(CELEBRITY ACTIVISM) Stand aside Lewis and Clark, because award-winning actor James Cameron just won the “Explorer of the Year” award at this week’s National Geographic Gala. The filmmaker and environmentalist won for his solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, which took place last year. Continue reading to learn more on Cameron’s Gala experience, and find out how his new vegan lifestyle is treating the him right. — Global Animal
James Cameron (left) won a Nat Geo award for his successful solo dive last year. Photo Credit: NGS
James Cameron (left) won a Nat Geo award for his successful solo dive last year. Photo Credit: NGS

Ecorazzi, China Despain 

Is there anything director and super enivronmentalist James Cameron can’t do?

He has a pretty impressive list of achievements for the past few years: he made the most successful film of all time (breaking his own record), became a successful deep-sea explorer, and bought up a chunk of New Zealand to convert a dairy farm into a vegan one.

That last one might have something to do with the fact that he went vegan last year, and he recently proved that he’s still incredibly passionate about the lifestyle.

Cameron was honored at the National Geographic Gala this week (he’s also featured on the cover of the June issue), where he received the award for “Explorer of the Year” for his successful solo dive to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest spot in the Pacific Ocean.

In his speech, Cameron spoke eloquently about his chosen lifestyle, and challenged those listening to follow his lead.

“I’ve had an epiphany recently,” he said. “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’s been vegan for a year now, and said that, “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 made similar statements last fall, when he stated in a video clip, “You can’t be an environmentalist, you can’t be an ocean steward without truly walking the walk and you can’t walk the walk in the world of the future, the world ahead of us, the world of our children, not eating a plant-based diet.”

Unfortunately for Cameron, the meal at the 125th Gala included shrimp and bison, which was served immediately after his speech (they were sourced from sustainable farms, at least). Hopefully by vocally throwing his substantial Hollywood power behind veganism, there will be more meat-free options at next year’s event — and perhaps every event Cameron attends in the future. You never know.

More Ecorazzi: http://www.ecorazzi.com/2013/06/17/james-cameron-wins-award-promotes-vegan-lifestyle/