SOS #78    J. Morris Hicks    (11-2-20)  
Slam-Dunk for the survival of humanity...
The slam-dunk is the highest percentage shot in basketball; therefore, when a player has a chance to take that shot, he or she should definitely do so. 

Something reliable or unfailing; a 
foregone conclusion or certainty

The slam dunk to which I am referring has to do with what we should be eating to help maximize our chances of survival on this planet. I will get back to the B-ball analogy later, but first a little background on the singular importance of the Earth's soil -- its necessity for producing food for all of the land-based creatures on Earth.

Last week, a friend referred me to a new documentary that was all about the importance of "regenerative agriculture" as it relates to climate change and our future as a species. The film is on Netflix and is entitled "Kiss the Ground" -- narrated by Woody Harrelson with appearances by other notables such as Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele.

Click here to view a two-minute trailer of the film. You should also watch the full 90-minute version on Netflix.

While watching the film, I learned a lot about soil and was encouraged by the plethora of benefits that are delivered by regenerative agriculture. The film traced the history of the world's farming industry that chose a tragically different path after WW2. 

Later in the film, they made the crucial point that, without a major correction, we're headed for disaster -- a reckoning that will occur when all of the topsoil is depleted. In that case, we will no longer be able to grow food for the world's eight billion people. 

But the film gives the false impression that all we need to do to solve our soil depletion issue is to switch from the mass-feeding of cows, chickens and pigs to grazing animals and free range chickens. But it's not that simple, as I will explain later. But first...

A personal side story. I grew up with a father who spent his entire career in the animal feed industry, working many years for the 
Quaker Oats Company, where he promoted their Ful-O-Pep brand of livestock feeds in Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas.

Morris Adron Hicks was also a part-time farmer and, as such, we had lots of pigs, laying hens and dairy cows when I was young. We even had a donkey for awhile.

I so wish that he were alive today so that we could discuss regenerative agriculture. After so many years in the farm animal business, it was remarkable that he was able to keep an open mind about what humans should be eating -- right up to the end of his life in 2006.

In early 2003, when I first started learning about the "disease reversing" powers of whole, plant-based foods, he told me, at age 88, over the phone from Texas, that I was on the right track. 

Back to "Kiss the Ground." Early in the film, I found myself realizing that I wasn't seeing an unbiased "big picture" view of the grim reality in which we find ourselves. They seemed to be suggesting that you can have your meat AND save the planet TOO. So, I kept waiting to hear more scientific data to back up all the anecdotal numbers from the ranchers in the film. But, alas, there was none.

By the time I finished watching, I had decided that I wanted to feature regenerative agriculture in an upcoming SOS Memo, but not until I had more scientific data. 

So, in doing my research over the weekend, I found a very recent article, posted by someone I know -- a well-written piece that answered many of the questions that I was having while watching the film. If you don't have time to read that article right now, you should come back to it later.

More thoughts re the film. Of course, regenerative agriculture is a good thing -- and a necessary thing -- in order to prevent the steady erosion of the world's topsoil which has been happening big-time for the past 75 years. But I'm absolutely positive that, by itself, it won't stop climate change and it won't save our species. 

In truth, we must do so much more -- and I fear that the film's singular focus on regenerative agriculture will breed complacency regarding the other HUGE issues that must be resolved if we're to survive longterm.  

As I see it, there are four primary drivers of our demise as a species -- and only one of them (a slam dunk) enables every citizen in the world to have a significant and immediate impact when it comes to living in harmony with nature. Here are those four primary drivers:

1. An overall "system" of living in the developed world that is grossly unsustainable. Our "system" of living must be completely re-invented -- and that can only be managed by a large, collaborative group of enlightened nations.
2. A global economic "system" that thrives on the maximization of the consumption of stuff in a world of finite natural resources. We must figure out a new way of "keeping score" that answers first to Mother Nature. -- again, that new global system of keeping score must be managed by a collaborative group of nations. 
3. Overpopulation. In a terribly crowded world, now approaching eight billion people, the global population is growing by a net seven million every month.
4. Our food choices. On a per calorie basis, animal-based foods, on average, require over ten times as much land, water and energy as do plant-based foods. TEN TIMES! 

Drivers #3 and #4 above are the only two factors that we as individuals can control in our own lives. But #4, food choices, is the ONLY action that we can take right now that will have an immediate impact. And that is why... 

I call #4 a SLAM DUNK
  1. It's extremely impactful right away. By choosing plant-based eating, you reduce by 90% the amount of land, water and energy that's being used to grow and deliver what you are eating now.
  2. It's incredibly easy. Almost anyone can adopt a plant-exclusive way of eating and they don't have to be 7-feet tall to make a slam dunk in the game of life.
  3. A plethora of benefits. You can expect to lose weight, eliminate medications, sleep better, prevent or reverse many chronic diseases and much, much more.
  4. Regenerative Agriculture will happen naturally as we abolish the factory farm method of growing food for billions of chickens, pigs, cows, turkeys, sheep and goats -- shifting quickly to growing plant-based food only for humans and their pets.
  5. You will save money. When I started eating this way in 2003, I was living alone and was able to  save about $5,000 per year -- mostly in restaurants.
  6. It's about the future of your family. Although they may not be thrilled at first, someday they will be so very proud of you for helping to pave the road to their sustainable future. 
The Bottom Line. Changing what we eat is definitely a slam-dunk compared to the many other lifestyle changes that must be made soon if we are to survive as a species. 

