You cannot be an environmentalist and a non-vegan. Yet, often times the most passionate, vigilant, and militant environmentalists still eat animal products. Let’s see some examples of why that is… well, hypocritical. Beef production alone uses more water than is consumed in growing the nation’s entire fruit and vegetable crop. Producing a single hamburger patty uses enough fuel to drive 20 miles and causes the loss of five times its weight in topsoil. In his book The Food Revolution, author John Robbins estimates that “you’d save more water by not eating a pound of California beef than you would by not showering for an entire year.” Because of deforestation to create grazing land, each vegetarian saves an acre of trees per year. The facts could go on, but… well, you get the point!
1. Al GoreThe former vice president saw the light after the debut of his documentary on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth, and book of the same name. “It’s absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets around the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis — not only because of the CO2 involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process,” Gore told ABC in 2009.2. James CameronIt’s no surprise that the Avatar director is an outspoken vegan. According to Grist, Cameron promotes Avatar as “the most successful environmental film of all time.” Cameron and his wife, Amis, went vegan in 2012 and haven’t looked back. The couple even started MUSE, a 100 percent plant-based K–12 school in California. The school’s mission statement says it all: “Inspiring and preparing young people to live consciously with themselves, one another, and the planet.”3. Daryl HannahIn a 2013 interview at the Environmental Media Awards, the Kill Bill star said that factory farms produce “massive amounts of pollution and methane … which is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon.” For this reason, she decided to go vegan. She proudly attends conferences and demonstrations to help spread the message.4. Ted DansonEverybody knows his name. The Cheers star ditched meat to help boost his energy and protect the planet. “I’ve found that eating vegan the last five or six months has really given me energy. I feel good and I look fabulous,” he told Ellen DeGeneres in 2012. Danson was a longtime pescetarian but cut out fish when he learned about overfishing and the damage it does to the oceans.5. Leonardo DiCaprioIn 2014, the Oscar winner produced Cowspiracy, a documentary exploring the environmental impacts of animal agriculture. DiCaprio has long advocated for protecting our planet from climate change.6. Sara GilbertHost of daytime show The Talk, Gilbert raves about the benefits of a vegan diet for health and the environment. She convinced co-host Sheryl Underwood to go vegan for a month and wrote The Imperfect Environmentalist, a book promoting plant-based living as a major aid to the environmental cause.Clearly, there is no such thing as “sustainable” meat, and plant-based alternatives to meat, dairy, and eggs take a mere fraction of the resources to produce as their animal-based counterparts.