Bringing the food as a medicine down under

7/11/19: Interviewed on the Healthy Human Revolution channel by Dr Laurie Marbas.

7/11/19: Interviewed on the Healthy Human Revolution channel by Dr Laurie Marbas.

Transcript of the interview below:

welcome to the healthy human revolution podcast I’m dr. Lori Marvis and today I’m so honored and excited to welcome

dr. Peter Johnston how are you I’m very well thank you

and I’m honored and excited to be on your podcast it’s a real training well

there’s gonna be maybe an occasional slight delay so we asked the audience patience as you are halfway around the

world in the future in Australia and

with that can you tell us a little bit about you and what you basically what is

your work in Australia because then I like to go back into your history and as to how you’ve actually got into the

plant-based movement but can you tell us a little bit about you and what you do

certainly I’m a whole food plant-based diet ition and I work in several areas I

do some private practice I have a patient later this morning I don’t really promote that much but

it’s it’s sort of growing steadily I’ve primarily been doing workplace health programs which has been extremely

exciting and I seem to be doing more public speaking these days and I working

very closely with some wonderful colleagues to establish a lifestyle

medicine clinic in Melbourne where I live excellent so there’s some interesting

growth going on in Australia and I’ve met you and several others when you guys

came to the conference the plantation project in California I think was that three years ago I think the first time I

think it’s been three years so I see you every every year I’m sorry the one I’ve

just come from was my third yes yes absolutely perfect and so can you tell

us a little bit how does someone in Australia find a whole food plant-based diet and then become impassioned to

pursue a career helping others find health this way

two parts to that I guess a lot of my adult life has been around helping

others to make help people will have a better life and make the world a better place and I’ve had a very privileged

life and very lucky life and I it gives me joy to help leave the world better

than I found it so that’s I think one part of your question the the first part

is do you really do want me to come into how I became hopefully public yeah

absolutely so you were did you realize plant-based or were you always vegan or

a debris raised that way what how what’s the story and the journey to this point

no no far from from it I I wish I was I’m suspecting I wouldn’t need reading

glasses at this age if I had a very healthy upbringing without the animal

food why upbringing was healthy by today’s standards enough lucky luckily have

never been overweight or or had chronic disease of any kind my mother was a

dietitian we grew up eating lots of homegrown fruit and vegetables and I was

a child in the 60s and in the south of New Zealand and there were two

restaurants in town but kids weren’t taken and it was a treat for adults to

go and started I remember my mum and dad going much and the word fast-food restaurants I distinctly remember as a

teenager when the first KFC came to Dunedin and there were queues around the

block so when we didn’t have cafes it

was easier to be healthy but we did have a meat and three vegetables food centric

we would have had fish and chips once a month that was horribly greasy and I

still remember feeling nauseous afterwards after those meals but we still like that but drooping with with beef at

that fried it and so it gives me the heebie jeebies to think about it now so but we were healthy we run around and

and I didn’t know anything about vegetarianism until I met my first girlfriend and picked it up after a year

of living with her not through any idea of the health or the ethics or the environment but I just simply lost the

taste for animal food and gagged on ham roll one day University and thought I’m

not having this anymore so from that day on in 1981 when I was 23 I stopped

eating meat and fish and ten years later on the way to my postdoc in Montreal I

met a New Zealand woman in India who told me about an amazing book I should read called diet for a new America by

John Robbins so I bought that when I got to Montreal it laid out if you don’t know four

people or the audience who don’t know the health the ethics and environmental reasons for not eating any animal food

so I promptly started switching over to being vegan and that was terribly chem

vegan I knew for some time that oil wasn’t healthy but thought I’m skinny

I’m fit I exercise a lot it won’t matter for me but I eventually dropped it because I thought well I’m not getting

younger and I need every advantage I can get because I still like to keep very happy I cycle you know 200 kzm a week

