Billie Eilish has called out the “horrendous” industry of animal agriculture in a new interview about the climate crisis.
The 21-year-old vegan singer was speaking to broadcaster Berla Mundi backstage at the recent Power our Planet event in Paris, France. The event, organized by international advocacy organization Global Citizen, took place last month. It saw a number of artists, campaigners, and leaders get together for a “night of music and activism.” Elilish was one of the performers.
When Mundi asked for her “one particular message about climate change,” Eilish discussed the link between animal product consumption and environmental degradation. “The most important thing you can do is changing what’s on your plate and what you’re eating,” she said. “Trying to end animal agriculture and eating a more plant-based diet is really, really important.”
She added: “You have absolutely no idea how absolutely horrendous it is for the environment, for the world, for animals. It’s really bad.” Mundi replied that her point was a “very good.” She also added that there are health benefits to ditching animal products. Eilish agreed, saying: “Yes, 100 percent”
Billie Eilish and veganism
This isn’t the first time Eilish has promoted plant-based living. The singer went vegan at the age of 12 after learning about the reality of animal agriculture. Since then, she has regularly discussed her decision to her fans.
In 2022, she spoke about her diet in an Instagram clip. “I was raised vegetarian, and I chose to stop eating all animal products when I was 12,” she said. “Once I learned about how animals are treated in our industrial food system, I didn’t want any part of it.”
Eilish went vegan on ethical grounds, but she subsequently learnt about the environmental impact of eating animal products. In the same clip, she said that the climate crisis was a “huge threat,” and that shifting one’s diet towards more plant-based foods can have a “major impact.”
The environmental impact of animal agriculture
Eilish is right – farming animals is hugely destructive for the environment. It’s responsible for at least 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (though some estimates put this figure much higher). It’s also a key driver of deforestation, with vast swathes of the Amazon being cleared to make room for cattle ranches. Deforested land in the Amazon is also used to grow soy to feed animals in factory farms in other countries, including the UK.
Animal agriculture has been identified as a “primary driver” of biodiversity loss. Such loss is considered one of the most major environmental problems we face. The UN previously stated the world should shift to “plant-heavy” diets to combat this.