The Meaning of Human Existence

This blog was inspired by the new E.O. Wilson book by the same name

E. O. Wilson. Longtime Harvard professor, one of the greatest biologists who ever lived and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

E. O. Wilson. Longtime Harvard professor, one of the greatest biologists who ever lived and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

What is the meaning of life? How many times have we heard that question? And how many answers are there? At least one for every sect, cult and/or religion in the entire world. Every organized group of humans has their own version of why we are here and this paragraph from the first chapter gives you an idea concerning Dr. Wilson’s point of view.

A majority of people prefer to interpret history as the unfolding of a supernatural design, to whose author we owe obeisance. But that comforting interpretation has grown less supportable as knowledge of the real world has expanded. Scientific knowledge in particular, measured by numbers of scientists and scientific journals, has been doubling every ten to twenty years for over a century. In traditional explanations of the past, religious creation stories have been blended with the humanities to attribute meaning to our species’ existence. The time has come to consider what science might give to the humanities and the humanities to science in a common search for a more solidly grounded answer than before to the great riddle of our existence.

To clarify, the purpose of this blogpost is not to stir up controversy among the various religious organizations. My purpose is to help us all focus on where we are right now and what we must do to survive as a species, regardless of how we got here in the first place.

Planet Earth from Space - Who owns it?

Alone and Free in the Universe

I first learned about Wilson’s new book from perusing the Sunday Magazine in the New York Times last week. And already being a big fan of his, I decided to order the book from Amazon, where they also threw in a free audio version when I purchased the Kindle format. Here is Wilson’s statement in the Times article (about old masters) that caught my attention:

…When I began reading and thinking more broadly about the questions of what are we, where did we come from and where are we going, I was astonished at how little this was being done. I’ve come to appreciate that we’re wrecking the planet, especially in the living part of the planet. The public response and the intellectual response to that particular crisis have just been unacceptably weak.

Like Wilson, I too have been astonished at how little is being written about our grossly unsustainable lifestyle, particularly the way we feed ourselves. While he mentions that “we’re especially wrecking the living part of the planet,” I was a little disappointed that he never mentioned exactly what we must do to stop wrecking it.

Like so many other scholars, educators, scientists and leaders, he never mentions what I consider to be the elephant in the room—“We’re eating the wrong food!” That may be because, like almost everyone else, perhaps he truly believes that we actually “need” to eat some animal protein to be healthy.

But, considering his “big picture” view of the world and his love for the environment, I imagine that he would be open to the premise that our only chance for saving our civilization and our species is to make some radical changes in the way we feed ourselves. Why do I think that?

In August of 2012, I featured Wilson and fellow philosopher Wendell Berry in my blog entitled “Harmony” for the ages—from E. O. Wilson and Wendell Berry Here are a few Wilson quotes from that article:

On the importance of humansIf all mankind were to disappear, the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed ten thousand years ago. If insects were to vanish, the environment would collapse into chaos.

Appreciating biodiversity. We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity. The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.

MeaningofHumanExistenceMech.inddBack to Wilson’s book. The first paragraph of his last chapter (Alone and Free in the Universe), he summarizes his understanding of the “big picture” thusly:

What does the story of our species tell us? By this I mean the narrative made visible by science, not the archaic version soaked in religion and ideology. I believe the evidence is massive enough and clear enough to tell us this much: We were created not by a supernatural intelligence but by chance and necessity as one species out of millions of species in Earth’s biosphere. Hope and wish for otherwise as we will, there is no evidence of an external grace shining down upon us, no demonstrable destiny or purpose assigned us, no second life vouchsafed us for the end of the present one. We are, it seems, completely alone. And that in my opinion is a very good thing. It means we are completely free. As a result we can more easily diagnose the etiology of the irrational beliefs that so unjustifiably divide us. Laid before us are new options scarcely dreamed of in earlier ages. They empower us to address with more confidence the greatest goal of all time, the unity of the human race.

The Bottom Line. Regardless of your beliefs about how we got here, surely we must all agree with his final sentence regarding the greatest goal of all time. But my question is this, “How are we going to buy enough time to work on such an all-encompassing effort to unite the human race?” Yes, it needs to be done, but at our current rate of global depletion,  we simply don’t have time to undertake, or to benefit from, such a complicated and controversial process.

