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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 14 of 17, November 8, 2009

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The media helps a lot to point people in the direction of the solution. In fact, the most urgent role of the media right now is to become vegan themselves – compassionate, noble, and doing good deeds and to inform people of this urgent action. They should be an example, the media.

(Our next question comes from Marysol Verela, a freelance journalist with The Examiner newspaper in Orlando, Florida. A vegetarian herself, she is an advocate of the vegetarian lifestyle and has written many articles to encourage people to embrace it.)

(Yes, good evening, Supreme Master. I’m very happy to be here and to have been invited to this event, and to have the opportunity to go back home and inform everyone who didn’t have the same opportunity as me about all the benefits that come from living in this healthy lifestyle.) Thank you. (With that in mind, I have a question for You. I recently noticed that there is more and more positive and constructive media happening around the world.) That’s right. (And there are websites that provide only the good news, and television stations as well. So, with that in mind, can You please share with us Your thoughts on the role of the media in transforming society? Thank You.)

Of course they are powerful, Ms. Verela. The media has a very important role in our society, everybody knows that. The printed words are very powerful. People are too busy with their daily activities, so they look to the media for informing and reporting relevant events, important matters, and all necessary information for their lives. So, the media is a useful tool to awaken one another at this crucial time, a time when our planet and the lives on it are in danger. That’s why I’m so glad to see many televisions and radio channels starting to broadcast about the urgent situation of our planet, and even the solution of the vegan diet, which is the switch, that we have to make, very small change: piece of meat out, vegan protein in. That’s it – just a small change, everyone can afford. And it’s cheaper, healthier.

And Supreme Master Television is there as well to contribute and to inform the people in this endeavor. Just recently, Lord Stern in the UK made a statement that the vegetarian diet is better than a meat diet for halting climate change, and the world media came to discuss the topic more actively, almost on every station. And then, the Australian and American television channels interviewed former US Vice President and Nobel Prize Laureate Mr. Al Gore. You know, right? Our hero, you know him. (Yes.) Everybody knows him by now.

They asked him, the journalists, the reporters, asked Mr. Al Gore to talk about the vegetarian solution as a means to halt global warming, which he recognized as important in curbing global warming, he recognizes that. He said that he cut back on the animal diet very sharply, and he said that the vegetarian diet definitely is a solution to curb global warming. So, the media helps a lot to point people in the direction of the solution. In fact, the most urgent role of the media right now is to become vegan themselves – compassionate, noble, and doing good deeds and to inform people of this urgent action. They should be an example, the media.

Now, we also see that the public is responding with enthusiasm to spiritual topics like meditation, yoga, alternative living, veganism. They want to know more about science and spirituality. We are, as a race, the whole humanity, becoming more spiritually-minded and reaching beyond just the limited, ephemeral, physical realm for something greater, nobler, and higher. I’m so glad we are in this trend. And the media is a huge, huge help in reminding people to go in this upward direction. But, still, our evolution has been a bit too slow, don’t you think? It’s too slow. So, I also look for hope in the good media people such as yourself, Ms. Beautiful.

And if I may humbly urge you to encourage people through your work to become vegan, to save human lives, animal lives, and the environment. Because the vegan diet, though simple, is the giant stepping stone that would bring us higher in our evolution. Besides, time is running out for our planet. We must act fast to save lives.

So, the media has a very great, heroic, noble role to save the world at this moment in our history. And while saving lives, the media also can save the loving, noble quality in human hearts as well. Do you see how great and noble the role of the media is? Thank you, Ms. Verela, for being a vegetarian yourself. God bless you and your company.

(Thank You, Master Ching Hai, for the scope of Your vision and for Your pioneering role in the creation of Supreme Master Television.)

(Our next questioner is the owner of Paradise Found, LLC, a company that delivers vegan produce to an ever-expanding market in Ohio. Mr. Randall T. Ball has a question he would like to ask Supreme Master Ching Hai.) Welcome, Mr. Ball.

