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.
We invite you to listen to a compilation of excerpts from Supreme Master Ching Hai’s lectures entitled “The Best Way to Restore the Biodiversity of Our Planet.”
Host(m): What effect does meat consumption have on biodiversity?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Charlie, meat consumption has a huge destructive impact on biodiversity, which is essential for our Earth to function and thus must be preserved.
No matter how small, each species has a role to help balance our ecosystem, scientifically proven. And yet, consumption of both fish and animal flesh continue and are wreaking havoc on biodiversity around the globe.
In the oceans and fresh waterways, so many species of fish have already been lost, with complete aquatic environments such as coral reefs being decimated by such practices as trawling and fishing with explosives. On land, meat consumption is responsible for vast regions being cleared for grazing crops, such as soy, that are fed to livestock.
One example is seen in the deforested Amazon areas that have gone from lush forest to bare fields used for cattle grazing or primarily animal-feed crops. With these activities essentially robbing our biodiversity, there has been an alarming rise in the disappearance of plants and animals. The 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report noted that some 30% of the mammal, bird, and amphibian species currently are threatened with extinction- all due to human actions.
And one of the most comprehensive studies ever conducted in the field is now forecasting that over a million species will be lost in the coming 50 years. Isn't that a sad affair?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Besides the land being cleared for livestock raising, the livestock itself causes further biodiversity loss due to potent greenhouse emissions, which accelerate global warming. Many studies have documented declining populations of penguins, polar bears, plants, trees, migratory birds and many others - all linked to rising temperatures on the planet.
Even desert animals have been affected, like the Malian elephants that have been perishing in high numbers because their trunks can no longer reach the sinking ground water.
The answer to all of this is quite clear: Stop the meat consumption. Stop it yesterday. This will eliminate the so-called need for livestock raising, which will immediately return immense amounts of land to natural sustainability or to natural growing methods that allow biodiversity to be replenished. This is the way we need to go, and fast.