Well, maybe a few of them are–here are three encouraging stories.
1. Let’s lead off with Nicholas Kristof’s column in the New York Times a few days ago–“Our Water-Guzzling Food factory.” He starts out with this question: “Which consumes the most water?” The choices are a ten-minute shower, a handful of 10 almonds, a quarter-pound hamburger patty or one washing machine load. From the article (See link below)
The answer? By far, it’s the hamburger patty. The shower might use 25 gallons. The almonds take up almost a gallon each, or close to 10 gallons for the handful. The washing machine uses about 35 gallons per load. And that beef patty, around 450 gallons.
According to my calculations, not only did the hamburger patty win, but it consumed over six times as much water as all of the other three combined. Later in the article he makes a lame attempt at suggesting we shouldn’t be eating so much meat:
Like most Americans, I eat meat, but it’s worth thinking hard about the inefficiency in that hamburger patty — and the small lake that has dried up to make it possible.
Maybe our industrial agriculture system is beginning to change, for we’re seeing some signs of a food revolution in America, with greater emphasis on organic food and animal rights. Just a week ago, Walmart called on suppliers to stop keeping calves in veal crates and hogs in gestation crates.
2. The second one is from Timothy Egan, also in the NY Times, “The Arrogance of Jeb Bush.” So what’s so arrogant about Bush? The same thing that is arrogant, or simply ignorant, about most elected Republicans across the nation–their almost universal denial of the role of human activity in driving climate change. Egan writes about Bush:
Bush the youngest believes the Earth is warming. No doubt, he’s willing to go further out on a limb and conclude that heat expands, cold contracts and a dolphin is not a fish.
That’s as far as he’ll go. He says the science is “convoluted,” even though the latest assessment from international climate scientists states with 95 percent confidence that humans are the cause of a sick planet. That obfuscation is also understandable. You simply cannot be a leader of the Republican Party without appearing to know less than a fifth grader about earth science.
The point here is that almost everyone over ten years old knows that human activity is driving climate change. They now need to learn that our food choices are driving more climate change than all other forms of human activity combined. Speaking of food choices, I should also point out that Timothy Egan seems to “getting it” to some extent. Later in the article, he states:
“And for the people to say the science is decided on, this is just really arrogant, to be honest with you,” said Bush. “It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t have a conversation about it even.”
Is it arrogant to say that smoking causes lung cancer? That you shouldn’t text and drive? That the American diet and lifestyle cause Type 2 diabetes, which is killing people? There is some wiggle room in each of those assertions. But you test them at your peril.
Interestingly, he might be the first mainstream columnist to matter-of-factly mention the cause of Type 2 Diabetes.
3. Four of the world’s top five most powerful celebrities are either vegan or leaning that way. Beyoncé (#1) and Ellen DeGeneres (#5) are openly vegan. Dr. Dre (#3) says he “doesn’t eat meat, but occasionally fish.” Finally, Oprah at #4, has spoken many times about the many advantages of plant-based eating. See Forbes article below.
It’s time to leverage the incredible power that these people bring to the world table of SUSTAINABILITY.
The Bottom Line. I have been writing about the need for powerful leadership to step forward and form a global coalition that will invest billions of dollars in enlightening the world about the most important topic in the history of humanity–our food choices in the 21st century. And now is the time. It’s time for a few passionate leaders to leverage the science, the health benefits, the more accepting public opinion and the fact that four of the world’s five most powerful celebrities are aware of the world-changing advantages of plant-based eating.
Less animals + more plants = healthy people and a sustainable ecosystem.
The time for change has never been better–and that is why my #1 priority is doing all that I can to identify, enlighten and influence one or more powerful leaders to accept the challenge. We need powerful leaders who will make this global coalition the single most important thing that they will do for the rest of their lives.
What can you do? You can start by getting the “animal out of the equation” in your own diet. You can also become a part of this discussion. You can ask other people to look at the simple arithmetic that any 3rd grader could understand. You can challenge the “leaders” that you know about the unsustainable nature of our lifestyle. You can ask them why no one in power ANYWHERE is talking about this crucial topic. Finally, you can invite me to speak at your company, church, university or club.
- 5-30-15 Our Water-Guzzling Food Factory – NYTimes.com by Nicholas Kristof
- 5-29-15 The Arrogance of Jeb Bush – NYTimes.com by Timothy Egan
- 6-30-14 The World’s Most Powerful Celebrities – Forbes
- My 5-27-15 blog. Bill Gates is way off base on MEAT!
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
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD
- 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.
- What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
- A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
- Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unaware, by 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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info: