Animal World
 
Towards a Greener Costa Rica: From Dairy to Organic Vegetable Farm (In Spanish)      
Today’s Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants will be presented in Spanish, with subtitles in Arabic, Aulacese (Vietnamese), Chinese, English, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Thai and Spanish.

Greetings, friendly viewers and welcome to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Featuring ever-stretching sandy beaches and azure seas, the peaceful country of Costa Rica in Central America is blessed with a rich variety of flora and fauna.

In 2007, the Costa Rican government announced their strong commitment to become a carbon neutral country by 2021. According to the Happy Planet Index, Costa Rica is the greenest country in the world.

Mr. Carlos Huertas, a Costa Rican farmer, is a leader and role model who is supporting his nation’s wonderful environmental initiative by running a sustainable organic vegetable farm that once was a dairy. Today’s program features the inspirational story of Mr. Carlos Huertas and his Verdegal Organic Vegetable Farm located in the town of Palmira de Zarcero, Costa Rica.

I came from a dairy farming family. Since I was a little boy, I have been milking the cows. Later on, my dad gave us our own plot to cultivate when we got married, so I started to make the dairy bigger, making a kind of feedlot.

For many years the Huertas family had made a living by selling milk from their dairy farm, with 5.5 hectares of farmland devoted to dairy production. What sparked Mr. Huertas to end his involvement in animal husbandry?

I had 40 cows in the feedlot. Then I was offered a whole herd from a dairy that was going to be closed down. We made a deal and we introduced the cows into our feedlot and about three years later, we realized that the bull and all the cows from that herd were infected with brucellosis. Since the bull was infected, all the cows also became infected.

On a typical dairy farm, cows are crammed in tight warehouses and injected with bovine growth hormones so they will produce 10 times more milk than they would normally give. Having to experience prolonged suffering both mentally and physically, the immune systems of dairy cows are weakened and they frequently become infected with diseases.

The milk from a cow infected with brucellosis, mustn’t be drunk, because the milk passes the brucellosis to humans.

Brucellosis, also known as Bang’s disease or undulant fever, is a highly contagious zoonotic illness that can pass from animal to animal in densely packed factory farms or from animal to human through the consumption of unpasteurized milk, cheeses or any dairy products made from the milk of infected animals. Those who become ill with brucellosis may experience fever, sweating, weakness, anemia, headaches, depression and muscular and bodily pain.

The duration of these symptoms can last for weeks, months or even become chronic. Another reason why humans should not drink cow’s milk is because of a condition called mastitis, a painful udder infection. When the cow is milked, pus contaminates the milk. This pus may have paratuberculosis bacteria which have been linked to Crohn’s disease, a condition causing the chronic inflammation of the human digestive tract.

In addition, large doses of antibiotics are given to infected cows and these pharmaceuticals become present in milk products. This excessive use of antibiotics gives rise to drug-resistant bacteria. It thus makes it ever more difficult to find an effective antibiotic for treatment if people are infected by these same bacteria.

When there are problems with mastitis, and when there is any illness in cows, antibiotics are usually used.

With his concern for the health of the animals and humans, Mr. Huertas closed down the dairy farm. Shogo Sasaki, a Japanese volunteer at his farm, taught him how to cultivate organic crops.

The old barn, we transformed it into the fertilizer room; the old milking room became a packaging room.

Here, we can see a system we invented, which is a very expensive system, but at the same time it is very efficient for production; it is a beet crop.

We produce baby carrots, peppers, spinach, beets, cabbages. Some other crops which we are starting on include strawberries.

Realizing his organic farming business benefitted the environment, Mr. Huertas began asking other farmers to adopt similar sustainable methods. To encourage more of them to make the noble switch, Mr. Huertas believes that it will take a cooperative effort between farmers, consumers and the government.

If the consumer asks for more organic products, that is the best incentive for farmers to also try to change to organic farming. In fact, we don´t have the power; it is the consumer who does.

