03 Mar Dispatch from Tamil Nadu and More From the Grandmothers
“Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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Dear Climate Healers,
Following the resounding success of the First Vegan Forest Festival at Sadhana Forest, the organizing team began planning to double the participants at the Second Vegan Forest Festival, tentatively scheduled for Feb 9-11, 2024. I stayed over at Sadhana Forest until Friday, waking up to the chirping of birds every morning, in order to meet with Jay Naidoo, former Minister for Social Development with the government of Nelson Mandela in South Africa. We had an extremely productive discussion, grandfather to grandfather, and I’m sure that Jay’s organizational skills as a Trade Unionist in South Africa will come in handy as we scale up our transformation from a Climate HEATing civilization to a Climate Healing civilization.
During my stay in Sadhana Forest, thanks to Deven Shah of Auroville, I also had the opportunity to participate in a workshop with Mini Gupta of the Satvic Movement and speak to the Auroville community about the necessity of going Vegan, if they wish to realize Mother’s dream of Auroville becoming the City of the Future. As the students at Cambridge University recently asserted with their resolution, the future is definitely Vegan.
Speaking of which, my alma mater, IIT Madras, has approved the formation of a Plant Based Society on campus, which will be screening Vegan documentaries and giving out Vegan food to educate IITM students up to Cambridge levels of Vegan awareness. The IITM Plant Based Society was founded by Vinay Sipani, a Vegan activist and Ph. D. Candidate in the Dept. of Mathematics. Vinay’s goal is to pass a resolution from the students of IITM similar to the Cambridge students’ resolution to achieve a fully Vegan IITM campus by 2024.
Thanks to Climate Healer, Shankar and the incredible hospitality of Mr. Tamil Vengam of the Vallalar organization, I also had the opportunity to visit the Food Healers distribution centers and shrines of the Vallalar organization in Maradur and Vadalur, Tamil Nadu. I saw the cook stove that has never been turned off in Vadalur and had lunch at the Dharmasala there and went to the birthplace of Vallalar in Maradur. The Vallalar organization is now planning to replace the occasional cow buttermilk they serve with peanut buttermilk before the next Vegan Forest Festival in 2024.
In Chennai, I attended a screening of Maa Ka Doodh under the auspices of the Animal Save Movement. At the end of the screening, there were hardly any questions from the audience as everyone said that all their questions had been answered in the movie. This comprehensive aspect of Maa Ka Doodh is simply amazing!
After the screening, I spoke to Jaya Surya, an entrepreneur and CEO of Wegun Mupaal, who’s working to replace all the milk served in tea stalls throughout India with a cheaper, but more nutritious plant-based alternative. I visited the Almighty Animal Care Sanctuary in Villupuram in the outskirts of Chennai in the evening with the founder, Sai Vignesh and Jaya Rai of the Animal Save Movement. There, we met the 200 plus animals who had been rescued from injuries and slaughterhouses over the past few years. Sai Vignesh has been fighting for the animals mainly through using sections 428 and 429 of the Indian Penal code, which guarantees every animal in India the right to live free of exploitation at the hands of humans. Given this legal protection, it is a mystery why there is even an animal agriculture industry in India.
The next day, I met with Animal Rights Activists in Chennai, who use reverse psychology to engage the public in deep conversations. For example, they carry a banner stating “Animal Cruelty is Cool – Change My Mind” or “I Love to Eat Dog Meat – Change My Mind” to get people triggered and talk to them about the topic. And inevitably, the conversation veers towards why every animal deserves to be free and why every human should go Vegan.
Yes, indeed, the future is Vegan.
That’s not to say that this Vegan future is easy to attain. Nothing worthwhile is easy to attain and this Greatest Transformation in Human History is no exception. Therefore, our generation has to dig deep and go beyond self-indulgent rationalizations of our habitual behavior to make it happen. Fortunately, there is plenty of online help available with a curated collection of stories and lessons to guide us on our individual path to Vegan living. The key is to focus on why we are all going Vegan, for as Nietszche said, “He who has a why to live for, can endure almost any how.”
