Chapter 4. Enacting Vegan Laws and Policies > Governments Must Take Urgent Action
II. Governments Must Take Urgent Action
The leaders of the nations must do something. The people of all nations must do something. Just because we can still sit here pretty and talk, just because in our area there is not yet water shortage or food prices going up doesn’t mean it will not happen to us soon.
We have to do something to avoid the tragedy that is already happening to billions of other people. There are one-billion people hungry already because of climate change, and short of water and food. Please take action now; very simple. Just be veg. Just be veg is truly enough for now, and it will be enough for a long future to come.
Distribute Information about the Plant-Based Lifestyle
People are not really well-informed about what’s on their plate. Mostly the little, packed meat that went on their plate doesn’t resemble anything of where it came from.
The so-called tradition keeps passing on from one generation to the next. And the whole society just supports it as a natural way of life. So now people have become more aware of the cruelty that we measure upon animals. So I think we, people, turn to more compassion and respect for all life.
Many don’t realize the harmful emissions of the livestock industry or that killing begets killing, and they are not aware that meat is another kind of addictive poison. They are not aware that meat is destroying our planet.
The governments have to explain to people that it’s truly harmful now and this is an emergency that people should stop eating meat. It’s not a matter of personal choice anymore. It’s a planetary life—and-death matter.
In the case of imminent disaster, the governments would evacuate people in no time. And in the case of war, people are always informed how to protect themselves. The governments even recruit new army members so that they can go out and protect the country or go out to war.
So, in this case, it’s even more urgent than war. I’m sure the government will have a solution to it. I’m sure the people can be informed anywhere in the nation. The government has the power that’s vested in them to do this.
The governments have to help. Distribute more information encouraging more vegetarian diet lifestyle, just bombarding the whole planet with a new energy of compassion and love and health and then everybody will join in. Supportive energy is very important.
They have to publicize it everywhere. They have to give leaflets to people to read, make it a public job to do it. They have to give an official endorsement and let everybody know about the benefit of the vegetarian diet. They have to create websites for vegetarian menus, all free of charge, class for vegetarian cooking, vegetarian clubs. Make it official, and then everybody would follow like a happy trend, some new change in the world.
The most important thing is that humankind and all citizens around the world should know the great benefit of becoming vegetarian to save the Earth. They should know how dangerous and how urgent our current situation is. This is the most important thing.
They should also know how much benefit the vegetarian diet, the non-killing diet, can bring to humankind, let alone the moral aspect. Firstly, we talk about how the vegetarian diet benefits our health and saves the planet, then our children would have a home to live in the future.
We only have this one home: Earth. If it is destroyed, another one cannot be built, unlike a house, which can be rebuilt, we can’t build another Earth if it’s destroyed. It’s not that easy. Therefore, the most important thing for the government to do is to spread information to the public.
Ban Meat as Smoking was Banned
Vegetarianism should be a way of life. There
shouldn’t be discussion any more.
We have to ban meat. We’re banning it now by showing people how to eat, to cook vegetarian. We go all out. This is really for survival. Make it your mission in life to inform people about the danger of eating meat and show them the solution.
They banned cigarettes and it’s banned. And they banned drugs and it’s banned. The same with the climate change policy. If they just do what they know is good, then it’s very quick. In no time we will recover or we’ll stop the effect.
Because if we don’t raise anymore cattle or animals then the Earth will be more sustainable: no more greenhouse gas or methane gas from the animals, no more multiplying all the time. Whatever [animals] we have already, we keep it, and no more raising for profit and meat. Then the Earth will recover. After a while, the cows will be gone the natural way, and then all the land will be planted with trees, vegetables again.
If we compare the trend to tobacco, which is another killer substance like meat, only after 1950, when the first major research came out showing that tobacco causes lung cancer, the government started to implement smoking bans, gradually more and more until today; more than 80 countries have some kind of public smoking ban.106
Studies show that the smoking bans actually helped people to quit smoking, and the quitters were happier because of the ban, because they know that their habit was bad for them.
Similarly, a ban on meat, which we all now know from the studies, is a very bad habit which kills us and our children, our loved ones, and is killing our planet.
So, a ban of meat will be a strong current to carry the trend toward a vegan world.
Because a good leader stops what is bad for the people and facilitates what is good for them. They can facilitate, namely, through public campaigns, using the media, and through schools to inform about the benefits of the healthy, life-saving, planet-saving way of life.
