Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Webinar: Saving the planet and our health with fork and knife (with Seb Alex and Georges Hayek)

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Hello everyone.

My name is Joanna.

I would like to welcome the participants and the viewers from all over the world...

Especially those from the MENA region and the Arab world.

Welcome to the webinar.

Starting with some practical tips before starting our webinar...

This webinar is going to be in Arabic...

But you may access a live translation in English...

By clicking on interpretation...

Under the globe icon...

And choosing English and muting the original audio.

You may send your questions during the discussion...

Through the Q&A.

And the last 15 minutes are going to be dedicated to answering your questions.

Let's get started with our discussion.

It is well known that the meat and dairy industry...

Around the world...

Is a primary source...

For epidemics and infectious diseases.

Particularly, the recent COVID-19 pandemic that the world is suffering from.

In addition to that, this industry is a primary...

Cause of environmental pollution in the world...

And of climate change.

We can see the disasters...

Happening in the world and in the MENA region, particularly in Northern Africa...

Like drought, desertification, and famine.

We can also see the negative impacts it has had on human health...

And the increasing numbers...

Of patients suffering from chronic diseases...

Such as heart diseases, atherosclerosis, and others.

In spite of all...

These negative consequences...

We can see an unprecedented increase...

In the number of animals that humans are exploiting...

And killing for consumption...

Especially in the production of meat and dairy.

So it has become clear that the situation should change.

So we ask the question:

How can we change our perception...

Of the human-animal relationship...

And our nutritional habits?

And how can we achieve a positive change...

For us and for our planet...

On the level of the individual...

Society, and political action?

Today we welcome two specialists in the fields of sustainability, awareness and health.

Welcome, Seb Alex and Georges Hayek.

Weve asked you here to share with us your experiences in the field of awareness...

And explain to us the strong link between our nutritional habits...

And our relationship with animals on the one hand...

And how this affects human health and environmental safety on the other.

And finally, how we can achieve positive change for us and our environment...

On the individual, and social level...

And eventually through political action.

The webinar is going to be divided into three main parts.

First, we are going to discuss the impact of our nutritional habits on our personal health...

And on environmental safety, and on climate change.

Then, we are going to discuss the ethical relationship between humans and animals...

Especially in the meat and dairy industry...

And about the strong link between human mistreatment of animals and public safety.

The third part is going to be about...

How each individual...

Can achieve positive change...

Within their environment.

Which can later happen on a social level and...

Eventually influence political action and changes to the law.

I would like to remind you to send any questions you have through the Q&A...

And we will answer them at the end of our discussion.

I would like to welcome our guests.

Seb Alex is an architect specializing in sustainability...

And an advocate for animal rights.

Georges Hayek is the owner and the director of Hayek Hospital...

And the founder of Lebanese Vegans, a pioneer in awareness...

As he is an animal rights awareness campaigner.

Georges and Seb collaborated after the Beirut explosion that happened in August.

They distributed vegan meals for the people who were affected by the explosion...

And they helped the injured animals.

Seb, I am going to start with you.

Please give us an idea about your professional background...

And how do you communicate your awareness ideas with your followers?

Hello, thank you.

My name is Seb Alex.

I have been a vegan for seven years now.

And have been an animal rights activist for six out of those seven years.

Most of the time I create videos about animal rights...

On Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.

I try to use the internet to create as much awareness as possible.

I also talk about topics such as animal rights, health, environmental safety...

In schools and universities.

Welcome.

Georges Hayek...

Can you introduce yourself and give us an idea about Lebanese Vegans...

And about your activities in this field.

Of course. First, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all...

And thank every person who worked hard to make this webinar possible.

So, my name is Georges Hayek, I was born in Beirut in 1980.

I am an LAU graduate...

I studied business management and I have an MBA also from LAU.

I became a vegan several years ago...

And I decided that, after acquiring new information...

And realizing that there is a better way of living...

Different from the way we are used to living in our society.

A new way to live in our communities, our society, how to treat animals...

For the sake of the environment and our health.

So this is why I created Lebanese Vegans on the social media platforms first...

To be able to share information with others.

In addition to other ways used to raise awareness...

About avoiding as much violence as possible with animals, the environment and human health.

I wanted to raise awareness and spread this new culture.

Of course, we reached advanced levels.

We are even hosting conferences at the hospital...

To highlight all these important topics.

So, I am glad to be here today.

At least, we are now talking about a topic that has been disregarded for years...

And I think it is time to talk about it and raise awareness.

To be able to have a better tomorrow.

Welcome Georges.

We will hear more about your thoughts in detail later on.

Let's begin with the first part.

We will be discussing the impact of our nutritional habits on...

Our health in the first place...

And then on the environment and on climate change...

Especially in this region of the world.

We will start with you Georges, as a hospital owner...

Can you explain to us the impact of our nutritional habits...

And meat consumption on our health?

Of course, Joanna...

As we know, there are several reasons to become a vegan nowadays.

