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Celebrity vegan advocate Russell Simmons has told environmental activists that ‘animal rights people sh*t on you’ when it comes to doing ‘real work’.

The outspoken star was talking at the recent Environmental Media Association Awards, where he was the EMA Missions in Music Award Recipient.

Actor Natalie Portman, who recently produced and narrated a documentary called Eating Animals (based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name), was awarded the EMA Ongoing Commitment Award Honoree gong – and also spoke out about veganism and sustainability.

Global warming

Taking to the stage to accept his gong, Simmons said he ‘wasn’t where [he] was supposed to be’, as animal charity Mercy For Animals was holding its annual event on the same night.

He used the opportunity to praise animal rights activists for the powerful work they do – going as far as calling them the ‘real activists’.

He said: “The number one cause of global warming is the animals you eat.

“200 billion animals born into suffering, to be the greatest cause of almost any disease humankind can imagine.

“To destroy our planet is unconscious behaviour. As activists, you are conscious beings, and you have to wake up and be more conscious.”

‘Real activists’

Praising the work of vegan advocates, he said: “You guys [environmental activists] are great, but the animal rights people, they sh*t on you.

“They’re real activists.

“They do all the work. We might all work together. I don’t like that you guys have an event on the same night. 

“We all have the same agenda; we want to save the world. 

“That is my only message. We do need to get together – they are really good and they work so hard.”


Natalie Portman gave a ‘heartfelt’ speech about factory farming and veganism, according to One Green Planet.

Calling her prize ‘a tremendous honor’, she added: “Recently I produced a documentary called Eating Animals, which hopefully you will get to see soon.

“It’s a look at the factory farming system and problem in our country.

“Factory farming is responsible for most of the air, water, and land pollution that disproportionately affects our poor communities as well.

“So we get to make decisions three times a day, what we do with our planet, and you can make a difference by even once a day or once a week choosing not to eat animals or animal products.”

You can watch the whole show, which was hosted by Jaden Smith,here


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Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.