We Have No Other Choice
Either We Change or We Will All Go
First of all, we have to know that we have no choice but to change, either that or the planet. Either we change, or we will all go. There’s no choice anymore.
If we don’t stop the livestock-raising and meat-eating practice, we will not be able to save the planet, including them and their meat business. So, I think we have to choose between our lives and a career. We have to survive first. We have to think of the planet people as a whole, not just some business. It is truly that urgent.
Given this critical necessity, these people who are economically tied to the meat industry would be willing to change if they were properly informed and know how important it is to change their lifestyle and their career. They have many strong motivations. For example, the first is to save the planet from a climate catastrophe, save all lives in this world.
If we don’t stop it, we will continue on a course toward total disaster and mass extinction, affecting everyone, whether you are in the business of meat, transportation for it, etc. or not or a related job of the meat industry.
Stop Animal Killing and Wars and Rebuild the Country
The thing is, the leaders should know what is a priority. What’s the use of worrying about war or about position or about anything else when the planet is going to be ruined? So right now, all the leaders must concentrate on saving our planet and must concentrate on spreading information and making new laws for people to live a more benevolent life.
There’s no need even laws, but the law is maybe better, just more concrete; otherwise, people are ready. Just the governments have to implement some more rules and reminding people to be good, to be virtuous, to adhere to the law of love like not killing animals, not eating animals, and not doing anything harmful to animals or other humans or even the environment.
It has to be more concrete and more dynamic action. First, all wars must stop. Money and goods must be only to sustain and nourish all beings—have to distribute all the goods of the planet to all. For example, even if no war, the related money could feed the whole world, free of charge, for many decades.
And all killing, torturing humans or animals must stop. All deforestation, harming the environment and destroying the trees, all that has to stop. And leaders will only bring into law what’s beneficial, peaceful, if possible, spiritual as well, for all, if possible, like protecting true spiritual groups, the harmless but beneficial groups.
Share wealth among all: Distribute enough food and clothing for needy humans and animals. Building protective areas for all, for humans and animals—protect all lives. Rebuild forests, clean up rivers, lakes, oceans and protect them; award to green and animal care groups. Clear away, clean up alcohol and drugs, meat and animal products. Laboratory tests involving cruelty to animals must stop. Clear away animal-factory farms. Make inmates or soldiers as well to go help people, plant vegetables or do productive works. Promote and help organic vegetable farming. Give subsidies for education, health-related areas.
And weapon production business must decrease to zero. Clean up our society of all shady and detrimental products and activities. Provide security and comfort to all, so no one would commit offenses for lack of basic necessities and education. Erase borders and provide all the same status and respect of citizenship.
If [the governments] even have to keep any armies, then they have to retrain them for helping people in disaster in urgent cases and to rebuild homes wherever necessary, and helping people in their time of need. All these have to be done and more even. Anything that helps other people, helps the citizens, and helps the animals and environment, all the governments, the leaders have to try their best to implement the actions for that, and they have to do it now already.
The Meat Industry is a Losing Business
It is Inefficient in the Use of Energy and Resources
Data Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine,“Health vs. Pork: Congress Debates the Farm Bill, ”Good Medicine,Vol. XVI, 4 (Autumn 2007). www.pcrm.org/magazine/gm07autumn/health_pork.html
The industry is bad, bad, bad business, [and] is not lucrative at all for the whole planet, for everybody. It’s a most inefficient business, with very high production costs for electricity, water and grains to produce the same amount of so-called “food,” which is replaceable. We have better food than meat.
It Depends on Subsidies and Tax Revenue
For example, if the government didn’t give them any subsidies for the meat industry in any case, then a hamburger that some people eat produced by clearing forests in India alone would cost US$ 200!107
In the US, even before the swine flu impacted the pig-farming business, the pig industry had been losing billions of dollars. Why? Because they cannot afford the grains to feed their livestock due to the high food prices, and the food prices are getting higher and higher nowadays. So, how do they survive? Your tax money goes to the government, and the government subsidizes them. So, it’s a losing business.
Everywhere, from the US to China, the government has to subsidize animal farmers by paying them at least tens of billions of US dollars every year!108 But that’s your money that you’re eating! If you can eat that and be healthy, happy, then it would be reasonable. But it’s not!
It Comes with Heavy Medical Costs
These hamburgers contain all parts of the animals that you don’t know where they even come from, and contain all kinds of bacteria, all kinds of diseases.109 If you want information from the medical journals or medical scientists, they will tell you all this. Not only do we pay a lot of tax money into the subsidies for the meat industry, we pay a lot more tax money for the hospitalization, for the burying of our loved ones, for the heartache that we have to bear the whole lifetime for losing one of our dearest, or many of our dearest.
It Inflicts Immense Suffering on Animals
All this suffering is unnecessary for our fragile body to bear. If we avoid meat, we will avoid all that—the money for hospital, medicine. And not only that, before we get the medicine we make more animals suffer by experimenting with them by vivisection, by injecting chemicals into their bodies, by making them suffer, torturing to no end just to obtain the medicine that we feel safe for human use. And again, it’s still not safe for human use.
All this suffering, all this tax money goes into different directions. It doesn’t help you at all. It’s just wasting resources, finance and national strength, and human’s health and happiness. It’s just a waste. It’s just a very, very, very bad business.
The meat industry is terribly harmful to us in every imaginable situation, in any imaginable aspect. Now, if the subsidies are not going in to support them, the farmers of the animal-raising industry could not make ends meet with their business. They would have gone out of business already. So, I suggest the government doesn’t give any more subsidies to animal-raising industry. Instead, tell them to convert into vegan farmers.
Meat-Industry Jobs Endanger Workers
Besides all that, for the majority of the workers in the meat business, it’s not a safe working place either. It’s one of the most dangerous jobs with some of the highest rates of injury and exposure to chemicals and diseases like influenza, swine flu, bird flu and mad cow disease, which is always fatal, always deadly.
Now, we have to ask ourselves: Is it all worth it? This is not to talk about the effect on the meat consumers in terms of all the sickness—cancers, diabetes and health problems, and heart diseases. Almost all diseases that you can name come from the meat diet or related. So, given a better choice for livelihood, wouldn’t we choose the one that helps ourselves and others stay healthy, over a profession that made people and ourselves sick and die young?
“The powerful myth that industrial food is cheap Banning Meat is the Only Way to Save the Planet
and affordable only survives because all of these
environmental, health, and social costs are not added to
the price of industrial food. When we calculate the real
price, it is clear that far from being cheap, our current
food production system is imposing staggering monetary
burdens on us and future generations.”110
Everything to do with compassionate living is good for you and it’s pleasing to Heaven. And it will save the planet. It’s not just good business, it will save the planet, and it will save countless lives, now and in the future, including the ones involved in the meat business. That’s why the Buddha named the meat business as one of the five businesses that people should not engage in.
The meat business is a bad business. It’s very bad for you. And the other four are: business in weapons, business in human trafficking, business in intoxicants and business in poison. All these harmful businesses are bad for you, now and in the future.
Encourage, Support and Subsidize Organic Farming
[The government] could encourage the farmers to grow crops and give them subsidies to grow vegetables replacing the loss of meat. The more they grow, the more subsidies they get. And the farmers also have to be explained that they would be doing the world a great service.
They would be a great hero, the world savers, if they grow vegetables to feed humans instead of raising animals, and let the animals be. The government has to tell them that they have to treat the animals with all kindness until they have gone back to Heaven naturally.
At present, this practice is not widely spread and encouraged by the government or by the media. So, in my humble opinion, instead of subsidies for the farmers who lose money on meat or because the meat was tainted with disease or something, the government can subsidize the farmers so they have more financial support to fall on until this becomes more stabilized as a practice and the market has more demand for organic food. Then farmers will be happy to grow more vegetarian food to supply for the health of humans and the planet.
The government can give them vegetable seeds and training on better ways to farm without using chemical fertilizers, because sometimes the farmers are just not well informed about the harms of livestock raising, or the chemicals or the fertilizers or insecticides.
[The farmers] are not informed about a better way to grow vegetables and make more profit. The government can help them implement the measures to conserve the land and improve the quality of their products so that their buyers will trust in them, etc. The government can also set up a certification and quality standardization system to further promote the organic, vegan industry.
Organic Farming is Easy to Implement
Right now, organic food is very in. And it’s very healthy for everybody. And it’s in very big demand.
In our Association, we have many members who are doing organic farming. And it’s proven that anyone can do it. Anyone who is interested can log on to our website to know all the information how to do organic farming. It’s so easy, so simple; don’t even need much water at all. And the food grows so fast, and even one or two persons can take care of many hectares without much problem at all.
