Earth Day April 22, 2016
Environmental and Ecosystem Health
Our ecosystems are greatly affected by what we eat. Up to 80 percent of the grains and 50 percent of the fish are used to grow the billions of enslaved animals enough so they can be slaughtered. The estimates are that the amount of land, grain, water, and pollution involved to feed one human on a meat-based diet could feed fifteen on a plant-based diet.
About 6,000 square miles of land are cleared every year to grow livestock—that’s about 10,000 acres a day. It is just overwhelming what we are doing. We have reduced the average topsoil of about 20 inches to 6 inches. As described clearly in Topsoil and Civilization, no civilization has survived that has destroyed its topsoil.
Our streams are degraded by the tremendous amount of pollution that is produced by animal farms. As a result, 85 percent of U.S. freshwater resources are used up to produce animal foods. As pointed out in Conscious Eating, the average meat eater uses approximately 4,500 gallons of water per day, versus approximately 300 gallons of water for one living on a plant-source only diet. One pound of California beef requires 5,200 gallons of water. Each pound of lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, and corn requires 24 gallons.
The Use of Pesticides and Herbicides
According to World Watch Institute, about 1,000 agricultural pests are now immune to pesticides.Yet our shadow doesn’t allow us to go back to the obvious solution, organic farming. At the Tree of Life Center US we have worked out ways for a farmer to make a conversion to organic in one season’s time with the use of micro-organisms. For topsoil to regenerate one inch naturally takes about 500 years. Our society’s agriculture practice of growing grains primarily to feed animals creates an eroding of the soil at about thirty times the rate it takes to regrow one inch. Some 2 million acres are lost every year, and even more become depleted in minerals and nutrients. At the Tree of Life Center US we have worked out a veganic organic farming system that actually adds minerals and rejuvenates the soil.We also have a veganic farming apprenticeship because it is so important these teachings get spread throughout the world. Vegan, organic agriculture is sustainable, while intensive commercial agriculture with pesticides and herbicides is not.
The world is concerned right now about the use of petroleum. The energy ratio of petroleum input is twenty-two to twenty-seven times higher for one calorie of animal-based food than for plant food.We get upset because people are using SUVs; that’s a ratio of 3:1 waste.When we look at the petroleum waste generated for chicken, fish, eggs, meat, and dairy products, the wastage ratio is 27:1! The shadow doesn’t let us see this.
According to the U.S. Senate, the excretion waste from the animals on all these farms is 130 times greater than all the human waste in this country. This is important because the waste of these animals is far more toxic because of the misery, the violence, and their emotional state, not to mention the high bacteria, chemical, drug residues, and hormones that are in the excretory waste. One large pig factory creates more sewage than New York City! The enormity of this is amazing.New statistics suggest that 2.5 acres of land can meet the food energy needs of 25 people eating corn and cabbage, 15 people eating wheat, 2 people eating chicken or dairy products, and 1 person eating beef. These general statistics are available in a variety of books.
It is clear that not only does a plant-based diet increase our spiritual vibration rate and evolvement, and help our health significantly, but it would significantly reduce pollution of the earth and the waste of energy in a potentially energy-depleted society. We would reduce petroleum usage, decrease the amount of hydrocarbon and carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming, and, because of better health, save literally billions of dollars a year in medical, drug, and insurance expenses. The level of ignorance and denial about what is needed to sustain an animal-based diet, including dairy, eggs, and fish, is alarming. Letting go of an animal-based diet and shifting to a plant-source-only diet,we would significantly diminish the progressive extinction of species, rainforest destruction, air and water pollution, loss of water resources (50 to 85 percent of our water is lost or affected in some way by the animal industries), global warming, and dependence on foreign oil. We would also reduce disease, topsoil loss, drought, and forest fires, and reverse the rapid increase in desertification. It would also transition our consciousness more toward unity consciousness rather than egoic consciousness, and therefore decrease the need for war and terrorism.
A flesh-based diet is directly linked to the destruction of species and the ecology, violence such as war and terrorism, and separation consciousness. A flesh-based diet creates a hoarding of resources on every level, which increases the chaos and destruction in the world. A flesh-based diet is the diet of the Culture of Death; it feeds the ego of separation.
What we are basically looking at is our belief system of the Culture of Death, which is that we are egoic predators who can only feel better by enslaving or eating others from cannibalism to eggs and dairy. Our cultural belief system is very much affected by our daily practices. In the Culture of Life and Liberation, our meals are a celebration of peace. With a plant-based diet, we create a shift in the cultural consciousness toward peace. As Albert Schweitzer put it:
We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which
we treat the animals. . . . It is our duty to make the whole world
Once we understand this ourselves, our work is first to live this consciousness, because we cannot share it without living it.When we live it and share it, we naturally begin moving away from the self-concept that we are ruthless predators. Significant research has shown the bonobos (a chimpanzee-ape-like species) are very peaceful, open, loving apes, whose diet is almost totally plant-based. The chimpanzee diet is also primarily plant-based. According to Robert Leakey, one of the most respected anthropologists in the world, the human diet was also primarily plant-based.
Recent findings of human skeletons of 3.2 million years ago support Dr. Leakey’s position that the ancient humans were primarily plant-source only. This information allows us to let go of our cultural myth that we are bloodthirsty beings who only know about domination, killing, and eating our kill. It means giving up the herding Culture of Death for one that is of gentleness, love, compassion, and respect for all of creation.
As almost all the teachings of all the traditions tell us,we cannot truly create happiness for ourselves if we sow seeds of misery for others. Some of the spiritual leaders who do not support killing of animals obviously include the Jewish-Essene-Kabbalist tradition’s great prophets like Isaiah, Hosea, and Jeremiah, and St. Jerome, Clement, Tertulian, St. John Chrysostom, St. Benedict, and St. Francis in the Christian tradition.
