Everywhere in the world, we can observe and be touched by acts of kindness. People from all walks of life, faiths, and cultures extend themselves beyond the call of duty to help others unconditionally. Through their noble deeds, humanity as a whole is elevated.

To commend virtuous actions and encourage more people to be inspired by their examples, Supreme Master Ching Hai has lovingly created a series of awards, including the Shining World Leadership Award, Shining World Compassion Award, Shining World Hero and Heroine Awards, Shining World Honesty Award, Shining World Protection Award, Shining World Intelligence Award, and Shining World Inventor Award, to recognize some of the most exemplary, generous, caring, and courageous people who walk amongst us.

In the glorious island nation of New Zealand, dedicated individuals from all walks of life, both young and old, regularly gather, roll up their sleeves and clean the islands’ beaches. Many of those who take part in this meaningful activity were inspired by Project Jonah, a non-profit, grassroots organization that informs the public about the need to respect and protect marine mammals such as whales, seals and dolphins so that they may live long, peaceful lives in the oceans.

A sad reality is that many of these beings build-up large quantities of plastic bags and similar items in their bodies as they mistakenly swallow them thinking they are edible. There have been instances where meters upon meters of non-biodegradable plastics have been found lodged in the stomachs of marine mammals, leaving no room for food.

Marine debris is a huge issue and about seven-billion tons of rubbish ends up in the sea every single year. And that has consequences, not only for the animals that live in the ocean but also for the ecosystems that they depend on.

The good news is we can do something and it’s a problem we can fix. Obviously, cleaning up the rubbish on beaches isn’t the end solution, but by doing so we create awareness and we let other people know that it’s not okay to drop rubbish. We want people to be more responsible with their life choices and what they do.

Working with New Zealand’s Department of Conservation and running a 24/7 emergency hotline for the public to report strandings, Project Jonah volunteers possesses the skills and equipment needed to offer direct help to marine mammals who are in trouble.

“Project Jonah” has been around for almost 40 years now

We were set up back in the 1970s to campaign against commercial whaling, an issue that obviously many New Zealanders thought very passionately about and from there we’ve continued to campaign against other whale and dolphin atrocities like dolphins in captivity, things like set nets and obviously we help those animals which strand to get back out to sea.

Cetaceans may become stranded on shore when they’re sick or injured. For example they may sustain serious physical trauma when boats use sonar or there is a rapid change in water pressure due to an underwater earthquake. Thanks to the sustained efforts of Project Jonah’s network of trained volunteers, New Zealand has the world’s highest success rate in rescuing beached cetaceans. Thousands of animals’ lives have been saved thus far.

We’ve made amazing progress in the last couple of years, really putting down strong foundations to ensure that as an organization we are here for the future for these animals.

Learning of Project Jonah’s altruistic efforts to safeguard our endangered marine mammal co-inhabitants, Supreme Master Ching Hai has honored the organization with the Shining World Compassion Award and a contribution of US$20,000 to further their eco-conscious, life-affirming work. Kim Muncaster accepted the Award on behalf of all its members around New Zealand. Here is an excerpt from a warm letter to Ms. Muncaster that accompanied the Award.

For selflessly protecting, rescuing and conserving our vast and magical oceans, for your creative, practical and educational life-saving projects, and for being a dedicated and noble role model, we hereby applaud and celebrate the compassionate deeds of “Project Jonah,” and all the devoted warm-hearted staff and volunteers. With Great Honor, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Thank you. That’s absolutely beautiful. Thank you very much.

And on behalf of Supreme Master Ching Hai, we would like to award you with the “World Shining Compassion Award.”

Thank you. Wow! Oh, that’s beautiful!

Touched by Supreme Master Ching Hai’s loving kindness, Ms. Muncaster expressed her heartfelt gratitude as follows.

Thank you. Wow, thank you so much, so generous. And this is just a quick message to the Supreme Master Ching Hai. On behalf of Project Jonah and all of our volunteers, I’d like to say thank you very, very much for this amazing award. Our volunteers work throughout the year because they love marine mammals and they want to make a difference. So receiving something like this is just wonderful.

It’s something we can share with everybody and we’re all very, very proud. I’d also like to say thank you for the generous donation you gave us. With the generous support that you’ve given us, we can do a lot more. So on behalf of everybody at Project Jonah, thank you very much.

Our sincere appreciation goes to the heroes of Project Jonah for their benevolent hearts and ongoing efforts to help whales, dolphins and other precious inhabitants of the sea. God bless them all. After this brief message, we’ll travel to the USA to visit the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Please stay tuned to Supreme Master Television.