If we don't take those easy slam dunks when we can, we're going to be in trouble when we have to rely on difficult 3-pointers to win the game of saving our species. 

In closing, I encourage you to read the article referenced earlier by Simon Hill and Nicholas Carter. Here is a short quote from near the end of that piece:

Regardless of the label that we choose to adopt, a plant-exclusive way of eating will nourish the soil, reduce emissions from agriculture, and at the same time, reduce the burden of chronic disease in our communities

So what is the key to resolving the three remaining HUGE sustainability issues: totally re-inventing the way we live, developing a global, Earth-friendly economy and getting deadly serious about overpopulation? 

For that incredibly difficult trifecta, I am convinced that progress on all of the above can only begin after we start having a serious, widespread conversation about them. To that end, I encourage you to read Outcry and join me in helping to spark the most important conversation in the history of humanity.

Download the free Kindle app for all of your devices.

One more thing. This SOS Memo is dedicated to the memory of my late father, Morris Adron Hicks, who was born in Mississippi in 1914, spent his entire life in the South and died at the age of 91 in Texas. I took this picture near my home in Ridgewood, New Jersey, in 1990 when he was about the age that I am now. He left two sons, three daughters and many grandchildren.

The greatest compliment he ever gave me was when he told me that he never thought that I would be successful in the business world. Why? Because he said that I was too honest.

On that note, I voted by mail last month for the presidential candidate who I believe is the most honest. My dad would have been proud.


J. Morris (Jim) Hicks


PS: For a highly informative 44-slide pictorial tour of Outcry, just click here. Also, check out this July 2020 news about the remarkable James Lovelock, who at age 101, now says that "he AND our biosphere are in the final 1% of their lives." Hopefully, he is wrong about both predictions.

Also, let's talk.To help jumpstart a  global conversation 
that I keep encouraging, I am now offering to conduct private Zoom conferences free of charge to groups of almost any size. I look forward to Zooming with you and your group sometime soon. 

Send me an email and let's get started.

In preparation for those sessions, I have developed a one-hour format consisting of an opening statement followed by a 20-minute slide show and then ending with a discussion and Q&A with the attendees. The sessions you organize will be far more interesting and productive if attendees have read Outcry in advance.

Our book, for a host of environmental reasons, is only available as an e-book on Amazon. As such, it contains hyperlinks to hundreds of references and videos, is less expensive, does not kill any trees and does not have to be manufactured and delivered. 

You can join my mailing list and/or find all of my previous postings by visiting the SOS Memos page on my websiteHere are a few of them where you can see how my vision has evolved since that first "creative idea" on 9-21-18:

As always, I am just trying to spark a global conversation about what is needed. By sharing a vision of what I believe is possible, I hope to influence others to think bigger, better and bolder. 

As for speaking, I continue to search for mainstream audiences who may have an interest in learning more about a realistically hopeful vision for our future - and their role in making that vision come true.

In the months ahead, I will continue to focus on the urgent need for a totally reinvented greening of our civilization - beginning with a model in the USA that could be applied globally over the next fifty years. 

Upcoming talks: There are lots of open dates on my calendar and I look forward to the opportunity of tailoring my presentation to best suit an audience you may have in mind: 

Universities, churches,  book groups, legislative bodies, think-tanks, environmental organizations, alumni associations, leadership clubs, PTA's, family, neighbors 
and/or civic groups who may appreciate a message of reality and hope for our future. 

Please let me hear from you directly regarding any ideas or questions you may have.

What else can you do to help? Three things:

1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are crucially necessary for saving our civilization.

2. Share this BSB and my "Mama Ain't Happy" BSB with prominent journalists, thought leaders and/or elected officials whom you respect. They need to learn a lot more about the many reasons why Mama ain't happy.

3. Here are a few more GRATOLA-related blogs that you can share with your most powerful friends, leaders, journalists and movie producers.

Click here for links to all blogs and SOS Memos since 2016

Until next time, just remember...

Humanity is on a collision course with Nature.
A damaged Nature will survive. We may not.
We must change course to avert an ecological disaster.

This SOS Memo series was created by:

J. Morris (Jim) Hicks 
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC

I welcome your feedback and/or questions at:

In the past two years, I have spoken at a VegFest in
Fort Myers, at in Honolulu and Kahului, Maui, the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, a Plant Powered Manhattan event in New York, at a lakeside health conference in South Haven, Michigan, in Buffalo, NY, at the University of Scranton, at Dr. Fuhrman's Golden Gate Health Getaway in California and at the Healthy World Sedona Health and Sustainability Conference in AZ.

To schedule a presentation at a venue near you, please contact me at

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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