Former bodybuilder, action star, and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is now advocating a part-time vegetarian diet to protect the planet from climate change.
Speaking at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference this week, the Terminator star was asked by the BBC whether he would recommend reducing meat consumption to save the environment from greenhouse gases.
The former Mr. Olympia, who is now a staunch environmentalist, told the outlet 28 percent of greenhouse gasses are caused by meat production and meat-eating and said people should be willing to cut back.
Schwarzenegger said asking people to completely eliminate meat and dairy from their diet would be too drastic, and instead advocated one or two vegetarian or vegan days a week.
“You have to start slowly, you can’t just convince people to stop eating meat altogether. It’s a very big challenge, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be done and you shouldn’t be on that campaign, but it’s a very hard thing to overcome,” Schwarzenegger said.
As for how prospective bodybuilders are supposed to build muscle without meat, the actor said, “I have seen many bodybuilders and weight lifters that are vegetarians.”
“You can get your protein source many different ways,” he added.
Addressing a message to climate change deniers, Schwarzenegger told The Guardian, “It drives me crazy when people talk about 30 years from now, rising sea levels and so on. What about right now? Thousands of people are dying from pollution. People are living with cancer [because of air pollution].”
He also told the paper, “Global warming is an extremely important issue, the most important issue. You have to communicate it properly. You have to communicate to people that this is right now.”
On his Facebook page Monday, Schwarzenegger penned a lengthy note for fans who disagree with his stance on climate change, which he referred to as a “crusade for a clean energy future.”
“To use one of the four-letter words all of you commenters love, I don’t give a damn if you believe in climate change,” Schwarzenegger wrote. “I couldn’t care less if you’re concerned about temperatures rising or melting glaciers. It doesn’t matter to me which of us is right about the science.”
The Daily Mail reports that Hollywood stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert Redford were also present for the Paris climate summit.