At conferences, in interviews with journalists and at gatherings with disciples in recent years, Supreme Master Ching Hai has spoken with increasing urgency about Earth's current climate crisis. As she states, "Our planet is a house that is burning. If we don't work together with a united spirit to put out the fire, we will not have a home anymore." But she also offers humankind an uplifting solution, one that every individual can easily achieve: "Be veg to save the planet."
As the crisis escalates, natural disasters are claiming tens of thousands of lives and displacing millions from their homes, with financial losses amounting to billions of dollars. Rising sea levels have already submerged 18 island nations and are threatening many others. In addition, irregular rainfall patterns and intensifying droughts are affecting many regions, thus worsening food and water shortages. And climate experts warn of even more extreme weather conditions to come, with the possibility of "runaway global warming."
In this book Supreme Master Ching Hai presents the major factors associated with global warming, and more importantly, its root cause: the livestock industry.
In fact, many scientific studies support Supreme Master Ching Hai's view, which she has expounded for over twenty years. The raising of animals for food not only wastes massive amounts of precious water, land and energy, but also contributes to a staggering 51% of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock farming is also the greatest single source of atmospheric methane, a much more powerful greenhouse gas than CO2, but one with a shorter lifespan.
Thus, as Supreme Master Ching Hai says, it is only logical that halting meat production and "becoming veg" or adopting a plant-based diet will immediately reduce global temperatures, heal the environmental ills caused by livestock and reduce the costs of mitigating climate change by trillions of dollars. Also, such a shift can achieve these results with virtually no negative impact on the planet and society. In contrast, similar cuts in the carbon dioxide produced by industry and the transport sector could have devastating economic effects. Furthermore, most green technologies take years to develop, while cuts in methane emissions can be achieved immediately with every vegan meal. So adopting the vegan lifestyle is the easiest, quickest and least costly solution to the climate crisis, and it is also our only salvation because we are running out of time.
Many climate experts, environmentalists and government officials have already begun advocating this approach to saving the earth from the worst effects of climate change. Their voices culminated in the June 2010 United Nations report urging a global transition to a meat- and dairy-free diet, echoing Supreme Master Ching Hai's urgent plea: Everyone who has decision-making power should take the courageous step to enact laws that immediately facilitate this shift.
Perhaps even more devastating than our carbon footprints that have caused the climate crisis are the bloody footprints we leave behind in slaughtering billions of innocent farm animals each year. Supreme Master warns that this moral crime has reached global proportions, as our violent acts come back to us in the form of natural disasters: "As you sow, so shall you reap." Such is the universal teaching found in all the world's great scriptures.
Indeed, humankind is facing a crucial turning point. We have only one chance to save the planet and the time is now. Simply by adopting the benevolent, life-saving, plant-based diet we can dispel the darkness engulfing us. And this small step will in turn propel humankind into a higher level of consciousness. We will restore harmony to planet Earth and thus usher in the Golden Era of peace, beauty and love. As Supreme Master Ching Hai promises, we will then have Heaven on Earth.
Let us all seize the opportunity and make the change today. Let us all choose to evolve and elevate our civilization and the planet
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