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Many many thanks for the following 2, 3, 4 and 20 minute speeches written by Jamie Rivet. Please feel free to use them as opportunities arise to stand up and let a needy world know that their taste for flesh is bad for themselves, their children and all the creatures around them

Note: all the references are at the bottom of the 20 minute speech.

2 minute speech
3 minute speech
4 minute speech
20 minute speech


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Harvesting animals and consuming the planet An environmental essay, by Jamie Rivet

(2min)

September 2009

The fundamentals of a functioning planet are ample clean freshwater, vast intact forests, and an unpolluted atmosphere. We are losing these things. But there is discussion on one simple action that would address most serious environmental problems:stop consuming animal products.

The United Nations: "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. " (2)

Animal agriculture is unequaled in depleting and polluting the Earth's fresh water supply. Producing meat protein requires 15 times more water than the same amount of plant protein. (5)

Meat production not only takes more than its fair share of water- the US EPA confirmed that animal factory farms pollute US waterways more than all industrial sources combined. (7)

UN: "Cattle rearing is also a major source of land and water degradation." (10)

The rain forests of South America are being cleared mainly for grazing land to raise cattle. (12) What is lost? The climate control centre for the world. What is gained? Cheap beef for hamburger fast food chains.

Now look to the sky. The meat industry causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined, according to a 2006 UN report. Meat, dairy, and egg production create massive amounts of nitrous oxide and methane, which are far more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide.

So here we are. We can each make the decision to leave animal products off our plate, and be part of a real solution to the environmental problems we face. By choosing a plant based diet, we are choosing to preserve and respect the life-giving components of the planet: water and soil, trees and air.

============== ============== ==============


Harvesting animals and consuming the planet An environmental essay, by Jamie Rivet

(3min)

September 2009

We need a functioning planet to survive. The fundamentals of a functioning planet are ample clean freshwater, vast intact forests, and an unpolluted atmosphere. We are losing these things. But there is discussion on one simple action that would address most serious environmental problems:stop consuming animal products.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. " (2)

Animal agriculture is unequaled in depleting and polluting the Earth's fresh water supply. Animal flesh as a food choice is terribly inefficient, especially with respect to water. Producing meat protein requires 15 times more water than the same amount of plant protein. (5) Not surprisingly, the biggest water user in the US is the animal farming industry. (6)

Meat production not only takes more than its fair share of water- the US EPA confirmed that animal factory farms pollute US waterways more than all industrial sources combined. (7)

UN FAO: "Cattle rearing is also a major source of land and water degradation." (10) 70% of all agricultural land is used for livestock production through feedcrops (grains and beans) and grazing. Livestock use 30% of the Earth's total land surface. (11)

The rain forests of South America are being cleared mainly for grazing land to raise cattle. (12) What is lost? The climate control centre for the world. What is gained? Cheap beef for hamburger fast food chains.

Now look to the sky. The meat industry causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined, according to a 2006 UN report. Meat, dairy, and egg production create massive amounts of nitrous oxide and methane, which are far more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide.

So here we are. We can each make the decision to leave animal products off our plate, and be part of a real solution to the environmental problems we face. By choosing a plant based diet, we are choosing to preserve and respect the life-giving components of the planet: water and soil, trees and air.

============== ============== ==============


Harvesting animals and consuming the planet An environmental essay, by Jamie Rivet

(4min)

September 2009

We need a functioning planet to survive. The fundamentals of a functioning planet are ample clean freshwater, aerated living soil, vast intact forests, and an unpolluted atmosphere. We are losing these things- they are slipping away and we know it. But there is discussion on one simple action that would address most serious environmental problems:stop consuming animal products.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. " (2) The Union of Concerned Scientists has shown that modern factory farming is simply not sustainable from an environmental perspective. (3) Let's examine how farming animals affects the fundamentals of a functioning planet.

