Saudi Prince on a Mission to Veganize the Middle East

Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed grew up in a 460,000-square-foot palace in Riyadh, the son of one of the world’s wealthiest people. He ate meat, wore animal skin, and slept under goose down blankets. He also went on a trophy- hunting excursion in South Africa. The experience of killing those animals is something that he has never forgotten, and he now calls what he did “cowardly”. That nagging guilt, coupled with concerns about his health and the environment, led him to embrace a vegan lifestyle. And he’s on a mission to help everyone in his native Saudi Arabia and the surrounding countries experience the same revelation.

“It’s all tied together,” Khaled says. “Animal welfare, factory farming, the environment– usually they’re solvable if we look at things in an economic way, a humane way and a practical way rather than a greedy way.” Khaled is an investor like his father, but he has turned his attention to technology, green energy, and animal rights. He’s the driving force behind various countries’ switch to LED lights and solar panels, and he invested in the Matthew Kenney Cuisine vegan lifestyle company, taking the brand international with the first vegan restaurant in the Middle East: Bahrain’s New Plant Cafe. It aims to “inspire people to lead a healthier lifestyle.” The prince plans to open eight more vegan restaurants in five countries.

And what does his father, Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud, think about the path that his son has chosen? Motivated by Khaled and Dr. Michael Greger’s book How Not to Die, he, too, is now completely vegan.As Khaled puts it, “At the end of the day, it’s less about me feeling like, ‘What the hell, why should I give a shit, the world is ending’. There’s always hope, and as cliché as that sounds, it’s the truth. We can reverse what’s happening in the world.” (Michelle Kretzer writes on | February 22, 2017).

1. Bin Alwaleed is the son of the billionaire investor and philanthropist Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al Saud, also known as Time magazine’s “Arabian Warren Buffett”.

As the scion of one of the world’s wealthiest people, he grew up surrounded by opulence and glamour in his father’s colossal $136- million, 460,000 square foot palace in Riyadh and as he stands proudly before a collection he then had of roughly 200 luxury cars. Today– often flying in the face of status quo – he uses his wealth and influence to build a greener future for the Middle East…. Bin Alwaleed never forgets that expedition – he says, and the experience motivated him to start campaigning for animal rights through organizations like Mercy For Animals. On social  media, he re-tweets accounts like @VeganTruther and @PETA, asking if eating beef and owning crocodile-skin purses are worth the suffering caused to animals. A loud and proud vegan for the past five years, he hasn’t let a single animal product touch his plate, and has recently invested in bringing both plant-based restaurants and culinary classes to the Middle East.

Last July, his father pledged to spend his $32- billion fortune on healthcare, education, and alleviating poverty, matching commitments from the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to give more than half their wealth to charitable causes.

Nine years later, one of his proudest accomplishments is the gradual installation of LED lights and solar panels in neighbouring Jordan, an investment that is expected to cut local government power bills by up to 60 per cent. The first phase includes installation of 100,000 LED units across Amman and the Jordanian countryside as part of a larger agreement to invest $400 million in the country’s transportation and infrastructure.

Plant-based diets for climate: The prince’s interest in mitigating climate change trickles into his personal life. The greenhouse gas emissions produced from agriculture are second only to electricity and heat production, he explains, and the beef industry’s methane emissions can trap 100 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide within five years. It also consumes 11 times more water than either pork or chicken.

But going vegetarian can slash food-related greenhouse gases by 63 per cent, according to a recent study on plant-based diets by the University of Oxford. Goingvegan– which cancels out all meat and animal products– can reduce it by 70 per cent. “It’s all tied together,” says bin Alwaleed. “Animal welfare, factory farming, the environment–usually they’re solvable if we look at things in an economic way, a humane way and a practical way rather than a greedy way.”