As Dr. Stephen Emmott pointed out in TEN BILLION, we’re rapidly heading toward the collapse of our civilization well before the end of this century. But I still believe we have time to get it right and avoid that collapse—but ONLY if we immediately begin making radical changes in what we’re eating. That single step can buy us the time we need to address more complicated issues like overpopulation, the global economy based on maximizing the consumption of stuff and our dependence on finite fossil fuels that is driven by the first two.

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at eCornell.com/4Leaf-Survey.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

Posted in Activism & Leadership, Sustainability | 4 Comments

Stop Feeding Your Cancer

The title of a new book by John Kelly, MD—Dublin, Ireland

Published by PENTHEUM, November 2014

Published by PENTHEUM, Nov. 2014

I first learned of this important new book from Dr. T. Colin Campbell in late December 2014, immediately downloaded the Kindle version from Amazon and read it the next day. Why is this book so important?

Because it validates with human beings—the animal protein and cancer connection discovered by Dr. Campbell in the laboratory several decades ago. That connection is described succinctly in this quote from the book’s preface:

[Dr. T. Colin] Campbell’s careful experiments indicated one bald conclusion: that the favourite food of cancer cells happens to be animal protein; ergo, reduction or elimination of animal protein in the human diet stops cancer cell growth.

Preliminary Cover for our book, scheduled for late Spring 2015

Preliminary Cover for our book, scheduled for late Spring 2015

Fortunately, I learned about this powerful little book while in the early stages of writing my second book, shown here, that I am co-authoring with Kerry Graff, MD. From the manuscript of our new book, Dr. Kelly’s work is well represented:

If only our mainstream authorities would heed the game-changing scientific and clinical findings of T. Colin Campbell, PhD and John Kelly, MD in the two incredibly revealing books referenced here.

Dr. Campbell provided the scientific foundation in the early nineties and presented his compelling findings in his best-selling 2004 book, The China Study. The most alarming information about cancer was that it was strongly associated with the consumption of animal protein. In the lab, Campbell was able to “turn cancer on and off,” simply by adjusting the level of animal protein in the diet up or down.

Long before getting to know Campbell, Dr. Kelly read The China Study, and decided to test out the findings on his human patients in Ireland. The results were astounding. Almost every patient in many dozens of cases was able to basically starve their cancer—resulting in the slowing, arresting or reversal of this horrible disease.  

In 2014, he went public with their stories in his powerful book described here.  His book, along with The China Study, appear on our Reading List in Chapter 27. You (and your doctor) should definitely read them both.

As with Bill Clinton, this book will allay the Pope's fears about the quality of a plant-based diet.

This is the book that inspired Dr. John Kelly to leverage Dr. Campbell’s science to stop cancer in his patients.

From another book review. What Kelly has to say about the medical profession, dominated by consultants who rarely look beyond their own highly specialised areas, is telling.

But it is his exposure of the refusal of specialists to take on board this new way of treating cancer – or even to consider it – that makes this such an important book. Book review: The Dublin doctor who is beating cancer

You can read the book’s preface free. Using Amazon’s “Look Inside” function at this link, where you can also purchase the book in either paperback or Kindle. Stop Feeding Your Cancer: One Doctor’s Journey

The Bottom Line. Sadly, it’s all about money, power, ego and control when it comes to mainstream medicine. But it’s time for that to change. I will close with Dr. Kelly’s humanitarian appeal for that change in this paragraph from Chapter 8 in his book.

I’m no fool. I understand the implications are colossal – in terms of new treatment approaches to one of the major illnesses, in terms of the food industry, in terms of the pharmaceutical industry, in terms of medical institutional regimes. But the facts must be faced and the coordinated follow-up studies and readjustments in care must be made. Because, finally, it isn’t a medical, or an economic, or a political issue. It is a humanitarian cause.