Animal agriculture is unequaled in depleting and polluting the Earth's fresh water supply. Animal flesh as a food choice is terribly inefficient, especially with respect to water. Producing meat protein requires 15 times more water than the same amount of plant protein. (5) Not surprisingly, the biggest water user in the US is the animal farming industry. (6)

Meat production not only takes more than its fair share of water- the US Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that animal factory farms pollute US waterways more than all industrial sources combined. (7) During any period of time, the entire US population of farm animals produces 130 times more waste from excrement than the human population of the country. (8)

UN FAO: "Cattle rearing is also a major source of land and water degradation." (10) 70% of all agricultural land is used for livestock production through feedcrops (grains and beans) and grazing. Livestock use 30% of the Earth's total land surface. (11)

The rain forests of South America are being cleared mainly for grazing land to raise cattle. (12) What is lost? The climate control centre for the world, wildlife and biodiversity, and the very ground needed to sustain life- in many places around the world, the leading cause of soil erosion is animal agriculture. Deforestation and overgrazing remove barriers to erosion. (13) What is gained? Cheap beef for hamburger fast food chains.

2.9 million acres of rain forest were destroyed over 2004 for the sole purpose of growing animal feed crops. (14) Millions of wild animals were destroyed in this assault on nature- collateral damage.

Now look to the sky. The meat industry causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined, according to a 2006 United Nations report. Meat, dairy, and egg production create massive amounts of nitrous oxide and methane, which are far more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide.

So here we are. We can each make the decision to leave animal products off our plate, and be part of a real solution to the environmental problems we face. By choosing a plant based diet, we are choosing to preserve and respect the life-giving components of the planet: water and soil, trees and air.

============== ============== ==============


Harvesting animals and consuming the planet An environmental essay, by Jamie Rivet

(20min)

September 2009

Water and soil, trees and air: when water becomes scarce in a region, people become acutely aware of its irreplaceable role in allowing and preserving life. Rich soil, alive with micro-organisms thriving in organic matter, is the base layer for plant life on which every animal depends, either directly or indirectly. Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis, and play a key role in the hydrological cycle through the process of transpiration. Trees root soil in place, preventing erosion- the loss of arable land. Air, unpolluted and composed of certain ratios of key gases, is not only necessary for breathing- air regulates climate by controlling how the sun's energy enters and exits our atmosphere. Water and soil, trees and air... These are the four most basic and essential earthly components that all animal life, human and non-human, depend on for survival.

Efforts toward preserving the environment are normally done within the context of its connection to animal life. An exercise in environmental protection is flawed whenever abstracted from the countless life forms which depend on the area's resources and services. A tree is valuable because, as part of an ecosystem, it supports life. A tree is alive but not sentient. A tree has aesthetic qualities, but these are not essential for an animal's survival. So let's consider the environment from a utilitarian perspective, the only way that makes sense.

We need a functioning planet to survive. The fundamentals of a functioning planet are ample clean freshwater and oceans teeming with diverse aquatic species and plant life, aerated living soil, vast intact forests, and an unpolluted atmosphere. We are losing these things- they are slipping away and we know it. People recycle cans and bottles, some even live car-free. While such steps are part of the solution, it is too little, too late. But there is discussion on one simple action that would address most serious environmental problems, one easy step everyone can take to turn things around: stop consuming animal products. The upshot of this action is many: we respect the planet's life-giving components, improve human health, and halt needless violence to animals. 151 million land animals are killed every day because people choose to eat them- that is 55 billion animals per year (1). The effect of consuming animal products on human health is painfully clear: heart disease, cancer, and obesity- the biggest killers humans face. The violent nature of factory farms is also obvious. Animals on factory farms are born into hell- confined, abused, and treated with such lack of respect and consideration that animal cruelty charges would be laid if these creatures were anyone's pets. The norm for factory farms is apathy. But what is the connection between the planet's health and animals used for food?

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): "Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems. " (2) The Union of Concerned Scientists has shown that modern factory farming is simply not sustainable from an environmental perspective. (3) Let's examine how farming animals affects the fundamentals of a functioning planet.

