Could anything be more difficult? Yes!
If the entire world was already eating plant-based, moving in the other direction would be much more difficult. Why? Because it wouldn’t make any sense to anyone. It’s always difficult to challenge the norm—but it is exponentially more difficult if what you’re trying to do makes no sense.
In an era when over 90% of us are eating some form of the typical Western diet with meat, dairy, and/or eggs three meals a day—we know that it is a daunting task to challenge that widely accepted norm. Even though we know we’re right—for a plethora of reasons—it’s hard to imagine anything more difficult than radically changing our eating paradigm to one that requires zero animal products.
But there is a task that would be far more difficult. Imagine for a moment that almost everyone in the world was already eating nothing but plant-based foods. That’s right—the 60 billion farm animals that we used to raise for our deadly eating habits no longer exist. All of the great chefs and fine restaurants of the world are focusing 100% on plant-based dining and are written up in the Michellin and Zagat guides everywhere.
That’s how things might be in 2112
Further, people everywhere are raving about the foods, they are healthy and the cost of healthcare has plummeted to record low levels—now hovering somewhere around 2% of the GDP. Gone are the days when that number soared from 5.2% in 1960 to almost 20% in the early 2000′s.
The medical schools of yore have all been converted to institutions dedicated to health promotion. Most of the medical costs now are for things like prenatal services, injury repair, cosmetic surgery, etc. Screening tests for cancer are no longer needed since the incidence of that former killer disease has shrunk to near zero.
But there are a few populations in remote regions of the world that have no access to fresh plants—and they’re still killing wild animals for their food. Occasionally a few tourists to those areas get a chance to dine with those people and some of those tourists found that they enjoyed eating that cooked flesh and cheese.
Now a few of those wealthy tourists decide that it would be great to promote that way of dining in the more populated areas like New York, London, Paris and Tokyo. They plan to start with the wealthiest people and ultimately roll out their plan to everyone in the world. But first they must convince their future customers that a diet of animal-based foods is a good idea.
After doing a little review of the history of the 21st century, when humankind finally came to their senses, they realize that moving back to animal-based foods would be a much more daunting task than they had imagined. A review of the historical data reveals that:
- It would take between ten and twenty times more land, water and energy to feed everyone an animal based diet. And with all three in short supply, that was going to make their vision very difficult to execute.
- We can expect to see well over half the population eventually die of food-driven diseases like cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
- That rise in chronic disease translates into a 20-fold or 30-fold cost of health care that must ultimately be borne by the citizens—either directly or through taxation.
- Now that environmental controls are in place, the production of the highly inefficient animal-based diet will more than quadruple the grocery bill of most families.
- Since there wouldn’t be enough land to feed the world’s now 9 billion people this tasty new animal-foods diet—many new billions of people would just have to go hungry while the wealthy feasted on these fat-laden foods.
- There would eventually need to be over 200 billion farm animals slaughtered per year to meet the world’s appetite.
Who will lead this mis-directed group?
Realizing that only a fool would try to execute such a ludicrous plan, candidates for president of the United States will begin talking about growing cows, pigs and chickens on the moon, Mars, and beyond.
So lets compare our “daunting” task of 2012 with the infinitely more daunting task 100 years later…when a few lunatics try to move us back in the other direction. By comparison, let’s take a look at what we have working in our favor today.
Here is what we now know in 2012:
- We know that we can save much needed water, land and energy.
- We know that we can eliminate 80% of our costly disease care.
- We know that we can take much better care of our environment with plant-based eating: our topsoil, our trees, our climate and our water.
- We know that we can easily feed 9 billion people on the 8 billion arable acres with plant-based foods.
- We know that most people really do not want to ever cause any animal to suffer.
Bottom Line. We know that we are right about all of the above. And that’s why our task is so much less daunting than that mis-directed group of the early 22nd century.
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