Leonardo DiCaprio Tells 37 Million Fans to Replace Meat With Vegan Burgers


The Oscar winner, who is an investor in Beyond Meat, is encouraging his followers to fight climate change with plant-based burgers.

Leonardo DiCaprio is fighting climate change by urging his 37 million social media followers to replace meat with vegan burgers at least once a week.

The actor is a Beyond Meat investor as well as an ambassador for the vegan brand. He took to Facebook and Twitter on Thursday, March 4, to encourage his combined 37.5 million followers to make different food choices. He asked them to take incremental steps in order to lessen the effects of climate change and aid the planet.

Every single person can help the planet and reduce climate change with one small choice every week. Join me and @BeyondMeat in our mission to rethink the future of food,” DiCaprio, 46, tweeted with the “BeyondMeatPartner” hashtag.

DiCaprio’s tweet (and identical Facebook post) also included a photo of a delectable looking Beyond Meat burger and French fries. Just above the plant-based food, the Inception star included a key statistic. It highlights the impact of eating just one meat-free meal per week.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Climate Change Can Be Fought With One Meat-Free Meal a Week

The informative text reads: “If every person in the U.S. replaced just one beef burger per week with a plant-based Beyond Burger, it would be the equivalent of taking 12 million cars off the road.”

DiCaprio’s social media followers were quick to praise the post. “Thank you Leonardo. Beyond is such a wonderful company and tastes so amazing,” one Facebook user wrote.

A Twitter follower added: “Brilliant initiative! Works so well for vegetarians AND non-vegetarians.”

The official Beyond Meat account even weighed in on Facebook, writing: “Appreciate you Leo.” Leonardo DiCaprio is an investor in Beyond Meat. | Beyond Meat

Can Vegan Meat Really Help Fight Climate Change?

Leonardo DiCaprio: Climate Change Can Be Fought With One Meat-Free Meal a Week

According to The University of Michigan’s 2018 LCA, California-based Beyond Meat has a proven, positive impact on the environment. When compared to a standard quarter-pound 80/20 beef burger, a plant-based Beyond Burger requires far fewer resources.

More specifically, a Beyond Burger has 99 percent less impact on water scarcity. It also has 93 percent less impact on land use and requires 46 percent less energy. It generates 90 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than beef burgers.

Generally speaking, meat and dairy, particularly from cows, have an outsized impact on global warming and climate change. Livestock accounts for around 14.5 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases each year, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. That’s roughly the same amount as the emissions from all the cars, trucks, airplanes, and ships combined in the world today.

Additionally, beef and lamb have the biggest climate footprint per gram of protein. On the other hand, plant-based foods tend to have the smallest impact. Pork and chicken fall somewhere in the middle.

These statistics, among other things, are why DiCaprio and others want people around the world to be more mindful of their meat consumption and even take steps to reduce it.

Last month, Bill Gates, who is also a Beyond Meat investor, even went so far as to say that wealthy countries that don’t depend on livestock rearing for survival should ditch real beef in order to reduce climate change. 

I don’t think the poorest 80 countries will be eating synthetic meat,” he explained. But added: “I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef.

In April 2019, former Vice President Al Gore declared that vegan burgers can help reverse climate change. “We now have an Impossible Whopper… This is cause for some hope,” he explained at the time. Leonardo DiCaprio wants his followers to eat less meat. | Beyond Meat

Leonardo DiCaprio’s History of Environmental Activism 

The Beyond Meat post is hardly the first time DiCaprio has spoken up about climate change and the environment. In fact, in recent years the Academy Award winner, who has also faced criticism for his frequent private jet travel, has become increasingly vocal about issues that impact the planet in a myriad of ways.

In 1998, he founded the eponymous Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to help tackle some of the world’s biggest environmental problems. And he has remained dedicated to the organization (and the planet) ever since. DiCaprio has produced a number of environment-focused documentaries and movies. He’s also encouraged others to speak out against climate change.

In 2018, The LDF partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute to launch a full vegan clothing range in support of ape conservation. The range, which was named “Don’t Let Them Disappear,” included organic T-shirts and a recycled fleece hoodie with all the items sporting that urgent appeal. 

In June 2020, DiCaprio confirmed that he’s slated to produce a new film about endangered mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Congo. The upcoming Netflix movie, which is an adaptation of the 2014 award-winning documentary Virunga, will be written by Academy Award-winning director and screenwriter Barry Jenkins.

Virunga National Park, Africa’s oldest and most biologically diverse protected area, is close to DiCaprio’s heart. “I had the great honor of meeting and supporting Virunga’s courageous team in their fight against illegal oil drilling in 2013,” the actor said in May 2020.

At that time, he also launched a $2 million fund for the park through Earth Alliance. He co-founded the wildlife protection nonprofit with the Emerson Collective and Global Wildlife Conservation and the European Commission.

In October 2020, the California native expressed his support for the Preventing Future Pandemics Act on Instagram. The bipartisan bill—introduced by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and John Cornyn (R-TX)—aims to shut down live animal markets. It also aims to stop the trade of certain wildlife for human consumption. 

If you care about preventing the next pandemic, please ask your Senator to co-sponsor Senate Bill S. 4749, the ‘Preventing Future Pandemics Act,’ introduced by @corybooker and @johncornyn,” DiCaprio wrote at the time. “So that we can reduce the risk of a pandemic like COVID happening again.

DiCaprio has also invested in other vegan food brands, such as Califia Farms and Hippeas.


Pattern Energy Makes Significant Contribution to Protect New Mexico’s Imperiled Bird Species

New Mexico landscape

Washington, DC March 3, 2021

Pattern Energy, an independent renewable energy company, entered into an agreement to fund extensive new research by Bird Conservancy of the Rockies to study birds associated with piñon-juniper woodlands in New Mexico.  Pattern Energy’s $80,000 contribution will support scientific monitoring of the potential impacts from management activities on the pinyon jay and other declining birds associated with piñon-juniper woodlands. 

Pattern Energy is developing the Western Spirit Wind Projects, collectively the largest single-phase wind project in the United States, in central New Mexico, where the landscape is typified by a mosaic of piñon-juniper woodlands and savannas.  The contribution comes from financial agreements for four wind energy projects:  Clines Corners Wind Farm LLC, Duran Mesa LLC, Red Cloud Wind LLC, and Tecolote Wind LLC (collectively, the “Western Spirit Wind Projects”).  

“The pinyon jay has suffered an 85% decline in population since the 1960s and is predicted to lose an additional 50% of its population by 2035. This research will be absolutely vital to protecting this vulnerable species and its habitat,” explained Carol Beidleman with Defenders of Wildlife in Santa Fe.  

“Along with the loss of over a million pinyon jays, many other bird species dependent on piñon-juniper woodlands, such as the juniper titmouse, have also declined significantly. The situation is dire, but thanks to strong support from Pattern Energy there will be reliable science to guide land management projects to better protect this vulnerable habitat and the bird species that are dependent on it,” added Beidleman.  

“We have learned from years of conducting extensive avian surveys that state and federal agencies, as well as conservation stakeholders, have expressed a lack of robust data on the current status and vulnerabilities of pinyon jays and we wanted to resolve that,” said Adam Cernea Clark of Pattern Energy. “Given the iconic nature of the pinyon jay and its role as a keystone species in a delicate ecosystem, Pattern Energy wants to build our collective understanding of the species and its habitat in New Mexico.”   

Of the iconic landscapes in New Mexico, the most familiar is probably that of the piñon-juniper woodlands.  Covering a significant portion of the state, this habitat has always been important to humans, as a source of firewood and the nutritious piñon “nuts,” but also for birds and other wildlife. Without the pinyon jay, however, there would be few new piñon pines. Theirs is a symbiotic relationship, with this beautiful blue jay being the primary consumer, and disperser, of the seeds. It “caches” or buries the seeds, allowing for more successful germination.  Many other bird species associated with this habitat are therefore dependent on the pinyon jay, just as we are.  

