The latest Californian to head toward veganism is quite the wild card: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, the governor, one-time twin to Danny DeVito, and Donald Trump’s replacement on NBC’s The Apprentice. The former bodybuilder, along with film director (and vegan) James Cameron, created a video for the homepage of environmental conservation agency WildAid, and in doing so, has revamped his diet. Gone are the days of raw-egg shakes and bottomless plates of chicken breast, as Schwarzenegger turns away from meat and dairy in favor of plant-based fare.
It’s not just for that svelte, crunchy physique, either. As the effects of climate change begin to rear their heads, the environmental toll of factory-farmed meat has become too big to ignore. Livestock is a significant source of greenhouse-gas emissions, and the water and land required to sustain farm animals outweighs the nutrition they provide. America isn’t the only culprit — the Chinese Nutrition Society has partnered with WildAid to raise awareness of a growing problem. According to their research, meat consumption in China is set to rise 50 percent by 2030 and 76 percent by 2050, which means much more factory farming.
As one of the most recognizable faces in showbiz and politics, Schwarzenegger leading by example is a great way to spotlight the urgency of this global issue and spread awareness of the importance of meat reduction. Nobody’s asking anyone to go vegan, but cutting one’s animal-product consumption by any percentage is a step in the right direction.