“Avatar” film stars and celebrities urge students to be eco heroes. - 30 Apr 2010  
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In Los Angeles, California, USA, Canadian director James Cameron of “Avatar,” the Oscar-winning film with an environmental message, recently announced the launch of the Avatar Home Tree Initiative, which seeks in 2010 to plant a million native trees in countries around the world.

Joining him in support were cast members of “Avatar” including Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, and Joel Moore, as well as other eco-advocate celebrities such as 4-time US National Basketball Association champion John Salley and international communication coach Richard Greene.

Many of these renowned personalities also gave inspirational speeches to the 6,000 Los Angeles area students who attended an “Avatar”-inspired Eco Warrior Training program to learn about ways that everyone can help save the planet.

James Cameron – Director of Oscar-winning film Avatar (M): I think the important thing about “Avatar” is it takes place on another planet, and it’s a fantasy, but we’re doing that to our planet right now, for real.

VOICE: Referring to the highly popular movie’s depiction of a beautiful forest and its indigenous residents all threatened by deforestation, the celebrities emphasized that a plant-based diet is important in stopping Earth’s own similar environmental crisis.

Michelle Rodriquez – Actress in Oscar-winning film Avatar (F): They cut down these trees now to provide space for cows. This is why the grand majority of the issue in the rainforests is occurring.

VOICE: The attending youths, who were served eco-friendly organic vegetarian lunches, were further encouraged by vegan basketball star John Salley toward awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet.

John Salley – 4-time US National Basketball Association champion, Vegan (M): Do you know what happened today? Because you ate that meal? Check out what happens every year: 56 billion land animals, not including fish, are killed, for 3.7 billion people, so we can have leather sneakers, leather in your car, eat bad food, have animal protein that doesn’t digest in your system, causes diabetes. But today, you saved an animal’s life.

Richard Greene – international communication coach (M): Alright! Woo!

John Salley – 4-time US National Basketball Association champion, Vegan (M): If it’s off a tree, out of the ground, you should eat it. If it has a heartbeat, or had a heartbeat or mother, I think you should let it go to its mama. About two years ago, I decided not to eat anything from an animal. No, milk, no cheese, no eggs. And I lost 40 pounds. I decided, from that point on, I was going to do everything possible, to make sure my avatar looked as beautiful as the Creator wanted it to look. Think about this: this is the only body you have.
The most important thing you do, is nourish your organs and nourish your body.

VOICE: Also attending the event were Hollywood actress Daryl Hannah and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, both urging concern for the environment and our co-inhabitants.

Daryl Hannah – Hollywood actress, Splash, Vegan (F): I would encourage all of you to do every thing you can to support all the people, and all the creatures, and all the life forms of all kinds to give them your voice, lay your body on the line and do whatever it takes to give them the support that they need.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles, California, USA (M): We all have a responsibility to our community, to our environment, to the connection between protecting the environment,and human welfare, and respect for all species, including all of our animals.

VOICE: We appreciate Mayor Villaraigosa, James Cameron, John Salley, Michelle Rodriguez, Daryl Hannah and others involved for being role models for youth and the world in the movement to save our precious Earth. With such shining examples as yours, may eco heroes everywhere be veg, go green, and save the planet.