The daunting task of moving the world to plant-based

Could anything be more difficult? Yes!

The finest restaurants in the world will make some big changes in the next 100 years.

If the entire world was already eating plant-based, moving in the other direction would be much more difficult. Why? Because it wouldn’t make any sense to anyone. It’s always difficult to challenge the norm—but it is exponentially more difficult if what you’re trying to do makes no sense. 

In an era when over 90% of us are eating some form of the typical Western diet with meat, dairy, fish and/or eggs three meals a day—we know that it is a daunting task to challenge that widely accepted norm. Even though we know we’re right—for a plethora of reasons—it’s hard to imagine anything more difficult than radically changing our eating paradigm to one that requires zero animal products.

But there is a task that would be far more difficult. Imagine for a moment that almost everyone in the world was already eating nothing but plant-based foods. That’s right—the 70 billion farm animals that we used to raise for our deadly eating habits no longer exist. All of the great chefs and fine restaurants of the world are focusing 100% on plant-based dining and are written up in the Michellin and Zagat guides everywhere.

That’s how things might be in 2112

By 2112, people will have traded this “balanced” meal for fabulous plant-based dining in all the best restaurants.

Further, people everywhere are raving about the foods, they are healthy and the cost of healthcare has plummeted to record low levels—now hovering somewhere around 2% of the GDP. Gone are the days when that number soared from 5.2% in 1960 to almost 20% in the early 2000’s.

The medical schools of yore have all been converted to institutions dedicated to health promotion. Most of the medical costs now are for things like prenatal services, injury repair, cosmetic surgery, etc. Screening tests for cancer are no longer needed since the incidence of that former killer disease has shrunk to near zero.

But there are a few populations in remote regions of the world that have no access to fresh plants—and they’re still killing wild animals for their food. Occasionally a few tourists to those areas get a chance to dine with those people and some of those tourists found that they enjoyed eating that cooked flesh and cheese.

If we can get the Brits to go plant-based, we can easily change the rest of the world.

Now a few of those wealthy tourists decide that it would be great to promote that way of dining in the more populated areas like New York, London, Paris and Tokyo. They plan to start with the wealthiest people and ultimately roll out their plan to everyone in the world. But first they must convince their future customers that a diet of animal-based foods is a good idea.

After doing a little review of the history of the 21st century, when humankind finally came to their senses, they realize that moving back to animal-based foods would be a much more daunting task than they had imagined. A review of the historical data reveals that:

  1. It would take between ten and twenty times more land, water and energy to feed everyone an animal based diet. And with all three in short supply, that was going to make their vision very difficult to execute.
  2. We can expect to see well over half the population eventually die of food-driven diseases like cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
  3. That rise in chronic disease translates into a 20-fold or 30-fold cost of health care that must ultimately be borne by the citizens—either directly or through taxation.
  4. Now that environmental controls are in place, the production of the highly inefficient animal-based diet will more than quadruple the grocery bill of most families.
  5. Since there wouldn’t be enough land to feed the world’s now 9 billion people this tasty new animal-foods diet—many new billions of people would just have to go hungry while the wealthy feasted on these fat-laden foods.
  6. There would eventually need to be over 200 billion farm animals slaughtered per year to meet the world’s appetite.

    I can just hear it now, “We can raise pigs, chickens and cows on the moon and bring you gasoline for $2.50/gallon at the same time.”

Who will lead this mis-directed group?

Realizing that only a fool would try to execute such a ludicrous plan, candidates for president of the United States will begin talking about growing cows, pigs and chickens on the moon, Mars, and beyond.

So lets compare our “daunting” task of 2012 with the infinitely more daunting task 100 years later…when a few lunatics try to move us back in the other direction. By comparison, let’s take a look at what we have working in our favor today.

Here is what we now know in 2012:

  1. We know that we can save much needed water, land and energy.
  2. We know that we can eliminate over 70% of our costly disease care.
  3. We know that we can take much better care of our environment with plant-based eating: our topsoil, our trees, our climate and our water.
  4. We know that we can easily feed 9 billion people on the 8 billion arable acres with plant-based foods (but we could enjoy much more harmony with nature with a human population of far less than the 7 billion we have today).
  5. We know that most people really do not want to ever cause any animal to suffer.

Bottom Line. We know that we are right about all of the above. And that’s why our task is so much less daunting than that mis-directed group of the early 22nd century.


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

  1. Healthy Eating, Healthy WorldThe “big picture” about food (our book)
  2. A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD 
  3. 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.
  4. What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
  5. A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
  6. Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unawareby 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 and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to

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J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

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 page and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen. Got a question? Let me hear from you at Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

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.
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3 Responses to The daunting task of moving the world to plant-based

  1. Bill K. says:


    You speak regularly with much common sense but when has common sense ever prevailed in the land of the free! Your view will succeed as soon as it can be made profitable. Money talks my friend.

    Bill K.

    • jmorrishicks says:

      Bill, I am all ears when it comes to figuring out how to make this business profitable. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep documenting ideas and sharing them with as many people as possible. Maybe, as with Khan Academy, we’ll be recognized by someone with a boatload of money—and a burning desire to promote plant-based eating throughout the world. Under our “Big Picture” tab, take a look at the “Harmony Project” page.

      Best, Jim

  2. Clark Seydel says:

    Really well put! This needs to be read by all.

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