Ignoring the elephant in the “Climate Change Situation Room”
Who is going to tell the world that we don’t NEED to eat animal protein to be healthy? It could very well be Pope Francis–if only he were to become enlightened about the cold hard facts regarding the devastating consequences of our food choices.
On Monday, we heard about him taking a stand regarding the need for all nations to get serious about addressing climate change. And he’s dead serious when he says:
“We need to care for the earth so that it may continue, as God willed, to be a source of life for the entire human family.”
But no one has told him exactly what we must do to “care for the earth.” No one has told him that our toxic western diet (with meat, dairy, eggs and/or fish at almost every meal) is about the ONLY primary driver of climate change that we can reduce soon enough to make much of a difference. No one has told him that the “protein myth” is simply not true.
The Protein Myth. The mistaken belief throughout the world that we humans NEED to eat animal protein to be healthy.
It is that myth that is preventing the greatest Win-Win opportunity in the history of humanity–for our health, for our ecosystem, for our civilization and for the longterm sustainability of the human species. Once enough people understand the proven truths about animal protein, the sooner we can get about the business of taking the best possible steps to “caring for the earth.”
A brief summary of the “protein truth.”
- We do need protein, just like we need carbohydrates and fat in our diet.
- We need about ten percent of our calories from protein, but most westerners average closer to 20%–because of their love affair with animal-based foods.
- Plant-based foods have plenty of all three of the macronutrients, in just the right proportion for optimizing our health.
- Animal-based foods are associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and a host of other chronic diseases that need never exist in humans.
- Animal-based foods (on a per calorie basis) require over ten times as much land, water and energy as do plant-based foods.
- According to the FAO (U.N.), the raising of livestock causes more climate change than ALL of transportation combined. Some experts believe it causes more than THREE times as much GHG as all of transportation.
Think about that last fact and think about how long it would take to actually even BEGIN to reduce the GHG produced by transportation. With millions in the developing world just beginning to drive cars for the first time, just stopping growth in this sector would be a HUGE success. Actually reducing GHG in the transportation sector anytime soon is virtually impossible–regardless what the pope and all of the world’s governmental leaders have to say.
What can be done? ALL of our world leaders are completely missing the ONLY way to actually fight climate change quickly–simply by urging people everywhere to begin replacing as many of their meat-based calories as possible with plant-based foods. Anyone can change what they eat overnight and doing so will contribute to an immediate reduction in GHG.
Business as usual. Until a widely respected global leader (like Pope Francis) steps forward and tells the world all of these truths, it will be business as usual throughout the world when it comes to climate change. The NY Times editorial board described that business as usual thusly:
Though there is broad scientific consensus that global temperatures are rising, in large part because of the emission of greenhouse gases, international efforts to do something about it have been secular, political and largely unsuccessful. Conservative skeptics have actively campaigned to depict climate change as a hoax, while governments, especially in emerging economies, have been loath to take steps that might hamper growth.
Calling All LEADERS! When is one powerful leader going to wake up and understand the third grade math about climate change, world hunger and water scarcity? When that happens, all three of these global issues (and many more) can be solved, but we must have LEADERSHIP. (See source articles below the elephant in the room.)
How much longer can we ignore this guy?
- 4-29-15. NY Times editorial board weighs in on the pope and climate change.
- 4-27-15. NY Times article about the pope irritating conservative with his stance on climate change.
- My 4-16-15 blog. Most Important Topic in the History of Humankind
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
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The “big picture” about food (our book)
- A life changer for millions, including James Cameron. Forks Over Knives DVD
- 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.
- What have we done to our planet? Full Planet, Empty Plates by Lester Brown
- A horrifying wake-up call for leaders. TEN BILLION by Dr. Stephen Emmott
- Food choices are the primary cause of our environmental problems, yet our world leaders, scientists & experts are Comfortably Unaware, by 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. eCornell is now using our survey in their plant-based nutrition course. Check it out on your smartphone at eCornell.com/4Leaf-Survey.
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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 Program and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.
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—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info: