“If the world ran like my sets do,” James Cameron admits, “everybody would be plant-based right now.” The famously demanding director, who created an entire universe with Avatar and its upcoming sequels, knows that he can’t exactly ask the world to adopt a vegan (or, his preferred term, “plant-based”) diet, the way he and his family did a few years ago. So he’ll settle on a smaller request: eat less meat. Period.
Teaming up with his old pal Arnold Schwarzenegger and Chinese actress Li Bingbing, Cameron is participating in a series of public-service announcements that encourage people to restrict their meat eating—not only because it’s better for you, but because it might save the world, too.
Like nearly everything else in Hollywood these days—and certainly the Avatar films—these P.S.A.s are aimed at both American and Chinese audiences.
The wildlife conservation group WildAid and their climate campaign 5 To Do Today teamed up with the Chinese Nutrition Society to release a series of billboards in China in May; the P.S.A.s, which will feature other Chinese stars in that country, represent the next step in the campaign.
In the English-language P.S.A., which will be distributed in the United States by Climate Nexus and My Plate, My Planet, Schwarzenegger explores a desolate, deforested world, where the climate has been wrecked by the livestock industry—and the tagline “less meat, less heat” reveals how to avoid this apocalyptic scenario. A behind-the-scenes preview of the P.S.A. can be seen below.