To my regular readers of this blog. I want to share a dream that I had less than two hours ago. It took place between 0415 and 0515 this morning. Warning: If you’re not a regular reader of this blog, this is probably not the best place to begin your relationship with J. Morris Hicks. Might I recommend that you visit the page that contains my “Big Picture” List of Blogs? Hopefully you’ll find something of interest there and will visit my site frequently in the future.
Back to the dream. As with most dreams, I remember some things vividly but other things not so much. The setting in this dream was some type of retreat, seminar or camp devoted to learning about nutrition, health and the benefits of plant-based eating. I have no idea where I was or who the other people were in my dream. I just know that it was the next to last day of a series of classes and I was giving a group of about 15 people their final assignment.
Earlier classes had been devoted to learning about the various benefits of plant-based eating, recipes, tips for getting into the healthy routine, how to handle social situations, etc.
But, as the course drew to an end, I felt compelled to take it to the next level. So I challenged them to stop and consider the enormously destructive consequences that are being driven by our love affair with consuming meat and dairy three meals a day in the Western world. Finally I urged them to consider the remarkably simple solution to many of our global issues, beginning with our own health and cost of health care.
I remember telling them…
You are among the less than five percent of the people in this country that have become aware of the crucial importance of what we choose to eat.” You are the vital few with the knowledge to literally change the world — perhaps even be the catalysts that will promote enough change to preserve our way of life and prevent an era of widespread violence, famine, chaos, hunger, anarchy and death all over the globe. This world has never seen what can happen when billions of people start running out of food.
You are among the vital few who know that it takes at least ten times more water, ten times more energy and ten times more land to feed people the Western diet — as compared to a plant-based 4Leaf kind of diet. You also know of the astronomical environmental and social issues that those numbers are driving.
So, for their final assignment, I asked for each of them to go home and think long and hard about what they’re planning to do with that special knowledge that is so rare throughout the Western world. I asked them to do some soul-searching and come back to class the following day, address the class and tell us what you’re going to do to help humankind fix this mess that has been created in the last 100 years, with most of the damage taking place during our lifetimes.
From my own blinding flash of the obvious in 2003, I woke up as I neared the end of this following summation of our situation and a call to action:
We’re eating the wrong food!
It is destroying our health!
It is destroying our environment!
It will lead to the starvation of billions!
It is simply unsustainable for much longer!
What are you going to do about it?
All of this reminds me of the final chapter of our book; it was entitled “A Return to Harmony.” It was indeed a call to action as I ended that brief chapter with the following two paragraphs:
In a world full of sick, obese, or starving people, suffering animals and rapidly disappearing natural resources; how can we possibly not come together and end all of this madness once and for all? Given what you now know—if you don’t take action—what will you tell your adult grandchildren someday when they ask why you didn’t?
Ultimately, your decision is a simple matter of health, hope, and harmony. As each of us begins to take charge of his or her own health, we simultaneously plant the seeds of hope, accelerating the pace with which the human race can return to living in harmony with nature. Since we consider ourselves smarter than all the other creatures, we should be able to figure out how to make our world a better place. The time for that action is now.
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result.” —Mahatma Gandhi
With knowledge comes responsibility. You have the knowledge that can change the world. All you have to do is believe that you can. As Steve Jobs said in the ad about the crazy ones. “The people who are crazy enough to believe that they can change the world — are the ones who do.”
As a first step, I encourage you to take 90 minutes and watch the movie HOME. It will help put you in the right frame of mind for promoting change. Even if you’ve already seen it; watch it again. I will never forget the powerful, and sobering, factoid that Glenn Close reported in that movie:
In just the last fifty years, humankind has inflicted more damage on the fragile harmony of Nature than all previous generations of humans combined — for the past 200,000 years.
Now, our Western diet didn’t create ALL of that damage, but it was responsible for a huge part of it. And I am totally convinced that changing what we eat is the single most powerful action that we could take to make things right. Without a doubt, this movie will leave you feeling differently about the role of the human race on our precious planet.
HOME — a great 2009 film; a powerful eye-opener
This powerful movie ends with a series of series of frightening facts along with somewhat of a call to action. But it comes up way short of exhorting us Westerners to get real serious about changing our diet. You see, that’s because the scientists and producers behind this movie are among the 95% of the population that still believe the “protein myth,” the one about our “need” to eat animal protein in order to be healthy. Because of that myth, the most powerful single step that could be taken by humankind never even makes it to the table for consideration.
But, it’s still a great movie — and most of you reading this blog do have that critical knowledge that the 95% majority lacks. And along with that knowledge comes a great deal of responsibility. The movie reports that we have very little time to change; “humanity has no more than ten years (from 2009) to reverse the trend and avoid crossing into the territory of a life on Earth that we have never known.” A few of the final bullet points in the movie illustrate the urgency for action.
- Over thirty million acres of forests disappear each year..
- 40% of the world’s arable land is damaged.
- Species are dying out a rhythm 1,000 times faster than the natural rate.
- 3/4 of all fishing grounds are exhausted, depleted or in dangerous decline.
- The polar ice cap is 40% thinner than it was 40 years ago.Watch the movie with your family — you will know what to do!
Watch the movie with your family — you will know what to do!
Hopefully, my dream will help us all avoid a nightmare.
My dream this morning may have been triggered by two upcoming events in my calendar. Both are in academic settings — the first at the University of Kentucky and the second at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. Our book is being used as a textbook for classes at each of those schools and I will be making two of my first presentations to collegiate audiences there next month.
If you’d like to order our book on Amazon, visit our BookStore now.
Want to receive some occasional special news from us? You may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page.
And if you like what 4-Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4-Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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Amen (means I believe!)
Thanks for sharing!
I Liked your dream. When it is realized I would hope to be one of the group of 15 to learn to go out into the World to give workshops and classes in the 4-Leaf way.
I can hear the echo of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream.” Hick’s dream can be the message for today’s generation…if only we listen.
Powerful blog, beautifully written.
What a great post! Thank you for being a dreamer!