Only 100 years ago water was considered an infinite resource, but now is the cause for alarm around the globe. Los Angeles is now planning a "toilet to tap" operation- the city will treat waste water and return it to the municipal system as drinking water. Many other cities around the world will use the same recycling strategy. This is the future. (4)

Animal agriculture is unequaled in depleting and polluting the Earth's fresh water supply. Animal flesh as a food choice is terribly inefficient, and this is especially true with respect to water, since producing meat protein requires 15 times more water than the same amount of plant protein. (5) In fact, a vegan could leave his or her shower running 24 hours/day, for 365 days, and at the end of the year the vegan would have used less water than a meat eater, all other things being equal. Not surprisingly, the biggest water user in the US is the animal farming industry. (6)

Meat production not only takes more than its fair share of water- the US Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that animal factory farms pollute US waterways more than all industrial sources combined. (7) During any period of time, the entire US population of farm animals produces 130 times more waste from excrement than the human population of the country. (8) While humans have waste treatment systems, no such thing exists in animal agriculture. Given this reality, it is easy to see why our waterways become contaminated with run-off from intensive animal confinement operations, run-off containing antibiotics and hormones. Moreover, there is the significant source of pollution "upstream" that comes from the fertilizer and pesticides used to spray feed crops.

While on the topic of water, there is the problem of fish consumption. Fish are not a responsible food choice for the environment. Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society notes that by year 2048 every fishery in the world will be in a state of crisis and no longer commercially viable, the result of overfishing. Our oceans are dying. And once the oceans die, the rest of the planet will not survive. Paul Watson said that you cannot be an environmentalist if you are not at least a vegetarian. In fact, all of the Sea Shepherd crew are strictly vegan. For Captain Watson, this is primarily an environmental decision. (9)

Let's step back on land. UN FAO: "Cattle rearing is also a major source of land and water degradation." (10) 70% of all agricultural land is used for livestock production through feedcrops (grains and beans) and grazing. Livestock use 30% of the Earth's total land surface. (11)

The rain forests of South America are being cleared mainly for grazing land to raise cattle. (12) What is lost? The climate control centre for the world, wildlife and biodiversity, and the very ground needed to sustain life- in many places around the world, the leading cause of soil erosion is animal agriculture. Deforestation and overgrazing remove barriers to erosion. (13) Deforestation for livestock grazing or feedcrop production exposes soil to wind and rain. In addition, grazing creates soil compaction. After erosion comes desertification. What is gained? Cheap beef for hamburger fast food chains. Cheap burgers in exchange for the planet's life force.

2.9 million acres of rain forest were destroyed over 2004 for the sole purpose of growing animal feed crops. (14) Millions of wild animals were destroyed in this assault on nature- collateral damage. Land that was previously a vital ecosystem is now used to grow grain and feed farm animals like chickens. Most of the grains and beans grown in the US, especially crops like corn and soy, are grown to supply factory farms.

There is also the matter of ethics in land use with respect to world hunger when considering growing crops to ultimately produce animal flesh for human consumption. Growing plants to raise meat animals is inefficient compared to feeding the grains and beans directly to humans, and this inefficiency ranges from a factor of 10 to 20. (15) So, if meat was bypassed, the crops intended for animals would feed 10 to 20 times more people. This should be important to anyone concerned with the 40,000 people who starve to death everyday. Many nations that face chronic starvation, such as Ethiopia, could easily feed their population, but due to greed and misguided priorities these places use land to grow feed crops and satisfy the taste of meat eaters in wealthy nations.

Now look to the sky. The meat industry causes more greenhouse gas emissions than all forms of transportation combined, according to a 2006 United Nations report on the environment, entitled "Livestock's Long Shadow- Environmental Issues and Options". Meat, dairy, and egg production create massive amounts of nitrous oxide and methane, which are far more powerful greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide. So for those concerned about the ratio of gases in the atmosphere and global warming, omitting animal products from your diet is the best choice you can make.

There are also excessive energy requirements at the farm level in producing meat. Since meat takes far more land to feed any given number of people compared to an animal-free system (or far more crop turnovers on the same land), the energy needed to grow and harvest grains is significantly greater. And the inefficiencies don't end there. Meat production uses even more energy to run factory farms that confine animals, and to run slaughterhouses. The economics of energy use for meat are not sound when compared to food production for herbivores.

