Bill Clinton in “TIME” — Has his moment of truth arrived?

With his views on sustainability and his communitarian view of our future

The October 1 issue of TIME Magazine arrived at my doorstep on Friday (9-21-12). And with Bill Clinton’s picture on the cover, my heart leapt when I saw the title of his article:


This man has first-hand knowledge of the power of plant-based nutrition to reverse chronic disease—and his appearance suggests that his near-optimal vegan diet seems to working in more areas than just his formerly clogged arteries. Maybe he really does hold the world in his hands.

I was thinking—Oh my God, he’s about to tell the world about the extremely harmful, inefficient, cruel, unfair and grossly unsustainable typical western diet.

Having adopted a near optimal vegan diet himself a couple of years ago—to reverse his heart disease, he’s now about to tell the world about the incredibly important “big picture” of what we eat.

I was still hopeful after reading the first paragraph and the first sentence of the second paragraph. I especially liked his use of the last word in that sentence:

Our world is more interdependent than ever. Borders have become more like nets than walls, and while this means that wealth, ideas, information and talent can move freely around the globe, so can the negative forces shaping our shared fates. The financial crisis that started in the U.S. and swept the globe was further proof that–for better and for worse–we can’t escape one another.

There are three big challenges with our interdependent world: inequality, instability and unsustainability.

Mr. Clinton is “the man.” Regardless what you may think about his politics and some of his other qualities, you should know that Bill Clinton is the most-prominent proponent of a vegan lifestyle in the world. More popular now than ever, he is also one of the most recognizable names and and one of the most respected leaders in the world.

So why is all of that so important when it comes to how he is now eating? It’s because of the powerful message it sends—when a man of his prominence, power, wealth, influence and access to all of the greatest scholars in the world—chooses an unconventional diet for himself.

What does it tell you when a former president of the United States rejects the collective knowledge of the thousands of nutritional scientists who recommend our continued consumption of meat, dairy and/or eggs at almost every meal? It tells me that he drew the same conclusion as the lone scientist who stated in his book,

“You can at least know that you, as a reader and a person, have finally been told something other than hogwash” about nutrition. — T. Colin Campbell

Along with Dr. Dean Ornish of UCSF, Mr. Clinton was influenced by the works of Cornell’s T. Colin Campbell, PhD, and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of The Cleveland Clinic.

A little background. So Mr. Clinton chose to follow the no-nonsense advice of that renegade nutritional scientist and two pioneering medical doctors who had also rejected the conventional wisdom of our elite schools of nutrition. He talked about his decision on CNN in 2010 when he told the world he had become vegan after reading the works of T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. and Dean Ornish. (all three endorsed our book)

And because of that decision, I have mentioned Mr. Clinton’s name more frequently in my first 596 blog-posts than anyone else—with the possible exception of my good friend and colleague, Dr. T. Colin Campbell. When people ask me why they should ignore the dietary advice of their doctor, their dietitian and their friends who have advanced degrees in nutritional science—I give them a two-word answer. Bill Clinton.

I absolutely love having Bill Clinton as our international role model of how we should be eating—for promoting our own health and for reversing any chronic disease we might have. Yet, I keep wondering when Mr. Clinton will leverage his unequaled influence to tell the world the rest of the story. Maybe that time is now. The article continues:

The fact that half the world’s people live on less than $2 a day and a billion people on less than $1 a day is stark evidence of inequality, which is increasing in many places. We’re feeling the effects of instability not only in the global economic slowdown but also in the violence, popular disruptions and political conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere. And the way we produce and use energy is unsustainable, changing our climate in ways that cast a shadow over our children’s future.

But I firmly believe that progress changes consciousness, and when you change people’s consciousness, then their awareness of what is possible changes as well–a virtuous circle. So it’s important that the word gets out, that people realize what’s working. That where there’s been creative cooperation coupled with a communitarian view of our future, we’re seeing real success. That’s the reason I try to bring people together every year for the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Here are five areas in which there has been concrete, measurable and reproducible progress.

Reading the TIME article by Bill Clinton — while overlooking Little Narragansett Bay toward Rhode Island

At this point, I am thinking—one of those five areas is going to be what the United Nations has already stated publicly: “A global shift towards a vegan diet is vital to save the world from hunger, fuel poverty and the worst impacts of climate change…As the global population surges towards a predicted 9.1 billion people by 2050, western tastes for diets rich in meat and dairy products are unsustainable.”

A sneak peek. Sitting on a large piece of driftwood overlooking Little Narragansett Bay a few blocks from my home, I excitedly flipped through the remaining pages. Looking for the FIVE AREAS of good things that are happening in our world. Is one of them going to be the “Emerging Truth About the Global Importance of What We Eat?”

No—–Not yet.

But I am confident that the day will come when Mr. Clinton’s Global Initiative will play a pivotal role in helping the world quickly learn the truth about our food choices. He may be the only person alive that can reach as many people with this planet-saving truth—before it’s too late. He may be our only chance—as it will probably take fifty years or more to change the mindsets of our nutritional scientists.

