David Attenborough Named People's Advocate Ahead Of UN Climate Summit - But Will He Criticize Animal Ag? The natural historian has used his platform in the past to advocate plant-based eating - Media Credit: REUTERS / HENRY NICHOLLS

Is David Attenborough Vegan?

Sir David Attenborough says the planet simply cannot support billions of meat-eaters - but is he vegan or a meat-eater?


2 Minutes Read

Is Sir David Attenborough vegan?

The celebrated environmentalist is revered for his work in educating people about the crisis facing the planet.

As many people are aware, industrial animal farming is an environmental catastrophe, as it creates harmful emissions and drives deforestation.

A Life On Our Planet

This is something he has recognized himself. The veteran broadcaster recently released a new film A Life On Our Planet.

The film premiered on September 28 and is now available on Netflix in October. It covers the period of Attenborough’s life, outlining the defining moments, and highlighting how the environment has been damaged during that time.

‘Overrun the Earth’

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.”

‘A blind assault’

This is not the only time he has spoken about the perils of meat.

The 94-year-old has branded our mass consumption of animals a ‘blind assault on the planet’.

He has ditched red meat, saying: “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.”

He added: “I’m not claiming any moral virtue at this point — I’m just saying I don’t want to eat any red meat anymore.”

‘No doctrinaire vegetarian or vegan’

Despite this, Sir David says he is no ‘doctrinaire vegetarian or vegan’leading the Times newspaper to say ‘even national treasures sometimes struggle to practice what they preach’.

In fact, the broadcaster recently revealed that while he recommends people stop eating meat, he is a hypocrite for eating chicken and fish.

In the Radio Times interview, he said: “I eat fish, and chicken, and my conscience does trouble me. I’m affluent enough to afford free range, but it’s a middle-class hypocrisy.”

Vegan diet

Despite this, in A Life On Our Planet, Sir David warns: “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. There’s little left for the world. We have completely destroyed it.

“By 2080 global food production enters crisis, soils overused, weather more unpredictable…a sixth mass extinction is well under way. Our garden of Eden will be lost. I wish I wasn’t involved in this struggle. I wish I wasn’t there.”

Perhaps he will take his own advice and go vegan soon. But for now, Sir David Attenborough is not vegan.

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The Author

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the former editor for Plant Based News. She has been a newspaper reporter and features writer. Her work has been published by The Guardian and The Huffington Post, among others

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