most most weeks I do yoga and stands and ski and wind surf so I value retaining

the health I have so now I look for every edge in every angle to optimize my

diet so that how old are you think is you certainly don’t look like what I’m

thinking is calculating in my head 61 as of last August so 61 Wow

yeah so lysse and I’ve met him in person he definitely doesn’t look like the

typical 61 year old that we see in your windsurfing

and you’re doing all these other activities that’s phenomenal so so you

just kind of migrated this way through people that you met and took it what you

read and heard and just come intuitively found a healthier diet so you’ve been

plant-based or vegan for how many years now when he is 28 years

Wow that’s incredible so then was it your mom’s path as a dietitian that led

you to become a dietician or how did you incorporate decide to incorporate your passion of eating plant-based with being

a dietitian and then the work that you do now

my mom wonderful wife she is never embraced being fully vegan she’s I’ve

sent her all the books and DVDs and she looks at them and reads them and says that’s nice dear but I’m still having my

and she’s still very healthy at 83 and from a week of walking with friends out

in the country but no I left my postdoc

in Montreal or didn’t didn’t go very well I got disillusioned with academia

had a few years in San Francisco as a as a political activist and then decided I

needed to get back into some up their career and came back to Australia to do my masters in nutrition in 96 and 97 so

and even then I was still focused on on

my political activism for a few years but didn’t switch back to using that

master’s degree for a few years so can we back up a little bit and talk about

what political activism what were you that’s a part that I

wasn’t aware so can you tell me a little bit

god it’s I’ve had in retrospect my career has been quite under strategic

and a little bit ad hoc and impulsive if I did things again I I could have

practice eight sometime and but I guess it’s added to Who I am

Watson all so I came to San Francisco originally wanting to work with Francis

Moore Lappe and who wrote diet for a small planet after I left my postdoc and

they were in San Francisco and I tracked them down but they didn’t have any paid employment so I ended up

by chance working for a peace activist group and did that and that led me down

a rabbit hole of learning a lot about what’s wrong with the world and why and

getting involved with people and working to change that so I did that for about a

decade pretty much full time including while I was doing my master’s degree in

nutrition so I kind of had one eye on the nutrition and one eye on the

politics and interestingly I never had any success of interesting any of my

political colleagues of the benefits of the plant-based diet environmentally or

any for any other reasons so what does a political activist do I mean we hear

that term you know those who are active in for you know animal rights we see

them out picketing but what does someone do for a decade I mean what is your day-to-day what does that look like day

to day I’m just really curious initially it was very much part time but

then I pretty much pretty soon got drawn into doing it more full-time and I worked very hard at it and applied

myself and studied hard to learn about current events and history and politics

and economics so I ended up becoming a branch organizer for left-wing political

party in in two cities in Australia and that involved

organizing meetings organizing rallies protests distribution of our news media

Wow we had our own newspaper public

speaking and recruiting and training people running education programs

it was very full-on but very very exciting and fun but it keeps you poor and it dominates your whole life so

dominating penniless but you’re but you’re living your passion and you know

following your beliefs and and actively working to make things change and better so that’s that’s to be applauded I mean

there’s a lot of sacrifice it goes that yes and and we we didn’t get paid we

paid the organization contributions from a part of whatever money we had I worked

part time from some of those years and gave a big chunk of my salary to help support the organization there were

differences living living on the breadline Wow and so when did you decide to break

from that and and do more of the nutrition because I mean there must have been was there an incident or just feel

like I can’t live penniless anymore and move on to something that will be maybe more regular supporting yourself it was

taking over my life and I wasn’t allowing me time to focus on my health or my relationship that was suffering

and so I took a break from it and didn’t go back ended up working in local

government in a health promotion Community Development role which which allowed me to dust off the nutrition

work and I kept reading all those years I still had a voracious interest in what

was happening and and read you know the books by Ornish and Esselstyn and neal

barnard and you know followed up with what was happening but it was internet

was new then and there wasn’t the YouTube resource

and podcasting wasn’t around so it was look waiting for books to come out and subscribing to a few email groups at

that time but I kept in the loop I kept reading and following what was happening but the advent of YouTube made it a lot

easier and the Internet and so many resources around plant-based nutrition made it easy to keep on top of where

things were and to meet and network with other people absolutely that’s it that

first I’m sorry that first local government job is also renewable

motivated because I was working with older people in public housing who were

disadvantaged on many levels and had had pretty horrible lives and the chronic

disease was appalling much much higher than your average population and I could

see how they lived and their risk factors including their diet and was

started to work to see if we could develop a program there to help them trial healthy eating program and I