And, of course, the main reason is to stop unnecessary violence against animals.

However, if we want to go deeper...

There are many reasons related to our health and the environment as you mentioned.

Since your first question is about our health...

We have to mention that meat and dairy consumption...

Is the top cause of chronic diseases and cancer.

We can also mention that the leading cause of death is heart disease...

Caused by the clogging of the coronary arteries...

At forty, fifty, or sixty years of age.

These arteries are not clogging due to the consumption of vegan meals.

Vegan meals such as hummus, mjadra, and...

Tabbouleh do not cause the clogging of arteries.

Whereas the consumption of animal products such as meat, cheese, and eggs that are rich...

In cholesterol and saturated fats and trans-fatty acids...

Are what will lead to frequent hospital visits at a certain age...

Due to the clogging of the arteries or chronic diseases...

Such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

They are both directly related to meat and dairy consumption.

We shouldnt also forget colon cancer.

Because our human bodies are simply not made...

For the consumption of animal products.

Meat stays long in our bodies and develops into cancer.

So we can look at the topic from different perspectives.

Some people say that the studies are contradictory.

Let's leave the studies aside and take a look around us...

At family members, our moms, dads, sisters, brothers.

We all know someone suffering from chronic diseases...

Due to meat consumption.

We all know someone who has died or is suffering from cancer.

Or someone suffering from chronic kidney disease.

- We can look around us. - But Georges, what do you think...

About the increase in the number of patients whose diseases...

Are related to the consumption of animal products?

Of course the number of patients is increasing because...

The consumption of meat and animal products is also increasing.

This is the result of a lack of awareness, exactly that which we should be raising.

We cannot forget the industries that come together and form a lobby.

- Lobbying. - Yes, of course.

They can put pressure on society, institutions...

Universities, schools, and even governments.

This is related to politics and laws, which will be discussed later.

Seb, what can you tell us about...

The impact of these industries on the environment?

And the impact they have on climate change, particularly in the MENA region?

Yes, well...

The amount of animal products that we are consuming...

And the way we are treating animals...

Has a lot of impact on the environment.

For example, species extinction...

The animals that are dying...

Because we are destroying forests in order to...

Plant soybeans or other grains seeds to feed livestock.

We also have the problem of water consumption.

In Lebanon, for example, in Beirut and on Mount Lebanon...

More than 1.6 million people do not have access to enough water.

This problem also exists in other regions, including Middle Eastern countries.

We are using all the water for the animals.

I want to show you the numbers I found in my research.

Here we can see the water requirement per gram of protein.

We can see the requirements of cows, pigs, chicken.

How much water we are using to produce a gram of protein.

We can see that all those are animals.

The first four are animals.

The fifth category is starchy roots and although it is...

A vegan product, it is used to feed the animals.

And then we have the dairy and the eggs.

These numbers show how the consumption of chicken...

Has changed in Lebanon over the past 50 years.

We can see here that chicken is the fourth reason for water consumption.

In 1961, the number of poultry birds was below the 5 million...

In 2018, because there is still no data for 2020...

We have more than 70 million chickens.

So we are using a lot of resources to raise...

Livestock in order to be able to consume them.

How long can we continue like that?

In the world and in the MENA region...

The livestock industry is the biggest consumer of water...

We can't continue like that.

If we talk about animal rights and people ask why we don't talk about human rights...

Then I tell them: Ok, let's talk about human rights.

How are we using the water? How are we using our forests? How are we using the food?

According to a study conducted by the United Nations...

We have enough food to feed more than 9 billion people...

But we are using the majority of this food...

To feed the animals that we later consume.

How much food, water, space are these animals consuming?

We can see the impact this has on the environment.

A study conducted by Oxford University two years ago...

Showed that the best thing you can change about your lifestyle...

To save the environment...

Is to shift to a a vegan diet.

To become a vegan eventually.

As for the climate change...

We can see that our region is suffering from desertification and drought.

How do the dairy and meat industries affect the environment and climate change?

According to a study for a documentary called Cowspiracy...

13% to 18% of greenhouse gases are caused by the livestock industry...

Which at the end is consumed by the animals, and for us to consume them.

If we want to stop climate change...

We should think about what each individual can do...

Not just what governments can do.

Of course, we can ask the government...

But if we as individuals are not willing to change, then what is the point?

Every day, I can decide if I want to consume animal products that harm the environment...

Or vegan food that doesn't harm the environment as much.

Why don't we want to change?

And if we don't want to change, then how can we expect the government to change?

Every individual should start changing their lives before asking others to change.

This introduces our next part...

Which is the ethical point of view...

Reconsidering our perception towards this living thing...

That we are using as an object...

In the meat and dairy industry.

And so we ask, is animal exploitation and killing ethical?

Georges, what do you think?

This is a very important question, because the way we humans perceive animals...

Is still wrong.

We still think animals are here to serve us and our needs.

We should start perceiving animals as living creatures sharing this planet with us.

These are two different ways of thinking.