Then there is the packaging problem of meat. Because of the increased health risks of bacterial contamination, meat comes packed in heavy Styrofoam and plastic wrapping. Food experts are now warning meat eaters to avoid reusable cloth bags because the leaking blood and fluids from the meat will contaminate the cloth and pose a danger to the shopper. (16) Given that the world is trying to end its use of plastic bags, meat presents another environmental hurdle. So meat is not green- not at any of its stages.

While this is not a discussion on the nature of factory farms and animal cruelty, we each have to question society's use of animals for food. From the moment of birth, animals on factory farms live in a state of torture and abuse. Never are they able to express natural behavior, enjoy the company of family, or live free from fear and stress. They are fundamentally denied the right to live their life and to live it in peace. Pythagoras said "As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love." (17) There are many superb resources available specific to the treatment of farm animals, and everyone has an obligation to explore this issue and learn how we have enslaved and abused much of the animal kingdom. But consider finally the topic of animal food products and human health.

It is proven that vegans live longer and are healthier than those who consume meat, dairy, and eggs. (18) Animal products are high in saturated fats, growth hormones and chemicals, and also certain proteins and compounds irrefutably linked to cancer and other disease. (19) Yet meat, dairy, and egg are exceptionally low in fiber, nutrients, and compounds beneficial to health. Meat has none of the powerful disease fighting phytonutrients found in plants. When one thinks of healthy food, choices that should come to mind are leafy greens and colourful root vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, and seeds and nuts. The American Dietetic Association now supports a vegan diet for all stages of life, and states that such a diet promotes health and combats disease. (20) Those who consider steak or chicken as healthy options are proof of the success of well funded advertising campaigns by powerful industries with influential lobbies.

So here we are. We can continue as a society to enslave animals and use them for food. But this will destroy the planet, and this will destroy our health. Or we can end our dependence on animals for food and choose instead to protect the planet at every meal. We can begin a peaceful relationship with animals and the Earth. Each one of us has a choice. We can each make the decision to leave animal products off our plate, and be part of a real solution to the environmental problems we face. By choosing a plant based diet, we are choosing to preserve and respect the life-giving components of the planet: water and soil, trees and air.

References

1. Farm Animal Rights Movement. World Farm Animals Day. http://www.wfad.org/ Accessed Aug. 28, 2009.
2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Livestock's Long Shadow- Environmental Issues and Options. Rome. 2006.
3. Union of Concerned Scientists. The Hidden Cost of CAFOs. Issue briefing. September 2008.
4. The New York Times. US. Los Angeles Eyes Sewage as a Source of Water. May 16, 2008.
5. John Robbins. Diet for a New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness, and the Future of Life on Earth. Starseed Press. April 1998.
6. John Robbins. The Food Revolution. How your diet can help save your life and our world. Red Wheel/ Weiser. January 2001.
7. PETA. Meat and the Environment. http://www.goveg.com/environment-pollution.asp Accessed August, 2009.
8. World Watch Institute. Fire Up the Grill for a Mouthwatering Red, White, and Green July 4th. July 2, 2003.
9. Paul Watson speaking at a Sea Shepherd benefit. Video: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=200864185555 Toronto, Canada. June 11, 2009.
10. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Livestock's Long Shadow- Environmental Issues and Options. Rome. 2006.
11. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Livestock's Long Shadow- Environmental Issues and Options. Rome. 2006.
12. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Livestock's Long Shadow- Environmental Issues and Options. Rome. 2006.
13. Sophie Boukhari. UNESCO. Soils in Torment. http://www.unesco.org/courier/1999_01/uk/planete/txt1.htm Accessed September, 2009.
14. Greenpeace. Eating up the Amazon. April 2006.
15. Robert Goodland. The Westernization of Diets: The Assessment of Impacts in Developing Countries. Global Hunger Alliance. 2001.
16. Denise Ryan. Vancouver Sun. Soiled, reusable shopping bags pose health risk: Study. May 20, 2009.
17. - attributed by Ovid.
18. T. Colin Campbell, PhD. The China Study. BenBella Books. January, 2005.
19. T. Colin Campbell, PhD. The China Study. BenBella Books. January, 2005.
20. American Dietetic Association. Vegetarian Diets. Volume 109, Issue 7. July 2009.

