Watch: Natalie Portman Explains Why She's Vegan in Heartwarming Speech

At the 27th annual Environmental Media Awards benefit, vegan celebrities took to the stage to highlight the environmental impact of eating animals.

Following a passionate speech by Russell Simmons about veganism, Ongoing Commitment Award recipient and Academy Award-winner Natalie Portman, a vegan herself, took to the mic to drive home the point. 

She began her acceptance speech by urging everyone to watch her new documentary, Eating Animals, which debuted at Telluride earlier this year. A vegetarian for most of her life and vegan for six years, Portman went on to explain:

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.

She is absolutely correct. Factory farms discriminate against low-income communities, causing serious public health and environmental justice issues in addition to widespread environmental destruction.

Watch her heartfelt speech:

It’s time the environmental movement considered the facts: You simply can’t be a meat-eating environmentalist.

Carbon dioxide emissions from raising farmed animals make up approximately 15 percent of global human-induced emissions, with beef and milk production as the leading culprits, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In fact, raising animals for food produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, planes, and other forms of transportation combined.

A vegan diet is not only beneficial to the planet; it also spares countless animals a lifetime of cruelty. Pigs, cows, chickens, and other farmed animals suffer horrendously at factory farms and are subjected to extreme confinement; brutal mutilations; and bloody, violent deaths.

Want to join celebrities Russell Simmons and Natalie Portman in protecting the environment? Click here to learn more about an eco-friendly vegan diet.

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