attracted the interest of a professor at a nearby university but for different

reasons I ended that job and he moved cities and it didn’t get off the ground

so that was every 12 years ago and it was before I knew about the historians

work of jump start and kick start and and you know the other programs like that and they worked with GEICO hadn’t

been done then but I knew there was a way that we could wrap around some

support with these people and help them get healthier and they were interested in some of them knew that I was a dietitian but it was too hard for them

without wrapping around some support because they were very poor there were 55 and over

distressing to see how they were tracking and to know that some lifestyle

modifications could have helped them a lot I tell me a little bit about the

current situation in Australia so you know a large part of our audience will be in the US is you know the political

sincerity kind of been in touch with the political arena arena as far as your food system is that somewhere to the US

your health care your health care system are you struggling what’s the chronic

disease burden what’s going on in Australia our chronic disease burden and

our obesity is very closely tracking the US on some measures we may be equal to

where you’re at we report come out early this year that we’d added a million new

obese people in the last four years which is horrific it’s now approaching

70% are overweight or obese most adults of working-age will have multiple risk

factors for chronic disease and if not already have chronic disease we’re in a

very very bad state the food system is similar we’re a big country with

different different climate zones so we can get tropical fruit and vegetables seasonally all year round so it’s backed

up and down the country the health care system is different and we still do have

a large viable public health care system albeit it’s bulging at the seams and

struggling to cope with the tsunami of chronic disease particularly the boomer

cohort comes through and is needing more hospital care about 45% of Australians

they have private health insurance which allows them to essentially jump the

queue and go to a private hospital and receive a few benefits like a private

room and a TV and to choose their their specialist interestingly there

subsidized by taxes quite heavily and that sector would likely fall over

without public subsidies in fact is struggling at present and those

subsidies have paid out if everyone’s taxes regardless of whether you can afford to benefit from their private

health insurance or not which I find quite inequitable and disturbing for

that reason I don’t have private health insurance it’s not a question of budget I just AM ethically not happy with the

way it works or albeit they’re still dedicated people working to help get

people well within the within the parameters of the Western medicine system which is as you know treatment

not not reversal so the the public health system has a fixed government budget and they’re struggling to meet

that and its treatment base like a new area so it’s drugs or surgery and most

people in hospital are there for preventable chronic diseases the private

system they’re paid for operations by health insurance companies and the

health insurance companies are actually in what’s known as the jaws of death

situation at the moment because their premiums for for having a policy are increasing above the annual cost of

living increases there are gap fees for most most treatments or surgeries or

operations that pay out of pocket on top of your premiums and so young people in

particular either abandoning their health insurance or not taking it out and traditionally they’ve made the model

viable because they cross subsidize the older sick people so the younger people are not they’re paying in but they’re

not taking money out so now that the health funds facing the effect of more

older sick people who are costing them a lot of money and less healthy young people who are subsidizing them and so

they’re not they’re payments to the prom hospitals are not keeping up with

consumer price index or inflation so the private hospitals are struggling as well so we have a system in crisis well it’s

it’s not as inefficient as the US no where in the world is unfortunately as

you know that’s around 20% of your GDP going to healthcare where I think we’re

tracking it around 8 or 9 percent but that’s growing and there are

inefficiencies that the health economists say it’d be better to redirect that funding for the private

system into the public system and have a better more equitable health care sector

so does your health care system cover drugs as well or is that come out of the pocket of the person no but some it’s

complicated some drugs are subsidized by the government make them affordable and

most people pay a small fee for medications if you poor and have a

government card you can get those for no costs ok so then how does someone’s work

like what you do fit into this type of system so how do you plug yourself into

this and reach people and help people and this type of setting are you what

what exactly how did this start like what do you do exactly in this system because it seems like it’d be kind of a difficult situation

because there maybe not be the money available for people to actually seek help and this where am I mistaken how

you mostly correct the private health insurance companies do fund people to

visit dieticians so on seeing a patient later this morning who is on health insurance