Welcome back to today’s edition of the Shining World Award series on Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. We next journey to the heart of the scenic Hudson Valley in New York, USA to experience the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, a loving refuge founded and run by Kathy Stevens, a vegan animal advocate and author of the book, “Where the Blind Horse Sings: Love and Healing at an Animal Sanctuary.”

Since its establishment in January 2001, the Sanctuary has rescued and cared for over 1,700 orphaned, neglected and abused farm animals and worked to raise awareness of animal cruelty and how it negatively impacts our world. Since our first visit to the facility in February 2010, Ms. Stevens has informed us of more delightful additions to their big family!

We have found homes for several rabbits, and a small flock of chickens, and two goat brothers have found a home. We recently, just two weeks ago, took in 18 goats from an animal hoarder, and we’re delighted to be able to help them and to bring them back to a healthy life.

In addition, the Sanctuary’s long-planned project, Camp Kindness, designed to provide children with unique experiences by spending a week at the facility to learn about compassion for animals, has finally came to fruition!

We just had our first session of Camp Kindness; it ended on Friday. And we’ve already gotten emails from parents thanking us for sort of turning the switch on in their children’s lives. And one student who is actually an assistant, she’s a college student is planning to go back to her school and recommend to their dietician that they offer vegan options at her college, so we’re very excited about that.

Another of the Sanctuary’s pioneering efforts is the Compassionate Cuisine program, a vegan-teaching workshop that helps people understand the effects of the foods they eat.

Eating animal products is killing us. It’s the leading cause of many, many, many heart diseases, many forms of cancer, diabetes, gout, strokes, and on and on. A vegetable, fruit-and-grain-based diet is the one that is healthy and will sustain us into our old age. The consumption of meat and dairy is the number one cause of global warming on the planet. So it is not possible to truly be an environmentalist, to truly honor the Earth without adopting a vegan lifestyle. That is the single most powerful choice one can make if she cares about the planet.

Kind-hearted Kathy Stevens has now released her second book, “Animal Camp,” which offers a unique glimpse into the awe-inspiring lives of Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s residents.

Supreme Master Ching Hai wrote in her lovely letter to me a reference to the fact that all of us are the same whether we are a human or a cow, a dog or a chicken. And I believe that very deeply that we all share the same energy, the same spirit.

And “Animal Camp” is simply a series of essays taking from life around Catskill Animal Sanctuary that show animals doing very remarkable things, forming very unusual friendships, seeking out human companionship in ways that people are surprised by.

In sincere gratitude and recognition of her immense thoughtfulness and boundless love for animals, the environment and humanity, Supreme Master Ching Hai has honored Kathy Stevens with the Shining World Compassion Award.

The beautiful crystal Award plaque was presented to Ms. Stevens by one of our Association members, along with a framed letter from Supreme Master Ching Hai, and a selection of Master’s DVDs and books including her international #1 best seller “The Dogs in My Life.” Here is a short excerpt from Master’s loving letter to Ms. Stevens:

For the beauty of the light you shed on the world, for your vision and the altruistic dedication you show in helping animals and teaching humanity, we honor and celebrate the noble and compassionate life of Ms. Kathy Stevens, founder and director of the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. With Great Honor, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Thank you so much. Thank you very much! Thank you! Thank you so much! It’s quite an honor. We’ll put it in the barn for all of us to share. Because they deserve it as much as I do.

Ms. Stevens had a message for Supreme Master Ching Hai.

It’s an honor to have known you through your work and to spread your very simple but profound message that we are all the same. I honor your work and thank you for it. And I hope you are around for many lifetimes to continue doing it.

Hats off to Kathy Stevens for her caring, uplifting endeavors on behalf of animals, humans and our planet! May she and her loving family and friends be ever blessed and protected by Heaven.

I’d just like to share my wish for joy and peace and happiness for everyone associated with Supreme Master TV, and my wish to have courage to persevere in this very important struggle for the equality of all beings.

Everybody remember, Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet.

To close, a hearty thanks once again to Kim Muncaster and Project Jonah volunteers as well as Kathy Stevens and the Catskill Animal Sanctuary staff. It is people like you who truly brighten our planet every day.

For more details on the organizations featured today please visit the following websites Project Jonah
Catskill Animal Sanctuary
Books by Kathy Stevens are available at the Sanctuary’s website

Virtuous viewers, thank you for your wonderful presence today on this edition of the Shining World Award series. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment after Noteworthy News. May unending love light the torch of peace for the world.