You should know that we are raising and killing...

Between 70 to 80 billion animals per year.

And as Seb mentioned, which is very important...

It is weird that we have enough food to feed the 70 or 80 billion animals...

But as you know, we have 7.6 billion people in the world...

With more than 1 billion persons who dont get enough food...

And there are a lot of people dying due to malnutrition.

We should understand that when we talk nowadays about veganism...

That it is not only about animal rights, but also about human wrongs.

Hence, it is not only a matter of animal rights, but also about human wrongs.

- Human wrongs. - Human wrongs.

Of course, instead of planting all this food to feed the 70-80 billion animals...

And consequently feed a small portion of humans...

We need to reconsider our agriculture.

Instead of planting plants to feed the animals...

We need to start planting food to feed the humans that are suffering from malnutrition.

So being a vegan benefits both human beings and animals.

- And I emphasize that... - It is the most ethical thing to do.

- Eating animals is a crime towards animals and human beings. - And the environment.

We may be human beings, but we are lacking humanity.

We should reconsider our humanity, and start to think about the hungry.

That we should reconsider our relationship with the environment and the animals...

We are raising and killing in a bad way.

Especially since studies show that the optimal amount of meat consumption is zero.

So today since meat consumption is not essential, therefore...

- To be healthy... - To obtain all necessary vitamins.

- All the vitamins. - All the proteins.

Which is why meat consumption is not necessary and...

And all the nutrients can be better found in the vegan meals.

For example, the proteins found in meat, are, in fact, recycled plant proteins.

We eat beef to obtain the proteins needed, but...

Have we ever thought about what the animal eats? It surely doesn't eat meat.

Especially since Middle Eastern cuisine is very rich.

- I get a lot of questions. - We have a wide variety of vegan options...

When it comes to Lebanese or Middle Eastern cuisine.

True. A lot of people tell me that it is a good thing to be a vegan...

But that it is hard to find vegan food in Lebanon.

They forget that 70% to 80% of our food is vegan by default.

We can mention, for example, hummus, tabbouleh...

Mjadra, fattoush, grape leaves, bulgur, mhammara.

- You are making us hungry. - Sure thing!

I want to ask you, Seb, also from an ethical point of view...

What is the price that we are paying with the epidemics thanks to this industry?

COVID-19 is a recent example that we are suffering from...

And we are not doing anything to avoid new pandemics in the future.

So today, we are treating the symptoms without addressing the source of the problem.

What do you think about it?

According to the statistics, which are more important than any opinion...

Everyone can have their own opinion, but in the end numbers are more important...

3 out of 4 zoonotic diseases, or in other words, the diseases that come from animals...

Are the result of consuming animal products.

Now we are talking about COVID-19, which started from animal consumption.

It has happened several times before.

I was reading yesterday about a new disease called H5N1...

A kind of influenza with a death rate of 50%.

How long are we going to survive things like that?

If we don't want to learn from what is happening today...

How are we going to change the future?

How are we going to live in a world without the problems that we are facing today?

As Georges mentioned...

If we talk about the biggest academies in the world of nutrition...

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the USA...

Consists of more than one hundred thousand doctors.

According to the study they conducted, vegan lifestyles promote...

Good health in all life stages.

You can switch to a vegan diet at any point in your life.

If we have doctors saying that we saw the numbers and we can say that...

You can be a vegan, how can we explain killing and eating animals?

How can we explain the suffering of animals for the sake of a sandwich or a 5-minute meal?

And we are paying the price in other places.

Yes, at the same time we have the diseases that come with it.

Georges, would you like to add anything?

Of course, as Seb mentioned and as you said in your question...

We live in a society where it is very easy to treat the symptoms of a disease.

Today, everyone is wearing masks and it's great.

Everyone is washing their hands, which is also great.

Everyone is maintaining social distancing, which is also great.

But by doing that, we are treating the symptoms.

So the question is: are we doing something to avoid the next pandemic?

COVID 20, 21, 25, or 30?

A lot has happened in the past years, from SARS and MERS to HIV and COVID-19.

I can share my screen to show you...

The pandemics that we talked about.

Mad cow disease came from the cows. Then you have the swine flu, SARS, bird flu, MERSE, and the Coronavirus.

All of them originated through our relationship with animals.

So the main point here is: what have we done all the the times that we have had all those disease outbreaks?

Did we take the appropriate measures to avoid the next one? No!

Today, after the COVID-19 erupted crisis, are we taking any measures to avoid the next pandemic? No!

The problem is that the WHO and the CDC are saying that...

3 out of 4 infectious diseases are caused by meat consumption.

The World Health Organization says...

'As long as people eat meat, there is always going to be some risk of infection.'

As long as people are going to consume meat, we will always have a risk of infection.

CDC also said '3 out of every 4 new or emerging...

Infectious diseases in humans are coming from animals.'

- But I have a question, Georges... - Yes, go ahead.

How exactly would the use of animals for entertainment and...

