Chapter 2. Warning Signs to Awaken Humanity > Tackle the Root Problem Now
III. Tackle the Root Problem Now
Stop the Greatest Contributor to Our Environmental Crisis
“Livestock are one of the most significant contributors
to today’s most serious environmental problems.
Urgent action is required to remedy the situation.” 59
—Dr. Henning Steinfeld, Chief of Livestock Information and Policy Branch, FAO, UN.
“Livestock is the main driver of deforestation.
Livestock is the largest single source of water pollution.
Livestock produces more greenhouse gases than all
worldwide transportation combined.”
—Livestock’s Long Shadow
Stop blaming the CO2 for every problem of global warming on our planet. We are to be blamed. The meat industry is to be blamed. The meat industry is the one we have to focus on to stop, to abolish. To stop the climate change and to stop the waste of the forests and land, stop talking around the subject. Talk to the point: Meat industry must stop.
The smartest way would be to stop the worsening of global warming by being vegan. It sounds very simple but it is the best solution, the most effective, and the effect of it will be felt almost immediately. Without this main, most time-effective change, no matter what we try to do, it won’t be enough to repel the worst consequences that we have accumulated.
Moreover, the problems we already face now—such as the warming atmosphere, water shortage, food scarcity, and desertification—we can quickly eliminate by stopping meat production. Stop it now, no further!
“Don’t eat meat. This is something that the IPCC was
afraid to say earlier, but now we have said it: Please eat
less meat—meat is a very carbon intensive commodity.” 60
—Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri
The Root Problem is a Spiritual One
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase
chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the
evolution to a vegetarian diet.” 61
As I have mentioned before, we have to tackle the root of the problem. The root of the problem is the cause of global warming, and that root is our unkindness to our co-inhabitants.
Every action provokes a reaction, and this is very scientific.
You see, if we sow an apple seed, we will get an apple tree and from that apple tree, after a while it will bear apple fruits for us. This is a circle of life. If we kill, we cannot expect life from it. Every action bears the same fruits afterwards. It’s not religious speaking; it is scientific.
So, now, the root of our problem is that we have been unkind to our co-¬inhabitants: the living, feeling, walking, acting, loving beings, like animals, of all size and shapes. And we have also been unkind to our environment. So, we have been massacring our co-inhabitant animals, and we have been destroying our environment, like deforesting and destroying the water and destroying the air. From all this, we cannot expect a better outcome.
These mournful cries, the utter misery and pain of these suffering animals that live in filth, oppressed, in the torturous confines of tight cages, and live in darkness every day, never seeing the sunlight again, and also the extreme agony before and after being killed, have shaken Heaven and Earth.
Therefore, the natural disasters, droughts are to wash away the evil deeds of humankind and serve as a warning, as well as to advise humans to change for the better so that the future would be bright, happy, and there won’t be suffering, similar to that of the animals.
“What you sow, so shall you reap.” Any holy book teaches us to be like that, so humankind needs to wake up; otherwise, we will have to bear the consequences.
So, in order to solve the problem that we are facing right now, we have to reverse our actions. We have to be kind to our co-inhabitants. Instead of killing them, massacring them, sacrificing them, we have to take care of them, have to be kind to them, look after them. And instead of deforestation, we have to plant trees again. Take care of whatever environment that we have. And instead of polluting our planet, the air, we have to turn to friendly energy and sustainable energy. Just reverse our actions.
We should be in coordination with the universal energy, the loving law of nature. If humanity does not respect other forms of life, then the life of humans will also be in peril, because we are all interconnected.
We all depend on each other to survive, down to the little worm that makes our land arable. But if people turn away from killing, and choose the animal-free lifestyle, they will harvest from the seeds of peace and kindness.
We pray that enough people do so, and quickly, as we are running out of time.
Return to Our Loving Selves and Save the Planet
We must understand that natural disasters are the consequence of the negative energy in our atmosphere. And this negative energy in our atmosphere is created by our feelings, our thoughts, and actions of either hatred, violence, and of killing so many humans’ and innocent animals’ lives. If we don’t change our disaster-breeding, provoking way, then disasters will never end.
We must change our pattern of thinking and lifestyle to a higher and more compassionate and nobler level. We must return to our true, loving selves by cherishing and protecting all lives, starting with an immediate vegan diet to save our planet, which is precious and beautiful. Vegan, vegetarian is the best and fastest solution.
Being veg is beneficial for any kind of spiritual advancement. In fact, all the wise, ancient teachings of sages since time immemorial have highlighted the importance of a benevolent plant-based diet. It is a fundamental requirement of a spiritual practitioner.
The concept behind forgoing animal products is ahimsa—meaning nonviolence. By partaking of a vegan diet, we also avoid the bad retribution of killing and thus it will not burden and obstruct our spiritual journey.
Being vegan simply means that we protect all the animals. This killing of other beings must be stopped for humanity to evolve as a civilization. The benefits of doing so are manifold. Besides the restoration of health, biodiversity will be allowed to thrive, planet equilibrium restored, along with the easing of our own conscience and our capacity for elevated consciousness.
All these are the fruits of a more compassionate diet. This loving attitude also creates a more peaceful atmosphere that brings greater comfort to all beings. At peace with ourselves in the knowledge that we did not cause anguish or pain to our fellow animal brethren, we will have the inner tranquility to pursue our spiritual endeavors wholeheartedly.
And on a bigger scale, our planet will also be healed. Just like an individual being healed by turning to a compassionate diet—like attracts like. The good, loving, compassionate energy will ward off the darkness that is looming toward us, that is next to us right now.
We will, in short, have a paradise on Earth.
Please Wake Up!
by Supreme Master Ching Hai
O, world, wake up and behold
Rivers and mountains are in tumult
Burnt forests, eroded hills, desiccated streams
Whither do the poor souls go in the end of all dreams?
O great Earth, lessened be your agony
For these tears to wane with the persistent night.
O seas and lakes, cease not your melodies
Allowing hope for a morrow among humanity...
O sentient beings, have respite in the realm beyond
Though you departed without the last utterance.
Let the throbbing of my heart abate
While I await Earthlings’ timely repentance.
O deep forests, preserve your true selves
Protect the human race in their moments of erring.
Please accept my heartfelt thousand teardrops
To nurture your majestic trees, leaves and roots.
O heart, relent your sobbing
For my soul to rest in long nights
Tears dried up and I’m wordless
Weeping in pain for the tormented!
O night, please kindle your source of light
Shine the way for those human souls in darkness
Be serene for my mind to still
And enter emptiness with the miraculous celestial melody.
O day, stir not sudden unrests
For peace to repose in our very hearts
For humankind’s struggles to subside
For the true Self to gloriously shine.
O heart of mine, lament no longer
Like an insect writhing in the chilling winter.
Calmly wait for a perfect tomorrow
And the day the world be adorn with Heavenly Halo.
O, I cry, I plead, I beseech
O, infinite Buddhas, the Gods, the angels
Deliver souls straying from the True Path
Wandering in the endless cycle of suffering hell!
O, brother, wake up at once
Proudly walk on great seas and rivers
Look straight at the flaming sun
And vow sacrifice to save all on Earth!
O, sister, wake up this instant!
Arise from places of devastation
Together let’s renew our planet
For all to sing joyous songs of oneness
For all to sing joyous songs of oneness.