James Cameron: Changing Our Diets Will Halt Climate Change

Credit: FrysVegetarian.co.uk
Credit: FrysVegetarian.co.uk

Earlier this December, director James Cameron wrote a piece for Newsweek to address how a balanced, vegan diet can help prevent climate change from worsening.

Over the past month, the magazine published a series of opinion pieces while the COP21 conference on climate change took place in Paris. The event recently wrapped up on December 11th.

In Cameron’s piece titled “Halting Climate Change Is As Simple As Changing Our Diets,” the Oscar-winning director wrote:

“We should all be very aware that climate change isn’t some hypothetical thing that our children are going to face in the future. It’s happening now, with worsening droughts, agriculture crashes, and rising sea levels that will prompt the mass displacement of millions of people. It’s insidious and a lot like rabies, as I always say. By the time you’re symptomatic, it’s too late for a cure.”

He adds that while climate negotiators were targeting emissions reductions, they missed out on an “additional arrow in their quiver to make up for the overage in emissions. It’s simple: change our diets.” 

In the opinion piece, he says that animal agriculture is a “huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions through its production of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides.” He adds, “it’s actually larger than the entire transportation sector.”

Cameron does admit that despite its emissions, we do need transportation. Animals, on the other hand, don’t need to be eaten, he states.

“I’m not saying that from an ethical, animal-rights standpoint; I’m saying it from a health standpoint. Nutritionally, we don’t need to eat animals and animal products. And we’re actually much healthier if we don’t. This has been proven; there’s a depth and breadth of scientific analysis behind that statement.”

Reducing one’s consumption of animals, he argues, will not only help the environment but will also help those who are anxious about climate and change and want to know what they can do about it.

“The single biggest thing an individual can do is to shift more towards a plant-based diet,” he writes. “It’s a win-win. It’s a win for your health. It’s a win for the environment.”

The articulate, well-written piece is worth a read.

This isn’t the first time Cameron has spoken out about the link between health, climate change, and veganism. Earlier this year, he wrote a similar article for Men’s Journalattributing climate change behind his reason for switching to a diet free of animal products.

In addition, he is well-known for supporting the US’ first all vegan school founded by his wife, Suzy Amis-Cameron, and her sister. Located in Calabasas, California, MUSE School is a private pre-kindergarten to 9th-grade school with an environmental focus.

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