We tell people to do organic farming, how to conserve rainwater, ground water, and conserve land, planting trees to attract rain, etc. In the Alwar district of Rajasthan, India, one Indian village was able to guide the water enough that it brought back to life five flowing rivers—five flowing rivers— that had been dead before, been dried up before due to withdrawing too much water.
We have the www.SupremeMasterTV.com to inform everyone who is interested in it. It’s not much capital needed even. Even if capital is needed, the government should give them subsidies to help the organic farmer instead of using that to help the meat production, which is harmful to us. To help organic farming is helpful to everybody including the farmer.
Supply Vegan School Meals and Support Local Food Co-ops
From what I understand, complete systems where the schools are connected to the farmers in a sustainable way are perhaps being developed, but not fully exercised.
There is a program that began in Europe and Japan and it’s now also in the US, where a group of individuals such as those belonging to a food cooperative develop a relationship with a farmer or the farmers, who agree to supply them with fresh produce. The farmers then grow a variety of food and people purchase from a variety of whatever is fresh.
This has become very popular and, in many places it has a waiting list even. So the farms are usually sustainably-run, organic farms. It is a good situation because the people are getting healthy food that they can trust while supporting the farmers’ livelihood and often the environment at the same time.
I am sure if the governments support organic farming, it will be a trend in no time.
If the governments lead the way with the message that this is how to be green, an
d how to protect the planet, then the farmers would be happy to grow more vegan food.
To spread the practice of organic farming would help in so many ways.
The Benefits of Organic Vegan Farming
The benefits of organic farming for human livelihood, for human health and for animals’ health, natural resources and protection of our planet,
all these benefits we cannot even underestimate, we cannot even estimate all in here. Organic farming not only helps to protect the planet, it will even help to eliminate hunger. Returning to traditional, organic farming methods is already proven by success in Africa, for example, and in some places like the Americas, Europe and Australia. Organic vegan farming is growing very, very fast, and is very, very profitable right now, because there is a growing demand. People are more informed about the harms of the meat and more informed about the benefits of a vegetarian diet. So organic, vegan, vegetable farming should be very, very, very good for anyone who wants to switch business.
Also, there are many successful stories for organic farming already across the continent of Africa. For example, in the area surrounding Cape Town, South Africa, the townships are growing 100% organic gardens, with crops that are sold locally.111 A similar operation has begun in Kenya. And in Uganda, where organic fertilizers were recently introduced, they are already seeing success with the soil and harvest.112
On the Supreme Master Television, we also feature a whole section about organic farming, on our website as well, www.SupremeMasterTV.com. On this website, we share a lot of info about how to do organic farming, which is very profitable, costs less water, a lot less work and is very beneficial to our health, to the workers and to the planet.
If you eat organic vegetables, you will hardly have to go to the hospital and all the money we can save to better education for the children, better care for the elderly, and building more beautiful roads, more equipment, inventions, and use it more for sustainable energies, for free for everybody. Free energy for everybody, free education for all the children, free care for all the elderly and free food for all the one-billion, at least, hungry people in the world. The benefit has no end.
Sustainability and High Yields
It has been found that a large-scale change to organic farming could feed the world. Research in Denmark and elsewhere has shown larger yields from organic farming on land that was previously underutilized.113
In fact, the large yields produced by conventional farming are taken at the expense of the soil, of our health, and of the environment. And these enormous, single crops, such as soy, are mostly produced to feed animals for meat production, not for humans’ consumption.
In Africa, the United Nations Environment Program did a study in which they found crop yields were doubled when the small farmers used organic farming methods.114 In this case, since the organic practices such as composting and rotating crops improve the soil instead of buying fertilizers and pesticides, the organic farmers can use their money to buy better seeds.
Another research in the US found that organic farming methods could be used to triple farm yields. One of the main factors in enabling the high yields was the farmers were planting legumes, like beans or soya beans, cover crops between growing seasons, which fixed enough natural nitrogen in the soil to ensure high crop yields. 115
With the world food shortage continuing to worsen, more people are going hungry every day, so if we just stop the animal-raising practices, and if we don’t feed all the corn and all the cereals and vegetables to the animals, all the food that we produce right now could feed two-billion people already.
Reducing the Use of Pesticides and Fertilizers
[Organic farming] is even good for animals, all beings on this planet, including even trees and land, in part because it does not use chemical fertilizer or pesticides, many of which are considered by the United States Environment Protection Agency and the European Union to be potentially cancer-causing and also depleting of our bees’ colonies and killing many others animals that we cannot even all name here.
