There are a lot of reasons to join Instagram: vegan restaurants, the fleeting high you get when someone “likes” a post, and social justice issues, like the climate crisis. Famed natural historian and environmentalist David Attenborough is now on Instagram to talk about just that.
The 94-year-old just joined Instagram earlier today and has already gained more than 1 million followers. In his first post, the broadcasting veteran of 60 years explains what brought him to the social media platform for the first time: “The world is in trouble.”
“Continents are on fire. Glaciers are melting. Coral reefs are dying. Fish are disappearing from our oceans. The list goes on and on. But we know what to do about it,” said Attenborough.
“And that’s why I’m tackling this new way, for me, of communication,” he continued. “Over the next few weeks, I’ll be recording messages to explain what the problems are and how we can deal with them. Join me, or, as we used to say in those early days of radio: stay tuned.”
‘A Life On Our Planet’
Attenborough has long shared his love of the natural world through radio, television, and film and continues to do so today. He’s best known for his work with the BBC Natural History Unit. The 2006 BBC television docuseries Planet Earth, which he narrated, received multiple awards, including four Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award. The eight-part Netflix series Our Planet focused on the human impact on the environment.
In recent years, Attenborough has acknowledged industrial animal agriculture’s impact on the environment. Animal agriculture has an overarching, negative impact on the entire planet. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the UN, 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from livestock.
While he still occasionally eats animal products, Attenborough has adopted a mostly plant-based diet. He has also encouraged others to do the same.
The upcoming Netflix documentary A Life On Our Planet, narrated by Attenborough, provides some hope and solutions to the climate crisis. In it, Attenborough says: “We must change our diet. The planet can’t support billions of meat-eaters.”
According to the FAO, 26 percent of global arable land is dedicated to livestock. A further one-third is used for livestock feed. Although livestock occupies most of the world’s agricultural land, it produces only 18 percent of the world’s calories.
“If we had a mostly plant-based diet we could increase the yield of the land. We have an urgent need for free land,” said Attenborough. “Nature is our biggest ally.”
A Life On Our Planet launches on Netflix on October 4.