First, Back to the Beginning – Who is James Cameron?
James Cameron was born on 16 August 1954, in Kapuscasing, Canada. He is best known for making science fiction and epic films, and some of his productions are The Terminator (1984), Aliens, the Abyss, Terminator 2 Judgment Day, True Lies, the Titanic, and Avatar, which is quite an impressive list.
For the Titanic, he won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Film Editing in the Academy Awards.
Besides film making he is also a National Geographic sea explorer and he has made several documentaries on the subject.
In total, Cameron’s films have grossed around $2 billion in North America and $6 billion worldwide, with Titanic and Avatar being the second and third highest grossing films of all times.
As if that is not all, James Cameron is also an environmentalist and he runs various sustainability businesses. In 2010, Times Magazine named James Cameron as of the ten most influential people in the world.
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When he wrote the script for the Terminator, he was still unknown in Hollywood. He managed to sell the script for $1 dollar on the condition that he would be the director of the film. Gale Anne Hurd, a colleague, founder of Pacific Western Productions, and his wife was the one who bought the script.
As we all know, the Terminator became a huge success. Remember Arnold? “I´ll be back.” And speaking of Arnold Schwarzenegger, he is mostly vegan, the only non-vegan product he consumes are eggs.
“I stay away more from the meats and more from animal products, and animal proteins, because there was this misconception that that’s the only way you get big and strong, so now I back off that and I feel much better,” as he states in his own words.
Enough about Arnold, back to James now.
Like most of us did I saw the Titanic and I was also left wondering, “wasn’t there enough room for Jack on that mattress?” Anyway, it was a great movie.
My personal favorite by James Cameron, however, is Avatar. I loved that film! Someone told me that she saw it as a modern version of Pocahontas, which I didn’t understand. When I watched the movie, I was struck by the similarities between the portrayed fantasy world and how we in the real world are doing our utmost to destroy our planet. For me, the movie had a deep message, but I guess for others it was “Pocahontas” 😉 .
When and Why did James Cameron Become Vegan?
James Cameron and his family have been vegan since 2012, because of their concern for the environment. Not only does he adopt a vegan lifestyle but he is also a vegan activist, urging others to follow in his footsteps and lower their carbon footprint.
According to James (and I agree), “it’s a win-win. You’re going to be healthier, you’re going to live longer, you’re going to look better. You’re going to have fewer zits. You’re going to be slimmer. You’re going to radiate health. You’re going to have a better sex drive. That’s what shifting away from meat and dairy does.” (Source: Men’s Journal)
If you have any questions about shifting away from dairy (or meat), see my previous article please.
If you google “James Cameron vegan activist”, a list of speeches and actions he has done and taken will appear.
His message is simple: go vegan to fight climate change.
Believe me, this is not out there. He has a point. The Western diet has a lot to do with climate change. Have you ever wondered how it’s possible to get meat for billions of people?
You have to slaughter billions of animals, and if the killing of BILLIONS of animals for our taste buds doesn’t faze you, think about the following: before the kill, first you need to raise them, cram them together in factory farms in inhumane conditions to save money and space; and for that you need to cut down huge forests. That takes us to the Amazon deforestation … terrible isn’t it?
Much of the Amazon deforestation is done to create room for animal factory farms in order to feed the ever demanding mouths that want their steaks, burgers, fillet mignon, beef stroganoff, and what have you.
Cutting down rain forests leads to …? Yes, we know, right?
In 2015, James Cameron spoke at a climate change summit in Los Angeles about the impact of food systems and diets on climate change.
In an interview with Fortune, Cameron says: “The 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.”
When Cameron received his National Geographic award for “Explorer or the year” he used his acceptance speech to tell the room about the benefits of a vegan lifestyle.
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During an interview with CNN, he explained how harmful animal agriculture is to the environment.
Quoting James Cameron: “Animal agriculture is the second largest sector for greenhouse gas emissions next to electrical generation. And it puts it in front of all transportation combined – so all ships, all planes, all automobiles. So while it’s wonderful to buy an electric car, you’re only attacking a smaller part of the problem. Changing our diet and nutrition is something we can do instantaneously if we choose to do it.
“So it’s the quickest way we have for grabbing the thermostat of the planet and turning it down. All it takes is the will, the desire, to do it.”
In Belgium (where I’m from) we have an expression. It’s just one French word we use to express respect for a person: Chapeau.
