Why Vegan?
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth
as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet." - Albert Einstein

A Win-Win Situation for the Planet
Go Vegetarian

If you look at the impacts of climate change on water, on human health, on agriculture, on ecosystems, we
really are getting into a zone where these impacts are going to become very serious, even with a 1 to 1.5
degree increase in temperature.

So we really don't have a moment to lose and I think if the world want to stabilize the Earth's temperature and
therefore minimize or eliminate the threat of harmful impacts, then we have to more very quickly.

Dr. Rajendra pachauri
Chairman of the IPCC
UN Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change
& Vegetarian

As the Chairman of the IPCC, is there any advice that you would like to give to leaders and governments
around the world regarding the huge amount of carbon emissions produced by the animal agriculture
industries? What action we should be taking regarding this?

Answer:

The entire meat cycle is very, very intensive in terms of carbon dioxide emission. Right from the moment you
cleared forests (70% Amazon) as pasture land, you have cattle grazing over there, then cattle are killed, and
then refrigerated. If you look at some of the estimates, that really seems staggering. “Livestock CO2
emissions are more than all ships, trucks, planes combined”

One main Solution

But more than anything else I think it's a win-win solution to eat less meat. There is enough medical
evidence available now, that the level of consumption of meat that we have in the world today on a per capital
basis, particularly in societies where that's a very large part of the diet. It's something that even harmful for
human health. And therefore, if you turn to eat less meat, then, as I say, individuals would be healthy and so
would the planet!

Supreme Master Ching Hai
– Live Video Conference 2008 Critical Moment to Save the Earth: What can I do?
29 June 2008 Seminar in Taiwan

The main cause of the danger to our survival right now is caused from meat diet. The more we stick to the
meat diet, the more we need oil and other fuel resulting in even more shortage in all necessities, so I
suggest only one thing: Just to go veg. Be Vegetarian. Choose a vegetarian diet. Then all will cool down.

All disasters will disappear. We will see how simple and happy life can be, and how we will think clearly, and
how our heart will be more open, more blissful. We can understand many more thing than we have up to
now. And that we really can live with much far less than what we thought possible, and still be happy, survive,
satisfied, and healthy.

The Truth behind Your Food
By sister-initiate Hui-Ming Toh, Auckland, New Zealand
(Originally in English)

Would you ever open your fridge, pull out twenty plates of pasta and chuck them into the bin, and then, eat
only one plate of food? How about leveling fifty-five square feet of rainforest for one lunch or dumping two-
thousand-five-hundred gallons of water down the drain? Of course you wouldn't. However, just eating half a
kilo of meat will cause this. Eating meat will cause inefficient use and destruction to our resources and
environment, cause immense animal suffering, and have detrimental effects on our health. So, if roasting a
dog to complement your mashed potato disturbs you, then why roast any other gentle animal?

Waste Lagoon:
Circle Four Farms, a Utah-based pork producer, hosts a three-million gallon waste lagoon. When lagoons
like this spill into rivers and lakes as happened in North Carolina in 1995, the result can be environmentally
catastrophic.

A UN report has identified that “cows not cars, are the top threat to our environment.” It gives evidence that the
world's rapidly growing herds of cattle is the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. Farmed
animals produce one-hundred-and-thirty times more excrement than the entire human population of the
United States and this concentrated slop ends up polluting water, destroying top soil and contaminating our
air. Furthermore, their bodily gas and manure emit more than one third of methane, which warms the world
twenty times faster than carbon dioxide. Meat-eaters are responsible for the production of one hundred
percent of these wastes which is about eighty-six-thousand pounds per second. But, by giving up animal
products, you will be responsible for none of these.

Moreover, our taste for meat is taking a toll on our supply of non-renewable resources. A staggering two-
thousand-five-hundred gallons of water is needed for the production of each pound of beef, but, in contrast, it
takes only twenty-nine gallons to produce a pound of tomatoes and a hundred-and-thirty-nine gallons for a
pound of whole wheat bread. Half the water, eighty percent of agricultural land in the United States, almost all
the soy bean harvest and over half of the world's grain is used to raise animals for food. While we are doing
this, one billion people are suffering from hunger and malnutrition and twenty-four-thousand children die
every day alongside fields of grain destined for the West's livestock. However, world starvation would be
eliminated if our scarce resources were utilized efficiently by converting land to raising crops for feeding
people.

Somali Famine Victims:

Somalian famine victims line up for food handouts. Producing a pound of beef requires 4.8 pounds of grain,
and critics of our modern agricultural system say that the spread of meat-based diets aggravates world
hunger.

Are you aware that one-hundred-and-thirty million animals are murdered annually in New Zealand? Most
animals are raised on factory farms, the system which strives to maximize output at minimum costs. As a
result, the animals suffer immense pain mentally and physically every second of their lives. They are
crammed into filthy windowless confinement systems and will never raise their families, rummage in the soil
or do anything that is natural to them. They won't even feel the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the
day they are loaded onto trucks, destined for slaughter. Over ninety million animals in New Zealand suffer
these conditions and many remain conscious as their throats are cut, then, left to bleed to death.

Another cruel practice farmers often carry out is the deprivation of food from birds for fourteen days in order to
shock their bodies into laying more eggs for human consumption. And, because male chicks are useless in
the meat industry, each year a hundred million of them are ground up alive or tossed into bags to suffocate.  
What's more, at the slaughter house, the chickens throats are cut, and they are immersed in scalding hot
water to remove their feathers while many are still alive.

Even nowadays, to mark cows for identification, ranchers push hot fire irons into their flesh as they bellow in
pain. Consequently, third degree burns occur and male calves' testicles are ripped from their scrotums all
without pain relief. To add to their suffering, the land which cattle graze on has air saturated with chemicals
and these fumes cause chronic respiratory problems, therefore making breathing painful.

Cows used for their milk are repeatedly impregnated and their babies taken away so that humans can drink
the milk intended for the calves. They are hooked up to machines several times daily and using genetic
manipulation, powerful hormones, and intensive milking, they are forced to produce ten times more milk as
they naturally would. This contributes to the immensely painful inflammation of their udder which up to fifty
percent of dairy cows suffer from.

Animals on today's factory farms have no legal protection from cruelty that would be illegal if it were inflicted
on household pets: neglect, mutilation, genetic manipulation, and drug programs that cause chronic pain
and crippling and, violent slaughter. Robert Louis Stevenson, a novelist and poet said, “We consume the
carcasses of creatures of like appetites, passions and organs with our own.” Yet, farmed animals are no
less intelligent or capable of feeling pain than are the dogs and cats we cherish as companions.

This is demonstrated by the frequent reports of cows leaping over a six-foot fence to escape a
slaughterhouse, walking seven miles to be reunited with a calf and swimming across a river to freedom.
Pigs, too, are insightful animals as discovered by Dr. Donald Broom, scientific advisor to the British
government - “[Pigs] have the cognitive ability to be quite sophisticated. Even more so than dogs and certainly
three-year-olds.”

The most important step you can take to save our planet and diminish both human and animal suffering is to
go vegetarian. A meat free diet rich in complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, omega-three, vitamins and
minerals provides optimal nutrition, forming the foundation for dietary habits that support a lifetime of good
health. Compelling evidence can be found in the book “The China Study” by Professor T. Colin Campbell
which says, “in the next ten years, one of the things you're bound to hear is that animal protein is one of the
most toxic nutrients of all…risk for disease goes up dramatically when even a little animal protein is added to
the diet.” Studies have shown that vegetarian kids have higher IQs than their classmates and vegetarians
live, on average, six to ten years longer than meat-eaters. In addition to this, they are fifty percent less likely to
develop heart disease and cancer, plus, meat eaters are nine times more likely to be obese than vegans
are. Vegetarian foods provide us with all the nutrients we need, minus the saturated fat, cholesterol, and
contaminants.

Conversely, many argue that plants are alive too. This is true, but plants have only ten percent
consciousness while animals have consciousness equivalent to humans. Since plants cannot locomote,
the sensation of experiencing pain would be superfluous. Thus, plants differ completely physiologically from
mammals. If you cut a branch or leaves off a tree, it will flourish and grow more. On the other hand, animals
do not desire regular pruning. Can you cut off a leg from a cow and expect it to grow four more legs?

Raising animals for food is wreaking havoc on Earth. The environment, resources and our health are
deteriorating and although most of us do not actively condone killing, humans have developed the habit,
supported by society, of eating meat without any real awareness of what is being done to the animals we eat.
It is said that, “one visit to a slaughterhouse will make you a vegetarian for life. Because it is us who created
their screams of pain and fear.” So, if you ever decide to roast a gentle animal again…remember you are
consuming the flesh of one equivalent to your much loved pets. But, the only difference is that this animal
was tortured.

* The author is a 17-year-old student in her final year of secondary school. The article was an internal
assessment for which she was awarded the top grade of excellence.

There are many shocking pictures on the following websites:
http://www.goveg.com/photos.asp
http://www.viva.org.uk/photogallery/galleryindex.htm

Please find global maps on livestock's environmental impact through following link :
http://www.virtualcentre.org/en/library/key_pub/longshad/a0701e/A0701E09a.pdf

GOING VEGAN

VEGAN NUTRITION: A BEGINNER’S GUIDE

Many people are concerned that giving up dairy products and eggs will make it much more difficult for them to
obtain all the nutrients they need. The good everything the body requires can be found in a vegan diet - from
Vitamin A to Zinc, from iron to Vitamin B12. The American Dietetic Association recently reviewed the available
literature on vegetarianism and veganism and concluded that a vegan diet is both nutritionally-adequate and
can even provide health benefits.

The basic human nutritional requirements are protein, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. A vegan
diet will provide them all.

Protein is in practically every kind of food and it's almost impossible to eat less than you need. Vegetarians
get their protein from a wide range of foodstuffs, such as soya products (milk, tofu [soya bean curd]), cereals
(rice, pasta), pulses (baked beans, chick peas) and nuts and seeds. Simply by eating a normal range of
foods, our bodies are getting all the protein needed and that protein doesn’t come laden with saturated fats,
as it does when it comes from dairy products.

Just like a vegetarian diet, a vegan diet provides vitamins from fresh fruit and vegetables. Green leafy
vegetables such as lettuce and other greens like broccoli and spinach supply Vitamins A, C and K as well as
B vitamins. Vitamin E comes from staples like olive oil, tomatoes and nuts while fortified foods (like many
soya milks and breakfast cereals) provide Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Vitamin B12, which is also found in
yeast extracts like Marmite, is especially important for vegans as it is not available directly from plant sources
and is vital for health. Some vegans take supplements of B12 but it is easily possible to supply the body’s
needs from dietary sources alone.

Essential minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc are available from many, many sources including soya
products such as tofu and from the likes of rice, dried apricots and almonds. Vitamin C aids iron absorption
and is readily available in a vegan diet. Calcium is found in lots of non-dairy foods including beans, dark
green leafy vegetables (eg broccoli, watercress), nuts (especially almonds), seeds (especially sesame) and
dried fruits. Calcium is essential for healthy bones and studies looking at the role of cow’s milk and bone
fractures have shown that people who derived more calcium from cow’s milk actually had more fractures
than those who drank little or no milk. A vegan diet is also rich in fruits and vegetables which contribute to the
maintenance of bone mineral density.

As for complex carbohydrates, pasta, cereals and bread supply all we need and fibre comes as standard in a
vegan diet.

Vegan nutrition does require a little more thought than being vegetarian but being vegan doesn’t mean
becoming obsessive about diet. Vegans, of course, can still eat chocolate, drink wine and heat up
convenience food in the microwave just like everybody else – but unless that is all you eat, if you turn vegan
you will almost certainly eat a healthier diet.