One of the US studies indicate that if the United States’ eight-million acres of produce farms went organic, then the risk of consuming dietary pesticides would be reduced by 97%. Can you imagine? Chemical fertilizer and pesticide runoff are also known to contribute to the ocean dead zones. We are killing our planet by pesticides and chemical fertilizer. 116
Over five-billion pounds of pesticides are used throughout the world each year! And only about 10%—10%—of these chemicals even reach the areas where they are intended for. So the rest goes into the air and water where they have been linked to everything from cancer of humans and animals to oceanic dead zones.
In Europe, one pesticide was found to be the reason for billions of bees dying across the continent, while others are known to make the eggshells of birds become thinner, resulting in the death of their babies because the shells crack and break before the baby is ready to be born.117
And furthermore, organic produce is free of genetically modified organisms, and its nutrient content is actually higher than that of conventionally grown fruit and vegetables.
Improving the Environment and Soil
If all people, all the farmers and all the arable land on our planet turn into [organic] vegan farming methods, then immediately, 40% of the CO2 will be absorbed by the farming methods alone already.118
To switch to organic farming will restore the health of the soil which has been depleted by conventional growing practices. The topsoil stays and proves better at withstanding floods and hurricanes. Wildlife and ecosystems also win. According to the largest study done on organic farming in the UK, compared to conventional farms, organic farms contained 85% more plant species, with 71% taller and thicker hedges, and a healthy return of native animals across the species.119
Furthermore, organic, vegan farming will halt the runoff of chemical fertilizers that have created monstrous dead zones in the ocean.
Saving Energy and Resources
Organic, vegan farming is productive, saving 37% more energy and even more water than conventional farming methods.120
Saving Money for Governments
The cost of subsidizing organic vegetable farming is very small compared to the subsidies needed to keep the animal farms afloat, meaning just to keep them from losing money and going bankrupt.
Organic, vegan farming can save governments a lot, a lot of money, 80% of it.121
Imagine all the tax money coming back to us or going toward building something better; for example, the cost of trying to mitigate a significant portion of the greenhouse gases.
Profitability for Farmers
A study on small farmers in Latin America who switched to organic vegetable farming found that they earned higher revenues than before.122 According to respected Dutch scientists, tens of trillions of US dollars can be saved by world governments if all the world becomes vegan.123
We have also multiple studies in the United States, India and New Zealand. They all have confirmed this, that some of the reasons for the greater profits are that the production costs are lower than conventional farming.
There are more crop varieties that could be rotated, such as corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Also, the organic system is naturally more resistant to drought than conventional farm systems.
Improving Food Safety and Health
Finally, we all benefit from better health because [organic food is] free of toxins and abundant in nutrients, without the genetic modification and cancer-causing pesticides. In contrast to animal products, which are known to cause cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, etc., organically farmed fruits and vegetables contain abundant nutrients that help us to avoid all these modern conditions. Surely organic, vegan food is the only food we should feel safe, and would feel safe and will feel safe. In fact, we will feel the safest food to give to our children, the best food to give to our children.
[Organic food’s] nutrient content is actually higher than that of conventionally grown fruit and vegetables. It is for these reasons that we in our group use as much organic produce as much as possible.
Home-grown organic fruit harvested by a child gardener.
Help Meat-Industry Workers Make the Transition to New Jobs
Tell [workers in the meat industry] to do some other job, give them some other new jobs to do and explain to them the benefits of a new life, which is full of health, full of vigor, and peace, love and happiness. Everyone would look forward to that. At least they would try. And then once they try, they know it works. And if everybody else is trying it, their neighbors are trying it, their friends are trying it, then there is a supporting energy, and the whole world will change.
Not breeding [animals] anymore, not to talk about killing them, we have to stop all that. To save the planet, they can do it by stop raising livestock, stop breeding animals and stop butchering them for a living. They will understand if the government really uses their power to explain to them and giving them some other alternatives to live on. Give them the explanation, the subsidies they need, the alternative jobs, or the alternative choice. We have choices.
I suggest that all the [meat industry farmers] keep their pigs or cows as pets. I think we should sterilize them [the animals] so that we don’t continue to breed too many animals, because then we would be in the same position right now, or even worse if they keep multiplying.
Nowadays, there are more and more good opportunities for the farmers, retailers, transporters. They just do the same; instead of transporting pigs, they transport organic vegetables, etc. Or the farmer retailers, they could switch from the meat business to organic vegetable farming.