…and my single word of rebuttal for all of them: UNSUSTAINABLE!
Despite the fact that multiple professional football and tennis stars thrive on a whole foods, plant-based diet, despite the fact that heart disease and type 2 diabetes are reversed in 95% of the patients eating whole plants, despite the fact that entire cultures of people who eat plant-based from their birth rarely ever get any of our chronic diseases (including cancer), despite the fact that the strongest animals in the world eat nothing but plants….
Despite all of that evidence, people who want to continue eating meat, dairy, eggs and seafood will continue to do so and will use any number of lame arguments to support their wasteful, harmful and unhealthy habit. I choose to take the high road and avoid arguments that prove them wrong. I take the position of:
“Okay, let’s assume you’re right about all of your arguments—it really doesn’t matter, because the rich Western diet is simply not sustainable for very much longer.”
You see, humans have existed on this planet for for roughly 5/1000th of one percent of the life of the planet herself. And it took us almost 200,000 years to grow our population to one billion people.
Up until then, no matter what we ate, we could only damage ourselves and could simply eat whatever we could grow, find, catch or kill. It really didn’t affect the other creatures that much and had little, if any impact on the environment or the ability of our fellow Earthlings to find enough food.
But things have tightened up in the past few hundred years as our numbers swelled from one billion to seven billion in a mere blink in the eye of planetary history. With about one billion humans going hungry all the time, we now find ourselves in trouble. Quite simply, there’s just not nearly enough land for all of us to eat a inefficient diet, like meat, dairy and/or eggs three meals a day.
To exacerbate the problem, we’re losing a South Carolina-sized chunk of arable land every year to harmful farming methods and development—as we steadily go about increasing the global human population at the rate of 197,000 people every single day.
It gets worse—millions of people in China and India are switching from plant-based to the western diet each year–because it tastes good and it is what wealthy people have always eaten.
And that’s just the “land shortage” piece of this unsustainability equation. There’s also the loss of species and destruction of our ecosystem that is being driven by our incredibly harmful lifestyle. We’re now burning forests in the Amazon so that we can grow soybeans to ship to China to feed pigs. That’s so the Chinese don’t have to depend on the developed nations for their all important pork industry.
Five common arguments for meat. So what are all those pro-meat & dairy arguments that I alluded to earlier? Here you go:
- Humans have always been hunters and gatherers.
- Our brains would have never developed had we not eaten meat.
- Even the Bible mentions eating meat and fish.
- We cannot get the quality and quantity of protein that we need from just plants.
- We need meat & dairy in order to get vitamin B12 and enough calcium & vitamin D.
The Bottom Line. I choose not to argue with any single one of the above reasons and will just say, “even if all of them were legitimate—the incredibly wasteful, harmful and cruel western diet that we consume is grossly unsustainable.”
It’s not about “saving the planet,” which is twenty thousand times as old as we are, it’s about preserving her ability to provide for the longterm sustainability of the human race. If you care about the quality of life of your great-grandchildren and beyond, stop eating meat, dairy, eggs & fish today.
In closing, let’s hear that big picture one more time from our friend, Philip Wollen, in Australia. Take just ten minutes to watch this powerful video.
For your convenience, I have provided a few of my earlier blogs on the topic of sustainability:
- Burning trees in the Amazon — to feed pigs in China
- Land, Topsoil and Trees — livestock damage (Sound Bites)
- Biodiversity issues — driven by livestock (Sound Bites)
- Fish-Farming — A sad “solution” to an unnecessary problem
- Are “sustainability schools” ignoring the plant-based solution?
- Forget “saving the planet.” Think great grandchildren.
- Ethical—what does it mean when it comes to our food?
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The ”big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation