Where is Warren Buffett? In the 5% or the 95%?

Everyone knows that Warren Buffett is in the highest levels of the 1%; in fact, he is our wealthiest American—and the third wealthiest in the world. But what about the 5% and the 95%? I am talking about the 5% of us who know that we don’t NEED to eat any animal protein to be healthy. In fact, it’s our rich Western diet that’s literally killing us, our planet and our way of life. Gracing the cover of TIME this week (1-23-12) is the “Oracle of Omaha” himself—with these words:

The Optimist. Why Warren Buffett is bullish on America

World's 3rd Richest Man

In the excellent article by Rana Foorahor, we learn a lot about Mr. Buffett. We learn about his childhood where he read every single book in the Omaha public library by age eleven. And we learn about the importance of conscience, “His father’s propensity for acting on the basis of his conscience deeply influenced his son.” In other words he cares. For our nation, for the less fortunate and for the world.

My question is this. If he were to understand what our Western diet-style is doing to our health, our planet and the future of our way of life; how would his conscience permit him to not apply his mighty wealth to changing it? Maybe his conscience is not as strong as his appetite. From the article:

Buffett, who has a soft elderly face but moves briskly, stacks a plate high with waffles, bacon and roast beef. Despite his Eisenhower-era diet, which includes 60 oz. of Coke (preferably Cherry) a day, Buffett remains surprisingly thin. “I haven’t had a taste of broccoli or asparagus in years!” he boasts. “I formed my thoughts on eating at the age of 5, and I haven’t changed them.”

Bacon and roast beef? He might feel differently when he learns what’s at stake. The definition of conscience, from my online dictionary: an inner feeling or voice viewed as acting as a guide to the rightness or wrongness of one’s behavior: he had a guilty conscience about his desires.

We also learned from the article that he is data-driven. “He focuses not on media headlines about America’s inevitable decline—or cheerleading about innovation and education, but on the data.” On the subject of reforming health care, he says, “It’s a tapeworm in America, one that cuts competitiveness far more than taxes do.” So to summarize, we have the world’s third richest man, a man who is extremely well-educated, greatly concerned about the cost of health care, well-read, and is led by the data and his conscience when choosing a course of action.

I wonder what would happen if Mr. Buffett understood all of the data about the damage, waste, suffering, how it drives our health care dollars and the gross unsustainability of our rich Western diet. I have spoken often on this blog about our Harmony Project, a project aimed at dispelling the protein myth about our needing to eat animal protein. Once that myth is dispelled, the great thinkers of the world will be able to apply their exceptional knowledge and creativity to solving some of the world’s most pressing issues: global warming, water shortage, loss of species, erosion of arable land, world hunger, and so much more.

Ted Turner -- a natural leader for a world-changing cause---even if he had to give up his Montana Grill in the process.

The Harmony Project has three elements: the Message, the Messenger and the Money. We already have the message, and with Mr. Buffett, we would have the other two key elements. With enough money, we could repeat our powerful message enough times that it would soon be common knowledge that we don’t need to eat any animal protein to be healthy.

And, with a prominent leader like Mr. Buffett behind the project, there would soon be other great “messengers” who would join the Harmony Project team. I am thinking of people like Bill Clinton, Ted Turner and Bill Gates. I know that Ted Turner sells a lot of meat in his restaurants, but I also know that he cares greatly about the environment and about helping people. If he got fired up on this cause, I am confident that he could make ends meet without the earnings from Ted’s Montana Grill.

What a foursome that would be! A great combination of wealth, power, global recognition, and leadership. Ted Turner has already changed the world a few times, Bill Gates spends most of his time (and money) trying to make the world a better place and Bill Clinton has first hand knowledge of how plant-based eating can reverse heart disease.

With a PhD in mathematics from Harvard, Dr. Cohen is now a mathematical biologist and is more than likely one of the world's brightest people.

When great leaders like this foursome get behind a cause, things will happen. And great thinkers like Lester Brown and Dr. Joel Cohen will bring their formidable skills to the table.

Dr. Joel Cohen of Columbia University. In a recent blog, I reported on Mr. Cohen. “Although he fails to recognize the obvious solution to our water problem, Dr. Cohen does an excellent job of describing our dilemma. While he never even mentions the power of plant-based eating to resolve most of the issues, he stated, We must increase the probability that every child born will be wanted and well cared for and have decent prospects for a good life.”

We must conserve more, and more wisely use, the energy, water, land, materials and biological diversity with which we are blessed. Here is a man ready to help fix the mess; he just needs to learn about protein first. With a PhD in mathematics from Harvard, Dr. Cohen is now a mathematical biologist and is more than likely one of the world’s brightest people.

Lester Brown, "one of the world's most influential thinkers."

Lester Brown, founder of WorldWatch Institute. He is also the founder & President of the Earth Policy Institute, and the recipient of 26 honorary degrees and a MacArthur Fellowship. Brown has been described by the Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers.”

From a recent blog, he recently drew high praise for his 2011 book, World On the Edge, from such notables as Bill Clinton and Ted Turner. He has done a magnificent job of describing our seemingly hopeless dilemma, but like so many other brilliant scholars, he has completely ignored the most powerful single move that we can make to get the world back on the right track. He mentions three billion additional people “moving up the food chain” in a 2011 interview but never even hints about the possibility of a global shift to the health-promoting and Earth-saving plant-based diet.

J. Morris Hicks, author and activist. Working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

The world needs leaders like these two brilliant men. But first, those men must learn the simple truth about animal protein…and Mr. Buffett could make that happen. How about it sir? Given all that’s at stake, are you willing to change what you eat to get the Harmony Project moving?


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.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

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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About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
This entry was posted in Activism & Leadership, Celebrities, Harmony Project. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Where is Warren Buffett? In the 5% or the 95%?

  1. radioman says:

    indeed, you have to grow up with the right food or to have strong motivation to switch

  2. Linda says:

    The meat-eaters I know eat meat mainly because they like the taste of it, not because they think they “need” animal protein. Therefore, I don’t think the Project Harmony goal, even if accomplished, is going to effect a widespread change in mind-set, much less a change in behavior.

  3. huracan says:

    To change something as fundamental as one’s diet one of two things are needed, in my opinion: either a fluid, curious mind capable of seeing beyond the noise of the multitudes (unlikely to be found in people like Ted Turner, or Mr. Buffet since their one-track minds is what got them where they are) OR a significant emotional or health event that causes a re-examination of many things including diet. Sadly, the latter is the more likely with these influential people, although even then I would put the probability of significant change at “quite small”.

  4. This is a great post and a great reminder that wealth and power don’t automatically bring consciousness and morality. We all need to keep evolving, no matter how successful or comfortable we are.

  5. MiMi McGee says:

    I have sent this post along to everyone I know who is a Buffet follower/Berkshire Hathaway shareholder. Maybe he will respond?? Its a great message!

  6. Lester Sukenik says:

    Jim, I see where you are going and hope this message will be heard by these important and influential people. Why is it that so few currently understand the importance of a plant based lifestyle? Let’s hope they are listening! My hope is that a close friend of theirs will bring the Harmony project to their attention and then we might see some action. Keep up your wonderful work!


  7. Duane Verner says:

    I don’t think Ted Turner would speak out against his own restaurant chain (Ted’s Montana Grill). Otherwise, yes, I agree that this movement could really benefit from a prominent spokesperson. However, maybe you should be aiming a little lower on food chain, perhaps an attractive and passionate movie star, a professional athlete, etc…

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