city of Portland has long been upheld as a role model in environmental
policies in areas from energy-efficient buildings to food and
agriculture. Steve Cohen –
Manager, Food Policy and Programs, Portland, Oregon’s Bureau of Planning
and Sustainability, USA, Vegetarian (M):
We were the first city
to actually have a climate change plan way back in 1993 and we just
updated that plan last year in 2009.
VOICE: Portland’s citizens
also say that sustainability is a known part of their culture.Leslie Pol-kosbau – Representative, Portland
Parks & Recreation Community Garden Program (F):
Portland Parks & Recreation’s Community Garden Program, providing
community garden spaces in the city for 35 years. The citizens of
Portland wanted us to start a program that would allow them to use land
so that they could do that year-round.
VOICE: Mr. Steve Cohen,
manager of the Food Policy and Programs of Portland, Oregon’s Bureau of
Planning and Sustainability, is the first US city government official
with the title. The creation of his position reflects how the city is
also at the forefront of addressing food policy in relation to
environmental protection and climate change.
The City Hall
recently held a public “Climate and Food Choices Discussion” with Mr.
Cohen and author Anna Lappé of the bestselling book, “Diet for a Hot
Planet” to seek ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from food. This
was followed by a community vegetable garden re-dedication activity, led
by Mr. Cohen, who is also a long-time vegetarian.Steve Cohen (M):
I read Francis Moore
Lappé’s book in 1972, “Diet for a Small Planet,” and it just made total
sense to me. That we’ve got these animals out there that are actually
food factories in reverse, putting all this grain in them and you get
one pound back for 20 that you put in. Didn’t make sense, and I became a
vegetarian and that was it.
VOICE: With the veg diet known to
be a key solution to climate change, Portland City also has a head
start, with 35 community vegetable gardens and ranking as America’s #1
Best Vegetarian-Friendly Large City by the People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Moreover, in April 2010, The
Oregonian, the largest newspaper in both Portland and the Pacific
Northwest region of the USA, launched a twice-monthly column on
Oregonlive.com called “Going Vegan,” which features recipes and other
tips on enjoying a vegan lifestyle in Portland.
and thank you Mr. Cohen, the city government and co-citizens for your
leadership in the area of food and the environment.
and other cities worldwide help continue the veg trend for truly
sustainable lifestyles. In a November 2009 videoconference in Mexico,
Supreme Master Ching Hai encouraged all world governments toward leading
roles in the needed shift to veganism to save the planet.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: The
governments have the power to make this urgent transition to the organic
vegan diet. First, they should ban all animal products, informing
people about the facts of animal products, explaining that because it’s
poisoning their co-citizens and piling up far more costs than http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=49989&
gains, economically and environmentally, and because it’s eating up our
Next, the governments can help the agriculture sector
transition to being an organic vegan sector First, it will help the
world be veg easily, thus eliminating more than half of the greenhouse
gas emissions which are heating up our planet and endangering our lives;
and second, the high-quality organic soil will absorb much of the rest
of the greenhouse gas emissions and it will also help to save our
According to respected Dutch scientists, tens of
trillions of US dollars can be saved by world governments if all the
world becomes vegan. In addition, the governments of the world have the
power to make the veg trend an exciting movement for everyone toward a