Arnold Schwarzenegger is the future of climate change activism and vegetarian living. Forget Al Gore. Don’t call us, we’ll call you, Morrissey. The baby-oil enthusiast turned baby-kissing politician is well on his way to becoming a veritable Terminator of the green lifestyle. And why in the hell shouldn’t he? He has all the necessary credentials.
Not only has Schwarzenegger given birth to a goddamned baby in Junior, he even had the finesse required to repair his marriage with Rita Wilson in Jingle All the Way. And, the man seemingly has marzipan for skin, so his eternal quest to keep from melting is reason enough to believe the dude is pretty genuine about making some change.
The problem Schwarzenegger faces, however, is this: as a member of a political party that has been far from keen to accept the realities of climate change, he knows he has to tread lightly to convince some people to get on board with his pollution-battling and meat-defeating program.
To further that effort, he is telling people to eat less meat, but he’s doing it in a gentle way. Schwarzenegger recently spoke to students at Paris’s leading political science institute, Sciences Po, after a speech held in connection with the Paris climate talks.
According to a report by BBC News, “his audience in the French capital hung on the words of a man old enough to be their grandfather, and applauded his optimism that climate change could be tackled.”
The part-time screen cyborg told the BBC, “I have seen many body-builders and [weight-]lifters that are vegetarians. My friend recommends stop eating meat. I think that’s a good idea but people won’t buy in. People will buy in to stop eating meat one or two days a week—you have to start slowly. It’s a very big challenge but it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done.”
Meat-eating, of course, is not only tied to cancer—it is also an environmental problem. Estimates of the amount of global greenhouse gases attributable to animal-farming vary, from around 11 percent to as high as 50 percent. The Hercules in New York star cites an estimate of 28 percent and says we need to do something about it.
But we shouldn’t do anything radical.
Instead, Schwarzenegger suggests you eat a little less meat. “You can get your protein many different ways,” he told BBC News. He is encouraging people to enjoy a few meatless days each week, all in an effort to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
Although industry—which the Environmental Protection Agency defines as the sector that produces the goods and services we use everyday—has wreaked the most havoc on the environment, meat-eating is causing growing concern. According to the experts, most of the meat farming-related emissions come from belching livestock and nitrogen fertilizers.
Maria Shriver’s former husband said that if he were running for president, he would make climate change an issue—one that he says could transcend party lines through strong leadership. The Austrian Oak is obviously not fooling around.
So can you be a manly man and eat less meat? Schwarzenegger wants you to know that the answer is a resounding “yes.”