On this 7th day of the 7th month at 7 a.m.
On February 11th of this year, I posted my 737th consecutive daily blog, ending my two year daily streak. Since then, I have posted forty more blogs, now averaging about two per week. Last week, I posted a blog about the fact that we don’t need randomized studies to prove that we should be breathing air, drinking water and having sex.
Why should we need randomized studies proving what we should be eating? Why are we the only species (of millions) that can’t quickly understand what Nature had in mind for us? Mother Nature has a feeding plan for all of her creatures—including us. Some animals prey on other animals, some animals eat plants, some animals eat both—and so forth. And no one has to explain to all those millions of species what they should be eating.
But we humans have hundreds of thousands of scientists, dietitians and nutritionists spending millions of person-hours every year trying to figure out something that should be a blinding flash of the obvious to most casual observers. I provided a link to my earlier blog below, but have some additional thoughts that I want to share with you now.
I just googled “What do bears eat?” And in a millisecond, here’s what I learned from Wiki.Answers.com:
Although they are classified as carnivores, or meat-eaters, bears are really omnivores, like we are. They eat meats and plants. About 90% of the diet of the Eastern Black bear is plants such as:
- Other fruits
- Nuts, including acorns
- Small mammals
Polar Bears eat mostly Seals, Sea lions, Walruses, Fish and sometimes dolphins.
Omnivores, like we are? Excuse me, but that’s the big problem. We have deluded ourselves into believing that we’re omnivores and that our bodies were designed to eat whatever we want. That works fine in Nature when every animal has a chance for survival—but it fails miserably in an unnatural world where seven billion humans are killing two billion animals (counting fish) every single week for their dinner tables.
Whatever those bears eat are all according to Nature’s plan. Those bears are the “natural predators” of those small animals and by eating them, they are part of a master plan of harmony on planet Earth. With humans, our out-of-control eating of land and sea animals has absolutely nothing to do with Nature.
Consider that only 100 billion humans have ever lived, yet in the early 21st century—seven billion of us are consuming 100 billion animals every year (after raising most of them in horrendous conditions). And in the process, we’re squandering precious finite resources that will not be available a few generations from now—our land, our water and our fossil fuel energy sources. No one could possibly use the word Harmony to describe how we’re feeding ourselves.
So how did we get into this mess? As the most intelligent (but maybe not the smartest) species, the one that has thousands of scientists doing randomized studies to figure out what we should beating—how did we make such a mess of things?
Here’s my take. The first humans ate nothing but raw plants—like our closest relative in the wild today, the gorilla. Later, as we developed our cognitive niche, built tools, learned to use fire, etc.—we began to eat things that were not necessarily a part of Nature’s plan.
No doubt, it was all about survival and we tended to eat anything we could get our hands on. Speaking of gorillas, what does wiki.answers.com have to say about their natural diet?
Gorillas are NOT omnivores, they are herbivores. The fact that they might occasionally consume insects while eating fruit, leaves and nuts does nothing to negate that fact. They have no need for animal foods, and zoos do not include animal products in their normal diet (though animal fat may be included in commercially prepared foods as an inexpensive source of lipids). In fact, meat fed regularly to a gorilla would result in its early death.
As our ancestors began to explore the cold and barren parts of the Earth, the only things to eat were other animals. So we did. Then eventually, as we settled in every single region of the planet, we gave ourselves the name omnivore. Nature had nothing to do with it.
About 20,000 years ago, humans began learning about agriculture. We could then settle in one place, grow plant foods and keep domesticated animals for work, pleasure and food. Things went along pretty well for the next 19,800 years. Then in 1804, just 200 years ago, we reached the one billion population mark. About 100 years later, we discovered cheap energy—and that’s when the trouble began.
In a mere blink of history, our species went from eating meats for survival or special occasions—to eating meat and dairy three meals a day, 365 days a year. We also went from one billion to seven billion in just over 200 years and have systematically taken over every square inch of land to feed ourselves. And, when we need more land, we simply burn down a rainforest—with no understanding of the damage we’re inflicting on our ecosystem in the process.
When does the madness end? Some have referred to the human species as the infestation of planet Earth. Let’s take a look at the definition and see if you think we qualify.
Infestation. The state of being invaded or overrun by pests or parasites. To be present (in a place or site) in large numbers, typically so as to cause damage or disease.
Putting things in perspective. Scientists report that our planet began supporting life some four billion years ago. Humans came along just 200,000 years ago.
If those 4 billion years of life on Earth were crammed into just one year, we humans have been here for only 26 minutes. Jesus Christ lived 20 seconds ago, we went from two billion to seven billion population in the last two seconds, and in the last 1/2 of one second (fifty years), we humans have inflicted more damage on the harmony of nature than all previous generations of humans combined—for the last 200,000 years.
Do we qualify as an infestation? I believe that we do. What do you think? And what should we do about dealing with it?
The Bottom Line. In my “air, water and sex” blog last week, I featured some very well-educated medical doctors who were promoting the correctness of a meat-based diet for our species. One of them wrote New Atkins for a New You and the other wrote The Paleo Diet.
Although there is a mountain of evidence that challenges their beliefs, what if they were right? Even if they were right, the meat-based diet for humans is not sustainable for much longer. There’s simply not enough land, not enough water and not enough energy. Even today, if all seven billion of us tried to eat the way we do in the USA, we’d need two planet Earths to feed us all and we only have one.
The single most powerful step we could take toward a return to living in harmony with Nature is a deliberate move in the direction of a whole foods, plant-based diet for humans.
It promotes our own health, ends world hunger, and curbs global warming—to name just a few. But most importantly, by re-learning how to live in harmony with Nature, we preserve our planet’s ability to sustain us as a species.
Forget “saving the planet.” Think about saving your own great-great-great grandchildren. The planet’s going to be just fine; she’s seen mass extinctions before. It’s the human species that’s in jeopardy.
Need more sevens? At 12:25 EDT in the USA, Andy Murray just won Wimbledon —breaking Britain’s 77-year drought in the Championship. Maybe the stars are lining up for something big. Now, I am going to try to share this blogpost with Dr. Stephen Emmott, who may very well have been in attendance at the All England Club today.
- My blogpost featuring Dr. Stephen Emmott. Are humans the “infestation” of planet Earth?
- My earlier “Air, water and sex” blog. Do you breathe air, drink water and have sex?
- Earlier blog from Sept. 2012. How many PhDs does it take to figure out what we should eat?
- Earlier blog from August 2012. Forget “saving the planet.” Think great grandchildren.
- My “big picture” article from 2007. 30 Minutes to Live. Also entitled, “Give me 30 minutes and I’ll give you 30 years.” My attempt to explain the “big picture” about what went wrong and why—when it comes to what we’re eating.
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.
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to email@example.com
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—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation