Ahimsa: Our Greatest Gift to the World
Dr. Sailesh Rao, Founder – Climate Healers
The Vedic concept of “Ahimsa” has a vital role to play in a global solution to climate change and the environmental crises afflicting the planet. Climate change is the direct result of our mainstream, ego-centric, consumer culture of normalized violence, especially toward other species. Climate change can only be solved if we transform this into an eco-centric, life-enriching culture of normalized nonviolence. This is akin to a metamorphosis and requires a retelling of our stories and thereby changing our relationships with each other and especially with other species. It is only through addressing Animal Rights as the most pressing social justice issue of our time that the faiths of the world can play a vital part in saving the animals and saving the earth for ourselves and our progeny. This requires that all faiths, including the Abrahamic faiths, embrace the concept of “Ahimsa,” making it the greatest gift that India has bequeathed the world. We have calculated that if the world were to embrace a vegan, “Ahimsa” lifestyle, it would free up at least 31% of the land area of the planet to be returned back to nature. When we restore the native forests that used to be on that land in the year 1800, we calculate that they would sequester more carbon than humans have added to the atmosphere since the dawn of the industrial revolution. This would literally reverse climate change even as the biodiversity of the planet rebounds.
About the presenter…
Dr. Sailesh Rao is the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers, a non-profit dedicated towards healing the Earth’s climate. A systems specialist with a Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University (1986), Dr. Rao became deeply immersed, full-time, in the spiritual and environmental crises affecting humanity since 2006. He is the author of “Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies (2011)” and “Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis (2016).” He is the Co-Executive Producer of “The Human Experiment (2013)”, “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014)” and “What The Health (2017),” and of the forthcoming documentary, “A Prayer for Compassion (2018).”