Dr. Sailesh Rao On Why We Must Have a Vegan World by 2026

An intimate Vkind Connects interview with Dr. Sailesh Rao, Co-Executive Producer of Best Documentary, “Milked.”

vKind’s very own Dr. Shabnam Islam interviews Dr. Sailesh Rao, executive director of Climate Healers, a non-profit organization aimed at healing the Earth’s climate, and co-executive producer of “Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret,” “What the Health,” and “A Prayer for Compassion”, among other documentaries, including the most recent documentary “Milked”.  

He is among the most influential vegan and environmental activists in the world today. 

Dr. Rao is also a trained systems specialist with a PhD in electrical engineering from Stanford University and the author of “Carbon Darma: The Occupation of Butterflies”, and “Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis”. 

In this video, Dr. Sailesh Rao discusses how his past work as a systems specialist influences the work he is doing today,  and how he believes the transformation to a vegan world is a way to “tap into the abundance” in the world that we are not using properly. Sailesh says his mission is to create a vegan world by 2026, an idea that started as a bedtime story and a pinky promise to his granddaughter.

Shabnam Islam asks Dr. Rao to elaborate on the analogy he used at the first Annual Vegan Spirituality Forum and Retreat, where he said “from a cocoon to a butterfly”, in reference to the transformation from the current world into a vegan world. 

In this video, Dr. Sailesh Rao highlights the fact that “every part of nature contributes more than it takes, which is why nature flourishes in a pristine ecosystem.” He goes on to say that “right now we are the only species that takes more than it contributes,” which is causing the planet to heat up.

Dr. Rao brings additional facts into the conversation by delving into the details of a statistic he opened in a Climate Healers position paper that he co-authored, “The engineers’ solutions to scientists’ warnings”,  which states how between 1970 and 2016 the total biomass of wildlife vertebrates had declined by 68%.  Dr. Rao says humanity has been heating the planet by running what he calls a “global ecological ponzi scheme.” 

Shabnam Islam asks Dr. Rao what actions need to be taken to bring us back to “this thermostat setting scenario”, when Dr. Sailesh Rao provides us with his seven strategic actions detailed in his engineering solutions paper. 

  1. Educate the world.
  2. Get the United Nations to drop number 8 (economic growth) from their Sustainable Development Goals, and add goal 18, “Zero animal exploitation”
  3. Make healthy vegan food easily available to every human being on the planet
  4. Build a new constitution that revolves around ecosystems and not national boundaries
  5. Create a new economic game within the natural boundaries of the planet
  6. Create a Common Spiritual Initiative
  7. Bring back the diversity and richness of the planet (by way of veganism and other measures)

Dr. Rao says we need to organize ourselves in a completely new way because right now “we don’t have any incentive to go and clean up the ocean”, the rivers, etc. He expresses how he believes we need incentives for people to go and clean these areas instead of just punishing those who pollute the planet. He also believes the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is massively underestimating how much animal agriculture contributes to climate change, because the organization is “in bed with the animal agriculture industry”. 

He also highlights the need for what he calls a “love based approach” for convincing people to go vegan “instead of pointing fingers at them”, highlighting the importance of positive communication. Dr. Rao also gives us detail about his role in the documentary “Countdown to Year Zero” by Jane Velez Mitchell and why this documentary was so meaningful to him. 

Learn more about Dr. Sailesh Rao and his organization, Climate Healers, click here:  Sailesh Rao – Climate Healers


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