Bill Clinton went vegan in 2010 and it probably saved his life. He remains our most prominent spokesman for eating plant-based.

The Bottom Line. We’re not talking about just saving the planet; we’re talking about preserving the planet’s ability to provide for the longterm sustainability of the human race. As for those “5 Areas” in his article, they are:

  1. Phones Mean Freedom
  2. Healthy Communities Prosper
  3. Green Energy Equals Good Business
  4. Women Rule
  5. The Fight for the Future Is Now

All good things for sure, and all would be in harmony with a well-planned, deliberate move toward a plant-based diet for humans. If you’re a TIME subscriber, you can read the entire article below by clicking the source article link below. If you’d like to read more about the “sustainability of the human race,” I have provided a few other links to earlier blogs:

Consecutive daily blogs (Numerals from an auto tag in Luxembourg)

Doing your part. Want to be a huge part of preserving our planet’s ability to sustain life for your human descendants of the 22nd century and beyond? It all begins with what you choose to put on the end of your fork. Find out exactly what that is in this handy kit—then share your new knowledge with everyone you know. The lives of your future great-great grandchildren may depend on it.

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

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

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To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

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 Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

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Blogging daily at…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.
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3 Responses to Bill Clinton in “TIME” — Has his moment of truth arrived?

  1. Jim and all: Will be great when Pres. Clinton makes “Veganism”, and Dr. McDougall’s “Starchivore” the number one best way to improve the world!

    Dr. McD just emailed us the Dean Ornish “Opinion” in the NY Times today:

    I re-posted it on the Atkins book board:

    I added a link to your Times article, too, as I wrote this Reply.
    Two Dr. McD free video lectures to pass on:
    From his Sept. 2011 Advance Study Weekend
    From his just-completed Sept. 2012 Advance Study Weekend!

    Re Diabetes — get “Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program to Reverse Diabetes Now” – 2007 book.
    Amazing – can get copies, like new, on-line for 99 cents plus $3 shipping! What is great about it — it teaches us all that we need to know about best nutrition and that applies to help us with all health problems.

  2. Leo S. says:

    Here are some people who have made changes and one who should have done so. It’s a shame that clogged arteries are considered “normal.”

    The astronaut James Irwin also had bypass surgery and two heart attacks and died at 61. His blood cholesterol was 300 while traveling in the space capsule. He and president Clinton supposedly had the “best doctors” our country could supply and still developed heart conditions. Even though Clinton was advised by Dr. Ornish he apparently did not take advantage of the research that Ornish and Esselstyn and others might have offered him. It wasn’t until after the bypass, angioplasty and finally a stent began to become clogged that he started to change what he ate. Even Dr. McDougall sent him a letter to try to get him to change his diet.
    Venus Williams developed blood clots even though she was young and athletic and had to refrain from playing tennis for a period of time. She has resorted to a plant-based diet to overcome an autoimmune disorder (Sjogren’s Disease) which may be caused by dairy products. Being African-American she may very well be lactose intolerant, as are Asians, but many are not aware of that problem and continue to consume dairy and/or take medication to treat “allergies” without removing the cause.
    We continue to consume items which clog the arteries. Nathan Pritikin pointed out that consumption of dairy products could show deceptively low cholesterol readings while still allowing buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries.
    08/31/2012 at 1:27 pm
    Here is a news release about Stallone’s son. Many young people are developing clogged arteries. These conditions are sometimes considered “normal” and nothing is done to try and reverse the blockage because many physicians and individuals are not aware that these conditions are reversible by lifestyle changes. Many doctors still tell their patients that “food has nothing to do with your condition.”
    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sylvester Stallone’s son Sage died at age 36 from natural causes due to a heart condition, coroner’s officials said Thursday.
    Sage Stallone’s death on July 13 was attributed to a condition that causes blockage of the arteries, and no other factors were involved. It has been classified a natural death.

  3. Sal Liggieri says:

    Bill Clinton is a moderate vegan. He does eat fish. And there is that word again . . . moderate.
    What does it mean to Bill Clinton, 2 ounces, 4 ounces, 8 ounces and how often? I doubt that he has made a complete change.

    On another note, the supermarket tabloids say that he is dying from heart disease and that Hillary is divorcing him and that he is begging her not to leave him. The pictures the tabloids use show that Bill is not aging well. He looks old.

    Now if fat Hillary would go vegan, that would be a story to enhance the plant foods movement.

    It’s not going to happen.

    Sal Liggieri

    P.S. Still trying to lose the weight gain from my trip to London and Ireland via Virgin Atlantic flight, upper class. The vegan food choices in both places and the plane were nonexistent. Cheese and oil were the primary ingredients in all of the offered vegan dishes even though I asked that these ingredients not to be used. I guess they did not understand my New York accent.

    Glory be to their “Fish and Chips” the national dish in both countries. I assume that all countries have their fast food junk, not only America and there are plenty of fat and obese people worldwide to prove that.

    Keep preaching, Jim, maybe someday we will get to the promised mountain top.

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