Is David Attenborough vegan? New film urges public to go plant-based

Read Time:   |  27th August 2020

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Sir David Attenborough says 'human beings have overrun the world' and we must adopt a 'mostly plant-based diet' to save wildlife and the planet in a new film


Legendary natural historian and documentary maker Sir David Attenborough is calling on the public to protect the future of the planet by ditching meats from our diets in his new documentary, A Life On Our Planet.

His new documentary will explore the decline of the planet’s environment and biodiversity, much of which has been caused by the damage done by the animal agriculture industry, and encourage viewers to adopt a lower-impact plant-based diet.

“If we had a mostly plant-based diet we could increase the yield of the land,” the Mirror reported him as saying.

“The wilder and more diverse, the more effective. We must grow palm and soya on deforested lands. Nature is our biggest ally.”

‘Human beings have overrun the world’

“I am David Attenborough, and I am 93. I’ve had the most extraordinary life. It is only now that I appreciate how extraordinary,” Sir David says in the film’s trailer.

“The living world is a unique and spectacular marvel, yet the way we humans live on earth is sending it into a decline. Human beings have overrun the world. We’re replacing the wild with the tame. This film is my witness statement and my vision of the future.

“Our planet is headed for disaster. We need to learn how to work with nature rather than against it and I’m going to tell you how.”


Is David Attenborough vegan?

In a recent interview with the Radio Times magazine, he said: “Human beings have overrun the Earth. We have completely destroyed that world.

“The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters. If we all ate only plants, we’d need only half the land we use at the moment.”

With the legendary filmmaker encouraging people to go plant-based, many of us are wondering is Sir David Attenborough vegan himself or does he eat a plant-based diet?

Attenborough is not vegan but has adopted a mostly vegetarian diet for environmental reasons in recent years and has cut red meat from his diet due to its environmental impact.

In an interview with Radio Times in 2019, he explained: “I haven’t been a doctrinaire vegetarian or vegan, but I no longer have the same appetite for meat. Why? I’m not sure. I think subconsciously maybe it’s because of the state of the planet.”

Attenborough has since said that he would occasionally still eat meat, consuming “poultry a bit, but mostly fish,” but acknowledges that this is a “middle-class hypocrisy” that leaves his conscience feeling “troubled”.

‘True tragedy of our time’

Animal farming and the rise in demand for meat and dairy are considered key factors in deforestation by experts and is threatening the lives of many wild species.

Despite not following a plant-based diet himself, in A Life On Our Planet, Sir David warns that the ‘natural world is fading’, saying: “We must change our diet. The true tragedy of our time is still unfolding – the loss of biodiversity.

“Half of fertile land on Earth is now farmland, 70 per cent of birds are domestic, majority chickens. We are one third of animals on Earth. There’s little left for the world. We have completely destroyed it.”

Sadly at the time of writing, Sir David Attenborough is not vegan. We hope he takes his own advice and adopts a plant-based diet soon to inspire others to follow his lead.

A Life On Our Planet aired in cinemas from September 28 and is now available to watch on Netflix following its release on October 4th, 2020.

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