Final Note. I first mentioned this book in my last blogpost of 2014. 2015—Long Overdue Breakthrough Year. Hopefully, it may help us turn that long-awaited corner as we move away from “disease management” and on toward true health promotion. A few of my earlier cancer blogs provided here:

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at eCornell.com/4Leaf-Survey.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

Posted in 4Leaf for Life, Activism & Leadership, Cancer | 6 Comments

2015 Dietary Guidelines. Good News and Bad.

With Confusion over Clarity still Reigning Supreme

The good news: illustration-scientific-report-of-the-2015-dietary-guidelines-advisory-committee-550

  1. We are finally hearing from a few mainstream experts that we should be eating less meat and more plants.
  2. They are saying that we should eat a more plant-based diet because  it is healthier AND it has a lower environmental impact.
  3. They specifically say that we should eat less fatty meats like bacon.

The bad news still abounds:              (See links to source articles below)

  1. It took the committee 571 pages to make their case.
  2. They are still advising that we eat MORE low fat dairy.
  3. They’re also saying that eggs are OK.
  4. The “good news” cited above will no doubt be reduced in the official 2015 Dietary Guidelines to be released later this year.
  5. Even in the best-case scenario, these recommendations are a clear example of too little, too late—when it comes to saving our ecosystem AND our civilization.

Dietary Guidelines

Why do I say too little, too late? Because, even if ALL of the committee’s recommendations were included in the official guidelines, it would take decades to make much of a difference in what most Americans are actually eating. And what about the rest of the world?

Fast Food in China still on a meteoric rise

Fast Food in China still on a meteoric rise

In the greater scheme of things, our share of the total global meat consumption has been dropping for some time now. China now consumes twice as much meat as we do.

In my 9-25-14 blog (below), I pointed out that our modest meat reductions in the USA are being wiped out by massive increases in the developing world. For example:

  • From 2009 to 2010, meat consumption in the USA went down by 36,000 metric tons.
  • During that same time period, meat consumption went UP in China by two million metric tons—prompting me to draw this conclusion:

For every American or European who is beginning to eat less meat, there are about 100 people in the developing world headed in the other direction. 

Mark Bittman, New York Times

Mark Bittman, New York Times

Meanwhile, people like Mark Bittman have to dig through 571 pages in order to summarize it such that the average reader of the New York Times can understand it. I had to chuckle at the first line of this summary paragraph:

Industry representatives hate the report — a good indicator of its value — and will fight to keep its recommendations from becoming policy. (Saying “eat less meat” is way different from saying “eat more lean meat.”) We should carefully monitor the current public comment period, which will be followed by a review by the Health and Agriculture Departments later this year, before the official Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be published. The smart environmental qualifications, and much else, will be fought furiously. But whatever is adopted will become official policy and will strongly affect school lunches and other federally funded meal-serving programs. Overall, these recommendations deserve our support (you can register your comments here) and our awareness that they need to go further.

While the recommendations noted that the plant-based foods have less environmental impact than animal-based foods, they came up way short in explaining exactly what that means—to the health of our ecosystem and its impact on the future of our civilization and the survival of the human species.

Finally, the pork producers weigh in with their take on the new recommended guidelines.

“It appears the advisory committee was more interested in addressing what’s trendy among foodies than providing science-based advice for the average American’s diet,” Hill said. “Have we really come to the point where alcohol is okay and meat isn’t”?

The most important three ingredients for program success: Leadership, Leadership & Leadership

The most important three ingredients for success: Leadership, Leadership & Leadership

The Bottom Line. While it’s great to see a little good news on the official dietary guideline front, it’s distressing to consider just how far away we are from actually beginning to REDUCE our global consumption of meat. We’ve already passed a number of environmental tipping points as explained in the last blog referenced below.

If we’re to have a chance of saving our civilization, we’ll need powerful global leadership to develop and execute an international campaign urging people to start making radical changes in their diets immediately.

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at eCornell.com/4Leaf-Survey.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

Posted in Activism & Leadership, Sustainability | Tagged | 2 Comments

Racing past environmental “tipping points” in 2015

That’s what appears to be happening per latest scientific study.

Planetary BoundariesA new scientific paper published this week triggered alarming headlines around the world. But, as always, these alarming stories describing critical emergencies do not include any clarity whatsoever about what must be done to save our civilization. From the Washington Post article:

At the rate things are going, the Earth in the coming decades could cease to be a “safe operating space” for human beings. That is the conclusion of a new paper published Thursday in the journal Science by 18 researchers trying to gauge the breaking points in the natural world.

The paper contends that we have already crossed four “planetary boundaries.” They are the extinction rate; deforestation; the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; and the flow of nitrogen and phosphorous (used on land as fertilizer) into the ocean.

Washington PostA few of the headlines from around the world:

  1. Washington Post article. Scientists: Human activity has pushed Earth beyond four of nine “planetary boundaries”
  2. Chart of boundaries. Planetary boundaries: Gauging the limits (Washington Post)
  3. Scripps Institution of OceanographyEarth Has Crossed Several ‘Planetary Boundaries,’ Thresholds of Human Induced Environmentaal Changes
  4. Reuters. Humans push planet beyond boundaries towards “danger zone”
  5. Daily Science Journal. Humans Crossed Four Planetary Boundaries, Study Says
  6. Canada.com. Humans needs to change course to stay within planetary boundaries
  7. New Zealand HeraldEarth pushing ‘planetary boundaries’
  8. Business GreenWorld in ‘danger zone’ as four planetary boundaries crossed
  9. The RegisterFERTILISER DOOM warning! ‘Planetary boundary’ breaches to END CIVILIZATION
J. Morris Hicks, always trying to focus on the big picture.

J. Morris Hicks, always trying to focus on the big picture.

Since no CLARITY regarding the solution was provided in any of the articles above, I will provide some here. The simple answer is that we MUST learn to live in harmony with nature, yet we continue to get further away every year. I recently described our dilemma with this mental image:

Imagine an enormous freight train, loaded with all 7.2 billion of the world’s humans, adding another million passengers every four days and racing like a rocket toward a gigantic rock wall at 100 mph—constantly gaining more speed. What I am describing is an URGENT situation; one that requires URGENT action.

We have four primary issues that must be addressed for us to live in harmony with nature: overpopulation, overconsumption, dependence on fossil fuels and our harmful and wasteful typical western diet with some combination of meat, dairy, eggs and/or fish three meals a day.

The urgency is driven by the fact that we simply don’t have the necessary time to address the first three. They will take many decades (if not centuries) to resolve and we may be down to just a few years as the experts agree that we’re rapidly approaching or passing certain tipping points, beyond which there is no possibility of avoiding the worst effects of crossing all these planetary boundaries.

Stephen Emmott's book will help the pope understand the unprecedented planetary emergency we face.

Emmott’s book is a great one-hour read describing the horrifying dilemma we’re in.

That leaves our harmful, wasteful and unsustainable diet. That’s the only one of the four issues that can be addressed quickly. But we haven’t even started. Consider this little factoid from my friend in the UK:

Simply to feed ourselves for the next forty years, we will need to produce more food than the entire agricultural output of the past 10,000 years combined. — Stephen Emmott, “TEN BILLION”

The Bottom Line. There is no possible way that we can learn to live in harmony with nature without radically changing what we’re eating—ultimately taking the animal out of the equation. Not only are plant-based foods far healthier for us than animal foods—on a per calorie basis, they also require about 1/10th as much land, water and energy. Here’s my conclusion and appeal for world leaders to step up and help prevent the greatest mass extinction in the past 65 million years:

Things that we value most—family, health, freedom, happiness, friends, peace and wealth—do not exist without sustainability. In other words, if we don’t quickly learn how to live in harmony with nature, life will be nothing more than a hell on Earth for those few of us who survive. — J. Morris Hicks

A few of my earlier blogs on this crucial topic. Check out the cartoons in #7.

  1. NOTHING is more Important than Sustainability! By comparison, all else shrinks to insignificance. 1-25-14.
  2. Tearing down the single biggest roadblock to sustainability My “locked brains” article. 10-23-14.
  3. Food Choices. The primary cause of global warming? Dedicated to the memory of the great climate specialist Dr. Robert Goodland. 2-4-14.
  4. Cancer. Heart disease. Global warming. Water scarcity. Warning, this one may make you angry. 2-6-14.
  5. Were humans the “infestation” of Easter Island? I believe that they were and think that you will agree. Contains two great videos, 1-minute and 7-minutes. 8-9-13
  6. “Living in Harmony with Nature” by Ted Turner. Perhaps the world’s last chance to save us all from the horrors of global warming. 2-26-14.
  7. “Not-so-funny” cartoon series. Saving our ecosystem. There is no FUN way to describe what we’re doing to our planet. This is VERY serious stuff. 3-3-14.
  8. Now that I am officially an activist…This post features my Bill & Melinda letter and was inspired by someone telling me to “persevere.” 4-9-14.
  9. They say that Nero fiddled while Rome burned…Most humans think that life has never been better on this planet. Reminds me of Easter Island. 4-19-14.

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at eCornell.com/4Leaf-Survey.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

Posted in Activism & Leadership, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Sustainability | Tagged | 1 Comment

2015—Long Overdue Breakthrough Year

For unleashing the world-changing power of plant-based eating

As with Bill Clinton, this book will allay the Pope's fears about the quality of a plant-based diet.

This is the book that got things rolling big time in 2015.

Long before The China Study was published in December of 2004, (ten years ago this month) Dr. T. Colin Campbell was publishing life-saving and world-changing truths about food. For over twenty-five years, he has been trying to tell the world about the leading cause of most chronic illnesses, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer.

Yet, there is still not a single school of nutrition nor a single school of medicine that is actively promoting those incredible truths that could save million of lives each year AND contribute mightily to the health of our fragile ecosystem, on which all humans depend for survival. NOT A SINGLE ONE!

Not only are those schools not actively promoting those incredible truths, many of the top schools are doing all that they can to suppress them; thereby depriving the innocent public of crucial information that we all need for longterm survival. Enough is enough. It’s now time for the public to hear about what’s been going on behind the scenes in our large healthcare organizations and in our schools of medicine and nutrition.

2015 Breakthrough #1—Enlightened journalism to the rescue. While I am not at liberty to write about exactly what is happening, I am predicting that some powerful stories on this crucial topic will be shared with the public in a number of highly regarded mainstream publications in this new year.

51L9zAy1Y+L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_2015 Breakthrough #2—Stop Feeding Your Cancer, by John Kelly. That’s the name of a newly released book by a medical doctor in Ireland who is showing his patients how to beat cancer. And guess where he learned how to do that?

He read The China Study, the 2004 book that nutritional science and mainstream medicine still do not take seriously. From the online book review:

John Kelly, MDWhat Kelly has to say about the medical profession, dominated by consultants who rarely look beyond their own highly specialised areas, is telling.

But it is his exposure of the refusal of specialists to take on board this new way of treating cancer – or even to consider it – that makes this such an important book.

Book review: The Dublin doctor who is beating cancer

You can read the book’s preface free. Using Amazon’s “Look Inside” function at this link:  Stop Feeding Your Cancer: One Doctor’s Journey

With industry now controlling our schools of nutrition, is academic freedom dead?

Perhaps the leading school of nutrition in the world—still not taking the plant-based solution seriously

2015 Breakthrough #3—Mainstream doctors embrace plant-based. Long before our schools of nutrition and medicine get around to teaching how we can save millions of lives while reducing taking a quick two trillion dollars out of the USA cost of healthcare, many mainstream physicians have already started doing it. Thanks to the good work of organizations like the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, Forks Over Knives, Plantrician and many others—the ranks of the fully enlightened medical professionals is about ready to explode. Two of those mainstream professionals are featured here:

Dr. Kerry Graff. I wrote recently about my friend and co-writer for our next book. She’s not yet sure how she can earn a living in a business model currently based on managing disease, but she is 100% committed to doing it. As she says, you can’t put a dollar amount on the joy a physician feels when she helps patients get rid of disease and take charge of their health. Read all about Kerry Graff in this earlier blogpost. The Future of Medicine Starts Here—Canandaigua, NY Also, you’ll want to read her powerful “introduction” to our new book whose working title is the 4Leaf Pocket Guide to Vibrant Health.

Dr. Robert Ostfeld

Dr. Robert Ostfeld

Dr. Robert Ostfeld. Did I say mainstream?  A cardiologist, he earned his BA from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa; his MD from Yale University School of Medicine; and his Masters of Science in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is now the director of the Cardiac Wellness Program and associate professor of Clinical Medicine at Montefiore Medical Center in New York. Excerpts from a well + GOOD article published yesterday:

“When I got [to Montefiore], I started doing what I was trained to do. I encouraged patients to take guideline-based medications…[but] people weren’t getting  profoundly better. It was after that, I stumbled across The China Study.” (You know, that groundbreaking book that made a lot of connections between food and disease.)

“Disappointingly…the benefits are not well-known in the medical community. Some physicians are very open-minded to it and others are not. We should be open-minded to all things that help our patients.”

Kaiser Permanente logo2015 Breakthrough #4—Major Healthcare Organizations. The healthcare of millions of Americans is handled by huge organizations who actually benefit financially when their patients get healthy. Even so, we’re finding that most of the physicians there are still not open-minded to a widespread replacement of “disease care” with true health promotion. One of the CEO’s of one such organization recently told one of my colleagues how he felt about telling patients about a disease-reversing plant-based diet.

He said that to him a plant-based diet was a bit extreme. As such, since he was not prepared to adopt it himself, it wouldn’t be right for him to ask his patients to embrace such a diet.

To me, that is a big problem—and here’s why. All physicians have the responsibility to provide their patients with the very best advice available when it comes to their health. That means telling them the complete truth about certain diet-styles that some may have previously considered “extreme.” Why is that? Because there is now a mountain of evidence that supports the fact most chronic disease can be reversed simply by eating a lot more whole plants.

While this “mountain of evidence” has pretty much been hidden from the public until now, I think that the time has come to get that life-saving information out to EVERYONE. All won’t act on it right away, but they deserve to hear it. And the primary access vehicle to that truth is their physician; whether or not that physician is willing to adopt that superior diet-style him/herself.

Hippocrates

Hippocrates

When the big news referenced above starts breaking, these large organizations are going to be forced to start taking much better care of their patients. Isn’t it time for all these organizations to become truly accountable to their patients and tell ALL of them this simple advice from Hippocrates? “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” 

(See my blog entitled Plant-Based for ALL Patients! says Kaiser-Permanente)

The Bottom Line. As the news about the incredible POWER of whole plants to reverse disease becomes common knowledge, change will come and it may very well come quickly.

2015 is THE YEAR for that NEWS to break and for that rapid CHANGE to begin.

SUSTAINABILITY. Finally, let’s not forget the fact that the primary cause of our poor health is also the primary cause of ALL of our major environmental issues that threaten the sustainability of our civilization. They’re all driven by the toxic diet that we have chosen to eat. A few of my blogs on that topic during the past twelve months:

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at eCornell.com/4Leaf-Survey.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

Posted in Activism & Leadership, M.D.s---Health-Promoting, Sustainability | Tagged | 7 Comments

The Remarkable Pope Francis—Cuba and Beyond!

My Christmas Prayer for 2014 involves his special leadership.

My special Christmas photo that I snapped last week on December 13, 2014.

Christmas photo that I snapped on December 13, 2014, in Vermont. All that WHITE reminds me of the pope.

In my most recent blogpost a few weeks ago, after hearing of his speech at a U.N. conference about world hunger and the environment, I made an appeal for the pope to get seriously involved in promoting the ONLY pragmatic solution to climate change and sustainability. That appeal was posted on 11-26-14. Pope speaks out regarding FOOD & ENVIRONMENT

Three weeks later, we learn of how Pope Francis helped facilitate the normalization of relations with Cuba—after 53 years. From the NY Times (See link below):

WASHINGTON — The deal that freed an American jailed in Cuba and ended 53 years of diplomatic estrangement between the United States and Cuba was blessed at the highest levels of the Holy See but cut in the shadowy netherworld of espionage.

A personal appeal from Pope Francis, American officials said, was critical in persuading Cuba’s president, Raúl Castro, to agree to a prisoner swap and the freeing of the American aid worker Alan P. Gross. The pope, officials said, acted as a “guarantor” that both sides would live up to the terms of a deal reached in secret.

How can anyone not like this guy?

How can anyone not like this guy?

Just a month earlier (10-23-14), I had mentioned the Pope in my “top ten list” of potential global leaders capable of Tearing down the single biggest roadblock to sustainability.

After fully understanding that longterm sustainability of our ecosystem AND our species is not possible without changing the way we eat—he will know what to do. Here’s what I said near the end of that post:

Circulate this article. Find those leaders. Dispel that protein myth. Unlock the brains of the best, brightest, wealthiest and most powerful leaders on Earth. Who are they? Here’s my top-ten list and someone you know may know how to reach them:

Pope Francis, Bill Gates, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Bloomberg, Prince Charles, Warren Buffett, Joel Osteen, Mark Zuckerberg, and Barack Obama.

Few people took me seriously when I mentioned the pope’s name two months ago in that 10-23 blogpost. Since then, he’s spoken to the U.N. about world hunger and the environment AND he’s helped broker a normalization of relations with Cuba. With a bit of enlightenment about the lunacy of the way we’re eating in the developed world, who knows what an impact he could have in bringing about rapid global change on this most urgent of ALL topics?

Update. There is a Catholic priest in Newfoundland (a new friend of mine) who is currently working on a plan for gaining an audience with Pope Francis to discuss this crucial topic. Stay tuned.

Two more Christmas Photos, the first taken by my son during a recent “dawn patrol” at Wachusett Mountain. He ski-hikes up in the dark and skis down at sunrise. Then he goes to work. The second one is a recent photo of my refrigerator, decorated with Christmas cards featuring the images of ALL six of my grandchildren.

Merry Christmas from Jason Hicks, the co-author of "Healthy Eating, Healthy World."

Merry Christmas from Jason Hicks, the co-author of “Healthy Eating, Healthy World.”

2014 Christmas FridgeFor 2015, pray that we all take some HUGE steps toward SUSTAINABILITY!

In addition to the source document for this blog, I have listed a few of my other 2014 blogs on this topic. Although I began blogging about mostly health in 2011, most of my recent blogs (out of a total of 875) have been focused on activism and leadership aimed at promoting sustainability.

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at eCornell.com/4Leaf-Survey.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

Posted in Activism & Leadership | Tagged | 5 Comments

Pope speaks out regarding FOOD & ENVIRONMENT

At the United Nations FAO nutrition conference in Rome

Pope at FAO

Pope Francis addresses the FAO conference of the U.N. on November 20 in Rome.

Could he be that rare global leader we so desperately need? When one of the most prominent leaders in the world makes caring, intelligent comments about FOOD and the ENVIRONMENT in the same speech at a U.N. conference, it catches my attention.

Not only is he prominent, Pope Francis may very well be THE single most influential person in the world today. In addition to the 1.2 billion Catholics, he could also influence an additional one or two billion people like me—those who admire and respect him as a person of great integrity and compassion. Excerpts from his speech at the U.N. FAO conference in Rome last week (11-20-14):

God always forgives mankind, but the earth does not…If men continue to be greedy abusing natural resources to make a profit, the earth will eventually take her revenge…Take care of the earth so it does not respond with destruction…Primacy of profit and market priorities have obstructed efforts to fight global hunger and malnutrition.

This is the poolside bar where I met Padre Jerry

This is the poolside bar where I met Padre Jerry

How did I first hear about this speech? From a Catholic priest (my friend, Padre Jerry) who was attending a health conference in the Dominican Republic this week where I was speaking.

After meeting him at the poolside bar the previous evening, he slipped me a handwritten note (about the Pope in the news) the next day, just before I delivered my speech entitled: Food. Health. Planet. The only viable pathway to the longterm sustainability of humanity.

In my speeches on this topic, after describing our almost hopeless environmental dilemma driven by our food choices, I always talk about the desperate need for powerful leadership to WAKE UP the sleeping public before we run out of time. Pope Francis could be that powerful leader we’ve been seeking. He’s definitely well-qualified for the job—according to this corporate headhunter. Check out this resume:

RESUME — His Holiness Pope Francis

  • Name: Jorge Mario Bergoglio
  • Address: The Vatican, Rome, Italy
  • Age: 77, born on December 17, 1936, in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Education: Philosophical & Theological Faculty of San Miguel, Univ. of Buenos Aires
  • Job description: Leads church of over 1.2 billion people
  • Compensation package: Room, board, clothing and unlimited international travel
  • One of the top three most recognized people in the world
  • Globally revered for his goodness, kindness, compassion & integrity
  • Understands that unchecked, human greed will destroy the world
  • Knows that human activity is wrecking the environment
  • Arguably the most respected person in the world
As with Bill Clinton, this book will allay the Pope's fears about the quality of a plant-based diet.

As with Bill Clinton, this book will allay the Pope’s fears about the quality of a plant-based diet.

Qualified to lead, all he needs is a little further enlightenment. He simply needs to  learn the following not-so-well-known facts from qualified experts in medicine, science and environmental studies:

  1. Humans can flourish on a whole food, plant-based diet. We don’t “need” to eat ANY animal-based food.
  2. On a per-calorie basis, it takes OVER ten times as much land, water and energy to produce animal based foods as it does for plant-based foods.
  3. Given the above facts, we can easily feed the world’s 7.2 billion people a superior, disease-reversing diet on far less land than we’re now using.
  4. As agricultural land is freed up and returned to nature, our fragile ecosystem can begin to heal.
  5. As a bonus, that superior diet is capable of wiping out most of the world’s chronic disease, curbing global warming, easing the water crisis, and reversing the human destruction of our ecosystem.
  6. Changing what we eat is our ONLY pragmatic option for preventing the collapse of our civilization well before the end of this century.
  7. It is also our ONLY option for bringing all humans back to living in harmony with nature—a prerequisite for our longterm survival as a species.
Stephen Emmott's book will help the pope understand the unprecedented planetary emergency we face.

Stephen Emmott’s book will help the Pope understand the unprecedented planetary emergency we face.

CONCLUSION. Once Pope Francis learns that all of these seven points are true, a man of his courage, integrity and compassion—will know what to do. And he very well may be our ONLY chance.

So how do we further enlighten this great man of God so that he will urgently begin leading the entire world back to living in harmony with nature? The process begins with Padre Jerry and his fellow priests in Newfoundland.

Plan of Action. When I said farewell to the Padre on November 24, I suggested to him that he was most certainly the ONLY one of the world’s 400,000+ Catholic priests who was even thinking about bringing this desperate topic to the attention of the Pope at this time. He agreed that I was probably right and he also agreed to work with me in gaining an audience with His Holiness.

For that all-important enlightenment process, I would invite a carefully-selected group of five people to join me and Padre Jerry for that initial meeting with Pope Francis. In order to allay any doubts he might have about health or science, this stellar group would join us at the table: Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Shane Williams (cardiologist), Dr. Stephen Emmott (author of TEN BILLION) and James Cameron (world-renown environmentalist, explorer and movie director). Rounding out the table of ten would be several of the Pope’s top officials.

For this holiday, please pray for our success in the successful engagement of this rare global leader. No less than our future as a species hangs in the balance. 

Jeff Anhang, environmental specialist and research officer. He advises on managing environmental and social risks and opportunities in investments by the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Jeff Anhang, environmental specialist, research officer

Just before posting this blog, I received a message from my scientist friend at the World Bank Group. Jeff Anhang and his now deceased colleague, Robert Goodland, reported in 2009 that at least 51% of ALL human induced GGH is attributable to livestock, Worldwatch 2009.

Today, Jeff is sharing a powerful “Turkey Day”message; one that Pope Francis could use to influence billions of people to heed: How turkey this Thanksgiving might save our world.

We’ve all talked about going cold turkey; how about NO TURKEY?

Happy Thanksgiving!

The following five books and one DVD can be purchased on Amazon for a grand total of less than $60—and will enable you to understand the overwhelming challenges we face—along with the single most-powerful solution of all.

Six-Pack from Hicks—for health, hope & harmony on planet Earth

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell; the primary book that influenced Bill Clinton to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby Richard Oppenlander.

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at eCornell.com/4Leaf-Survey.

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

Posted in Activism & Leadership | 4 Comments