A bright outlook in 2017: There’s a solution for everything, he says, from Saudi Arabia’s obesity crisis, to climate change, to U.S.President Donald Trump. He refuses to share in the pessimism of those who believe 2017 will be “the worst year ever,” for everything from environmentalism, to gaming, security,and real estate profit. He insists, “We  can reverse what’s happening in the world.” (Meet the vegan Saudi prince who’s turning the lights on in Jordan By Elizabeth McSheffrey & Jenny Uechi in News, Politics, Culture | February 10th, 2017)

2. His transformation from luxurious royal living to an environmentalist animal lover and promoter of plant based revolution is phenomenal and shows the hand of God that has filled his heart with love and conscience, and a determination to reverse what’s happening in the world. A radical transformation of his inner soul that preceded his efforts to switch over to renewable energy, philanthropic moves to boost education, primary health care, animal welfare and changed personal life style to go vegan is destined to have multiple salutary effects on his country and in the entire Arab world towards sustainable all round green development and a moral awakening towards peace and progress.

3. A similar trend is also seen emerging in other countries where veggies dressed as meat are on sale in restaurants. The newest butcher’s in Toronto stands in the Little Italy neighbourhood, around the corner from the oldest meat shop in the city. It has a long counter and is staffed by men and women in orange aprons with large knives. But all they slice up is vegetables.Yam chops is a vegetable butcher’s – the first of a new crop of plant based butcher’s shops springing up across North America. It serves yam chops that look rather like lamb glazed with a mustard maple sauce and Szechuan “beef” made from soy and pea protein. Sometimes a dark bloody stain leaks from the burgers. But all it is beet- root juice.

The customers are vegans and vegetarians who miss meat, and so called flexitarians– meat eaters who are trying to cut back. Many other entrepreneurs in different parts of Canada are innovating on newer methods. Rebecca Lopez-Howes fashion designer, are busy working on their new venture, Monk Meats.It is due to open soon, serving brisket,pastrami, steaks and cheese, all concocted from nuts and vegetables. (WILLPAVIA, Toronto, The Telegraph of 22 April, 2017).

4. Sheep are mutilated, Stabbed, Kicked, and Cut: Various other animals, pigs, cats etc. etc. are tortured for preparation of products for human use including cosmetics, food and wear. Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of theseactions on the animals involved. This has given rise to the advent of PETA.

5. Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party today appealed to all parties to rise against what it called the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s attempt to project meat-eating as a communal issue. “Rupani should be arrested and put behind bars for promising to make Gujarat vegetarian. And the law passed in the state which has the provision of life imprisonment for cow slaughter should be repealed,” NCP spokesperson D.P. Tripathi said. (Sanjay K. Jha, New Delhi, April 18, 2017).

6. Hindustan Times reports that Shia gau Raksha Dal aims to end cow slaughter not only in UP but also in other parts of the country. This Gau Raksha Dal will create awareness drives, especially in Muslim dominated localities in the first phase of its action. In the second phase, it will focus on those parts of the state that are infamous for cow slaughter.

The group aims at combating cow slaughter not only in UP but also in other parts of the country. Uttar Pradesh is one of the 22 states in India where cow slaughter is banned. “Our group will work across India to make efforts to check cow slaughter,” said Shamil Shamsi, president of Shia Gau Raksha Dal and the owner of an eatery specialising in Awadhi cuisines. Shamsi said that the group already had around 40 members. “But our aim is to rope in at least 10,000 more.This will make the group’s functioning more effective,” he said while announcing the group’s formation on Friday.(Updated: Apr 27, 2017– Now, ‘Shia gau raksha dal’ will check cow slaughter).

7. The noble Rishies, whose wisdom and experience transcend the limits of Time and Space have in unequivocal terms, cautioned in the Vedas and Smrities that Cow is Aghnya (should never be killed), repeated more than 100 times. Unfortunately, wilful conspiracy and mala fide intent coupled with stark ignorance due to non pursuance of the specific Niruktas while translating the Vedas by European scholars have persistently resulted in disastrous distortion and abject aberrations in translation of texts that have been followed by the so called scholars later, in India.

The Shastras have in general condemned Rajas food as the cause of Sorrow and grief–. However, regarding the consumption of other non vegetarian diet, the injunctions are categorical and varied based on place, time, individual, dosage and privilege i.e. sthan, kala, patra, matra and adhikar which should also not go ignored. The laudable injunctions of the Shastras are infallible and inviolable.

Source: “Truth” Dated 19-05-2017 Vol:85 Issue:5 published by Shastra Dharma Prachar Sabha, 91, Chowringhee Road,Kolkata -700020

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