The Million Vegan Grandmothers Write Again
Making a Vegan choice in our privileged consumer habits can mean the difference between life and death for animals today and for future generations of our children and grandchildren of all species. Then we won’t have to agonize over how best to kill animals en masse in slaughterhouses. As the Million Vegan Grandmothers wrote to Temple Grandin about her plan to genetically mutilate pigs so that they don’t suffer in gas chambers:
Animal Science Department
College of Agricultural Sciences
301 University Ave
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1101
Dear Ms. Grandin,
In a recent Wired article, you are quoted as saying that “pigs could be genetically bred to have a less violent reaction to CO2”; and that you have “seen firsthand that some breeds of pigs die without showing signs of struggle inside CO2 gas chambers.”
We are certain you agree that ventilation shutdown is inhumane, but rather than calling for the abolition of this standard meat-industry practice, you suggest we alter the victims’ capacity to feel the effects of it. Your proposed “solution” may bear a superficial resemblance to empathy, but, with all due respect, it actually takes the abuse to an even deeper level. Insofar as it attempts to permanently disable the natural instincts of an entire sentient species so that it is passive in the face of its own death, such a genetic-engineering project represents the final stage in our already tyrannical usurpation of animal sovereignty.
The Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness of 2012, a neuroscientific consensus on the existence of consciousness in many animal species, calls us to rethink our relationship to animals, to see them not only as capable of suffering but, more profoundly, as having lives that matter to them. We do not respect them in the latter if we strive to eliminate not the cause of their suffering but only their capacity to suffer. In the spirit of the Declaration, and all beings right to life, we, the Million Vegan Grandmothers, plead with you to cease from promoting or carrying out such experimentation.
Since animal agriculture is also the leading cause of climate change, we furthermore entreat you to protect our children’s futures by focusing your efforts on how to end the system rather than on how to perpetuate it.
Our fierce love for the children of all species compels us to speak out.
With much Vegan Love,
The Million Vegan Grandmothers
3145 E Chandler Blvd #110-233
Phoenix, AZ 85048
Please feel free to copy this letter, personalize it and mail it to Ms. Grandin. The Million Vegan Grandmothers haven’t received a response from Ms. Grandin or for that matter, from the PBS Nova Producers, as of yet.
Methane Gets No Respect from the UN IPCC
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas that causes over three times as much anthropogenic global warming than Carbon diOxide (CO2) on an incremental basis. In the Sixth Assessment Report of the UN IPCC (AR6), anthropogenic methane is estimated to cause 1.2 W/m2 of radiative forcing cumulatively, while anthropogenic CO2 is estimated to cause 2 W/m2 of radiative forcing cumulatively. From this, we can calculate that the 40 Billion tons of CO2 we emit annually causes an additional 0.029 W/m2 of radiative forcing each year, while the 400 Million tons of methane we emit into the atmosphere causes an additional 0.127 W/m2 of radiative forcing, a little more than four times that of CO2.
However, since methane has a half-life of around 8.4 years and reacts with free radicals in the atmosphere to oxidize into CO2, the IPCC is able to diminish its importance by averaging its impact over 100 years. In its 2019 interim report, the IPCC used a 100-year Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 28 for methane so that the 400 Million tons of methane is calculated to be equivalent to 11.2 Billion tons of CO2, about one-fourth of the 40 Billion tons of CO2 emitted each year, a more than fifteen fold reduction in the impact of methane than reality warrants. This is the second of the Six Deadly Climate Deceptions, the Methane Averaging Deception.
However, in AR6, in 2022, the IPCC appears to have gone a step further and virtually eliminated all consideration of methane and other greenhouse gases altogether, by claiming that “given the nearly linear relationship between cumulative CO2 emissions and increases in global surface temperature, cumulative CO2 emissions are relevant for understanding how past and future CO2 emissions affect global surface temperature.” By making this claim (see Box TS.1 on Page 39 of IPCC AR6 WG1), the IPCC now orients itself to look directly away from the Cow in the Room and can therefore pretend that there is no Cow in the Room.
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Heal the planet.
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Thanks again for being a superhero and joining our herd. Please forward this post to all your friends and let’s grow our MOOOvement together.
With much love,
Sailesh on behalf of Vega, Cow and Climate Healer and the Climate Healers core team
(Akhil, Alison, Anne, BJ, Carl, Chip, Debra, Gabriele, Ilse, Jamen, Kelly, Ken, Kimaya, Krish, Maggie, Marco, Paige, Pareen, Ray, Sailesh, Sarah, Shankar, Stacey, Tami and Vega, the Cow and Climate Healer).
PS: If you are looking for Vega the Cow’s weekly update on “50 Ways to Leave My Udder“, please click here.