I think that one of the incentives to move away from dairy farms could be subsidies from the government for these people to produce soya, corn, beans and rice.

Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants will return after these brief messages with more about the kindly Mr. Carlos Huertas of Costa Rica. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

It was a dairy farm 20 years ago and we have made the transition into organic agriculture since then.

And initiatives like this should be taken around the world.

Our motto is: “If the present is not green, there will not be any future.”

Welcome back to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Today’s program features Mr. Carlos Huertas of Costa Rica, a former dairy farmer who has taken the eco-wise initiative to transform his dairy into the life-sustaining Verdegal Organic Vegetable Farm.

As consumers, what we decide to buy speaks volumes to businesses. Therefore, if everyone were to adopt an organic vegan lifestyle, this would show those in the animal products industry that we truly care about our health, animal welfare and our environment and that we only want to consume compassionate foods.

If the consumer says: “I don´t want meat, I don´t want milk,” then there will not be milk farmers nor meat factories. If there is awareness and knowledge and we help people and consumers to realize these problems, then the answer will come out of that. In fact, they themselves are the ones who have the answer in their hands. If one buys milk or meat, one is contributing to the destruction of the planet.

Xinia Durán, a vegetarian, has worked at the Verdegal Organic Vegetable Farm for five years and shares the same vision to safeguard our precious Earthly home.

It has been a very nice experience, very good for me as a woman because I have been able to learn and discover that you can make good things to change the world from your workplace. The world won´t be changed tomorrow, the world is being changed today with the positive things you can do, starting in the morning when you get up thanking God, and trying to make sure everything that comes to us is positive.

I know that whatever I am working with, another person is going to eat it. So I have to work with good energy, willingly, with positive feeling, and believe in what I am doing so the other person, upon buying the product that I am working on, can eat it and have it sit well with him.

Since she was young, Ms. Durán has been a vegetarian and she encourages children to halt meat consumption to protect their health.

I was very small, but I didn´t like the flavor of milk, it was unpleasant. Then I was choosing more cabbage and potatoes; I love puree, and since then I decided to consume only vegetables.

Children should learn to stop eating all that meat, all those sausages, because they are terrible, (and) all those fats, (and) fast foods. It is better to choose a lot of vegetables, plenty of salads, and fresh juices.

Before buying anything in any supermarket, pay attention to the certification. It is very important. It guarantees that the product is suitable for you to eat, without chemicals.

Let us now take a closer look at the produce from Verdegal Organic Vegetable Farm, a truly successful green business.

We have beets, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, purple cabbage, and strawberries… This one is the beet.

Here they are processed. Size may really matter to one market but for another, size may not matter as much as quality.

This is what we can find in the supermarket, ready to eat. It is already disinfected and it is certified, proving that it is organic.

These are strawberries; strawberries with a very good size, and a delicious flavor. They are super sweet and are organic strawberries produced here in El Verdegal.

This beet is also produced on the farm; it is organic. It is energizing, and for people who suffer from constipation, it is a natural laxative. It is very good because it doesn´t hurt your stomach, it sits very well with you. If you drink some beet juice, with a juice extractor, in the morning on empty stomach, you will get your blood cleaned, purified.

Mr. Huertas shares some insights on the trends in organic agriculture in his area.

Thanks to God, and we feel very happy that, some producers have been pioneers in this (organic agriculture), so the production of this region is very clean compared to 10 or 15 years ago.

Then the transition into clean and healthy farming, is within reach of any producer at this moment. The only thing needed is the will to do it.

We salute you, Mr. Huertas, Ms. Durán and all farmers in Costa Rica and across the world making the bold and heroic switch from animal farming to organic vegan agriculture. Your life-saving and planet-sustaining decision truly helps to save countless animal lives, betters public health and preserves our environment.

Be Veg, Go Green, Save the Planet.

Wise viewers, thank you for joining us today for Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants on Supreme Master Television. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May truth and virtue be the hallmarks of our world.

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