At 93 today (May 8, 2019), Sir David Attenborough continues raising awareness about the plight of wildlife and the precarious state of our planet’s living systems.
His latest project, Our Planet, is a breathtaking series with incredible footage from across the globe. If you haven’t watched it, please do. It is a production masterpiece, and (importantly) underscores the dire threats posed by global warming, loss of biodiversity and other pressures we humans are exerting on the planet.
But, as you may have guessed from our graphic, we feel the series missed an opportunity to clearly communicate a “call to action” of changes we, as individuals, must take.
Since landing on the moon in 1969, our human population has more than doubled, from 3.6 billion to 7.7 billion people.
With this rapid population growth has come a corresponding explosion in demand for environmentally devastating animal foods, the mass production of which is key in driving every major environmental crisis we now face — including climate change, water pollution, fresh water depletion, land use, deforestation, and species extinctions.
One urgent action we can all take right now is to go vegan and boycott cruel and destructive animal products. Indeed, a mass transition away from animal foods (i.e., to vegan diets) is necessary if we are to have any hope of avoiding climate catastrophe within the ever narrowing window before it’s too late (estimated to be only 12 years per the UN IPCC).
Of course, we also need to address our unsustainable population growth and support awareness, education, family planning, and gender equality around the globe to slow and stabilize that growth.
Our Planet is indeed a beautiful masterpiece, but it’s also a missed opportunity to clearly state what is urgently needed from each of us to protect and preserve the planet and the other species with whom we share it.