============== ============== ==============

      Many many thanks for the following speech "The Missing Piece from World Peace" by Dr. Aryan Tavakkoli Please feel free to use this speech as often as you have an opportunity

The Missing Piece from World Peace
Dr. Aryan Tavakkoli FRACP
3rd October 2009

      On Friday 2nd October, on the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, the World Peace March took place in Wellington City, New Zealand - the start of a massive international march in aid of World Peace and Non Violence, spanning 90 countries over 90 days. The march was well organized and impressive. The deputy Mayor of Wellington City, government officials, Maori community leaders and different organizations all lent their voice and support to the noble cause of World Peace. Overall, it was heart warming to see so many come together, united in their vision of a better world.
      But there was something missing. Something rather important it seems. Mahatma Gandhi was renowned for his strong stance against any form of violence. He was quoted several times during the day, but the very quote which for me epitomises one of the basic foundations upon which the life of this great leader was built, was never uttered. These unspoken words were probably the most relevant that could have been expressed in the entire day. Mahatma Gandhi said:

"The most violent weapon on Earth is the table fork."

      October 2nd marked the start of the march for World Peace and Non Violence. Interesting, that the very issue that Gandhi believed to be causing the greatest violence on Earth, was totally passed by. The sad fact, is that many of the noble-hearted peace warriors (as the walkers were later referred to by the Topp Twins), had bloodstains on their hands. Most, almost without a second thought, allow the most horrendous acts of cruelty to be performed in their name, every single day. Because every day, we commit acts of violence against animals and every day we commit acts of violence against nature - through our diet.
      By choosing to eat meat, we give our support to practices which cause untold trauma to millions of animals who suffer emotionally and physically through our 'food' production systems and slaughterhouses. We give our support to the greatest polluter and the greatest destroyer of our forests, rivers, oceans and air, thus committing an act violence against our environment.

Our diet is a violent diet.

Violent, because it involves the infliction of violence and pain upon billions of sentient beings.
Violent, because it is raping our planet.
Violent, because it is one of the major contributors to environmental devastation and climate change.

      How can it be that we have the capacity to show tremendous love and compassion towards our pet dogs and cats, yet we have allowed ourselves to become totally disconnected, and therefore be party to immense cruelty, towards other intelligent and sensitive animals - by assuming the right to kill them and eat them?

      How can it be that we voice concern about peace with our mouths, yet our hands are stained with the blood of those we kill and maim (or have others kill and maim in our name) every day? What kind of 'peace' is this, that we are exemplifying in our daily lives?
      How did this paradox arise? Why did it arise, amongst those of us who consider ourselves peacemakers? Is peace meant for humans alone? Perhaps George Bernard Shaw summed it up best in his poem 'Song of Peace', when he wrote:

". . .If thus we treat
Defenceless animals for sport or gain,
How can we hope in this world to attain
The PEACE we say we are so anxious for?
We pray for it, o'er hecatombs of slain,
To God, while outraging the moral law,
Thus cruelty begets its offspring - War."

      A true man of peace rejects violence in any shape or form, regardless of who is on the receiving end.
      Mahatma Gandhi was vegetarian. He was vegetarian because he was a true man of peace. Gandhi knew that the table fork was a weapon of mass destruction if ever there was one. I believe if he were alive today, Mahatma Gandhi would make his message known to the world: Mankind will never achieve world peace as long as we continue to take the lives of other living beings. I believe Mahatma Gandhi would have said: if you want world peace, choose peace in all areas of your own personal lives, including in your choice of diet. Stop killing animals. Stop eating animals. The act of killing does not befit peace warriors. Embrace Peace in all areas of your own life, and you will see Peace manifest around you until eventually World Peace becomes a reality.
      If he were alive today, I believe that Mahatma Gandhi would have re-iterated that famous phrase which symbolises the greatest barrier to peace, and which should have been at the forefront of the World Peace March movement:

"The most violent weapon on Earth is the table fork."

      Dr Aryan Tavakkoli practises as a physician in Wellington, New Zealand. A vegan, she has written and spoken widely about the benefits of a plant-based diet. For more information: nonviolenceunited.org/veganvideo

































 






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