ARRCC members pledge for eating less Meat

By : Surinder Jain.

ARRCC – Australian Religious Response to Climate Change is a multi faith network committed to action on Climate Change. Hindu Council of Australia has been a member for more than ten years and has recently celebrated 10th Anniversary of its Eat Less Meat campaign.

Members of ARRCC in Sydney met on 13th October 2018 to celebrate 2018 Week of Living the Change. It is a week in which members make personal commitments on making changes in their lives that will help the environment.

IPCC has recently identified three major causes of climate change and they are

  • Fossil fuels
  • Transport and
  • Agriculture

and the solutions to alleviate the effects are

  • Use renewable energy
  • Cut down on transport that have a large carbon foot print and
  • Eat less meat.

It is the first time that climate change activists have come out openly and boldly to declare that Meat production is one of the major causes of climate change. Studies show that if we take all the action we need to take on fossil fuels and transport but neglect to do anything on Meat production, we will end up failing in stopping the catastrophic consequences.

YET, most climate change enthusiasts are hooked onto the first two and not paying due attention to the third cause of Meat being the final culprit. Perhaps because, it is easy to tell others to stop coal mining. It is happening somewhere far away and affects those few thousand jobs in rural hinterland only. To change our travel habits is somewhat more personal but a matter of pride and a little inconvenience. The technology and encouragement to do so is here and now and we can actually do it with small sacrifices.

However, to change one’s food habits and taste is very personal and perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. It involves the livelihood of not a few thousand Australians but of millions of Australians who produce meat and are also the backbone of rural and national economy. No one seems to have defined a transition path for these proud farmers to help them change from Meat to Plant based food production. It needs to be done on an urgent basis.

If we take Meat out of Australian diet, we will be left with a very poor, unbalanced diet which can be a cause of many deficiencies. Hindus who have been vegetarians for thousands of years and have adopted their cuisine and living style to a vegetarian diet and are thriving (there are over a billion in India alone) have a special responsibility to keep Australian cuisine healthy and balanced as they move towards lesser meat consumption.

The meeting was presided over and addressed by Thea Ormerod who invited everyone to make a commitment to make a change in their lives that will reduce their carbon foot print. This was followed by an address of Mr Atmarama Das (Andre), Director Govinda Valley Retreat. He explained how he got revolted by having to work on a fishing boat chopping fishes and on coming to the shore forever became a vegetarian and joined Hare Krishna movement. The movement taught him that we are not the owners of this creation or even a small piece of it.

This was followed by an address by Rev John Buchanan, Minister at the Presbyterian parish of St Peter’s, North Sydney. Rev John read from the bible that we are stewards of God’s creation and it is our duty no to let it deteriorate and that is why we must fight the climate change.  Reverend told the audience that he has not become a vegetarian but has reduced his meat consumption. The third speaker Gillian Reffell from the Sydney Buddhist Center spoke about her struggle to balance her life with her carbon foot print.

The meeting was followed by other people present their making pledges to reduce their carbon foot print and was followed by a Reflective Interfaith Ritual.

Thea gave following information to help people make pledges to reduce their own carbon footprint :

Pledge

Kgs of carbon saved every year from going into atmosphere

Always use public transport to work 920 Kg/year
Avoid Air travel except for emergencies 460 Kg/year
Replace all home lights by LED 470 Kg/year
Make at least half of my meals meat free 470 Kg/year
Eat meat no more than once a week 640 Kg/year
Eat 5 vegetarian meals each week 690 Kg/year
Adopt an entirely plant-based diet 1,300 Kg/year

Hindu Council of Australia was represented by its directors Vijai Singhal and Surinder Jain. Hindus have a lot more at stake with climate change. We, after our death will come back in a new birth an this process will continue until we attain Liberation. Ensuring that earth remains livable is not only a noble thing to do but is also the only thing to do to our home for many many centuries and eons to come.

Breaking Bread with Indian Chapati in Sydney Food Festival

By:Surinder Jain.

Hindu Council of Australia participated in Breaking Bread with other Australian communities as an initiative of Food Faith during the ongoing Sydney Food Festival at Hyde Park Palms on 9th October 2018.

Food Faith is a not for profit organization promoting environmental and social sustainability. Sharing of bread and then breaking it to eat – Breaking Bread – is its initiative to bring communities together.

Hindu Council of Australia brought Indian Bread (Chapatis) which were distributed among more than a hundred people present there along with a Kangaroo grass bread from Staple Bakery, a Challah (Jewish bread) from Our Big Kitchen and Rustic panini from Bread and Butter Project.

