Venerable JianHu Advocates Vegetarianism for the Environment,
Receives Mainstream Acceptance
(Original Reported in Chinese by Chin Wei Wang, World Journal, Sunnyvale, 10/21/2009)
Upon invitation by the Board of supervisors of the Santa Clara County, Venerable Abbot of Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale, JianHu Shifu, offered a Buddhist chanting and invocation of blessing for all the sentient beings before the board meeting on 20th of October in 2009.
In the midst of the solemn and serene chanting, one seems to sense the gradual acceptance by the mainstream society toward the Buddhist’s perspective on green environment, which is “as the mind is pure, the land will be pure.”
Eight members, including a county supervisor and staff, inspired by Master Jian Hu’s compassionate pleas for going meatless at least one day a week (Go Vegetarian 1 Day a Week, http://groups.to/goveggie), pledged to participate in the movement.
It all began with Supervisor Dave Cortese, one of the board members, who came to give a lecture to the Zen Center children class in September this year. After listening to JianHu Shifu's expounding on the fact about the livestock industry being the main contributor to the global warming with its devastating effect on the environment, Mr. Cortese was deeply moved to pledge the going vegetarian one day a week diet right on that day.
Not only he earned the praise and support from his wife, a 10-year vegetarian, but also recommended to his colleagues with the positive impact that one meatless day a week diet can have on the environment.
Mr. Cortese wrote a personal letter to JianHu Shifu expressing his determination as well as all his colleagues’ in supporting the movement for the long term. He said although “the benefits that our individual efforts may be small, together, they will add up to have a true positive influence on our environment and our health.” He also wished the best success for Master Jian Hu’s goal of inspiring 100,000 people to partake in this great cause to save the planet.
As JianHu Shifu pointed out, a 2006 United Nation report revealed that the “livestock sector” generates more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, trains, ships and planes in the world combined. The former contributes 18% to the air pollution as opposed to the 13% by the latter. This report serves as an alarming wake-up call to all those are concerned about the issue.
Ven. JianHu indicated that, if one person goes veggie one day a week, in one year, he or she can help save the equivalent of 84, 000 gallons of water, 7, 700 acres of rain forest, 15 gallons of gasoline, and 245 pounds of feeds to the livestock along with 400 pounds of animals excrement. This will mitigate the devastating effects of the global warning, not to mention reducing the risk of heart attack and cancer.
“Going Veggie one day a week is a simple measure we can take to do our shares in reversing the Global Warming,” Ven. JianHu pointed out. This simple action can go a long way in generating a cooling impact on our planet. He also commented, “Going Veggie shows we care about the welfare of all living beings; it also reciprocate our mother earth’s kindness and generosity with our actions in kind .”
Based on the Buddhism teaching on “When our minds are pure, our land is pure,” on 24th of October, JianHu Shifu will host a special interfaith forum, “Green Action Day,” on this important issue of “ Global Warming and Renewable energy.”
Keynote speaker, Diana Ma, the vice president of SunPower Corp as well as a panel of three religious representatives will share some insights on the topics from their different religious perspectives in hope of raising awareness among people and calling for actions to save the planet. The Zen Center’s address is: 750 E Arques Ave, Sunnyvale, http://sunnyvale.ctzen.org