James Cameron, famed director and well-known climate change activist, has a message for the masses: go vegan to fight climate change.
Cameron, who has been vegan for four years, spoke at a climate change summit in Los Angeles earlier this week about the impact of food systems and diet on climate change.
In an exclusive interview with Fortune, Cameron explains:
[T]he thing that became abundantly clear to us when we met with the experts who are working in nutrition and energy sustainability and climate change is that we can’t actually meet our emission goals if we don’t address animal agriculture, and that’s the thing that’s been left out of the conversation.
This message is crucial because many people who care about the environment still have no idea that raising animals for food is so incredibly destructive.
Consider some of these facts:
Going vegan immediately cuts your CO2 emissions in half
It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce just one pound of beef
80 percent of land deforested in the Amazon is for raising cattle
Factory farms grossly contaminate rivers and ground water
While the widespread negative repercussions of animal agriculture can be overwhelming, Cameron’s message is one of hope:
The simple resounding message is you can be healthier and your planet can be healthier based on a very simple thing that you can do today. And you’ll also save money because eating a plant-based diet is just frankly cheaper. It’s cheaper to produce plants. It’s less carbon footprint, less water footprint, less money footprint and better for you.
Of course, one of the best reasons to ditch animal products is to prevent unnecessary animal suffering and death.