James Cameron Has a Titanic Vegan Epiphany

james cameron

The vast list of vegan celebs includes some notable heavy hitters: Bill Clinton, Paul McCartney, Emily Deschanel (who recently had a vegan pregnancy), Mike Tyson (!), and of course, director James Cameron.

While accepting an award at the National Geographic Society’s 125th anniversary gala, Cameron, director of epic films including “Titanic” and “Avatar”, recently spoke about his choice to adopt a vegan diet. Cameron received the “Explorer of the Year” honor from the National Geographic Society for his 2012 solo dive to the deepest point in the Pacific Ocean.

“I’ve had an epiphany recently,” Cameron said to the guests, which included some of the world’s top scientists and explorers. “I want to challenge all of you as people of deep conscience, people who are environment stewards of the earth and oceans[…]by changing what you eat, you will change the entire contract between the human species and the natural world,” he said.

Cameron’s switch to a vegan diet last year clearly changed his life: “I felt like I was waking up from a long sleepwalk. I believe we are all sleepwalking off a cliff if we don’t do this,” he said to the guests.

Along with wife Suzy Amis, who apparently triggered the family’s shift to a strictly plant-based diet, Cameron also recently turned his New Zealand dairy farm into a crop farm instead of raising animals for food, saying that he didn’t want to be a hypocrite.

So why is Cameron so adamant about veganism? Perhaps the folks at Comedy Central’s South Park summed it up best in Season 16’s episode “Raising the Bar” (about his deep sea dive): “James Cameron doesn’t do what James Cameron does for James Cameron. James Cameron does what James Cameron does because James Cameron is James Cameron.” Well damn. We’ll drink a glass of almond milk to that. Cheers, James Cameron.

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Image: jurvetson

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.