And why don’t I mention those words very often in my work?
As for the first question, when people in the mainstream (the 99% who are not vegan) hear those words, many of them think: weirdo, left-wing radical, hippie, tree-hugger and extremist—to name a few. So, if I want to reach that mainstream, I need to be careful how I package my product and my J. Morris Hicks brand.
While I sometimes refer to myself as an activist that promotes health, hope & harmony—I rarely call myself a vegan or an animal rights advocate—even though I am pretty close to being both. So why not use those terms? It’s because they are labels that prompt the mainstream folks to think of those other labels mentioned earlier. And it’s primarily those mainstream people that I’m trying to reach.
My mission. I’m trying to do my part to help preserve the longterm sustainability of the human race. For us to achieve that, I believe that most of us need to learn how to enjoy eating mostly plants. And I would prefer to have a few billion people doing that—than to have a few million people promise to never let another calorie of animal-based food pass their lips—for as long as they live.
Inspiration for this blog: A letter from Nanette—Sonoma, CA
Hello Mr. Hicks, I’ve been receiving your regularly posted blog for some time now and really appreciate your writing and recipes. However, I’ve noticed that you are very reluctant to come out for animal rights, though you come so close and actually say it in a different way.
I, on the other hand, make no apologies, nor do I hesitate to come to the defense of animals. My reverence, respect and love for animals are the reasons that I don’t eat, wear or otherwise exploit animals in any way. I happen to love vegetarian/vegan food and am very healthy because of it.
For your mission to succeed, I would suggest employing the balanced (like a three-legged chair) approach so many others are now doing: Not eating meat and eating veggies is good for the animals, one’s health and the environment. Period. Simple. Effective. Thanks for what you do. Best regards, Nanette
My Response. Dear Nanette, Many thanks for your message; you bring up a very good point. Have you read our book? Chapter 7 is entitled “Hell on Earth” and covers this topic very well. As for my blog, the “Suffering of Animals” category contains 28 blogs that I have posted during the past two years. You can find the drop-down list of over 60 categories in the upper right column of my website.
But, you’re right, I don’t talk about it all the time because that single piece of the “insanity” of our western diet is simply not my “brand.” What do I mean by that? My “brand” is the “big picture guy” who is trying to clarify the blinding flash of the obvious solution to so many of our personal, national and global problems. Ultimately, it comes down to the longterm sustainability of the human race.
Unfortunately, the terms “animal rights” and “vegan” both carry somewhat of a negative stigma in our country. Hence, in an effort to reach the greatest number of people, I chose not to use those terms.
I chose “Hell on Earth” for my Chapter 7 and I chose 4Leaf for my optimal way of eating, not necessarily vegan—but probably healthier than 95% of the vegans in this country. As you know, vegan (by definition) is not necessarily a healthy diet; whereas 4Leaf (over 80% from whole plants) is very healthy. I like to call it “near-optimal.”
You see, I am trying to reach the mainstream. I am trying to make a HUGE difference—and I must connect with the mainstream in order to do that. Have you seen the movie, Lincoln? Essentially, it’s all about politics—sometimes it’s nasty, but oftentimes it is necessary in order achieve your goals.
Yes, I care greatly about the animals, but I care more about helping the masses understand the “big picture” insanity about the way we eat. Here are 8 of my recent blogs on your favorite topic. Be well, J. Morris Hicks.
- Animal suffering. An oft-forgotten consequence of our food choices.
- Killin’ chikins for Jesus…a la Chick-fil-A
- Dyed Easter chicks—a sad state of affairs
- Sunny Acres Farms—Home of Happy Farm Animals (You’ll love the video in this one.)
- Chipotle Pig Video — They’re missing the whole point!
- Pork tales continue; when does the madness end?
- Sir Paul and Nancy serve organic vegetarian at their wedding.
- COMPLICITY — Billions of animals suffering in factory farms
I hope all of this makes sense to you. Thanks again for your note. Why don’t you invite me to speak at a venue out there in the bay area? I promise that I will include your favorite topic. Be well, J. Morris Hicks
Handy 4-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
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 email@example.com
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Got a question? Let me hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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