Saturday, Jan 23

Ethical Eating Day

January 13, 2021 | Daniel Lazar

The "Ethical Eating Day” on January 11 creates worldwide awareness of vegetarianism. The “111" means one person, one day, one vegetable. Starting with just one vegetable a day not only protects and boosts your health, but can help cool the planet, reduce carbon, and is the most effective way to help climate change. The "111 World Vegetable Awareness Day" encourages vegetarianism in the hope of protecting the planet.

In response to this special day, on January 11, 2021, Tzu Chi youth of the Great Love Village in Ormoc, Leyte harvested some vegetables from their vegetable garden, cooked them, and loaded the hot food on tricycles to distribute it from house to house. At the same time, they displayed various signs promoting vegetarianism, such as: "VEGE a DAY, COVID away,” and “Support Ethical, Eating Day!". The Tzu Chi youth made these signs in the village, hoping that through these catchy slogans, the villagers will more easily remember the importance of eating more vegetables and protecting the earth.

"Don’t kill the bird on the branch, for her children are waiting for her in her nest,” was written hundreds of years ago by an ancient philosopher. For this auspicious day, such wisdom rings true for the villagers to eat less meat in order to improve their health, care for animals, protect the environment, and save energy to reduce carbon emissions. The Tzu Chi youth also provided vegetarian menus for the villagers. Soon, there were a total of 299 pledges for vegetarianism. Some villagers wished to be vegetarian for one day, some for one week, one month, and there were even those who wanted to become vegetarians for life.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization statistics in 2018, more than 2,400 animals are killed every second, and more than 210 million creatures are slaughtered every day. That’s over 777 billion animals every year! In addition, a wave of new epidemics has surfaced in the last two decades, with some viruses originating from slaughterhouses, meat markets, and frozen foods, er  among others.

In response, Tzu Chi Master Cheng Yen has been advocating vegetarianism, and Tzu Chi volunteers from all over the world have also tried their best to spread her message globally. Master Cheng Yen teaches how everything in the world coexists spirituality. She encourages everyone to eat more vegetarian meals and to not to kill any living creatures. If we can change our eating habits, we can protect the earth and slow down global warming. As human beings we must change our ways and respect the lives of animals and the planet. Starting with every one of us, we all need to work together to help stop the killing of animals and clean up the environment so that the epidemic will be over as soon as possible.