creates an aura in the form of a bad atmosphere that lingers in the air here, around us, in our country, in our family.

Of course, people living in that bad atmosphere will feel unhappy. Have you quarreled with your partner? Do you sometimes have disputes? Yes, you do. After the dispute, for half an hour or one hour or a couple of days, how is the atmosphere in your house? Is it good? No! You “smell” it when you go in, or even when you are outside. After the quarrel, each of you go to work – she goes to the office, you drive a cab, perhaps it’s like that – but your heart is still clouded by the quarrel or dispute. Isn’t that right? It is really unpleasant. You might hit someone because you are thinking about how your wife was so fierce earlier, or why your husband was so unreasonable. Then you cannot work comfortably or smoothly.

Isn’t that what happens? You keep making mistakes in your work, your mind lingering on the quarrel. Unable to focus, you are pulled back to the quarrel. You cannot focus on driving, so you might hit someone because of that quarrel. Sometimes we need to make a crucial decision for the company or for our work, affected by your recent family quarrel, you cannot decide or execute it correctly. Isn’t that right? Right? Yes. Similarly, in this world, we have conflicts not only with our husband or wife, but also with our employers, colleagues, people outside and people inside – we have many conflicts and problems every day. Sometimes we don’t want to get angry or to harbor hatred and animosity, however, due to different backgrounds and external influences, animosity and anger will breed in us, and then we think of harming people.

Our Earth is full of this kind of thinking within each of us, so our planet is not peaceful. Because we do not check our action, speech, and thoughts every day, we do not restrain our desires, our greed, anger, and infatuation, the atmosphere of our planet has become so suffocating and so unpleasant. We practice spiritually in order to change this atmosphere.