...who is disappointed with the Press.
I have a problem with them as well - but for very different reasons.
Let me explain. I started writing this piece last Saturday after reading an article in the NY Times that described how the meat producers were responding to the threat from the growing presence of plant-based meats.
Why did I read it? To determine if there was a single mention in the article about the enormous environmental damage being inflicted by the steadily increasing production of "real" animal meat throughout the world.
There was not!
And this is nothing new. For many years, when it comes to the health and sustainability horrors of eating animal flesh, the world's news media has failed us miserably.
Donald Trump has been calling them the "enemy of the people" for years. But, based on their dismal record of enlightening the public about the grossly unsustainable process of producing meat from animals, maybe
some will start calling them the enemy of the planet.
So why am I still writing about the horrors of eating meat - sixteen years after I learned the sad, ugly truth about what eating meat does for our own health AND for the health of the fragile ecosystem that sustains us?
It's because the mainstream media
STILL DOESN'T GET IT!
Why is this so important?
Quite simply, the consumption of animal-based foods is one of five primary sustainability issues we must address if we want our species to survive past the year 2100. (See chart)
Of the five, the meat issue is by far the easiest to address. All we have to do is stop eating it and the industry would disappear in less than a decade - as it would be replaced by Earth friendly and far healthier, plant-based foods.
Then there are the other four more challenging issues. I have concluded that our future is truly bleak unless we begin urgently addressing ALL of these five subjects on our report card:
As of this writing in February of 2019, we are failing big-time in all five categories, but there is only one where the average citizen can easily have an immediate impact. Just stop eating foods that are made from animals.
Are you still eating meat? Consider this huge factor of 10:
On an average per calorie basis - producing animal-based foods requires well
over 10 times as much land, water and energy
as do plant-based foods.
Let that statistic sink in for a second; then consider the sobering fact that those animal-based foods are also among the leading drivers of climate change, water shortage, chronic disease, land degradation and world hunger.
It really is a no-brainer - yet the global mainstream media continues to ignore it. And, of course, the global production of meat continues to climb:
Global Meat Production by Continent. 1961 to 2014
This bears repeating. In the "report card" above, item #3 regarding animal agriculture is the ONLY ONE of our five primary sustainability issues that can be addressed quickly and easily by anyone who so chooses.
But with the lack of a continual journalistic insistence on such a move, the drastically needed shift away from eating meat has not happened. Even though millions of people are now eating more plant-based foods, the world's total meat consumption continues to soar.
This is a trend that must stop and I believe that the media is largely to blame for why it hasn't.
As for the other four, more challenging, sustainability issues on that first chart, they won't be resolved for many decades, if not centuries - which makes the meat issue all the more urgent. So my question is this:
If the media won't constantly remind us about the extreme importance of what we put on our forks, who will?
Many, including me, continue to try.
In 2003, I had an "Oh my God" moment when I suddenly realized that we're eating the wrong food for our species. Eight years later, I wrote this book and started
writing blogs on this topic
- a passionate habit that continued for 737 consecutive days.
Then, after reaching a total of nearly 1,000 of those "full-size" blogs in 2016, I launched a new generation of "bite-size" blogs (BSBs) and you are reading #188 now. I admit that some are bigger "bites" than others.
My all-time grand total of articles is approaching 1200 and the
media still are not doing their job!
In 2011, after concluding that most people prefer to get their dietary advice from a medical or dietary professional, I teamed up with a family physician to publish this
4Leaf Guide to Vibrant Health - for ourselves and for our planet.
In each 2-minute chapter, Dr. Graff and I took great pains to make our case in as few words as possible - making it real easy for our readers to learn why and how they can move steadily toward a health-promoting, environment-friendly and delicious way of eating.
She wrote the dietary advice chapters and I wrote the chapters that focused on global issues that are affected by what we choose to eat.
For example, here is one of my 4-page chapters that describes how better food choices can help us resolve three of the world's most challenging issues:
The Bottom Line.
It's time to take the gloves off and get deadly serious about what we must be eating if we want the children who follow us on this planet to have a decent chance to enjoy comfortable, meaningful lives - far beyond the 21st century.
To be fair to the media, there are lots of non-mainstream journalists out there who are not letting us down. One of them is Dahr Jamail who was interviewed just this week on Democracy Now. In the video that follows, he describes the rapid and terrifying acceleration of climate change.
Meanwhile our mainstream media focuses mostly on Trump, sports, crime, accidents, wars, local weather and what famous people are doing or saying. I watch very little of it, choosing to get most of my news via YouTube these days - so that I can watch short videos with titles that interest me, like this 24-minute one on climate change that was posted two days ago.
It's the best, up-to-date, big picture view of what's happening right now with climate change that you will find. Actually, Dahr calls it climate disruption.
The End of Ice: Dahr Jamail on Climate Disruption from the Melting Himalayas to Insect Extinction
So what can you do to help? Send this BSB and/or give one of our books to your medical doctors, to your clergy, to your senators & representatives, to your mayors, to your influential friends and to every journalist who you think may have a conscience.
What else can you do?
1. Live as greenly as possible while doing all that you can to raise the awareness of "big picture" solutions that are ultimately necessary to save our civilization.
Finally, here are a few of my earlier BSBs that are related to this topic:
2. Share 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. Help me find thoughtful audiences where I can speak freely about the most important topic in the history of humanity.
Also, if you'd like a hefty discount on multiple copies of the 4Leaf Guide book, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC
(now contains 5-minute video of me speaking in Tucson)
will be in April at the University of Scranton - an event co-sponsored by The Greenhouse Project
concentration at the university.
Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth
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