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Words of Wisdom / Supreme Master Ching Hai's Lectures

Humanity’s Leap to the Golden Era: Washington, D.C., Climate Change Conference, Part 10 of 17, November 8, 2009

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So please pray with me, Mr. Pelletier, that everyone does wake up in time. Pray. I pray day and night that the Divine manifest in the physical realm and wake up the leaders of our nations, wake up the religious heads, wake up everybody in time so that they understand the urgency of our situation, and that they understand the solution of solving this dangerous crisis that is facing us. That is, we have to turn back to our caring and compassionate nature inside our heart. That’s very simple. We are that. We are compassion. We are merciful, we are caring.

(They wanted me to ask one more thing.) Yeah, please. (Sometimes it takes an impending catastrophe to make us change and become much greater than we were before.) Oh. (Is this what’s happening with climate change? Is it, in fact, an opportunity for us to make an unprecedented leap in evolution?)

Good question, sir, good question. You see, we should not have waited until we have a catastrophe like this, or impending catastrophe, to change. But, nevertheless, you’re right. It’s possible that when we’re faced with such a great upheaval, then we will change and we’ll make a leap into the next level. Especially now, we still have a little time to change; it’s just that we need to act now, you see, to profit from this so-called catastrophic future awaiting us. We have to act now for all of humanity. Because along with our own survival and health, there is an entire planet that is in trouble, and everyone needs to be vegan to save it. It’s a very simple solution that we might overlook. Because if we all change to vegan, put down the animal products, then we would have a dream world – that I promise.

Because like begets like. We forget that the Bible told us that “as we sow, so shall we reap.” That means if we create peace, compassion and harmony, then that’s what we will get. Now, the impending catastrophe that you mention, it might be motivating us to change, the whole humanity. But to benefit from this opportunity, more people must act now. All of us must. We face a very dangerous future if global warming continues.

In fact, distinguished scientists and other United Nations members have been meeting throughout this year in preparation for the December Copenhagen summit, where they hope to reach agreement on a treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was just here in Washington D.C., making a historic address to the US Congress, and asked the United States to help to lead in halting climate change. I would ask the same even though I am not a Chancellor.

I’m sure many of you are aware of the increasing number of global warming effects noted worldwide, so I will share just a few from the world and from the United States.

1. In the Arctic, North Pole, so much ice has already melted that scientists are forecasting an ice-free summer within as little as three to six years, which would be the first time in one million years! Meanwhile, Greenland is shedding 85 million tons of icebergs each day due to warming, and at a rate that is increasing by 7% each year. The West Antarctic Ice Shelf is also melting, with 3.3 meter sea level rises forecast that would threaten cities like in your country, New York, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. And if all of Antarctica and Greenland were to melt – meaning the ice – then the sea levels could rise to as much as 70 meters, which would be deadly or disastrous to most lives on Earth. 2. Glaciers across the globe are shrinking more quickly than researchers ever expected, leaving rivers and lakes gone, disappearing or drying, with no water for crops and billions who face food shortages due to water shortages, as well. 3. Due to rising sea levels, islands are sinking as we speak, with Tuvalu, Tonga and some 40 other island nations having to plan their whole country's migrations. They are being forced to join the already 20 million climate refugees today. The International Organization for Migration stated that there may be 200 million climate refugees by 2050. 4. According to researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, United States of America, worldwide the number of the most destructive Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has doubled over the past 35 years. Category 5 storms yield the highest level of destruction in major cities. Their intensity and duration have also increased by 75% since the 1970s. One of these storms whose effects can still be seen and felt was the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, which devastated, especially, areas of New Orleans, with people who are still recovering their homes and their lives today. I am so sorry the American people have had to suffer through such tragedies.

Now, in the United States: 1. Close to a million acres of pine forest have been lost in the Rocky Mountains due to beetle infestation from global warming. Similar also in Canada but, due to the time limit, I cannot report to you everything, so now we just report about the United States. 2. In the state of Montana, the famous glaciers of Glacier National Park are now expected to disappear within a decade. 3. According to a new study by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the Colorado River, which supplies water to seven Western states, is going dry. Famous river. 4. In fact, researchers say that the US West is facing a devastating drought crisis as snows from mountains are releasing vast reservoirs of water. 5. The sea level in North Carolina, USA, rose three times faster during the 20th century than during the previous 500 years. 6. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that for the first time on record, in 2008, six consecutive tropical cyclones made landfall on the US mainland. The North Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean are the two areas with the strongest hurricane trends.

You may ask, what is the main cause of this damage and destruction to the environment? Perhaps surprisingly, it’s not the coal industry or cars or planes or trains or boats or ships. It’s methane, which is produced primarily by the livestock industry.

A new and just-published report by the respected Worldwatch Institute states that livestock is the largest single contributor to greenhouse gases, responsible for more than 51% of the total emitted. This report factors in an atmospheric heat-trapping effect of methane that is 72 times - 72 times! – larger than CO2, when averaged over a 20-year period. Furthermore, just days after the Worldwatch Institute report was released, NASA announced that methane actually contributes much more to global warming than previously understood and it traps 100 times the atmospheric heat over 20 years. And the largest source of methane is? You know - livestock. Now, facts such as these have caused people like esteemed climate expert Lord Stern of the United Kingdom to state in an interview that “Meat is a wasteful use of water and creates a lot of greenhouse gases. It puts enormous pressure on the world’s resources. A vegetarian diet is better.” So I quote exactly what he said.

Now, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported that livestock raising is the single largest human use of land, the biggest source of water pollution, the number one cause of biodiversity loss, and the top producer of human-caused methane and nitrous oxide. In fact, the United Nations has named livestock as one of the biggest environmental problems of our time with 90% of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest since 1970 being for cattle and growing animal feed. Lush forests are being turned into barren fields at a rate of 36 football fields per minute –of rainforest are being destroyed as we are speaking. If you can imagine how big that is, how detrimental that is to our world... the rainforest is the lung of our planet; it’s the health of our co-citizens. And as the trees are felled and plants become more exposed and dry, they even emit carbon dioxide rather than absorb it. This is another danger that is attacking us.

Next, meat consumption is a very serious threat to human health. You ask any scientist, they’ll tell you this. You ask all the responsible doctors, they’ll tell you this. In fact, one of the doctors is sitting there; Dr. Greger, I saw him there. Now, bacterial infections from food-borne illnesses originate largely in animal products, causing widespread illnesses, disability and even death for thousands of Americans each year. The top four bacteria are E. coli, salmonella, Campylobacter, and listeriosis. Studies have shown that bacteria from contaminated raw meat can remain even after washing a working surface. And it only takes a few cells of E. coli, for example, to kill a young child. Just a few cells of E. coli to kill a young child, a young, little, tender child. Imagine that, just a few cells.

Add to that, the leading causes of death in the United States, like from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity. Every year, heart disease kills 632,000 Americans; cancer kills 560,000 Americans; stroke kills another 130,000 Americans; diabetes kills 72,000 Americans – just from meat eating. And we cry over war-related deaths. Who cries for these hundreds of thousands of Americans who die because of that piece of meat? Who cries for those young, helpless, innocent, little children who die just because of meat-related E. coli, just a few cells of it? So, ladies and gentlemen, meat is the worse killer than any war, don’t you agree? Yes or no? Yes! Thank you! Thank you!

Then there are more diseases related to the production of the meat, like swine flu, which Dr. Michael Greger just explained very clearly, originates from animal farms. And the next pandemic, which could emerge any day now, any minute, could be worse for us, could be worse than swine flu.

So, sir, to solve this, we do need to move quickly, and of course we know what to do, right? Yes? Be vegan. You know, yes or no? (Yes, we know.) Thank you. Wonderful people. Wonderful! You make my day. There is an advantage of time here, because one aspect of methane is that it dissipates in around 12 years’ time, whereas carbon dioxide, CO2, stays in the atmosphere for up to thousands of years. So, we remove the livestock-generated methane, and the planet cools fast! You see the logic? Yes.

From many scientific studies, the health benefits of the vegan lifestyle are already clear. And there are entire communities such as Village of Peace in Israel, where thousands of vegan residents are free of diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer. In the country of Ghana, there is a similar program where after becoming vegan for more than 20 years now, the villagers, the entire village, don't have malaria anymore; and you know how malaria attacks those countries in Africa. And the previous high infant mortality rate went down to zero. Before, high infant mortality rate… zero. I also applaud this program.

So please pray with me, Mr. Pelletier, that everyone does wake up in time. Pray. I pray day and night that the Divine manifest in the physical realm and wake up the leaders of our nations, wake up the religious heads, wake up everybody in time so that they understand the urgency of our situation, and that they understand the solution of solving this dangerous crisis that is facing us. That is, we have to turn back to our caring and compassionate nature inside our heart. That’s very simple. We are that. We are compassion. We are merciful, we are caring.

So, we just have been cheated. We have been misinformed up to now, so we did not know it. Being vegan worldwide is the advancement of compassion that will uplift and unify all cultures, bringing tranquility to humans and animals alike. The inner peace that comes from replacing killing with respect for all life will spread like a wave across the globe, elevate human hearts, and create a harmonious Eden on Earth. That will bring us all to a lasting Golden Era. Bless you. Thank you. I am positive we will do it. Yes? (Yes!) We can make it – just a little change, just a little change. Just a little piece of animal meat - change to vegetable protein. We have plenty nowadays. We have vegan sausages, we have vegan… all kinds of chicken, Shrimp look-alike – taste better! Thank you. I love Washington, D.C.! I love Washington people, you are so elite! Thank you!

“(OK. What are your impressions of this conference?) (Well, I am truly very, very impressed by the advanced technology, even the advanced thinking. Because I come from a country where serious environmental problems are increasing. There are serious problems with famine rising. And I also work in planning to help people to sustain themselves using local resources. So, coming to this conference and discovering that we can feed people effectively with plant-based products that are produced in the community, there, I am really surprised and overwhelmed.

What surprised me the most is the abundance of information delivered, especially by Supreme Master Ching Hai. Really, She has very seriously researched on the matter and has provided sufficient information to convince people to give up the meat diet and I really believe we must make a shift. So, changing the way of living towards more vegetarian, it is the best option available to Africa.)”

“(You've eaten cooked food that is vegan-based, even fake meat, what is your impression? Is this the first time you’ve discovered it?)

(This is my first time. I ate and I asked a person next to me, ‘But in the conference, they asked us to eat organic, vegetarian. But they give us meat here, why?’ She told me, ‘No, it is not meat. This is vegetarian meat, the fake meat.’ So I was surprised because I did not know how to distinguish between animal meat and vegetarian ‘meat’.

So I really encourage people to eat vegetarian food. There’s no difference. You have the same taste, the same consistency on the palate. Anyway, I urge you to eat vegetarian food. And it also makes you healthy. That's the most interesting thing. It is the goal of food, a diet that allows you to be healthy.

I am working in environment area, and I am defending public health. So there are a number of alternatives that, really, by attending this conference, I could integrate, bring it back to my country. I think She (Supreme Master Ching Hai) is someone who really deserves much attention through the richness and the depth of the matters She provides to the community, the messages of peace and love She brings along, and much more than that through a more sustainable lifestyle that grants a better health for the community. Really Her message deserves to be heard.)”

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