Our Diet: Leading to a Sustainable Future or Killing the Planet - Part 7
Written by Aryan Tavakkoli
Created Tuesday, 14 August 2012
Transcript for the following video on changing our diet to save our planet:
And so we come to the reason why many people choose a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle - compassion.
This quote from the North American vegetarian Society sums it up nicely:
“The beginning of ethical vegetarianism is the knowledge that other creatures feel, and that their feelings are very similar to ours. This knowledge encourages me to extend personal awareness to also encompass the suffering of others….…ethical vegetarians oppose not only the killing but the whole assortment of cruelties that go with food-animal raising, transport and killing.”
I have presented several reasons why, in my opinion, it would be better if we were to consume a plant-based diet. The evidence we have indicates that the food choices that are best for our bodies in terms of minimising the risk of many cancers and chronic diseases, are the same food choices that are best for our environment and our planet, and the same food choices that minimise the suffering of billions of animals. When we eat lower on the food chain, we use less resources, there is less water pollution, less deforestation, less soil erosion, less greenhouse gas emissions – in short – we leave a lighter footprint on this planet, for the benefit of ourselves, but more importantly for the benefit of our children, and for the benefit of our planet. For those who have some spiritual understanding, there are also some more esoteric reasons why it would be better if we did not consume the flesh of other beings. Every spiritual Master who has graced this Earth, has taught the same message of ‘ahimsa’ – non-violence. They preached of love, compassion, mercy, especially to those who are weak and defenceless. Remember: “As we do to the least, so we do unto Him”. Are not the lowly animals seen as the ‘least’ on this Earth? And do we not inflict upon them great physical and emotional pain and suffering through our food production systems and our slaughterhouses? I wonder, if Jesus were here today, and if he knew of the miserable existence of factory farmed animals, and of the horrors that go on inside our slaughterhouses, would he partake of their flesh, whilst teaching the message of peace, compassion and mercy that is central to the Christian faith? Indeed, central to any faith
Our religions and spiritual practices teach us to practice Peace. But according to the great leader Mahatma Gandhi, ‘The most violent weapon on Earth is the table fork” Our diet is a violent diet –
Violent – because it involves the infliction of violence and pain on billions upon billions of sentient beings.
Violent – because it is raping our planet
Violent – because it will be one of the major causes of catastrophic climate change if we don’t take urgent action now.
We choose to turn our heads away from the fact that, every time we eat, someone has been killed so that we may live. We choose to ignore the blood on our hands every time we eat our food - choosing rather, to believe that this is a necessary part of our lives. But it’s not necessary. Not at all. And the only reason it continues is because we choose it to be so. Even with animals cared for organically, and according to humane permaculture principles, if their meat is consumed, the final act is still an act of killing. It is the act of killing that is alien to our true nature as higher beings on this planet. The act of killing is an act which lacks compassion. It is an act which does not befit our true nature as human beings. If we are to create a post-carbon future filled with knowledge of nature, of organic farming, of a more natural way of living, then our sense of compassion must be a part of that future, otherwise in the end we will be unsuccessful. We must do away with killing. We must come to understand that if we desire peace and happiness in our own lives, we must cease to create misery and suffering in the lives of other beings.
I would suggest to you, ladies and gentlemen, that PEACE –begins with our plate of food.
I would suggest that if we seek to create an energy of peace amongst humans, we should seek to create an energy of peace, compassion and non-violence in all areas of our own lives, including in our choice of diet.
Because the teachings of the Masters on compassion and love to all beings, including and especially animals, being weaker than Man, should be practised in our daily lives, not just in our places of worship. We can practice compassion in all areas of our lives, including in our choice of diet. We can move towards non-violence in all areas of our lives, including in our choice of diet.
Many Christians believe that adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet is entirely consistent with the Christian faith – some Bible scholars have even written of evidence, taken from the Bible, that Jesus Christ was likely to have been vegetarian. If you are interested in knowing more about this, you can find some very interesting information at www.christianveg.com and www.jesusveg.com
Whether we choose a vegetarian or vegan diet for health reasons, or for environmental reasons, or for compassionate, moral, or spiritual reasons, we would be following in the footsteps of some eminent people throughout history, who chose to do the same – people like…
Sir Isaac Newton.
Irish playwright and Nobel prizewinner for Literature, George Bernard Shaw
Philosopher, physician and Nobel prize-winner for Peace, Dr Albert Schweitzer
Leonardo da Vinci
Inventor Thomas Edison
Russian novelist, philosopher, and pacifist, Leo Tolstoy
Philosopher Rudolf Steiner…
And many present and past spiritual leaders such as…
Indian yogi and holy man, Mahavatar Babaji
Ancient Iranian prophet Zoroaster
And Supreme Master Ching Hai, to name only a few…
….along with countless contemporary famous celebrities who have chosen a vegetarian diet….
These include :
and Bryan Adams amongst many others who have chosen a more compassionate and healthy lifestyle in the form of a plant-based diet.
Dr Aryan practices as a Consultant Physician in Respiratory Medicine in the Hutt Valley, New Zealand. Dr Aryan is also interested in the many-fold and far-reaching effects of our diets, and particularly how our diet affects the environment. She has written and spoken widely about this topic and has presented her talk, Our Diet: Leading to a Sustainable Future or Killing Our Planet? in many venues around New Zealand. She has been interviewed about the link between diet and climate change by both local and national radio and newspapers.
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