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Between Master and Disciples

Supreme Master Ching Hai on the Environment: The True Cost of Meat - Excerpts from Supreme Master Ching Hai's Lectures, Part 2 of 3

Lecture Language:English,Mandarin Chinese(中文)
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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. 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 3 million acres are 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. 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 illness, 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 cost if we want to keep this planet. I repeat: We must stop animal products right now and at all cost if we want to keep this planet.
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