The worlds first annual Vegan Earth Day celebration was held at Pierce College in Woodland Hills California, USA, on June 21, 2009. The brainchild of Bob Linden, producer and host of Go Vegan with Bob Linden, a California-based global radio program, Vegan Earth Day immediately received national recognition. Mr. Linden conceived of the idea of Vegan Earth Day out of a concern that the largest contributors to climate change were not being addressed in other Earth Day celebrations. He stated "In 2006, the United Nations told us that the livestock sector contributed 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. Now we understand that climate change is advancing faster than scientists predicted, and that methane from cows is over 20 times more deadly a greenhouse gas, and nitrous oxide from cows over 200 times more potent. This means the livestock industry is even more culpable in addressing climate change than we ever imagined. The only true green lifestyle then is vegan. It's shocking, but meat and dairy cause global warming more than all transportation combined. So I started Vegan Earth Day so people would understand that the most important thing they can do to save the planet is eat a vegan diet. Let's not depend on governments to save the environment. It's up to us, each of us individually, to go vegan today, and then every day will be a real earth day!"
Two time US presidential candidate and current Democratic Member of the House of Representatives, Ohio, Dennis Kucinich, who is a vegan himself, showed his full support. He recognized VEGAN EARTH DAY in a statement, delivered from the floor of the United States Congress, and documented permanently in the Congressional Record, declaring June 21, 2009, as Americas first official Vegan Earth Day, making the United States the first country in the world to formally recognize the importance of adopting an animal free diet to sustain and preserve our earth. To further indicate his support, Mr. Kucinich sent his congratulation remarks via video, in which he declared that adopting a vegan (animal free) diet was one of the best decisions he has made in his life.
The speakers and musicians, including several US celebrities, were also all vegan. They showed their full support for the first annual Vegan Earth Day.
Guest speakers included Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, one of the foremost heart specialists in the world and author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Mr. Chris DeRose, former television actor, animal activist, and founder of Last Chance for Animals, Ms. Christine Garcia, founder and lead council of the Animal Law Office in San Francisco, and host of the television show Ethics and Animals, Lorri Houston, founder and director of Animal Acres, and Rip Esselstyn, world class triathlon athlete turned firefighter and author of the New York Times Best Seller, The Engine 2 Diet. Vegan musicians included Joanelle Romero, actress, producer, and CEO of the first American Indian television station, Red Nation Indian, the Luminaries, a 10 piece band, international reggae recording artist, Bushman, and Sony Music / Epic Records vocalist Naomi Striemer, among others. Details on future viewing of the webcast will be posted at http://www.GoVeganRadio.com.
The highlight of the event was the evening conference, Vegan Earth Day for a Vegan World. Hosted by Bob Linden, the guest of honor was Supreme Master Ching Hai, world renowned humanitarian, spiritual leader and artist. Winner of the Gusi Peace Prize, World Spiritual Leadership Award, and World Citizen Humanitarian Award, and 3-time speaker at the United Nations, Supreme Master Ching Hai actively promotes the vegan diet as the primary way to sustain our earth, halt climate change, and achieve world peace. Although unable to attend in person, Supreme Master Ching Hai delivered her address via video. Stating meat is murder, she explained that meat consumption not only causes indescribable anguish to the 55 billion animals killed each year for food, it is also the number one killer of human beings, and is responsible for more deaths than all the wars in the world combined. Quoting scientific evidence, she described the environmental costs of meat consumption, including rain forest deforestation, acidification of our earths oceans, pollution, and inefficient resource use. She also provided medical evidence of how an animal-based diet is devastating to our health. Supreme Master Ching Hai concluded that we can achieve world peace only when we learn to live in harmony with our animal co-inhabitants.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
United States becomes first nation in the world to formally recognize Vegan Earth Day.