Through a collaboration with Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon Southwest, and The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, Cernea Clark saw an opportunity to support a new research project focused on piñon-juniper woodlands and their associated bird species in New Mexico.  “What I learned from the conservation community is that the pinyon jay, with its caches of seeds, is the primary means for the piñon pine to expand its distribution,” said Cernea Clark.  “We know that ecosystems themselves are migrating in elevation and latitude in response to climate change and piñon-juniper woodlands need this bird to adapt to a changing climate. Pattern Energy’s mission is to transition the world to renewable energy, which we need to mitigate the intensity of climate change. There is an eloquent parallel in this bird’s role in the environment and the role of renewable projects like the Western Spirit Wind Projects.”

Some threats to the pinyon jay are known. Climate change and drought, accompanied by insect outbreaks, have killed many piñon trees.  But, less is known about how large landscape management projects, such as thinning for wildfire mitigation and clearing for rangeland improvements, affect this rapidly disappearing bird. 

“The National Audubon Society’s 2019 Survival by Degrees Report predicts a range loss in New Mexico for the pinyon jay of 19% (+2.0° C) to 30% (+3.0° C) due to climate change,” according to Jonathan Hayes, executive director of Audubon Southwest, “But we don’t have enough information on the effects of large-scale management of the bird’s habitat.”  

Fortunately, there are many bird conservation partners in New Mexico collaborating to learn more about the status and needs of the pinyon jay and to better understand the threats facing this species and associated birds.  Peggy Darr, co-chair of the New Mexico Avian Conservation Partners (NMACP), helped initiate this research project with the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies to evaluate the response of New Mexico avian Species of Greatest Conservation Need to mechanical thinning treatments in piñon-juniper woodlands.  

It started as a subcommittee of the NMACP, and then partners came on board to help us learn more about how to protect this high-priority species in New Mexico.  In addition to Pattern Energy, Defenders of Wildlife, Audubon Southwest, and The Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, this project partnership includes Santa Fe County, the Bureau of Land Management, State Land Office, Los Alamos National Labs, and U.S. Forest Service.

“Partners in Flight has recently identified the pinyon jay as one of 39 ‘Species on the Brink’ in the U.S. and Canada, and the species most dependent on public lands management,” said Bryan Bird, Defenders of Wildlife Southwest program director. “This new research will be critical to protecting one of New Mexico’s highest priority birds. Pattern Energy is demonstrating that renewable energy and wildlife can co-exist and flourish together.”

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.


1130 17th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

© 2021 Defenders of Wildlife


Spain to slaughter 850 cattle stuck on boat for ‘hellish’ two months

Both Turkey and Lebanon refused to accept shipment of animals over fears of bluetongue virus

Rory Sullivan

More than 850 cattle will be slaughtered in Spain after spending a “hellish” two months stuck on a boat in the Mediterranean.

The animals, which were initially due to be sold in Turkey, left the Spanish port of Cartagena in mid-December on board the Karim Allah.

However, Turkish authorities refused to let the animals into the country over fears they had bluetongue virus, a disease that causes lameness and haemorrhaging.

The ship later returned to Cartagena on 22 February, after other countries, including Libya, had also been unwilling to accept the cargo. While tests were being conducted by the Spanish authorities, the cattle remained on the boat.

Last week, a vets’ report seen by Reuters said that many of the animals were unwell after their long journey.

Read more

Although it did not say whether the animals had bluetongue, the document suggested that euthanasia was the best course of action.

On Friday, a court in Madrid rejected an appeal against the decision to put them down. As a result, the animals will be taken off the boat on Saturday and slaughtered.

Of the 895 calves that initially left Spain, 22 of them died at sea and were thrown overboard, according to the boat’s captain Nabil Mohamad. 

Speaking about the cattle’s plight, Mr Mohamad told the Spanish newspaper El Pais: “I can’t explain it. I’ve been in this for 25 years and nothing like this has ever happened to me. I don’t understand anything, it has been very hard.”

The ‘Karim Allah’ docked in Cartagena, Spain (Reuters)

Miquel Masramon, a lawyer representing the shipowner, Talia Shipping Line, said last month that more than €1m (£866,000) had been spent on looking after the animals at sea. null

However, animal rights groups have questioned how well the cattle had been cared for, with Silvia Barquero, the director of the Igualdad Animal NGO, describing their crossing as “hellish”. 

“What has happened to the waste produced by all these animals for two months?” she asked last month. “We are sure they are in unacceptable sanitary conditions.”

SpainTurkeyanimal welfare