Healing our Planet Amidst a Climate and Pandemic Crisis, with Dr. Sailesh Rao of the Climate Healers, and Opposing a $9.5 Million Bailout for the Vancouver Aquarium with Annelise Sorg

Listen to the extended version of this show here!

This show will broadcast on Friday, May 1st, 2020 from Noon to 1pm PST at 100.5fm CFRO and via live internet streaming at coopradio.org An extended version of the show, however, is already here now (above) for you to listen to! 

For our feature interview, we welcome Dr. Sailesh Rao, an environmental scientist who believes that the world is capable of overcoming climate change – but only if everyone adopts a plant-based diet by the year 2026. Annelise Sorg, the co-founder and President of No Whales in Captivity, discusses the history of Vancouver Aquarium’s exploitative conduct towards the animals.

One of the beautiful pigs at Excelsior Hog Farm who has since been slaughtered for bacon.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of when 200 activists arrived at the Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford at 6am on April 28, 2019, to expose the truths to the world about the horrors that lay behind the barn doors where thousands of pigs are kept in a factory prison, churning out babies and suffering for months until their slaughter to be made into “pork” and “bacon” at the demand of our omnivorous citizens.

To start the show, we take a step back into time and reflect upon the action of this day, and where we are left now, one year later, where the pigs are still suffering and countless thousands more have led miserable short lives in confined and grotesque living conditions that you would not wish on your worst enemy.

We reported extensively on this first “Meat the Victims Canada” day of action, and our past podcasts, with exclusive interviews, can be heard here and here.

Annelise Sorg, No Whales in Captivity, with a Message for our Government Against a $9.5 Million Bailout for the Vancouver Aquarium

For our first interview, we welcome local long-time anti-captivity activist Annelise Sorg back to the show. Annelise is the co-founder and President of the organization No Whales in Captivity, since 1992. The Vancouver Aquarium has been in the spotlight these days, as they claim to be losing 3.3 million dollars a month since they shut down to customers as of March 17 due to the pandemic, and they have no back-up plan in place. They are now asking our government to provide a 9.5 million bailout so that they can continue to pay operation costs to keep their 70,000 animals imprisoned in their small areas of confinement. 

The Vancouver Aquarium is perhaps more a zoo than aquarium now, with only one cetacean (Helen the dolphin) left on site, and they have historically rejected animal sanctuary projects, which would put the well-being of their animals at the forefront instead of paying customers and profits. Public support for keeping captive animals continues to decline, and Annelise believes that it is time to stop all government funding and tax-payer subsidies for the Vancouver Aquarium. Keeping animals in captivity purely for entertainment purposes is not an essential service, and Annelise says, for just that reason, our government should not bail out this multi-million dollar business hiding behind a charitable society status. 

In this interview, Annelise sheds light on the shady history of the Vancouver Aquarium, and speaks more of the 70,000 animals kept behind its walls in very unnatural and confined enclosures. How much longer can these animals be imprisoned this way before society completely agrees that this is an archaic exploitative treatment of animals, and that the future holds virtual reality displays that provide a much more fascinating experience? To sign the petition letter to our Municipal, Provincial and Federal Government Officials, you can click here.

For a full exposé on the historical shady dealings of the Vancouver Aquarium, you can watch this free feature-length documentary here, “Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered”, made by local filmmaker Gary Charbonneau:

Dr. Sailesh Rao on Healing our Planet and Preventing Extinction

Dr. Rao is the author of two books, Carbon Dharma: The Occupation of Butterflies and Carbon Yoga: The Vegan Metamorphosis. He is also an Executive Producer of four documentaries: The Human Experiment (2013), Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014), What The Health (2017), and A Prayer for Compassion (2019).

Dr. Rao’s background is actually as a systems specialist, and he earned  his Ph. D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He went on to help modernize the infrastructure of internet communications in the early years. Dr. Rao is the Founder and Executive Director of Climate Healers, a non-profit organization dedicated towards healing the Earth’s climate, and to creating an inclusive global community, nurturing and accelerating a shift in human behavior towards a balanced and regenerative presence on Earth for all life.

Dr. Sailesh Rao's 2020 Virtual Global Tour: the Pinky Promise tour. Healing the Earth and Preventing Our Extinction, presented by Vegan World 2026.

Through Climate Healers, Dr. Rao is presenting a series of online events, starting with a discussion panel with the directors and cast members of his film What The Health. The whole line-up of the upcoming free, virtual events can be found here.

In this interview, Dr. Rao speaks to us about how he believes humans can heal the Earth and prevent extinction, in this time of both climate and pandemic crisis. He also introduces us to the Pinky Promise Tour, a virtual and global campaign which holds a solution that can not only help heal our climate, but can help heal three of the main risk factors for COVID-19 mortality (hypertension, diabetes and heart disease) and help prevent future zoonotic diseases.

Enjoy this 8 minute video presentation by Dr. Rao entitled “How To Get To A Vegan World by 2026”:

This show was produced by April LaFleur, with web content contributions by Asami Hitohara, and co-hosted by Grace Wampold and Leah Thompson.

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