funding and sugar you get some of the cost at seeing me rebated but by and

large as in the u.s. apart from the Ornish program which is amazing the

preventive and reversal programs and measures are not incentivized or funded

we my colleagues and I working very hard to to make some headway and to change

that and set up a model where we can show the power of lifestyle medicine and

in reversing and-and-and addressing chronic disease Julie dice

you’ve had some success so right can you tell us a little bit about your work with that and what you’ve seen

oh um different levels why I initiated

finally did get a workplace health program going for helping people with

chronic diseases and my issues for the

older people in public housing so within the local governor I’ve been working in and had an opportunity where the CEO was

looking for innovative innovative ways to increase productivity so I I pitched

this program and was given permission to start it so we took cohorts of staff we

volunteered to trial a program and we had them blood tested pre and post the

three week intervention and we did a weight and blood pressure as well and we took subjective measures pre and post

qualitative measures and then go and then wrapped around lots of support to

help them switch overnight to a whole food plant-based diet going cold tofu if

you like and we would run five of those programs at the workplace it’s been an

on hold for the last six for eight months I’m because I was looking to jump

out of that workplace and didn’t want to do one but we may run mine only next year if I can get the CEO to trial it

he’s promised and hasn’t made the time yet so that would open a few doors I

think if the CEO can see the power of what we’re doing because until you do it and learn you don’t really know what you

don’t know it’s such a whole new world standing around how to live and eat that

until let’s explain to you people won’t appreciate the power of what’s happening even under their noses so even though

I’ve I’ve given quick one-page summary reports to see managers around our outcomes I don’t

think that quite appreciated what we’ve achieved it’s the first for Australia and we’ve put now a quarter of the staff

at that Civic Center through these programs 83 people an average total

cholesterol drop in three weeks and 20% well LDL drops around 23% in three weeks

on that average that alludes divert the

freeway assist addictive measures are amazing they feel better they sleep

better their pain diminishes they had more energy they feel more productive they focus better the kids that kids

change partners change the ripple effects are amazing as well all sorts of wonderful stories from that so the first

the first program I did I was scheduled to present at a conference here in Melbourne with dr. Michael clapper as

the keynote and so I’d only just scrabbled together the results the night

before it was a touch-and-go to get it done in time and when I presented about this I had a line of people afterwards

wanting to talk to me because I was so excited and curious and then I had a

bunch of emails and messages from people saying can I help you on this program so

after that first program were we then had a team of seven people who were all

nutrition qualified helping me deliver the program so we refined it every every

program adding more steps adding more nuances and refinements to make it work

better engage people better and we give people the why and the how and the peer

support and we find those are the three key pillars so yeah and from that we’ve

produced for example this 80 page cookbook with resources and calafate ace

oh wow and lots of how-to and why and links upfront and we give them a copy of

that the first program was was a bit more rough we just gave them website

links and said you should look up these websites for recipes but it still worked

really well we’ve got amazing results so the experience of doing that and the GP

that I’ve been working with and his wife the three of us are now working very

hard to transfer these skills to a lifestyle medicine clinic so the GP dr.

Malcolm acai and his partner Jenny Cameron are wonderful they’ve also been simultaneously running six-day emotion

retreats so their intensive and they involve meditation yoga walks on the

beach lots of lectures cooking classes so between the turret the three of us

we’ve we’ve got the skills and the resources in the practice now to run a

knowledge type program which is what we’ve been pitching to hospitals because

the the western style of health care is is really a misnomer it’s tignous care

and the model as you know is that people were told don’t never get better

they’ve got type 2 diabetes his Ament form and you’ll be on this for life when we’ve known for decades that that’s not

necessary so the same for heart disease many autoimmune diseases etc so it’s

both heartbreaking and it’s futile to see people not getting opportunities and

in effect I’m heartened by them so the early murmurings that have things like

for a cardiologist not to offer the patient the option of a whole food

plant-based diet is essentially malpractice we’re bouncing around this

idea to see what we can do with this variable this potential for a test

lawsuit to push this along and get some problem is certainly it’s early

interested in how that might unfold so not to penalize or victimize any

practitioners but to just showcase that this is something that health practitioners should be aware of and

should be advocating and offering if not it’s difficult for patients and learning we’ll be interested I think as health

practitioners we have a duty to offer people the opportunity of something that

will reverse their condition what the patient does with that is up to them but

it it essentially does constitute malpractice in a sense the practitioner

has a duty to keep up a date with the research and I know my colleagues and I work very hard to keep abreast of

