Meat consumption down? “Renewables” surging?

Things must be getting better.—Not so fast my friend!

CBS NewsThe Evening News. Red meat consumption going down, great news about renewable sources of energy, less disease and fewer hungry people in the world than ever before. That’s what we hear on the news—so things must be getting better, right? WRONG!

Meat Consumption Data. I just ran the numbers from a report (see link below) comparing the global consumption of all kinds of meat: beef, veal, pork and chicken. My findings, comparing the data for 2010 to the previous year.

  1. Total meat consumption in the USA went down by 36,000 metric tons (2009-2010)
  2. That is ALL the good news there is on this page!
  3. Total meat consumption in Europe went UP by 224,000 metric tons.
  4. Total meat consumption in CHINA went UP just over 2 million metric tons.
  5. Total net WORLD meat consumption went UP 6.5 million metric tons.
  6. That’s equal to an INCREASE of over 14 billion pounds—in just ONE YEAR.

Red meatOur modest reductions in the USA are being wiped out by HUGE increases in the developing world. And there is no end in sight.

  • Total world meat appetite: 237 million metric tons = 521 BILLION pounds.
  • That works out to over 72 pounds for each of our 7.2B people; a number that’s certain to keep climbing as billions of people in the developing world start eating meat for the first time.

My conclusion. After some analysis and extrapolation of the above data for an upcoming speech, here’s what I concluded:

Things are not getting better! For every American who is eating less meat, there are about 100 people in the developing world headed in the other direction. — J. Morris Hicks

Overfishing the bookWhat about fish? Per the same report, the total world catch in 2008 was over 142 million tons. Up 46% from the 1990 number of 98 million tons.

Total global flesh (meat & fish) consumption was roughly 379 million tons in 2010 and is almost certainly much higher today.

Dr. Stephen Emmott reported in his 2013 TEN BILLION that we’ll need to double our production of food in the next 4o years. That will put us close to ONE BILLION TONS of animal/fish flesh by mid-century.

By then, we’ll be torturing 200 billion land animals per year, will have seriously disrupted practically all of the world’s fisheries and will have wiped out what is left of our rainforest to provide land for growing and or feeding those 200 billion innocent animals. When does the madness end?J. Morris Hicks

Will renewables save us from global warming? What about our progress with renewables replacing the consumption of fossil fuel? Even with all the great news about solar, wind and geothermal energy, this graph paints a scoreboard that the average 3rd grader could easily understand. Steady growth since 1950.


The Bottom Line. When you look at the “big picture” of the most important indicators in the world—there is NO GOOD NEWS! As our population, consumption of STUFF, and burning of fossil fuels all continue to escalate—the ONLY solution to saving our ecosystem AND our civilization—is to influence billions of people to begin urgently replacing most of their meat-based calories with healthier, plant-based alternatives.

As we begin working on the “demand” side of the equation, markets will quickly respond, people will begin getting healthier, the cost of healthcare will plummet, water will become more plentiful, trees can be planted on the freed-up land and our fragile ecosystem will begin to heal.

Eventually, we must also deal with overpopulation, over-consumption and the excessive burning of fossil fuels—but those tasks will take many decades, if not centuries. Taking URGENT action NOW with our food choices can buy us the time we need to address them all. — J. Morris Hicks

The answer? Three things. Leadership. Leadership. Leadership.

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. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at Send feedback to

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

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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2 Responses to Meat consumption down? “Renewables” surging?

  1. Sal Liggieri says:


    Talk about leadership?

    Does the Pope eat animal foods? You would think that everyone in the religious hierarchy would be vegans. Most of the priests I see at my local Catholic church are obese so obviously they are eating SAD.

    Sal Liggieri

  2. fjpollack says:

    I greatly appreciate your efforts. I am more than a bit cynical. Check out these 2 discouraging articles:
    From Forbes (“Climate Change has jumped the Shark”):

    And, from the FT (“US poised to become world’s leading liquid petroleum producer”):

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