The session started with an aboriginal elder explaining the value of Kangaroo grass seeds as a staple food for first Australians and as a staple crop before colonization of Australia. Other speakers talked about role of bread in religious ceremonies, how food and bread has changed over the years, ongoing research by universities on less popular slow going grains and how food can be a source of sustainable charitable businesses.

Judy Friedlander explained the concept behind the Breaking Bread initiative.

Meat Free campaign promoted by Radio Sur Sangam

Mr Vijai Singhal, director of Hindu Council of Australia was interviewed at Radio Sur Sangam 99.9 FM by Nitin Madan on the topic of 10th Anniversary of the launch of “Meat Free Day” campaign on 2nd October 2008.

10th Anniversary of Eat less Meat campaign by Hindu Council

By:Vijai Singhal.

The Hindu Council was the 1st in Australia to launch the “Meat-free Day” campaign on 2nd Oct. 2008 to reduce Greenhouse gas emission. We took this campaign to ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change) and renamed it “Eat Less Meat” to appeal to people of multi-faith who are mostly meat-eaters. Lot has happened in last ten years. There is much more awareness among people of eating plant-based diet. There is lot more coverage in the main media. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of this launch Mr Vijai Singhal was interviewed at the Darpan Hindi Radio program at 98.5 FM 10-11 am this Sunday, 30 September 2018.

Hindus have more at stake on Climate change than many others

By:Surinder Jain.

Most other religions than Hinduism believe in one life and a judgement day thereafter. Hindus believe that we will be born again and again to inhabit the earth until we perfect ourselves. We Hindus therefore have a lot more at stake in keeping the earth from calamities like Global warming and Climate Catastrophe. While others may be doing it out of their goodness and for their children’s sake, we Hindus have to save the earth, out of necessity and for our own sake, in addition to goodness and for children.

According to ARRCC (Australian Religious Response to Climate Change)[1], the three areas where religious leaders and people of faith can take steps to save the environment of the earth are:

  1. reduced use of transportation based on fossil fuels, ie, air and road transport
  2. shifting towards plant-based diets, away from meat-based protein
  3. energy efficiency and sourcing energy from renewables

Doesn’t it sound so Hindu a way of life that our ancient Rishis used to live. Using Bulls for energy & transport and eating vegetarian food cooked on cow dung fuel. Of the three Hindu ways of life that ARRCC has reaffirmed are essential to save the earth in which we are going to come back to live again and again, we can all easily implement the second, i.e stay vegetarian if you are and shift to less meat and away from meat based food. Hindu Council supports ARRCCs efforts for reducing meat-based protein diet.

PM of New Zealand and MPs stop those trying to help save the environment

Beef lobby of New Zealand, if it has its way, wants to deny people choice of their food including food free of beef and free of animal products. Hindus avoid eating beef.

When you are in an airplane bound to your seat for 12 hours or more, with no near by restaurants, fully dependent on whatever food is on the menu of the air lines and available with the air hostess, politicians asking air lines not to keep food which does not include beef would be a disservice to consumer choice of food. Coercing people to consume beef instead of vegan alternatives, for a fast buck, is sure to hasten climate calamity.

The beef lobby led by MP Mark Patterson, of the ruling New Zealand First Party, strongly opposes its national carrier Air New Zealand’s decision to serve the vegan burger and considers it as a “slap in the face” to the country’s $6bn red meat sector. 

Air New Zealand is the flag carrier airline of New Zealand. Based in Auckland, the airline operates scheduled passenger flights to 20 domestic and 31 international destinations in 19 countries around the Pacific Rim and the United Kingdom. First class passengers to Los Angeles route are offered a plant based, meat free, environment friendly choice of food.

Beef production has a very high impact on the environment. According to some studies, one Ton of beef production requires almost 17,000 cubic liters of water, (m³ water/ton)[28]. Compare that with 2,500 for rice and about 1,500 for wheat.(wikipedia). Denying consumers choice of ethical food and promoting alternative food high on green gas production chart is a “slap in the face” to the voters who have elected their representatives to look after personal rights and the environment.

However, the strong beef lobby is up in arms. It sees ethical food alternatives to its violent to animal (assuming killing is violence), beef industry as a threat to its existence. 

Peters at the ASEAN Summit in the Philippines in 2017

Acting PM of New Zealand, MP Winston Peters who has been running the country since 21 June while Prime Minister Jacinda Arden is on maternity leave, is also opposed to selling beef alternatives. He said “Some of the taxpayers are the farming industry who want to ensure they get top end of the product market offshore and our airline should be its number one marketer.”

