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Interviews - issue #8

COP26: End the Madness

An interview with James Cromwell

Where the Leaves Fall contacted global changemakers for their thoughts and responses to this year’s COP26 - the UN Climate Change Conference. James Cromwell is an American actor, ethical vegan, and social change activist. He campaigns for animal rights, civil rights and the environment, and has been arrested on several occasions for his activism, including a short stint in jail for protesting against the construction of a natural gas power station in Wawayanda, New York. You can read the edited interview that was published in the print edition of Where the Leaves Fall here.

Where the Leaves Fall What do you feel are the most pressing issues for COP26 to address and why?

James Cromwell End the extraction and use of all methane gas, and do it today.

WtLF How optimistic are you that COP26 will deliver positive change, and why?

James Not! Human beings are constitutionally flawed. We've lost contact with the spirit. We embraced mind and jettisoned heart as the organ of awareness and transformation. We've abdicated to the jackanapes behind the curtain, pulling the disconnected levers of illusion, the same ones who convinced some of us that they have all the answers, they’re the experts, and “it's all the fault of black and brown refugees from the "shit-hole countries’ anyway”. Unless, of course, someone slips them all a mind-altering-substance and they have an epiphany - their first experience of what it looks like to be truly conscious.

‘Saving the world comes at a price. It questions your assumptions. It abrogates your privilege. It demands your commitment. But it’s the answer to your despair.’

— James Cromwell

WtLF What do the world leaders, and everyone else, need to change on a personal level?

James Go vegan, you idiots. Animal agriculture in the US is a larger emitter of greenhouse gas than the entire transportation sector. That’s what the industry calls natural gas, or methane (your grandfather’s gas), and it's 80 times more potent a greenhouse gas over a twenty year period than an equal amount of CO2. We don’t need to kill animals in order to survive anymore. Or other humans, for that matter. In fact, we won’t survive if we do. Some of our environmental activists are the worst offenders, because they should know better. Saving the world comes at a price. It questions your assumptions. It abrogates your privilege. It demands your commitment. But it’s the answer to your despair. Imagine if every person took that first step all at the same time. There’s nothing we can’t do if we’re willing.

WtLF Is there anything else you’d like to add?

James If you love the planet, end the madness. If you love animals, don’t eat them. Think of the children, out to the seventh generation. Now, or never.

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