Fashion and consumption be a source of pandemics?

Can you explain this to us?

Of course, viruses and diseases don't only spread through the consumption of meat.

It is our relationship with the animals in general.

When we remove the animal from its natural habitat and put it in a strange environment...

And put it with other kind of animals in the presence of human beings...

All this then leads to the virus transmission.

It could occur through consumption, fashion or entertainment purposes.

It is not only restricted to the consumption of animals...

But rather connected to our entire relationship with animals.

And the wrong way in which we perceive them as a source of nutrition or anything else.

We need to change our perception towards them...

We should know that animals are supposed to live a cruelty-free life.

They are supposed to live in their natural habitat.

Maybe then we will be able to avoid the next pandemic.

Seb, I have a question about our region in general and Lebanon more specifically...

According to a personal experience...

What can you say about the way we treat livestock while importing them?

And do you believe it can lead to disease transmission?

Of course, this counts for Lebanon, but also for other countries like the USA and Canada.

Let me give an example, since we are talking about it.

As Georges mentioned, it doesn't just occur through animal consumption...

In Denmark, for example... One of the best countries...

- Which is one of the most... - Advanced countries.

Exactly, they had a problem with COVID-19 because of the minks that they use for the fur.

They were obliged to kill more than 16 million minks...

Because the virus was mutating and they were finding it in human beings.

So, they were obliged to kill more than 16 million minks.

Anywhere in Lebanon or European countries...

Killing and using animals is bad.

As long as we see animals and think about what we can do to exploit them...

- Exploit them. - Yes.

There is no nice or bad way to exploit something.

There is only bad exploitation and exploitation that is a little worse.

So in the end, it is all about exploitation.

And of course, the way they are exploiting animals in Lebanon, is horrible.

We can find really ugly cases and we can find less ugly ones.

We can find for example a small farm in which animals don't suffer from violence...

But, in the end, they are still going to be sent to the slaughterhouse.

And in the slaughterhouse no one knows what happens.

At the end of the day, there is a reason why this industry never shows us what it does.

The image of the laughing cow on the cheese, for example, always shows us a cow that's smiling.

So why don't they use this image inside the slaughterhouse?

Who is going to buy the product and encourage the industry then?

Here comes the job of activists, like you, to try to show the truth to the people.

And you are being able to use social media in a way...

that opposes the lobbying of the big industries.

With that idea we reach our third part.

How can we achieve positive change on an individual level at home...

On a social level and the environment...

And how will we be able to achieve change through new laws and political action?

Georges, what do you think? How can we start on the individual level?

This is a very important question, but I would like to add something to what Seb earlier said.

These industries that produce meat, eggs, and dairy products, as Seb said...

They have one strong weapon: they hide what they actually do.

They never show us what happens behind the walls of a slaughterhouse.

Today, as animal rights activists, it is our job to use their strength against them.

They hide, so we need to expose them.

There is a reason behind why they hide what happens...

Because if they showed what really happens in a slaughterhouse...

Most of the people who consume meat and dairy... Who are not bad people at all, I believe...

- On the contrary, I think. - They are good people.

They have been misinformed and have not been well exposed to...

All the facts before making their right decisions.

Because today, when we follow the mainstream media, like the TV channels, billboards, and so on...

We see the cows running around happily, smiling, and singing...

And happy to become steaks on our plates.

Whereas if they show people the truth... I used to be one of them.

I used to consume meat thinking it was healthy.

This is what we want to talk about Georges, how can individuals change?

What I did on a personal level, is that I opened a social media page...

And started sharing all the information I have found out with my followers.

For them to be able to make a link between the...

Plate they offer us with so much innocence...

- Decorated. - Instagram-worthy, and the way they...

Preparing food that doesn't resemble me at all.

And I am sure it doesn't resemble most of the people.

And I am sure that the future of these industries is not very promising...

Because of the internet and all the people like Seb working in this field...

People are becoming more aware of what is really happening thanks to what theyre getting to see.

It is just a matter of time before people start switching to veganism.

But now, the viewers for example, how can they...

Start achieving positive changes in their lives and homes?

First of all, they have to be convinced.

If they are not totally convinced, the change will only be temporary.

They will change for a month or two before returning to their old habits.

So I advise every viewer today, before becoming a vegan...

To do their own research about the impact that meat is having on their bodies...

The animals, and the environment to create their own ideas with regard to the subject.

Activists like Seb and I cannot take the place of anyone.

We can create a sense of curiosity in their minds...

So that they would be encouraged to conduct their own research...

And form their own idea on the subject.

So before becoming vegans, I invite you to conduct a deep research...

About the impact it has on the body, and then make your decision based on your findings.

By being a vegan, you do not add something to your lifestyle...

Instead, you remove something from your lifestyle.

When we go and enter the supermarket, for example...

We have the fridge of the dead on our right...

- And on our left hand, we have the... - The meat you mean.

Of course, at the end of the day they are dead.

And on your left, you have the good things.