developments so you know and the

healthcare system is as I said is bursting at the seams the economic models are not working we’ve we’ve

costed out our program a 12-week program for would be eight hours of the contact

for under four thousand dollars per patient compare that to the bypass surgery which would be fifty thousand or

more and risks of death and other complications and and and the person

coming back in 12 or 18 months with the vessels blocked up again and or the

state blocked up you know because it’s not addressing really determinants why that person became ill and so to me this

is really a no-brainer that we need to find the right yeah we’re looking to

find the right person high up in the healthcare system or in the private health insurance industry he’ll say you’re right let’s trial us and we’ve

had two close calls we had a conference here in Melbourne in February where

where Scott Stoll and Neil Bonnett came out as keynote speakers and Malcolm and

Jenny and I presented and we were approached by the allied health manager of a major private hospital in Melbourne

saying we would love to host our lifestyle medicine clinic that you were talking about in the hospital do you

want to come and meet our CEO so we did and the CEO was very keen we went away

to write up the proposals by Tommy got them back they restructured the organisation laid off the CEO and the

new boss was cool on the idea understand

ever stated because they showed us around and said we have all these rooms we have demonstration kitchens gyms

physios exercise physiologists will help me with all this we’ve got the space here’s where you can operate it was a

dream come true so we then had a lead

with a large public hospital in Melbourne and centre slightly adjusted

proposals to them and a month later we got word back that because of severe

economic constraints they were under instructions to not implement any new programs which was again devastating and

ironic because this is exactly the kind of thing which would have helped their bottom line so because it’s a public

hospital right so they’re they have limited funds it’s not like a price

right that a private insurances company is paying for a large you know expensive procedures hundred thousand dollars for

whatever they need to stay within a budget because they only have limited

budget they’re not getting any more so Wow incredible but if you guys offered

to share it for free we might do that

but we need to pay our bills stone we both have we all have some mortgages and need to put food on the table yeah I

used to I did this similar type thing I didn’t get paid extra for it but at the hospital where I worked I ran a

lifestyle medicine clinic at night and I did that for about four months and it was very successful but then I moved to

Florida to work with dr. Furman but it is you know it’s again it’s a sacrifice

for those who are dedicated to see people change and get well but it might be something to help open doors

yes in fact we were going to do it for free with the public hospital system in evenings and weekends as you mentioned

um excuse me but but they weren’t even willing to trial they’re only due to

just a cap on you any new initiatives so we we now have a lead and a meeting in a

few weeks with a very senior and highly connected business person in Melbourne

who I’ve had links to in the past and we’re hoping that he can open doors for

us and connect us to someone in the high place who will understand the economics

and what we’re offering otherwise we’re also looking just for a public space

where we reach a room for an evening and a weekend and do like one or two evenings a week and a Saturday afternoon

and we’ll just roll it and get the puns on the board right absolutely we see

this as the inevitable direction that the healthcare system must take if if

it’s to move forward is there any I

guess you said you were working with some companies so you were only working with one company or there are other

companies that you’re thinking of working with as well the that workplace

health programs we have developed some promotional materials and of marketing

that to other organizations so that’s really in parallel to the lifestyle

medicine clinic work but it’s also exciting because it’s life changing and

you’re taking willing cohorts and people in groups and significant numbers and

changing their lives and we’ve found that the adherence to healthy eating is

very high even with the three-week intervention and some follow-ups like

linking people into the faith group supports certain emails and the

resources we give them and he rinses really high so the benefits for organizations are huge in terms of

of reputation staff loyalty staff engagement as well as productivity so

we’re hoping that will bear some fruit so to speak no pun intended but we’re

also simultaneously very excited about the private that the lifestyle medicine clinic direction because I think that

just is so important and has such enormous ramifications that we get in the door of one hospital and Melbourne

and get runs on the board we’re pretty confident that they will see the efficacy see the economics and it will

spread like wildfire they’re really that the time was perfect whether it’s in

private or public the the the private initiative we had was was predicated on

getting the health funds to pay for the program which the senior management at the hospital were confident that it

