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James Cameron Advocates Vegan Diet During National Geographic Society Gala Speech

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Explorer and filmmaker James Cameron testifies before a Senate committee hearing on June 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Explorer and filmmaker James Cameron testifies before a Senate committee hearing on June 11, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)

From Mother Nature Network's Michael d'Estries:

James Cameron is still a vegan — and he picked a massive celebration to remind the world.

The 58-year-old filmmaker and ocean explorer was honored on June 13 during the National Geographic Society's 125th anniversary gala with “Explorer of the Year” for his successful solo dive last year to the deepest point of the Pacific Ocean. During his speech, Cameron urged the packed house of scientists and explorers to consider dropping animal products and reap the benefits.

“I’ve had an epiphany recently,” Cameron 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."

Cameron, who announced he'd gone vegan in October of last year, told the crowd that the switch had a huge impact on him. “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.”

The "Avatar" director's decision to go vegan isn't much of a surprise. Back in July of last year, he revealed that his wife, Suzy Amis, was gradually shifting the family toward a more plant-based diet, something that impacted their decision to transform their new farm in New Zealand from dairy to crop-based. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite," Cameron told the NY Times, adding that they were moving to organically improve the soil on their 2,500-acre spread.

Up next for June's National Geographic cover boy? The "Avatar" sequels — potentially followed by some more deep sea ocean dives.

“You already own the most important thing to do anything you want do in life," he told Variety earlier this month. "It’s the most sophisticated computer ever created. And there are a couple of apps that run on that computer that you all have. One’s called curiosity, and the other’s called imagination. You put those two powerful apps running on this little three-pound computer, you can do just about anything you put your mind to.”

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