3 Eco-Friendly Moments From Sunday’s Academy Awards
The Academy followed this year's Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards in embracing plant-based menus, while stars spoke up for animal rights and recycled past red carpet gowns.
"The Academy is an organization of storytellers from around the world, and we owe our global membership a commitment to supporting the planet," the group wrote in a Jan. 27 statement reported by The Independent. "For the past decade, the Academy has been committed to reducing its carbon footprint. For the past seven years, the Oscars show has had a net zero carbon imprint. We continue to expand our sustainability plan with the ultimate goal of becoming carbon neutral."
Here’s the plant-based menu for today’s Oscar Nominees Luncheon. #oscars https://t.co/02NQtYp2ls— George Pennacchio (@George Pennacchio)1580157317.0
No dinner is served at the Oscars itself, but the Academy committed to serving only plant-based snacks in the lobby before the show, as well as at annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon in January.
The menu at the Governors Ball after-party, meanwhile, was 70 percent vegan and 30 percent vegetarian, meat and fish. But the Academy was mindful of the environment when selecting its animal-based dishes.
"All food served will be responsibly sourced and sustainably farmed. All fish served are listed on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommendation list," the Academy wrote in its statement.
"For a long time, vegans were seen as weirdos," Turnball said. "But now, with a ton of amazing documentaries, books, and media it has become more widely understood that being vegan or eating a plant-based diet is beneficial to the environment, our own health, and of course the animals."
The Academy considered other environmental concerns as well: It also pledged to eliminate plastic bottles at all of its events.
Joaquin Phoenix Speaks for the Cows
Joaquin Phoenix, who continued his awards-season sweep when he won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in Joker Sunday, has also been victorious in encouraging various award shows this year to go vegan. He has been credited with proposing the idea to the Screen Actors Guild and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which organizes the Golden Globes, according to Salon. And he also convinced the Hollywood agency WME to give up animal products at its pre-Oscar party, Page Six reported.
In addition to his behind-the-scenes lobbying, Phoenix has used his acceptance speeches this year to highlight environmental issues. At the Golden Globes, he thanked the HFPA for "recognizing and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change."
In his Oscar speech Sunday, Phoenix said he was grateful for the opportunity people in the entertainment industry had to "use our voice for the voiceless," as The Guardian reported. He then went on to give an impassioned defense of human and animal rights:
JAW DROP. Sending a HUGE congratulations to #vegan Joaquin Phoenix for winning Best Actor! Joaquin has dedicated… https://t.co/cwCnB5QxOI— PETA (@PETA)1581308631.0
I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we're talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we're talking about the fight against injustice.His words won him the praise of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which retweeted his speech.
We're talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, one species, has the right to dominate, use and control another with impunity.
I think we've become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we're the centre of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakeable. Then we take her milk that's intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.
Not all Oscar guests used words to make a statement.
Glamour writer Talia Abbas named sustainable fashion the "red carpet's best trend."
Actress Saoirse Ronan recycled the black part of her Gucci dress from another dress she had worn at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards last week. And actress Elizabeth Banks wore a red Badgley Mischka dress she had donned for the Vanity Fair Oscars Party in 2004.
"It's gorgeous and it fits…so why not wear it again?!" she wrote in an Instagram post, going on to explain that she was trying to raise awareness about "the importance of sustainability in fashion and consumerism as it relates to climate change, production & consumption, ocean pollution, labor & women."
Actresses Kaitlyn Dever and Léa Seydoux wore new Louis Vuitton gowns that were nevertheless ethically made as part of the Red Carpet Green Dress initiative, which has been promoting ethical, sustainable fashion at the Oscars for 11 years.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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