Saving the world on screen isn’t enough for James Cameron. During the production of his spectacular cinematic adventure Avatar: The Way of Water, the Hollywood director also set new standards behind the camera. The catering on set of his blockbuster movie was exclusively vegan. “Eating meat is not only killing us, it’s killing the planet,” emphasizes James Cameron. “The environmental impacts are enormous.”
Before the principal photography of Avatar: The Way of Water started, the director met with the entire crew and explained that this production wasn’t only about creating a successful box office hit with stunning, imaginative images and amazing animation, but that it was also about complying with the movie’s message. “So we’re all going to eat vegan on this production. That’s all we’re serving”, was the director’s announcement. The menu on set included delicious dishes, ranging from pizza to Thai and Mexican cuisine. The tremendous variety of vegan cuisine suprised most crew members. But no one was forced to eat plant-based meals. Incorrigible carnivores could escape to a nearby restaurant during lunch breaks.
For the director himself, his transition to a vegan diet completely changed his life style. His wife Suzy Amis Cameron, whom he met during the production of Titanic, played a leading role in the transition. This dedicated environmentalist explains the relationship between food production and climate protection in her .One Meal a Day for the Planet (OMD) initiative: “One person eating one plantbased meal a day for a year saves 200,000 gallons of water as well as the carbon equivalent of driving from Los Angeles to New York.”
The actress, together with James Cameron, was the executive producer of the documentary The Game Changers, in which athletes, weightlifters, and body builders, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, presented the advantages of a vegan diet The Camerons decided a decade ago to switch to a vegan life style, so they moved from Los Angeles to Wellington, New Zealand, where they have a 5,000-acre farm dedicated to the cultivation of organic food. They have also invested heavily in Verdient Foods Inc., a Canadian company that is developing plant-based proteins.
The next Avatar sequel will also have catering that serves exclusively vegan food, as the producer Jon Landau has already revealed, because James Cameron’s engagement with environmental preservation forms the basis of the entire Avatar series.
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