Debate season is full of zingers, gotchas, one-liners & sound-bytes
With the election only a few weeks away, I thought it was time to share a few of my favorite zingers that I use in explaining the maddening absurdity and unsustainability of our typical western diet.
And while there are references or footnotes for all of my zingers somewhere in our book or on this blog, I choose today to invoke "debate season privilege" and just say whatever I please. (See "Fact Check" note at end)
My Top Ten Zingers --- for promoting health, hope & harmony
- Harmony. In the past fifty years (a mere blink in the eye of history) we humans have inflicted more damage on the harmony of nature than all previous generations of humans combined for the past 200,000 years.
- Water. To produce one kilo of potatoes requires 100 liters of water; whereas to produce one kilo of beef requires 13,000 liters of water.
- Earthlings. Only 100 billion people have ever lived. 7 billion are alive today. And we torture and kill 2 billion animals every week for our dinner tables.
- World Hunger. For every meat-eater who goes vegan, he/she will free up enough land to feed 3 or 4 families of 4 people each.
- Waste. By cycling our grain through animals to produce meat, we waste 90% of the protein, 96% of the calories, 100% of the fiber and 100% of the carbs.
- Axis of Evil. 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.
- Starving people. 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.
- Needless disease. Meat causes a wide range of cancers, diabetes and heart disease. Can anyone name just one disease caused by a plant-based diet?
- Disappearing resources. We humans are squandering our natural resources by over-cutting, over-grazing, over-pumping, over-plowing and over-fishing; a startling 80 percent of oceanic fisheries are being fished at or beyond their sustainable yield.
- Intelligent species? There are over 50,000 vertebrate species (5500 of which are mammals) and well over one million species of insects. ALL of them are living in harmony with nature---with one exception. Human beings.
Long after our book came out in October of 2011, I heard an environmentalist make a statement that caught my attention:
"Our food choices determine how the entire planet is used."
The Bottom Line. We are now using ALL of this planet as if there were no other creatures sharing it with us. Although our species has existed for only 5/1000th of one percent of the 4 billion years that there has been life on Earth, we have done some serious multiplying in the past few hundred years.
It took us about 200,000 years to reach the one billion mark in 1804. Since then, in just over 200 years (a mini-blink in the eye of history) we've added another six billion people.
Now, all seven billion of us are still multiplying and destroying our natural resources at a mind-boggling rate. When will the madness end? Will we have to wait for Mother Nature to have her revenge? Or can we come together and take action now?
That action should include two big steps. Stabilize global population and begin an aggressive return to the natural diet for our species---a whole foods, plant-based diet. The latter step will give us the time needed to get a handle on the former. Who is going to lead this transformation? I have concluded that it has to be the large, profit-motivated corporations of the world.
That's because they're the only ones with a financial incentive to reduce the out-of-control cost of healthcare. In the largest of companies, just a handful of CEOs can affect millions of people. And the resulting PR success stories will be heard and copied by hundreds of millions more.
Now, here's the best part. By taking that step, those big corporations will be providing an integrated environmental blueprint for the rest of the world to follow. Be eating the food that is best for our health, we simultaneously do some wonderful things for the planet---and her ability to provide for the longterm sustainability of the human race.
We can work ourselves out of this mess, but we've got to get started in earnest now.
My #1 priority. Launching healthcare cost reduction programs with every forward-thinking CEO I can find. This week I met with two Fortune 200 firms and mailed a proposal to the Chairman of the 9th largest corporation in the United States. Let me know if you know of any forward-thinking CEOs that you think I should contact.
Fact Check. Just to clarify, all of my ten zingers are true and you can find the sources of all of them in at least one of my 623 blogs. Many of them can be found in these six links, provided here for your convenience:
- Lester Brown's new book featured in this recent blog.
- Everyone should watch this over the weekend. The movie HOME
- Healthy Eating, Healthy World, The "big picture" about food (our book)
- My proposal blog to CEOs. Slashing the cost of healthcare in businesses
- 10-15-12 letter. Urgent letter to Bill Ford — Chairman of Ford Motor Company
- Lots of zingers here. Passionate executive leadership for plant-based eating in action?
Blogging daily at hpjmh.com...from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.