would be right up their alley because as I said they’re struggling and when you put the name listed in Malaysia most

likely would have been interested so we’re still looking to connect with a senior health fund executive to to make

the case then it would be easy to go back to a private hospital and say okay we have the money we’re ready to roll

find us a room and we’ll show you how it works so we feel like we’re on the cusp

it’s close but we’re not quite there you have one it sounds like there’s probably

just lessons and things that you were learning with these others near misses that will prepare you for the right

opportunity at the right time to be extremely successful that’s how I like to look at these things if they’re all

learning opportunities definitely and I’m still optimistic it’s the it’s just

such a no-brainer we we have to hit in this direction Wow so the one of the

difficulties will be we actually have a shortage of hope whole food plant-based practitioners luckily there are some

younger people coming through the the courses at the moment but there aren’t a lot so if we get busy we will

be struggling to have staff who are supportive of the concept you don’t see

it their issue is physicians it’s fraud

dietitians and educators and etcetera right absolutely I can see where that

could be an issue because I was the only well one that I was and where I was so

you know it’s interesting though even just the the amount of medication and savings yes I mean I had one patient

that reverse diabetes and we did calculations it was upwards of a hundred dollars a month on one person on a self

you know these were self-insured entities and it was pretty incredible if

you start thinking about you know multiplying that times thousands it’s it’s it would make a big dent in our

problem so with that all being what is

the doctors for nutrition can you tell us a little bit about that because I know you you you have their you have

their shirt on is that your doctors for nutrition shirt modeling this chat yeah

so can you tell us a little bit about that and how that started

certainly it was conceived of by my colleague dr. Helene rooks

and and also Lucie stately who are both

wonderful people and great collaborators and modeled mostly on what the plant

Rishon project has done and realizing there was a need for bringing practitioners together and advocating

around a number of issues so so educating practitioners changing their

healthcare systems and educating the public and so it it has an advisory

council of dieticians and doctors from around Australia and New Zealand it’s

Australasian trans trans-tasman as we say across the Tasman Sea a New Zealand

in three hours from Australia and so it

acts to promote the message of whole food plant-based eating and healthcare

and it hosted its first conference this year in February with with as I

mentioned earlier dr. Neal Barnard and dr. Scott stole as keynotes and dr. Ellen Desmond from Ireland he was

terrific as well and and local speakers over two days how many participants did

you habitant the were around 300 I think and it was booked out sold out which was

fantastic that’s incredible so there is definitely an interest oh big interests

the the vegan lifestyle is growing enormous Lee in Australia and Melbourne

is probably the epicenter it’s enormous but and people are coming to it from

different reasons obviously I’m speaking this afternoon at an animal activism conference on nutrition so those are

people coming at it from the ethical side there are environmental reasons people coming at it from that and we

have extinction rebellion here and they asked people to bring only vegan food to

their meetings and events so they’ve made the connection between food and environment and some people are

coming to it for health reasons but the peace the number of people who are vegan who are also health food plant-based is

much smaller so we have a long way to go there are a lot of junk food vegans out

there right absolutely so tell me what what is an an extinction rebel rebellion

extinction extinction rebellion began a year ago in England as as a movement

based on nonviolent civil disobedience modeled along the lines of the civil

rights campaigners in the u.s. around the work of Gandhi and the social change

people they were studied social change

and what worked and what didn’t so for example large been successful for example the Second Gulf War here in 2003

we had huge marches record mattress and the government still went ahead and

ignored it and and joined the war and so

these academics were smart and they figured well we actually have to impose

an economic costs on the government the central business district through

non-violent civil disobedience and whatever the government does they lose

because if they don’t shut it down there’s an economic cost if they don’t break that break up the protest so

people will lie on the streets block off bridges and corners and intersections glue themselves to things chain

themselves to things Wow so you froze there for a second

something about people you said people are gluing down the narrator five chains

and pepsin things to the railings and and machinery and trucks and so forth so

it’s hard to drag them away so if the if the the government allows that to

continue then they lose money because you can’t is an economic cost of shutting down part of the business district if they arrest lots of people

which is what the aim of the extinction rebellion is then that looks bad for the government when arresting teenagers and

grandmas and normal normal law-abiding people who have careers and are not just

your stereotypical long head you know

hippies or radicals or whatever their ordinary community members and so that looks bad for the government when they

have hundreds of people in jail and so it’s forcing the hand by as these

protest builds so this for it it’s spread around the world and there are large right is happening regularly

around the world on this basis and so the div they’ve made the connection

between the food and environment which is wonderful and you know I have to

confess even though I’m a health care practitioner and I have four degrees all around the human condition psychology

zoology human genetics and and nutrition and dietetics my biggest driver now for

what I do is actually the environment because if we don’t get cut back animal

agriculture dramatically we are going to struggle to arrest the the climate

change that’s happening the the nitrous oxide the methane the carbon dioxide in

fact I think we need to make animal agriculture illegal because for ethical reasons and environmental reasons and

health reasons I think that it we need look to a time when it’s it’s not legal

to to farm and kill animals and treat them like commodities a Melbourne

philanthropist by the name of Philip Wallen who’s an amazing chap he’s dedicated the rest of his life to giving

away the fortune he made has said that ending animal agriculture is the

greatest social justice challenge since the abolition of slavery and I agree

with him I think we really need to do that so that drives me as well the the

the appalling lives that livestock have [Music]

so on its multiple levels but it’s I’m terrified for a man in twelve you each

care if formatic we used the the livestock on the planet

and I don’t not sure if you know that you look at livestock one-third roughly at humans and four percent are wild

mammals now that terrifies me that’s that’s just a tragic indictment of how

we’ve populated this planet and how we live on this fragile planet and the same

figures are there for birds two-thirds a bit over two-thirds of all birds on the

planet are chickens and turkeys and livestock animals less than a third wild

birds Wow I know I delivered an all-day

class to sorry um earlier this year the the privilege

of teaching a group of masters of environment students at a local university I did an all-day class on

food and environment which was terrific I’ve been following this stuff for a

long time but having the opportunity to put together all of the evidence and

arguments over six and a half hours with with some exercises and breaks but there’s a lot to it so yeah that’s a big

driver for me but I’m a health practitioner so and I’m also very excited about as you can gather

changing the healthcare system and helping get people get well right absolutely so you Wow so you did six and a half

hour program on food in the environment I’d love to talk to you about that after when we’re done mm-hmm I think there’s

some more caring that we can share they’re so amazing so the website for

you is perfect human food calm àyou and you do private practice workplace

programs and then you’re working on the lifestyle medicine clinic with Malcolm

and is there any last bit of advice for those who maybe are in Australia or

anywhere honestly who from your point of view when you’re looking at because you have the wide range of experience right

the environmental component the animal ethics and then the health components

put you in a unique place to say hey this is this is big be my advice to

someone who’s maybe considering this and maybe hearing this message for the first time how to know where to start and and

where the person’s at keep learning is important there are so many good resources on social media on YouTube so

many great documentaries that people can easily easily look at on Netflix the

game changers was released this week which is exciting in fact about a colleague at work come to me and say I

watched again the changes and I’m quitting meat can you help me so we had

a check and I gave them some resources so yeah things like Forks Over knives

what the health eating your lives there are terrific documentaries it’s it’s much easier now for people to find out

about this to connect with other people

I’ll be froze here sorry everyone for the drop here Oh

Peter can you hear me

go ahead I paused it so you came back on you know my colleague Jenny Cameron has

a an amazing Facebook group which she started in Co convenience called whole food plant-based Aziz and that has over

11,000 members so that’s a tremendous resource for people who want to learn

more about whole food plant-based eating and they share recipes they share question-and-answer problems new

developments new ideas research etc so it’s an amazing tool we recommend all of

the people we work with to check that out and sign up perfect so Facebook is a

great connecting place your website calling you emailing you let’s see if

maybe there’s someone here who can have some help for you I don’t know you never know who you’re gonna reach so we so

appreciate your time Peter because you are in the future it’s Friday for me and Saturday for you which is our running

joke every time we see each other you’re going back to the future it just cracks

me up but I so enjoy talking to are enjoying comrades-in-arms as we you know

march forward and helping people find health so thank you again for all your time thank you for the opportunity

Laurie it’s lovely to chat with you again and I hope we connect again soon oh absolutely so

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