- Colorful. - Vegetables.

So being a vegan doesn't demand a diploma, it's not that hard.

- It is just simply knowing what to choose. - What you choose affects everything.

Yes, so instead of choosing cow milk, you can simply choose alternative plant-based options.

So it is not that hard.

And, of course, on the individual level, just like Seb and I...

A person can decide to share the information they have, just like Seb and I do.

Because we have an ethical duty to share the information and not keep it to ourselves.

- Everyone can share the info with their family and talk about it. - This happens on a social level.

And if they can take things further, then of course it would be better.

Here Seb, I would like to ask you on the level of a community or society...

How can we influence people and raise awareness?

I heard that you collaborated together, Georges and Seb,

In something new in Lebanon, called the Lebanese Vegan Social Hub...

Tell us more about it since it's considered community work in our society.

At the end of the day, we need to remember that most people eat animals.

There are a lot of people willing to change their lifestyle, yet they are afraid.

Because they feel like they are on their own and they need special support.

We launched the "Lebanese Vegan Social Hub" for people to learn about animals' rights...

To learn about the vegan diet...

And for us to be able to distribute vegan food to families in need...

For us to be able to invite doctors for informative speeches...

And assist us in helping humans for the sake of the animals.

We are helping people for the sake of their own health and the environment.

But most importantly, for the sake of animals' lives.

If we feel like we are obliged to talk about human's rights...

Then we need to apply the same principle when talking about animals' rights.

I am not saying that there's no difference between animals and human beings.

- But there's no difference in the logic. - The main principle.

Yes, the principle.

This means that we must stop unjustified violence against animals or human beings...

And that's why we launched the Lebanese Vegan Social Hub.

And we are looking forward to starting awareness campaigns...

As well as lobbying, to try and change the reality in our country at least.

And the working method of the Lebanese Vegan Social Hub is really easy...

And any group in any country can implement it in their cities.

I want to ask here about the importance of entering the political sphere.

Meaning if the activists try to enter the government or any political position...

To change laws and impact the positive change.

As an example, you have the Party for the Animals. This is a successful Dutch political party...

That gained more than 80 seats nationally and across the EU.

And they succeeded in implementing laws to protect animals and the environment.

And they teamed up with several parties from more than 20 countries, including Moldova and Canada.

And that's how we can really see and feel significant change.

What do you think, Seb?

Of course. In the end, the politicians are the ones who are responsible for the laws.

A lot of countries, like Australia, use the same way to spread awareness...

And they are considered activists, like myself and Georges, but in another way.

And this is very important, because they are directly impacting the law...

And they are trying to help animals through changing the laws...

Or implementing new laws. Let's give an example here.

There were a lot of things in the past that...

Happened to human beings and were accepted by the law.

And it was done because it was accepted by the law.

And we are doing the same with animals.

The law decides a lot of things in our society...

It decides how we approach things.

That's why we get surprised when we travel from one country to another...

Because there's a real difference among laws.

One country forbids a specific thing, while another country might allow it.

And that's how we can identify the difference even though we are all human beings.

But we can see the difference, and therefore understand that law plays a very signifcant role.

I encourage anyone who has the time and ability to spread awareness on a legal and political level.

And it's something I consider very important.

What do you think about this, Georges?

I totally agree with Seb.

And whether veganism is related to politics or not is definitely important.

I highly recommend you watch a video created by Seb regarding this topic...

Because it is very informative and it includes a lot of details.

But to sum up, everything we do in our life is related to politics...

Meaning the way we communicate and treat others...

Especially when we are willing to make a change on a personal or social level...

We also need to reach politics and make a change there.

Because it will not be enough to only make changes on a social level, no matter how hard we try. So we should also make changes at the highest levels.

Politicians are part of our society, therefore, everything is related...

Work must be done on both levels.

Spreading awareness must be inclusive and comprehensive.

In the end, our main goal is to prevent legalized killing and animal usage.

So these are all legalized things?

Yes, these actions are in compliance with the law. But just like Seb said, the law is not always ethical.

Not too long ago, it was normal and justified to have slaves.

Today, this is considered wrong, why?

Because there was a group of people who considered this oppression...

And tried to spread awareness and make people believe that this is wrong...

- Despite the fact that it was accepted by the law. - Legalized.

Yes, and it doesn't mean that it was ethical.

And consuming meat is considered a similar case.

Veganism is a highly ethical topic...

And we must take it seriously like any other form of oppression.

It is similar to injustice against women, which is also seen as a form of oppression.

And it is similar to injustice against children, which is also seen as a form of oppression.

And prioritizing one form of oppression is also wrong.

No form of oppression is considered more important than the other.

And if we considered today's topic as real oppression...

Then we could definitely create change on a personal, social, and political level.

And here we must mention the importance of lobbying...

It begins within each family where everyone starts to consider this as a form of oppression.

This topic is undoubtedly very important and we can discuss it further during new sessions.

Unfortunately, our time is coming to an end.

