A helluva rant for plant-based eating—from Australia

Former Citibank executive delivers a fiery speech down under.

Philip Wollen—argues in Australia for taking meat off the menu.

Several people in my extended network alerted me to the video in this blog. In a nutshell, it is a powerful 10-minute “big picture” summary of the huge, world-wide problems associated with our typical western diet. He even threw in a little humor—but not very much.

He stayed on point for the entire ten minutes and delivered a powerful challenge to his “meat loving” opponents at the end. So who is this guy? From Wikipedia and the National Australia Day Council:

Philip Wollen (born 1950) is an Australian philanthropist. He is a former vice-president of Citibank. At age 34, Australian Business Magazine named him in the top 40 headhunted executives in Australia. In 2005 he received the Order of Australia and in 2007 he won the Australian of the Year (Victoria) award.

“Through his kindness and generosity, Philip Wollen brings crucial help to many charitable causes and inspires others to share his humanitarian values and ideals. His achievements in the business world mark him as a man of action and he channels this energy into practical outcomes for the causes he champions through the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust.

Although his message began with animal suffering, he did a great job of covering the entire “big picture” as it relates to the problems with our toxic western diet.

After watching Mr. Wollen’s speech, I went into a meeting with a CT state senator who represents my district here in Stonington, CT. We were meeting to discuss how the state of Connecticut might take a leadership role in showing the nation how to tame the health care monster, take charge of our own health, and dramatically lower the cost of health care.

And Since Senator Maynard is fairly new to the wonderful world of plant-based nutrition, I chose to introduce our meeting with a viewing of this video. Then, following a lively half-hour discussion, I showed him Forks Over Knives. Later, as he was about to leave, he said that our two-hour session really hit home as he is about to turn 50 and is thinking a lot more about his health these days.

Please take ten minutes to watch this powerful message from down under:

In case you don’t have time to watch the video right now, here are a few of the key points; illustrating a sound, big-picture understanding of a disturbing global problem out of control:

  1. Environmental damage. CO2, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide from the livestock industry are killing our oceans with acidic, hypoxic Dead Zones.
  2. Biodiversity in peril. 90% of small fish are ground into pellets to feed livestock. Vegetarian cows are now the world’s largest ocean predator.
  3. Fish becoming extinct. By 2048 all our fisheries will be dead. The lungs and the arteries of the earth.
  4. Animal suffering. Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7 billion alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week.
  5. Mass extinction. 10,000 entire species are wiped out every year because of the actions of one species. We are now facing the 6th mass extinction in cosmological history.
  6. Animal Rights is now the greatest Social Justice issue since the abolition of slavery.
  7. Economy in peril. Meat is a killing industry – animals, us and our economies.
  8. USA is bankrupt. Medicare has already bankrupted the US. They will need $8 trillion invested in Treasury bills just to pay the interest. They have precisely zero!! They could shut every school, army, navy, air force, and Marines, the FBI and CIA – and they still won’t be able to pay for it.
  9. Water is the new oil. Nations will soon be going to war for it. Underground aquifers that took millions of years to fill are now running dry. It takes 50,000 litres of water to produce one kilo of beef.
  10. World hunger. 1 billion people today are hungry. 20 million people will die from malnutrition. Cutting meat by only 10% will feed 100 million people. Eliminating meat will end starvation forever. If everyone ate a Western diet, we would need 2 Planet Earths to feed us. We’ve only got one. And she is dying.
  11. Global warming. Greenhouse gas from livestock is 50% more than transport . . . . . planes, trains, trucks, cars, and ships. 
  12. A crime of epic proportions. Poor countries sell their grain to the West while their own children starve in their arms. And we feed it to livestock. So we can eat a steak? Am I the only one who sees this as a crime? 
  13. Weapons of Mass Destruction. George Bush was wrong. The Axis of Evil doesn’t run through Iraq, or Iran or North Korea. It runs through our dining tables. Weapons of Mass Destruction are our knives and forks.
  14. Plant-based eating is the Swiss Army Knife of the future – it solves our environmental, water, health problems and ends cruelty forever.
  15. What about farmers? They are the ones with the most to gain. Farming won’t end. It would boom. Only the product line would change. 
  16. Cost of health care. Health insurance premiums would plummet. Hospital waiting lists would disappear. Hell “We’d be so healthy; we’d have to shoot someone just to start a cemetery!”

He finishes up thusly, “So tonight I have two challenges for the opposition:

  • Meat causes a wide range of cancers and heart disease. Would they name one disease caused by a vegetarian diet?
  • I am funding the Earthlings trilogy. If the opposition is so sure of their ground, I challenge them to send the Earthlings DVD to all their colleagues and customers. Go on I DARE YOU.” (Click here to view the movie “Earthlings” on this site.)

The Killing Clock. Can you imagine how many animals are dying every minute if we’re killing two billion a week for our dinner tables? After visiting Mr. Wollen’s website, I found a page that tracks the “killing of animals” worldwide—right before your very eyes. It’s pretty impressive: Click here to take a look at that page.

The venue in Australia. The entire debate took almost two hours and features a panel of six—three for taking meat off the menu, and three against.

In case you’re interested, it is provided here in its entirety for your convenience:

Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five 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 jmorrishicks@me.com

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

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation

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, Big Picture, Suffering of Animals and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to A helluva rant for plant-based eating—from Australia

  1. D Carl Garrison says:


  2. Denise Sullivan says:

    This man is amazing! We all need to spread this link – I posted it to my facebook page. Thanks Jim for another outstanding post!

  3. Featured in Dr. John McDougall’s June 2012 newsletter

    A “Low Carb vs. Plant Based” search yields zillions of hits.
    The first hit likely displayed is the VIDEO clip to start with.

  4. Leo S. says:

    The largest study ever compares animal and plant food. 3:10 min.


  5. Leo S. says:

    We should choose plant foods over animal foods for their health benefits. When we understand how different foods affect our cells we will be able to make a better choice.


    Dr. Klaper discusses anatomy and physiology and food choices.


  6. The cited video presentation deserves the widest possible distribution Good to see J. Morris Hicks spreading the word. His referencing us to EARTHLINGS also helps to raise awareness on issues that really matter. I saw the entire two hour ABC debate twice and then burned it to a DVD. Philip Wollen, unlike many of those on Wall Street and in Iceland, is my kind of banker. Kudos to him.

  7. Linda201 says:

    I’m always thrilled when I hear of a person of influence (or any person) coming over to our side and being vocal about it. And ALL of us can influence others. Because of discussions I’ve had with them, and books I’ve loaned them, there are at least three people just in my little world, right now, who are in the process of going whole-plants vegan.

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