(Hallo, Supreme Master. Thank You.) Hallo. (I’m honored to come. A lot of people don’t know this, Cincinnati is known as “Porkopolis.” We got our start as the pig capital of the Midwest. So, my question is really a very important question, I think, one that I’ve been asking myself for years, and that relates to the political leadership of this country. And to be able to ask You this in Washington, D.C., seems really powerful. So, I wanted to preface by saying, I’m almost half a century old. When I was growing up, America was known as the land of the free and the leader of the free world, and a beacon of light to the world. And now, we’ve become the leading consumer. So, my question is, the American people have demonstrated their compassion and their power, since the beginning, in overcoming many forces of evil. So, right now, how do we, as citizens of America, the ones that are literally consuming the planet, how do we encourage and support greater nobility in ourselves, in our fellow American citizens, and in our government leaders? Thank You.)

Mr. Ball, good question, sir. Thank you for trusting me with such a great responsibility. I admire the American people very much, sir, you know that, for their faith and open-minded, courageous spirit.

And right now, the government leaders need our faith and encouragement more, because we really need their leadership to bring about wide-scale change. We must help provide the government with information about the true cost of the animal diet. Sometimes the governments are busy, putting priority elsewhere, you know, sir? Not that they don’t like the change, but maybe they are not completely informed. So, we have to inform them: write to them, talk to them, do whatever it takes to inform them of the true cost of the animal diet. Not just costs lives, it costs billions of US dollars every year – just for the meat-related sicknesses, not to talk about how it kills our planet.

You can gather and print it, all this information, and send to your political leaders. If you want, you can go to We have all the information up to date that we have gathered – reliable and ready material collected there for you.

I myself have also written and sent letters and information to the secular and religious leaders of the world, hoping they have time to read. I don’t send a lot of books, just short, condensed information. If you want, you can enquire, the condensed one that I sent to the leaders of the world.

And if they want to know more, or if you want to know more, or your people want to know more, can always log on to That’s it. Or, just log on to and ask for any subject you want. They are all free of charge and ready anytime.

And should the leaders take some positive steps, then we should write to thank them also and encourage them, not always criticize and don’t thank them when they do the right thing. We should have positive encouragement, you see? We have to encourage them when they do some right things and so they go further in that direction, or even better, improve.

As for the way that the meat industry is destroying the environment, our health, and the health and future of our children, and the planet eventually, the numbers, the sheer numbers, should be more than enough to shock any of us into action. Allow me to report to you a few shocking facts from the United States, your country, alone – United States alone.

1. Waste of land. Now, in the US, an area more than nine times the size of California – nine times California’s size! – is used either for growing farm animal feed or grazing livestock. It’s all about animals, nothing about us. That’s about 1 billion acres, or 80% of all agricultural land in the US, and about half of all US land being used for meat production. By contrast, less than three million acres is used to grow all the vegetables in the country. Imagine that!

2. Waste of water. Half the water in the US is wasted on the production of meat. Just for comparison, 100,000 liters of water are needed to produce one kilogram of beef, while less than 1% of this amount, or 900 liters only, is required to harvest a kilogram of wheat.

3. Waste of food. 90% of all soy, 80% of all corn, and 70% of all grain grown in the United States are fed to fatten livestock, while this could feed at least 800 million hungry people, sir. We have hungry people; we have children dying every few seconds because we use too much land, too much water, too much food for livestock instead of on humans.

4. Pollution. Livestock produces 130 times as much waste as the human population in the US. Can you imagine that? A single pig farm with say, 500,000 pigs, generates more waste yearly than the 1.5 million residents of Manhattan in New York City. In Virginia State, even the poultry farms are producing 1.5 times polluting nitrogen, more than all the people living in the same area. We are killing us, ourselves. All this waste is unregulated and untreated. There’s no law to regulate these and treat these things.

So, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that agriculture, which is mostly for meat production, contributes to nearly three-quarters of the country’s water pollution problems – three-quarters of your country’s pollution comes from livestock. Now, in 1995 one time, one 8-acre pig manure lagoon burst in North Carolina…

For people who don’t know what a manure lagoon is, allow me to explain. It is where they have dug a big lake, and then all the manure and the waste – the urine and all that of the pigs – will go in there. And it looks like a lagoon, so they call it “manure lagoon.” One time, an 8-acre large, such pig-manure lagoon burst in North Carolina, spilling 25 million gallons of this poisonous waste, twice the volume of the notorious Exxon-Valdez oil spill. We complain about oil spills, but this is even worse. Hundreds of millions of fish in the state’s New River were killed instantly due to the nitrates in the waste, with further harmful effects once the contamination reached the ocean. This is just one of many incidents, sir.

Not only that, we have the enormous dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, the size of New Jersey, which suffocates all marine life there. And this is overwhelmingly due to the nitrogen runoff from the Midwest, from the animal wastes and the fertilizers for the animal feed crops. This waste is toxic. It contains antibiotics, hormones and pesticides, and 10 to 100 times the concentration of deadly pathogens like E. coli and salmonella compared to human waste.

5. Health and economic costs. Meat causes hundreds of billions – hundreds of billions! – of US dollars in medical costs alone, and economic burdens on families and governments. Not to mention the pain and suffering of the families, of course, unimaginably great and lifelong. And all the while, we are suffering illnesses, losing lives, grieving over lost loved ones, family members; losing happiness; losing money due to the animal diet. We are the ones who are paying the industry to continue producing this problem, producing meat, fish and the like, with our hard-earned tax money that’s used to subsidize them. Ironic? The US government could, of course, redirect the billions of dollars now spent on livestock subsidies to help farmers switch to organic vegetable and fruit agriculture. That will be a great help to your country and the health of the Americans. The government could use these powerful tools to spread campaigns about veg alternatives, bans on meat, and laws to help people switch to organic, vegan farming and consumption.

A global switch to a veg diet could even save the world governments a lot of money, as much as 80% of all the climate mitigation costs of US$40 trillion by the year 2050. That is, we save US$32 trillion in climate mitigation costs, and having a healthy vegan population is a good deal, good business deal in all positive aspects. There is a very good reason for the American government to abolish meat, fish, eggs and dairy – all the animal products altogether. We must stop animal production now and at all costs if we want to keep this planet. I repeat: We must stop animal products right now and at all costs if we want to keep this planet.

I have always looked to the American people and their great government leaders as one of the best living examples of democracy and freedom, integrity, of our world. However, I must tell you truthfully that the meat industry is unbefitting to the greatness of your country and of the great American citizens. Don’t you agree, sir? Thank you. Great people deserve great things. Great people lead great lifestyles. So we have to do away with the un-great things and we have to begin the great things, for the great people, great country like America.

I pray, sir, that the ones who are aware and want to save the children will do something about it, and fast, to stop this horrendous criminal system that is killing us and destroying our planet, and that we must not allow any longer. Thank you and God bless your faith in the Divine, in your leaders, and yourselves. God bless America!

(Thank You, Supreme Master Ching Hai, for sharing Your illuminating wisdom with us.)

I hope you are not bored yet. No, no. Yes or no? No, yes? (No, no, no, no.) No? Not you say, the audience I’m asking. You ask them if they’re bored then we have to stop. (Are you bored?) (No.) OK, thanks. Alright, continue then.

“(How did you hear about this conference?) (Well, I’m honored enough to have a Loving Cafe within my neighborhood. In fact many of my friends over the years were part of starting that cafe, and I actually get to supply much of the organic produce for the café. And I was very inspired because one of the things inspired me was I came across the book, ‘The Noble Wilds’ when I was having my lunch and I just was totally taken by that approach and the idea of different amounts of noble quality to different animals, and the fact that some might get individual names and how they do. It just touched me and the person described, that’s what the conference would be about. And with the music and the arts, you know, it wasn’t just factual information, as important as that is, but it’s an energy and a tone that gets communicated.

I know the sub-focus and I guess the subtext was on climate change, but the larger theme was the Golden Era. And frankly, I think that was the most important. The fact that Supreme Master Ching Hai has held a conference in the capital, declaring that this is what we’re up to, I think it’s a first and I give Her all the credit in the world for doing that. Thank You. And thank you that you’re working for Her TV station to do that. You truly are creating leadership in the world through that.)”

“(I think that the nice thing about this conference is that it gives us hope that there are things that we can do each as individuals and that’s change our diet.)”

“(So I thank the conference for bringing attention to these really vital issues. Thank you so much to you, to the whole TV station, to Master Ching Hai for holding this groundbreaking conference in Washington, D.C.)”

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