Despite the growing interest in healthy plant-based diets, the terms “vegan” and “vegetarian” bring with them negative associations among the general public, especially within the United States. That’s why director James Cameron –– who’s currently gearing up for the long-awaited premiere of Avatar, The Way of the Water –– believes there’s a better way to talk about plant-based diets. During a recent interview with GQ, the acclaimed director revealed that he prefers to think of the “vegan” diet as the “futurevore” diet.
“I tried to come up with a good term for it because vegan has all those connotations,” Cameron said. “‘How many vegans does it take to screw in a light bulb?’ ‘It doesn’t matter. I’m better than you.’ You just want to punch a vegan. ‘Punch a vegan today: It’ll feel good.’’’
“So the term I came up with is ‘futurevore,’” the director continued. “We’re eating the way people will eat in the future. We’re just doing it early.”
Cameron sat down with GQ ahead of the newest installment of the Avatar film series to discuss his creative process as well as his personal lifestyle and interest. The renowned director hopes that by changing the terminology of sustainable diets, he can help better introduce plant-based eating to more consumers by avoiding negative stigma.
The “Futurevore” Diet
The Titanic director first adopted his “futurevore” diet in 2012, claiming that switching to plant-based foods helped him feel healthier than ever. During his interview with GQ, the director emphasized that he did not require animal-based products to stay in optimal shape.
“I’m 10 years, 100 percent, not a molecule (that I know of) of animal entering my face,” Cameron told GQ. “And I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, and most of these punks can’t keep up with me. It’s not a biological mandate that we have to eat this stuff. It’s a choice, just like any luxury choice.”
During the production of Avatar, Cameron stayed true to his commitment to the “futurevore” diet. Producer Jon Landau revealed that Cameron ensured that all set catering was plant-based.
Game Changers, Sustainable Investments & More
Cameron –– known primarily for box office blockbusters such as Aliens, Terminator, and Titanic –– helped produce the groundbreaking documentary The Game Changers. The documentary followed major athletes involved in several sporting events as they adopted plant-based diets. The documentary revealed how top-tier athletes sharpen their performance and health without meat and dairy, breaking decades of bias against vegan and vegetarian diets.
“We thought, ‘This is it: sports performance. Right? A lot of people care about sports performance — and between the lines, it’s sexual performance,’” Cameron said. “So it’s vigor, it’s energy, it’s staying younger, but we made it about sports, and then just went out after all the vegan athletes and showed how they were doing better.”
The Game Changers documentary also showed how plant-based dieting was not only comparable to conventional athletic diets but also presented several additional health benefits such as minimal inflammation and improved recovery time.
Cameron and his wife, Suzy Amis Cameron, work together to promote several plant-based and sustainable ventures. The couple founded MUSE in 2015 to help K-12 cafeterias transition to fully vegan menus. The Camerons also launched Verdient Foods in 2017 to assist in pea protein production.
Climatarians Eating for the Planet
About 55 percent of consumers today consider sustainability when they grocery shop, according to a recent survey, and these sustainable shoppers have adopted a term similar to Cameron’s “futurevore” moniker: climatarian. Initially conceived in 2015, the term climatarian refers to “a person who chooses what to eat according to what is least harmful to the environment,” according to the Cambridge Dictionary.
Similar to “flexitarians,” climatarians focus on eating mostly plant-based meals by actively avoiding meat and dairy products that significantly harm the environment. With nearly 85 percent of the world experiencing the impact of climate change, an environmentally-motivated diet is becoming increasingly popular. And diets can make a massive difference. In fact, addressing industrial farming –– and especially meat production –– poses a massive opportunity to save C02 and methane emissions, according to a 2020 study.
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