I would like to thank you...

Georges and Seb, for the very important information that you shared with us today.

I hope that you managed to spread your ideas among a large audience.

Would you like to add something before we end our session?

Georges?

I just want to quickly share one important piece of information with our audience...

Producing 1 kg of meat requires 15,000 liters of water...

More than 80% of antibiotic production is intended for animals.

That means that we risk getting antibiotic resistance.

That means that normal antibiotics will no longer be effective against normal flu.

Therefore, we risk facing a dangerous problem which we all must be aware of.

We should also know that the global population is growing significantly.

Let me quickly share my screen and show you something.

The total population in 1990 was 5.3 billion...

And it has increased significantly, reaching 7.6 billion in 2020.

And it is expected to reach 8.5 billion in 2030, and 9.7 billion in 2050.

What exactly do these numbers mean?

They are showing us that the population is fast increasing.

And if we proceed with this same lifestyle...

Then we will require two planets to be able to feed all those people...

Even with my or Seb's efforts, or any other animal rights or environmental activists out there...

The world is obliged to switch to veganism...

Because we have already abused water, lands, and burned every single tree in the Amazon...

People forgot and switched their focus to COVID-19.

But let us remember what happened a year ago with the wildfire in the Amazon.

As you all know, the Amazon is considered the lungs of this earth...

It provides high percentage of oxygen to every creature on this planet...

- And they are burning it to make space for agricultural lands to feed the animals. - Sure.

Therefore, we are obliged to consider this issue as highly important...

And we must all have the courage to acknowledge that our lifestyle is wrong.

- We cannot continue this way. - Yes, re-examine the situation.

We must re-examine all these issues.

And at the end of the day, I just want to quickly say to our audience...

That preparing animal-based food or clothes, is definitely not attractive.

- And if it's not attractive, then it's definitely bad for your body. - True.

Ask yourselves: does this animal oppression and animal abuse...

Represent who you truly are as a human being?

Look in the mirror, and ask yourself if this animal blood and suffering are what really represents you?

- We consider ourselves... - Sure, and our ethics.

If we are good human beings, that means that we should act according to our ethical values.

Seb, would you like to add something before we proceed with the audience questions?

I completely agree with Georges, and he expressed my thought at the end...

I also wanted to ask: do your actions reflect your ethical values?

Are we following what we believe in or not?

We should also think about animal suffering and not only about our opinion.

In the end, veganism is a reflection of our actions...

Meaning we are changing ourselves for the sake of another victim, another animal.

Okay, thank you, Seb.

We received several questions that I'm going to mention.

Some people consider human beings to be carnivores...

Meaning they include meat in their diet...

Can we really change our diet?

And what do you think about reducing meat consumption rather than eliminating it completely?

What do you think about this, Georges?

As I mentioned before, meat consumption is unnecessary and we can still get all the nutrients from plants...

Meaning that meat consumption is a total crime.

Even reduced meat consumption is still a crime.

Whether I kill one animal or several, it is still a crime.

We are totally against killing animals which is completely unnecessary.

If you eat meat 1-2 times per week, it means that an animal has been killed 1-2 times...

And this is completely unethical and unnecessary.

Therefore, we are against partial solutions and encourage radical solutions.

Meaning avoiding animal cruelty completely...

For the sake of the animal and his right to live, similar to human beings...

And for the sake of our own health to avoid heart problems, kidney diseases, and cancer...

And for the sake of our environment which we will pass on to our kids.

Therefore, meat consumption is no longer considered a personal choice nowadays.

And that's because when consuming meat, you are actually killing an animal...

And you are hurting your health, even if it can be a personal choice...

But you are also hurting the environment where we all live in.

That's why you don't have the right to hurt the environment where others live in.

Today, this issue must be taken very seriously. So in my opinion, eating meat a limited number of times is still wrong.

I will address the next question to Seb...

What do you think about animals eating other animals?

And should we as human beings prevent this?

And what's the difference between a human being eating animals and an animal eating another animal?

Unlike human beings, animals who eat other animals are obliged to do so...

For example, a lion cannot be a vegan.

We cannot convince a lion to become a vegan, even if he could do so...

Because its body is structured in a way that requires it to eat other animals.

Science shows us that the structure of our bodies does not require us to eat animals or consume animal products.

This is the only difference and the most important one.

And in the end we might want to stop it, but how should we stop it?

If we want to stop it, we first need to start fixing ourselves as human beings. And subsequently, focus on the problems that the animals are causing.

- Would you like to add something, Georges? - Yes.

I would like to go back to a previous question that I didn't answer.

Someone asked about humans being carnivores.

Human beings are not carnivores for a very obvious reason.

If we look at a real carnivore like, a lion and compare it to a human and a herbivore after dissection...

And when we open their digestive system and try to find who matches the other...

The human is obviously an herbivore and not a carnivore.

Because the digestive system of a carnivore, such as a lion, is extremely short...

