In the face of worsening global warming and rapid climate change, the World Vegan Organisation has proposed solutions that require everyone’s full cooperation.
In an atmosphere of great excitement, the 9th World Vegan Organisation Forum took place at the Yuanpei University of Medical Technology in Hsinchu on August 26, 2023. A total of 130 countries worldwide have committed to the "Net Zero Carbon by 2050" initiative, in the face of global warming and climate change.
With these issues pressing upon us, it is imperative for everyone to take action and embrace the principles of sustainable development. In line with these ideals, the Tzu Chi Foundation is actively responding to the call. The event was attended by around 400 international dignitaries and volunteers from different organizations; all came together to address these critical challenges.
The conference kicked off with a duet performance by violinists Keng-Feng Lu ( 盧耿鋒 ) and Ping-An Lu (盧品安). With the main theme of "Caring Earth, Go Vegan," the forum advocated a vegan plant-based diet. It also proposed energy conservation, carbon reduction, eco-friendly cultivation practices, and environmentally conscious simple burials. These efforts will deeply embed veganism into daily life, and foster a genuine commitment to eco-friendly practices that love and protect our planet.
A Heart-Centered Recycling Economy
Lin Hsiu-Chu (林秀珠), Chairperson of the World Vegan Organisation Taiwan Chapter (WVO-Taiwan), and also the President of the Chunghwa Nourish-heart Tai-Chi Qi-gong Organization, said that, after attending the international vegan forum for the first time, she made the decision to try to host the event. While Taiwan is known as a vegetarian paradise, there are slight differences between its vegetarian practices and those advocated by WVO. WVO refrains from consuming eggs, dairy, and honey, and is wholly committed to "Cherish Life and Promote Sustainable Development for the Earth." She noted that the promotion of veganism requires collaboration between the governmental, civil, and corporate sectors.
Li Ding-ming (李鼎銘), General Manager of Da Ai Technology, stated that, in response to global warming and climate change, their research and development team followed the compassionate guidance of Master Cheng Yen, founder of Tzu Chi, to emphasize energy conservation and carbon reduction. By harnessing collective effort and resource sharing, they transform everyday plastic bottles, often considered waste, into urban resources. Da Ai Technology has developed everyday items that are visible and can be touched. However, the most crucial aspect is to lead by example to purify people's hearts.
Transition from Meat-eating to Vegetarianism for Planetary Harmony
Chef Hong Yin-Long (洪銀龍) spoke of his initial journey to Japan to learn culinary skills. As his culinary expertise grew, his business expanded after returning to Taiwan. After deep discussions with vegetarian teachers and advocates, he began promoting vegetarianism; this led to a transformation of his life. Through his passion and expertise, Chef Hong has taken Taiwan's vegan concept to the international stage; he aims to reduce violence through veganism and firmly believes that, in this way, the Earth can achieve greater harmony.
Promote Veganism in Hokkaido
Mr. Inoue Takeshi from Japan said that, during his promotional trips to Hokkaido, he observed that many Taiwanese vegetarians were visiting the region for tourism. He aims to promote Taiwanese vegan restaurants in Hokkaido through vegan certifications, to enable Japanese to understand vegan ingredients better. He highlighted the misconception in Japan that not consuming meat equates to veganism, a notion contrary to the different variations of vegetarianism in Taiwan. Japan lacks expertise in vegetarianism; as the pandemic subsides, he hopes to utilize the Vegan Forum and collaborate with fellow advocates to cultivate a "blue ocean" of veganism in Japan.
Joyful Contributions Create Positive Connections
Tzu Chi volunteer Hsu Yu-Feng (許玉鳳) shared that she has known Chairperson Lin Hsiu-Chu for 40 years. Chairperson Lin understands Tzu Chi's advocacy of vegetarianism and environmental protection. For this World Vegan Forum, Tzu Chi was invited to collaborate in co-hosting the event. Tzu Chi has organized teams to assist with medical care, refreshments, cultural documentation, guest reception, and foreign language translation at the conference. Additionally, Da Ai Technology and Jing Si Books & Café were also invited to set up booths on-site, providing comprehensive services to the attendees.
The essence of doing good lies in everyone coming together to contribute. To slow down global warming and care for our habitat needs everyone’s united efforts.
A Jing Si Aphorism says: "With more people come greater blessings!"
Join Tzu Chi. Let us pool our effort together to make this world a better place.
Story by Qian Qiu-hong and Jiang Shu-ling | 2023/8/30