We simply don’t have time for the normal snail pace of social change.
During “The Last Heart Attack” documentary, President Clinton spoke briefly about the dismal state of affairs with regards to our school lunches across the country — with pizza, burgers and french fries dominating the menus. He said that due to the costs involved, the school systems didn’t have the budget for the more expensive fruits and vegetables so were opting for the cheaper, less-healthy fare. And he added that the kids don’t mind, because they prefer pizza and burgers over veggies anyway.
He talked about the pace of social change for correcting the situation — but there was no sense of urgency in his voice. As he was speaking, my impression was that he was thinking like a politician and not like a world leader. As we all know, the typical politician doesn’t really do much “leading;” they just say what they need to say to get elected. Then they spend the next four years trying not to rock the boat too much so as not to spoil their chances for re-election.
What we really need is LEADERSHIP. We need for a few powerful, smart and charismatic people who understand the “big picture,” to join forces, collaborate and do all that they can to help the average citizens of the developed nations to learn the truth about how we have chosen to feed ourselves. People everywhere need to learn the truth about the extremely harmful, wasteful, cruel and gross unsustainability of what we’re eating. The average citizen needs to understand the words of narrator Glenn Close in the great 2009 documentary, HOME (See link below):
In just the last fifty years, humankind has inflicted more damage on the fragile harmony of nature — than did all generations of humans for the past 200,000 years — combined. And, if we don’t dramatically alter that trend within the next ten years, we may have passed the point of no return.
Now, I am well aware that ALL of that damage was not caused by what we are eating, but much of it was. More importantly, without a doubt, our best short-term opportunity to have a meaningful impact on altering that trend would be an aggressive shift by billions, not just millions, to a whole foods, plant-based diet. When you consider that compared to a plant-based diet on a per calorie basis — our typical Western diet requires 20 times more land, 20 times more energy and 20 times more water — just image the powerful impact of a well-led move away from our harmful and wasteful diet. One more thing, as a fringe benefit, we save 80% of our health care dollars at the same time.
President Clinton already knows that the plant-based diet is superior for our health, but he doesn’t seem to fully appreciate the urgency of the situation expressed in the HOME quote and the above paragraph. But he is a very smart man and when he connects all the dots, he could be in a position to provide some much-leaded global leadership. And fortunately, he doesn’t have to worry anymore about getting re-elected.
Just as Clinton and Bush collaborated on the Haiti earthquake disaster, imagine the power of a similar collaboration on the urgency of altering our feeding model in the Western world. How about a collaboration that included the likes of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Ted Turner? They’ve got all the resources needed to educate the masses with the regards to:
- What we should be eating
- The staggering benefits of doing so: health, environment, cost of energy, world hunger
- Why we’ve not heard these truths before
- A plan for getting it done (bringing in leaders from around the world)
Just like the problems of health care and our debt ceiling, we know that the politicians are simply not capable of getting it done. What we need is powerful LEADERSHIP and we need it NOW.
And Mr. Clinton, since you’re probably the only one of that group of four who already knows that we simply don’t “need” any animal protein to be healthy, it’s up to you to get those other three powerful “money guys” on board. And, by the way, we need to see a sense of urgency. This ain’t politics Mr. President; this is the future of life on Earth as we know it. One more thing; you might want to give Sanjay Gupta a call. Maybe CNN could give him a leave of absence so that he could work with you full-time on this crucial project for as long as it takes.
Click below for my blog on this great documentary and an opportunity to watch this 90-minute video that everyone needs to see.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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