It processes the meat as fast as possible to get rid of it and it prevents toxicity that can lead to death.

However, our digestive system is 10-15 times longer than our original height...

And we were born to eat plants and not meat...

Even when we consider ourselves carnivores, or omnivores, which means that you eat both, plants and animals...

A human being is still not an omnivore. Why?

Because if we look at the real omnivorous animals out there...

Do we see them suffering from heart disease? Of course not.

Meat is causing deadly diseases, and that is why we are not considered omnivores.

Another question: we cannot get vitamin B12 while following a vegan diet...

Therefore, how can we get vitamin B12 to maintain a good health?

- Okay. - Go ahead, Seb.

First of all, last year, new plants were found containing vitamin B12, such as duckweed...

They are still trying to figure out how to extract it.

But even if they found nothing, let's talk about what vitamin B12 is.

Vitamin B12 can be found in soil and in natural water.

But nowadays, we live a very different life compared to before.

We don't drink spring water all the time and we don't eat off the soil directly.

We wash everything well before eating...

And that's why we can't find vitamin B12 easily. And if we look at the statistics...

Almost 60% of the world population has a vitamin B12 deficiency.

Why? Because even the animals don't eat properly.

On top of that, they even have to provide supplements to animals...

So that when we eat them, we get a small amount of vitamin B12.

Isn't it better to directly consume the supplement instead of giving it to the animal who is going to be killed for us to eat it?

- Okay, your answer is clear enough.

- Can I please add something, Joanna? - Sure

People see meat consumption as necessary to receive all the nutrients such as proteins.

Meat does contain protein indeed, but let me give you an example.

Getting protein from meat is like getting oxygen from a cigarette.

When you smoke, you get a small amount of oxygen, but also a lot of harmful chemicals.

When eating meat, you consume protein but you also consume cholesterol, triglycerides, and other fatty acids...

All of these will clog your arteries and make you enter the hospital.

We should also not forget the growth hormones and antibiotics that they give to animals.

As Seb mentioned, even animals get supplements because they also lack vitamins...

So why go through the middleman to receive nutrients?

Why not get to the source directly which is plants?

Another question to Seb...

What is the best way to start positive change...

If you don't have time or financial resources?

- To become a vegan? - Yes, to become a vegan.

The most important thing as Georges mentioned, is knowledge.

There are a lot of good documentaries related to the environment.

As examples, Cowspiracy is a vegan documentary...

Dominion is related to ethical values...

What The Health is related to health...

Forks over Knives is related to health.

They can watch all of these documentaries to educate themselves more.

There are a lot of websites that can help someone who doesn't know where to start.

There is an English website called www.veganbootcamp.org...

It helps those who are willing to become a vegan, during an entire month for free.

If they prefer Arabic, there is www.plantb.tv, and they offer the same idea.

- They can find all the necessary information regarding veganism. - Thank you, Seb.

I received a question for Georges as well...

Are you planning on switching the dietary pattern of your hospital into vegan?

Of course. We actually started a while ago.

We are actually starting to offer plant-based meals instead of animal-based food.

We've been implementing this concept for a while now.

And during her visit to patients, our vegan dietician explains why they ended up in the hospital...

The main reason that got them into the hospital...

To not only focus on treating the symptoms as we already mentioned, but to find out the main core of the issue...

And they are then given the option to choose a plant-based meal...

And she also mentions the side effects of following a vegan diet.

Studies show that eating plant-based food...

Doesn't only stop the spread of chronic diseases...

But also restores the normal state of the body.

You must try to heal yourself through the food you eat.

We must not forget that the human body is similar to a car.

It's like a means of transportation, it gets us from point A to point B.

We must understand that fueling our car with dirty oil, will make it stop after 2-3 kms.

- The same concept.

And why is it this hard to apply it on human beings?

If we don't consume the right fuel for our bodies...

It's normal that we end up in the hospital.

We just received a very interesting question...

Does eating animals impact our behavior?

Seb, would you like to answer?

- Our behavior? - Meaning...

- I assume it's... - The way we treat others?

Does eating animals impact our behavior in regard to being violent for example?

Sure, it impacts the way we treat others.

To be able to take advantage of a human being, we should have the principle...

You mean an animal?

No, to be able to do something bad to another human being, we must have an experience in doing something bad to an animal.

The first thing we learn in life...

The first moment we start being aware of things...

Is that cows, chicken, and sheep can be eaten, but we don't eat dogs.

We start to differentiate various animals and change the way we treat them.

We follow this same principle with human beings once we grow up.

We treat a man and a woman differently...

We treat blacks and whites differently.

Capitalism, for example, is the consumption and abuse of everything.

In the past, the word "capital" had the meaning of an "animal's head"...

Because the first creature they managed to abuse, was an animal...

And when they learned the concept of abuse, they began using it on others.

Okay, very interesting. Yes, Georges?

There is the saying 'You are what you eat'.

If you eat violence, pain, suffering, blood...

Do you think that this will result in happiness and joy?

Of course not, as long as we are eating these things, it will definitely impact our society...

And nowadays, we see a lot of hatred in our societies. And that is why we need to identify the core reason.

- It all begins when we are children, as Seb mentioned. - Education.

When our parents tell us that we can identify between animals that we can kill and animals that we can love.

Just think about the idea they are creating in one's mind.

To add, FBI stated that most crimes against human beings began with crimes against animals.

Therefore, this question is considered an important one...

I mean how can we expect to have joy in our lives if we are consuming suffering?

- Let us try and live with a beating heart without stopping another heart. - Nice.

We also received another question regarding the unaffordable price of organic and plant-based food.

What can we advise people to do during this bad financial situation for them to be able to eat healthy?

And how can the government support effectively plant-based products?

Through implementing new laws or removing taxes maybe?

There are a lot of things that can encourage people to consume plant-based food...

What do you think, Seb?

We must note that being a vegan does not oblige you to consume organic products.

They can consume organic food of course, and it's much healthier.

But when I speak for myself, for example, I can't afford buying organic quinoa or kale every few days...

And this is not an issue, because veganism is all about animals' rights.

It's definitely healthy to consume organic food, but it's not a problem if I can't afford it.

The person who can afford it, good for them.

In regard to the price changes, we need to organize lobbying campaigns with the government...

To push it to invest in producing plants rather than meat.

This way, the price will undoubtedly go down.

Another question: Are there any awareness-raising projects when talking about the educational system?

Specifically, about how we must treat animals...

And about the connection between the destruction of the environment and climate change.

Are there any upcoming awareness-raising projects in the schools?

Unfortunately, until now we don't have any of that in Lebanon.

It is very important to create awareness programs in schools.

This is a very important topic that you raised, Joanna.

Me, Seb, and our team at "Lebanese Vegan Social Hub" are actually working on that...

- To be able to expand our activities into seminars... - Education.

Not only in the sphere of our Hub, but also to be able to visit schools and universities.

Because education is not limited to a single domain...

We must also note street activism, the events that we launch, campaigns, and of course politics as we already mentioned...

And all of that will help us to reach universities and schools.

Especially according to the statistics that we see today...

The group of people who are mostly influenced by the vegan message are young people.

Who aren't yet controlled by this system, who are willing to listen to new information.

Meaning that they are ready to get new information and set ethical values towards this information.

There's one question that requires a full episode and it's related to religion.

Religion accepts killing and using animals...

Share your thoughts briefly, because we don't have much time left.

In my opinion, even though God accepts that we eat animals, He doesn't oblige us to do so.

He doesn't oblige us to do so as religious people, whether we are Muslims or Christians or from any another religion.

Maybe God once gave us permission to eat his creatures due to some hardships...

That we must highly respect, because He created them...

And especially when we see ourselves as religious people.

And today, eating animals is not necessary. Even though God allows it, He does not oblige it.

So I think that God would not get mad when He sees us making the choice not to kill animals.

Seb, would you like to add something?

I agree, that there is no religion obliging us to eat or use animals.

Like Georges said... Let me give an example here...

If I locked someone up in a room with an animal...

And I would also bring a plate of plant-based food inside...

When this person gets out of the room, and God asks him what he did inside...

What will be the best answer? I killed an animal when I had the choice not to?

- Or I ate the plant-based plate? - Nice.

- Very nice.

And the last question is for both of you.

Would you consider being active in the political sphere?

If it is not about us personally, me or Seb...

But as activists or as advocates for animal's rights...

We are required to enter the political sphere for sure...

To be able to implement the change, that we are doing among our community, on a legislative level.

To be able to implement new laws to protect the animals, our environment, and health.

If not us personally, we encourage anyone who considers entering the political field to fight for this cause.

You would encourage them. Seb?

I agree, I don't know if I personally can, but I hope that we will get there one day with "Lebanese Vegans".

Hopefully this year or next year we will launch campaigns...

To be able to change or implement laws, at least in Lebanon.

And if an activist joins our community in the future and would be willing to enter the political field...

I would highly welcome and encourage this person, this is really important.

Very nice.

This webinar has come to an end.

I would like to thank you, Seb and Alex... I mean Seb and Georges.

I hope that you have managed to share your thoughts to a large audience.

I know there is a lot more we can talk about, but...

I hope that you have managed to inspire people and help them change their point of view towards animals...

And the way they treat animals and the environment.

This webinar was hosted by Lebanese Vegans and Party For The Animals.

I would like to thank you all.

For more information, you can check out www.partyfortheanimals.com

Or www.lebanesevegans.net

Or www.sebalex.org

It will be uploaded on the event page on Facebook and on social media...

for Party For The Animals and Lebanese Vegans.

Thank you all.

Thank you, Joanna and Seb. And everyone who made this webinar possible.

- Thank you so much. - Thank you.

The Description of Webinar: Saving the planet and our health with fork and knife (with Seb Alex and Georges Hayek)