Crusaders of the Patriot League
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to lecture at the College of Holy Cross, located in Worcester, MA. I loved it. There were about a dozen students in the class and most had read our book as part of the required reading for their Mind-Body-Health-Medicine course.
There were also a few faculty members and invited guests. The event was sponsored by Professor John Axelson and took place in the Faculty Room of the Dinand Library in the heart of the beautiful Holy Cross campus. As an added treat, the professor arranged for a healthy 4Leaf buffet just prior to the 11:45 lecture.
After being introduced, I told the group that I absolutely loved being there and that there was no other room on Earth where I would rather be. That’s because there was no other room in the world that featured ten people who had read our book and wanted to hear me talk about it.
A few days in advance, the professor had asked the students to submit questions and I was able to review those questions a few hours before arriving at the Holy Cross campus. They were all excellent questions—and I responded to them during my “Big Picture” lecture, which was followed by additional Q&A. I was very impressed with their questions and want to share a few of them with you here. Many of them were asking the same questions that I continue to ask every day. For the four questions below, I have provided links to recent blogs on those topics.
George: “With all the big business and government support behind the meat, poultry, and dairy industries, what do you think it will take to change the system to be more conducive to a plant based lifestyle? In other words, why aren’t the leading health officials in the country alarming leaders that change needs to be made, in terms of helping America get healthier as well as saving the world’s natural resources (arable soil, water, trees, etc)? Why aren’t the “big wheels” stepping up to this crisis, and what will it take to make somebody step up?” George, finding some well-known leaders for this cause is constantly on my mind. Bill Clinton, the natural leader for the “great food revolution”
Amanda: “After reading your book, there appears to be a lot of benefits that come from adopting a whole-plant based diet: prevention and reversal of chronic diseases, conserving the environment and energy, feeding more of the world, and saving money in the healthcare system. These benefits seem like they would provide a lot of incentive for people to adopt this diet, but most Americans still maintain a diet of high animal protein and dairy. What do you think is holding most people back from giving up their Western diets? Do you think it is personal motivation, or influence from the media, government, and food industry?” Amanda, I think it’s because the Western diet is so ubiquitous and most people still truly believe that we need to eat animal protein. This article may help. “Thinking differently” and changing the world…
Greg: “One particular area that struck me is explored in Chapter 6, “Mouths to Feed,” where you discuss effects on future world hunger. Do you think that a more efficient overall diet-style (as opposed to the current wasteful one characteristic of the western world) would not only avoid a potential food shortage, but also improve the distribution of food globally in order to partially relieve world hunger? In other words, do you believe the same mouths would continue to be fed only at a smaller cost, or would food production spread to needier people?” Greg, I am not sure what will happen, but I am sure that it won’t be mathematically possible to feed very many more people the highly wasteful Western diet. Unhealthy, unfair, and unsustainable. Yet still ubiquitous.
Andrea: “I am interested in the comparison between the consequent health effects of tobacco use and the consumption of animal products. How likely is it that someday, it will be seen as the norm that eating animal products is unhealthy, similar to smoking cigarettes? Furthermore, if this does take place, when might this happen and will it significantly reduce chronic disease in this country?” Andrea, I am convinced that someday it will no longer be cool to eat anything from an animal. Will it reduce chronic disease? YES, it has the power to eliminate 70 to 80% of our healthcare dollars. When will it happen? I expect to see a strong beginning in my lifetime—you will see the day when the vast majority is eating plant-based. And you can be one of the “crusaders” to make that happen sooner. Remember when your doctor smoked cigarettes?
Great questions indeed from a very bright, attentive and refreshing group of young people. And this is exactly why I want to spend as much time as I can on college campuses everywhere in the years ahead. These bright young people “get it.” and they get it quickly. They also have strong convictions and take their responsibilities seriously. They know that with knowledge, comes responsibility. And they welcome the challenge.
In my final slide of the presentation I asked who was needed to spread the word about plant-based eating? Government? Medicine? Scientists? I don’t think so. They seemed pleased when I told them that what we need are lots of…
On that note, yesterday one of my blog-readers posted the following comment on my pork blog:
In viewing these film clips, it amazes me that you can remain so optimistic about the destiny of mankind. Humans are ugly. Best, Sal Liggieri.
My response. Hi Sal, Regarding your comment about my optimism—two words—college students. They “get it” and they will make things happen.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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