When Avatar hit theaters in 2009, many viewers quickly understood the film as promoting environmentalism over profits. That's because director James Cameron doesn't shy away from his commitment to preserving the planet. At a recent conference on environmentally friendly construction in Washington, DC, the blockbusting filmmaker spoke out about the effects of our consumption of meat and dairy. Cameron told The Washington Post, "When you add it all up, it comes up to about 14.5 percent of greenhouse comes from the animal agriculture sector. That's bigger than all transportation combined."
Cameron and his wife Suzy Amis Cameron founded the Food Choice Taskforce, which seeks to lessen the effects of global warming through promoting dietary responsibility. The director described the huge impact of agriculture and our malleable eating habits as "essentially a thermostat… that we can use to turn down climate change." The group is funded in part by the Avatar Alliance Foundation, which receives its funding from an endowment funded by the profits of the eponymous film franchise.
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His commitment to cutting down human-caused greenhouse gasses has also affected the way Cameron will make films. With budgets in the hundreds of millions, Cameron has ensured that the upcoming sequels to Avatar will be environmentally neutral, including drawing solar power from soundstage rooftops and selling back electricity to the grid while not in production. Other filmmakers are joining Cameron in taking factory farming to task, including the controversial Leonardo DiCaprio–produced documentary Cowspiracy, which landed on Netflix earlier this year. You can learn more about the Camerons' plans for inspiring dietary changes by visiting foodchoicetaskforce.org.