Conscious Eating also documents that there were the Christian vegetarian teachers of the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, such as John Wesley (founder of Methodism), William Metcalf (a Christian minister who wrote the first book on vegetarianism), Ellen G.White (founder of the Seventh Day Adventist Church), and Charles and Myrtle Fillmore (cofounders of Unity Church). Other vegetarian traditions include the Jain, the Sikh, Bahai, Catholic monastic traditions such as the Cistercians and Trappists, and the Greek Orthodox, who incidentally practice being vegan for 320 days of the year. In Zen tradition, the practice is called shojin, or religious abstention from food, and ahimsa, compassion. One Native American female shaman, before whom the White Buffalo Woman appeared, and who shared the essential tradition that she brought to the Western Plains Indians, explained that Native American tradition was to eat a plant-source-only cuisine, except during times such as winter when there is no other food available. Some research by Native Americans suggests that up to 60 percent of the Native Americans naturally ate a plant-source only diet; they were primarily growers and gatherers, not hunters.
The teachings of the major religions support the spiritual and ultimately the cultural transformation that is associated with a plant-source-only cuisine, as this diet is an expression of a consciousness of oneness. When we reach this level war will be obsolete. Compassion, sharing a tribal understanding of our oneness, and uplifting each other will be more the paradigm of the Culture of Life and Liberation.
Yet we continue with our belief systems. As Voltaire put it,“If we believe in absurdities,we will commit atrocities.”That is really what we are talking about, and that is really what is going on today. We pass those absurdities and atrocities from generation to generation. When we change our daily food way of life to one that reflects the consciousness of compassion, we obviously also change our personal lives and our culture in a direction that will bring peace. As St. Francis of Assisi put it:
If we have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the
shelter of compassion and pity, then they will deal likewise with
their fellow men.
It is a very straightforward connection. We need to see through our herding culture paradigm and our self-concept that we are violent predators. We are beings of peace.We always have been. Our essential nature is noncausal joy, noncausal peace, noncausal compassion, and noncausal contentment. This is something we discover when we touch in on the inner essence of who we are.
In essence, this way of life comes from knowing our oneness, manifested as compassion, manifested as a plant-source-only cuisine that helps to create a field of peace, love, and a sense of interconnectedness—otherwise known as world peace. The Culture of Life and Liberation manifests as a field of peace. Thoreau wrote:
I have no doubt it is part of the destiny of the human race in its gradual
improvement, to leave off eating animals as surely as the savage
tribes have left off eating each other when they came in contact with
the more civilized.
We are talking about becoming more civilized. That is what we are talking about. That will bring peace. It means letting go of oppression, gender inequality,violence, competition, and slavery, and moving toward cooperation, love, peace, and harmony. In essence, understanding our seed,which is our DNA frequency within all creation by the name of God, we then begin to plant these seeds consciously in all our actions. And from that comes world peace.
The bottom line is we can talk about this theoretically, but in fact we are what we eat, and every culture knows this. A plant-source-only way of life is a way of life that needs to be lived and not talked about.We must walk our talk.
We may hear something like, “Well, it is okay for you to live a plant-source-only way of life, but don’t tell me what to do.” This classical statement of the Culture of Death consciousness is in denial that our actions affect each other profoundly. A flesh-centered diet pollutes the rivers and lakes so we cannot swim or enjoy the beauty of nature. Our air and groundwater become polluted, which chokes off the four elements of air, earth, water, and sun (fire), needed to maintain viable life for all of creation. This air, earth, and water pollution poisons all of life, producing genetic mutations and the elimination of 1,000 species per year.
Money is taken from us through taxes to support ranchers, dairies, factory farming, feedlot operations, and predator-control operations. The forests that give beauty, maintain the soil, and support soil regeneration end up being destroyed to create room for livestock. Everything costs more, too, beyond the prices we see stamped on the meat in the grocery store. Our taxes support subsidizing animal agriculture.Medical insurance rates rise because flesh-eating employees have more chronic disease and weaker health. In Israel, there was an attempt to pass a bill that incentivized people to go vegetarian because a meat-based diet was costing approximately $35 billion a year in heart disease treatment. The bill did not pass, unfortunately, but its existence shows that even governments are beginning to understand this connection. So,when we talk about heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, diabetes, and obesity, we see that a meat based diet greatly increases the health care costs shared by everyone. Our actions, on all levels, including our dietary choices, affect our human, animal, and plant neighbors now and in succeeding generations. Native Americans express this clearly when they share with the rest of the world, “OH MITAKUYE OYASIN”—To all my relations, which includes the rock people, plant and animal beings, and human beings.
We would have better health, decreased demand for petroleum, and reduced use of antibiotic drugs and chemical resources because there would be less disease, restoration of millions of acres of land that would be available for agriculture, greater inner peace, and an elevation of spirit— this is very powerful for us to consider.
Where does the healing start? It starts in understanding we are one resonating DNA field. In that sense we have never been separate. It means rising above the egoic ideas of separation and our illusion that we are separate and therefore free to abuse animals and humans. Once we see that our role in life includes acting compassionately, to evolve spiritually, and to be a blessing to the whole world, peace with the body supported by eating a plant-source-only diet creates harmony on every level in the world. It is the expression of the inner truth of our oneness, of our resonating DNA. The love that comes from this understanding then brings compassion for all sentient beings. A plant-source-only cuisine is expression of our sense of interconnectedness and is the diet best suited for creating peace with the body and our world.
When enough people have shifted to a plant-source-only way of life, then we will have created the preconditions for the Messianic Age because we will have created the preconditions of peace.