Pre-Festival: Clinge to Change, Conservation, a plant based Diet & Buddhism in the 21st Century.

Join us at the Climate Change, Conservation, a Plant-Based Diet & Buddhism in the 21 st Century Pre-Himalayan Vegan Festival Event in the birthplace of Lord Buddha from September 13 th to 14 th , 2022.

Lumbini is the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama who is renowned simply as Gautam Buddha or the Light of Asia. This pre-festival is to celebrate the message of ahimsa which Buddha tried to spread all across the globe. Ahimsa roughly translates to non-violence but its meaning is deeper: it means notcausing unnecessary suffering or harm to others. Buddha is considered a symbol of peace not only by Buddhism followers but also by Hinduism followers in Nepal. Therefore, the Himalayan Vegan Festival is proud to announce Lumbini as the place to share the message of living cruelty-free for the animals,and understanding the role of the plant-based diet has on the environment, human health, conservation, and animal suffering.

The pre-festival will be a two days event in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lumbini, where we will be welcoming internationally and locally recognized speakers and experts and will feature vegan meals with monasteries, discussions on the effects of climate change in the Himalayas, health, environment and conservation and how they all relate to Buddhism in the 21 st century. We’ll also visit the sacred grounds of the birthplace of the Buddha, have a special 100% cruelty-free, plant-based traditional ceremony there, have a special mediation session for peace at the world peace pagoda, free and relaxing meditation, and interactive sessions regarding our health, the environment, climate change, a healthy, tasty plant-based friendly diet, and it’s connections with the Buddhist world and Ahimsa in the 21 st century.

Pre-festival will be held at the Nepal World Center for Peace & Unity Monastery (Mahayana Buddhism), and we’ll be having fantastic vegan temple food which is being hosted at the Thai Monastery (Theravada Buddhism). We’ll also be having a completely vegan ceremony at the Maya Devi Temple (location of the Buddha’s birth) where the traditionally fueled butter for the lamps will be replaced with vegetable oil, the food offerings to the monks will all be vegan, & even any drums accompanying the ceremony will also be vegan (no animal skin). This will be the first time the
ceremony is performed completely vegan. This event will also be a 100% carbon neutral event, the same as our Himalayan Vegan Festival. All carbon emissions will be offset with community tree planting that volunteers are organizing with youth from Lumbini and Kathmandu, the Lumbini Development Trust is providing electric buses for transfers, & we’ll be using Yeti Airlines, Nepal’s first carbon-neutral airline, for our roundtrip flights from Kathmandu.

Key Sessions of Himalayan Vegan Festival include:

1) Buddhist Teachings and a Plant-Based Diet in the 21st Century

Pancha Sila which is five principles of virtues to be followed by Buddhists includes refraining
from killing any living beings as its first principle. This is conceived as the principle of Ahimsa (non-violence). What does this virtue mean? Is it limited to not killing non-human animals directly? Where does the realm of ahimsa begin and what is its relevance with our diet? The relation of Buddhist teaching and a plant-based diet in reference to 21 st century will be explored, discussed and analyzed.

2) Health – The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet on Health

Traditionally, meat and dairy products have been associated positively with good health to the extent that it is considered synonymous with protein or calcium, and a diet without them is considered incomplete. However, recent advances in nutritional science as well holistic health science have shown that a whole food plant-based diet is not only sufficient for our survival but also optimal for human health. Non-plant-based food has been associated with different lifestyle diseases and even some of them are categorized as carcinogenic. A large mass of the public remains oblivious to the benefits of a plant-based diet and unknowingly chooses the wrong fuel for their body. Through this session, the benefits of following a plant-based diet on health will be highlighted.

3) Climate Change – the Environment – Protecting What Has Been Created is an important principle of Buddhism and Ahimsa.

Being stewards of the planet, in our capacity to co-exist and be in balance with nature is a key principle in the teachings of the Buddha and Ahimsa. These beliefs’ intricate connection with nature – from the birth to enlightenment of the Buddha under a tree and the many teachings of protecting the environment on one level or another, many debate is no coincidence. As the planet reaches dangerous environmental damage levels, and Climate change is now universally recognized as an issue of serious concern, we take a look at some of the leading causes of climate change and environmental degradation, which sadly, much of it is based around animal agriculture. Recently released UN reports show animal agriculture is responsible for one-quarter of human-induced carbon emissions around the globe, and it takes more land (which we’re running out of as the world’s population nears 8 billion), more water (which many countries are seriously suffering from shortages of), and more resources to produce meat and dairy-related products than plants. Learn the ways in which you can help reduce the impacts of climate change and work for a possible future as climate change is happening now.

4) Panel Discussion with Experts

This question and answers session is designed to answer your queries, curiosity, questions, or any doubts related to climate change, conservation, and a plant-based lifestyle. Our panel of experts is here to help you from doctors to dharma, the environment to health and nutrition, everything you wanted to know about a plant-based diet but didn’t know where to ask.

4) Panel Discussion with Experts

This question and answers session is designed to answer your queries, curiosity, questions, or any doubts related to climate change, conservation, and a plant-based lifestyle. Our panel of experts is here to help you from doctors to dharma, the environment to health and nutrition, everything you wanted to know about a plant-based diet but didn’t know where to ask.