Panorama of Events
People from all Walks of Life Promote Going Veg to Save the Planet
By Formosa News Group (Originally in Chinese)
[Formosa] In Golden Year 7 (2010), people from all walks of life in Formosa have organized many different activities to promote the idea of going veg to cool the Earth as well as to remind the public about the important role the vegan diet has in mitigating global warming. The “Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet” campaign has been sweeping through Formosa since its commencement.
In the media, some famous TV show hosts, in collaboration with Taiwan Public Television, have produced a series of programs entitled, “The Battle to Save the Planet.” The show hosts invite experts to share their thoughts on worldwide natural disasters caused by global warming and to discuss the possible solutions. They call on the public to eat more fruits and vegetables, and less meat to save the Earth.
To help people understand the disadvantages of meat consumption, the President of the Formosa Public Welfare Advertisement Association, Mr. Xu Zhongren, encouraged advertising agencies in Formosa to broadcast a 30-second TV commercial “Eat Less Meat, Save the Earth and Save Taiwan” beginning on April 1. He also asked members of the association to set up “Save Taiwan, Eat Less Meat” posters in their retail outlets. The President Chain Store Corporation, the sub-group of The President Logistics Corporation where Mr. Xu is working, promptly responded in support of his initiative. Since April, all of their stores have begun selling many brands of frozen vegan foods.
Religious groups in Formosa are promoting vegetarianism enthusiastically as well. They have worked together with many restaurants to encourage people to go veg as a way to purify their body, mind and the environment. They also distributed free vegan meals to the public. In response to Master Cheng Yen’s plea of “The Vegetarian Diet Is a Must,” Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital organized a vegetarian prayer event asking people to follow a pure vegetarian diet for the month of July for spiritual purification. Led by the director of the hospital, some 500 participants—including staff, volunteers and patients—joined in the event. Yi Lan Saint Mary’s Medicine, Nursing and Management College called on its students to abstain from meat on Mondays. They also scheduled another meat-free day promoted by the Parish to reach the goal of protecting the Earth as instructed by Pope Benedict XVI.
The NGOs in Formosa have established the platform for “Meatless Monday” and have spread the message through various activities. Now, even the restaurants that serve mainly meat dishes have started to pay attention to “Meatless Monday.” Mr. Xu Xianhong, the President of the Association of Chain and Franchise Promotion, Taiwan, and Mr. Huang Xian Xiang, the President of Xiang Xin International Cuisine Group, attended the meatless day activities. Mr. Huang also requested his meat restaurants to fully support the “Meatless Monday” campaign.
These grass root activities launched by civic groups have been acknowledged by the Formosan government. Right now the Yuan Legislation and other government agencies are taking part in the save the earth campaigns. At the end of April, the Formosa Economic Planning and Development Committee established the “Carbon Reduction Performance Review Panel.” On June 5, World Environment Day, Formosan President, Mr. Ma Yin-jeou, announced the Environmental Education Law which requires all organizations, public institutions, preschools, elementary schools and government officials to participate in the environmental education program for at least 4 hours every year so that environmental protection awareness takes root in people’s lives.
The Formosan Education Bureau, National Science Committee, and National Science and Technology Museum all joined hands to set up the first climate change exhibition with the theme “2010 Science Season: Love Earth with Action – Climate Change Exhibition.” During his opening speech, the Minister of Education, Mr. Wu Qinji, requested everyone to eat less meat and to work together to reduce carbon emissions, showing more love toward the planet. Taipei City Mayor, Mr. He Longbin; Tao Yuan County Mayor, Mr. Wu Chiyang; Hsinchu City Mayor, Mr. Hsu Ming Tsai; Hua Lian County Mayor, Mr. Fu Kunchi; Tainan City Mayor, Mr. Hsu TianTsai; Kaohsiung City Mayor, Mr. Chen Ju; and Pingtung County Mayor, Mr. Cao Chihong all publicly expressed their support for the “Going Veg 2 Love the Earth” campaign and encouraged everyone to follow suit.
The most encouraging news is that the younger generation in Formosa understands the importance of adopting a vegetarian diet to fight global warming and they have taken action. According to an unofficial statistic, since the beginning of the “Meatless Monday” campaign, sixty percent of the schools in Formosa have responded to the request for meat-free lunches at frequencies ranging from once a week to once a month. The Taipei City Education Bureau designated this year as “Ecology Education Year” and promotes having “one vegetarian day a week” for the purpose of environmental protection and to help students form the dietary habit of eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables.
The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association members are always seen working quietly behind the scenes of these spontaneous promotion activities. Fellow initiates from different counties, townships and cities have held almost a thousand seminars in schools, organizations, companies and communities. They also have been distributing informative leaflets on a regular basis. The love and efforts that the Supreme Master and fellow initiates have brought about numerous good results. With more people joining the plant-based diet circle in Formosa, the number of vegetarians/vegans has soared from two million (mainly religious believers) to four million. So far this year the sales figures for the vegan vacuum packed meal sold at the four major convenient store chains has reached 500,000 which is 2.9 times greater than the number sold in 2008. We are hoping that everyone will adopt the healthy, Earth-sustaining, vegan diet in the near future to save our precious world.