The Vegan Burger, is made using wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and “magic ingredient” heme. Compared to cows, the vegan product uses 95% less land, less water and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions, according to the company Impossible’s website.

You can [read more about the news here …]

credit:wikipedia

 

Take a Quiz on Hindu Society and Institutions

Take a Quiz on Hindu Society and Institutions

Please enter your email:

1. Hindu society is categorized into classes, called Varna. How many Varna categories are there?

 
 
 
 

2. Hindu vegetarianism is an off shoot of observing non-violence? Yes/No

 
 

3. Usually, Hindus of one Jati can marry anyone else in the same Jati? Yes/No

 
 

4. One’s Jati (the clan of birth) determines one’s Varna or categorisation? Yes/No

 
 

5. A Hindu takes to Sanyaas (monastic life) because?

 
 
 

6. A Hindu monastery is called?

 
 
 
 

7. A Hindu temple can have only one murti (idol of a God form) in a building?

 
 

8. It is not possible to build a new Hindu temple in Australia?

 
 

9. Varna categorization of Hindu society is based on one’s birth? Yes/No

 
 

10. Hindu life is divided into how many stages (Asharamas)? Yes/No

 
 
 
 

11. Which of the following correctly describe the head of a Matha, a Hindu monastry? You can tick more than one answer.

 
 
 
 
 
 

12. A Hindu temple is a place where humans and God can come together?

 
 

13. All Hindus are vegetarians? Yes/No

 
 

14. Every Hindu must belong to one of the four Varna categories to be called a Hindu? Yes/No

 
 

15. It is imperative for a Hindu to enter into these stages of life (Asharamas) sequentially? Yes/No

 
 


Jewish Veg group promotes vegan lifestyle

If you live in a part of the world where there is plenty of fruits and vegetables…then I don’t think there is any ethical justification today not to live a vegan lifestyle.

— Rabbi David Rosen, Former Chief Rabbi of Ireland

and Australia, like India has abundance of fruits and vegetables. Let us stop eating meat.

Join the Jewish Veg group here.

Hindu Council puts a definition to Pure Vegetarian Food

 

Given a wide variety of definitions prevalent to what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in a vegetarian diet, Hindu Council of Australia has defined a Pure Vegetarian diet that is suitable for Hindus. A Hindu Council Pure Vegetarian Diet (Pure Vegetarian Diet) is a food that has been produced using following guidelines :

  • A Pure Vegetarian diet abstains from all kinds of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal), and also includes abstention from by-products of animal slaughter.
  • Like a lacto-vegetarian diet, it includes dairy products but NOT eggs.
  • Pure vegetarians also avoid products that may use animal ingredients not included in their labels or which use animal products in their manufacturing; for example, sugars that are whitened with bone char, cheeses that use animal rennet (enzymes from animal stomach lining), gelatin (derived from the collagen inside animals’ skin, bones and connective tissue), cane sugar and apple juice/alcohol clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon.
  • All raw materials used including all food that comes in contact (even traces) with the Pure Vegetarian must also have been prepared according to these Pure Vegetarian Guidelines.
  • All production/processing lines, crockery, kitchen utensils and equipments, cooking place used for making or storing the food must not have previously ever been used to process or produce any product that does not confirm to these Pure Vegetarian Guidelines.
  • Pure Vegetarian food must be physically segregated and should not come in contact with other food items which are not Pure Vegetarian, during packing, serving, transportation and storage in Chillers, freezers, cold rooms, to name a few.

Breaking Bread at Blacktown Harmony Day

Hindu Council of Australia participated in Breaking Bread (having a meal together, or starting a meal) initiative as part of western Sydney’s large Harmony Day celebrations in Blacktown on Wednesday March 21st. The initiative was organized by FoodFaith and held at Bowmans Hall, Blacktown, NSW. FoodFaith is an initiative to bring together people of different faiths using food as a medium.

The initiative aims to showcase breads from different faiths and cultures and celebrate beliefs, customs and traditions and was a large communal activity bringing everyone together. Representatives from Indigenous, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Punjabi, Pacific, African, and Eastern European faiths and traditions attended the event. Each culture or faith brought samples of their breads to share with others.

Hindu Council took its “Roti” and “Raita” to the event and was represented in the event by Sai Pravastu, Surinder Jain, Vijai Singhal and Kamlesh Chaubey. Both were very much enjoyed by by about a thousand people gathered there,