Chapeau means hat, and when you say “chapeau” it means that you take your hat off to someone. So, I say, chapeau to James Cameron 😉
I admire anyone famous who uses his spotlight to help a cause. Fortunately, there are many artists who use their money and fame to help when and where they can. James Cameron is only the first in my series of Vegan heroes. I will soon share more articles about others as well. While we’re at it, I would also like to share the spotlight with some lesser known vegan heroes, so you can expect this series to be long. I will, however, throw in occasional recipes. After all, Christmas is coming up, isn’t it?
So, this series is not continuous. It will have several interruptions, so that I can share articles for everyone’s interest. Blog posts of healthy burgers, substitutes for nutritional yeast, how to be vegan in a non-vegan environment, and more will come up as well.
Thank you for reading. If you have any comments or questions, please let me know in the comments below. And if you’d like me to cover a specific topic in a future blog post, I’ll be happy to read your suggestions as well 🙂
9 thoughts on “Vegan Heroes – James Cameron, Personal Life”
Thank you so much for this interesting and insightful article, Christine! I have always loved the Terminator, Titanic and Avatar movies; knowing that James Cameron takes care of his body is quite admirable. I am fully devoted to becoming a vegan now-I cannot sit back and continue to justify (attempt to justify, and poorly, I might add. Haha) my eating habits: I want to live a long, full, healthy, cruelty-free life. We should all use our platforms to promote the greater good of society. I will certainly be tuning in for your future blog posts in this series! Great read! God bless you!
Thank you! The next article will be about Moby, another great hero for the animals.
Thank you for your comment!
I never knew James Cameron was a vegan activist. I have learnt something today. I am not a vegan, but I do love the biscuits that you have on your site. The images are great, and I love how you have explained your topic in an easy to read manner. I love your site.
I am familiar with James Cameron due to his great success with movies, I love The Terminator! One thing I did not know is that he is a vegan activist so I found this very informative.
I am not a vegan (yet) but I am taking steps to cut down on my meat and animal products consumption and I believe that every little step I take will make a big difference. My goal is to go vegan. I’ve changed from milk to almond milk and I use vegetable stock in our meals instead of meat stock and I’ve been adding things like lentils to our meals and only using half the amount of meat.
Thank you for sharing this, it was very inspiring.
Every little step does indeed make a difference. Great that you are taking steps to become vegan! It looks like you’re well on your way 🙂
Indeed chapeau to James Cameron, Christine. And chapeau to you too – I love your heroes series. 🙂
It’s great that Cameron propagates his views in a public way. My favorite quote of these days is: we don’t need one person to solve the problem, we need a lot of people adding a little bit to the solution. So if he only inspires one person, who in turn inspires one person, we’ll get there.
I still can’t believe there are so many people that simply deny the climate change. I know where it comes from – it is easier to keep doing what we always did – but that doesn’t mean I understand that subbornness.
One of my heroes of this moment is Rutger Bregman (the one of the tax remarks at Davos). He described a situation at a dinner’s table on the ‘Boekenbal’, an event in the Netherlands for writers and publishers. He was amazed that even being in an environment of clever people he was the only one that asked if there also was a vegan option on the menu.
There wasn’t, so the kitchen panicky had to come up with something. While they were at it, the rest of his companions at the table did their utmost to ignore him. They were not interested in his choice, didn’t want to have anything to do with it. Strange, isn’t it?
I am looking forward to reading about your next heroe. 🙂
It is indeed astonishing that among so many intellectuals there was only one person who asked after a vegan option on the menu. I often see this in similar situations and it is baffling. With so much knowledge about the world, the benefits of veganism are denied. It is something of a paradox, isn’t it?
Thank you for your thoughtful comment! 🙂
I know Titanic and Avatar, but I don’t know James Cameron is also a vegan. Good to learn new stuff from you today. 🙂 It’s shocking to know that animal agriculture is the second largest reason for greenhouse gas, and we do have a choice to make it better by choosing a vegan life.
Maybe people can start being vegan once a week then go more days every week to achieve the goal. I am starting eating less meat and related products after reading your articles and still thinking about going further to be a vegan eventually because I start feeling better about my health.
Thanks for sharing today. Look for more from this series.
That’s great! Little by little you can achieve it. Wonderful that the changes you are making in your diet are making you feel better about your health 🙂