Natalie Portman has given an equally heartwarming and gut-wrenching speech to 16,000 students about two issues close to her heart – veganism and women’s rights.
The vegan superstar has been a powerhouse in speaking up for animals and gender equality alike – usually on separate occasions.
But in an inspiring speech at WE Day California, she brought the two issues together.
“Only after I became active in women’s issues did I realize that my veganism was related to those very issues,” she said.
“Dairy and eggs don’t just come from cows and chickens, they come from female cows and female chickens. We’re exploiting female bodies and abusing the magic of female animals to create eggs and milk.
“Mothers are separated from children to create milk. Animals are sick and in crowded, prison-like conditions to make dairy and eggs. It doesn’t take a lot to draw the line from how we treat animals to how we treat humans.”
The event was a celebration of youth activism at the Forum in Los Angeles, and had a star-studded audience.
Each student was invited to the event on merit of making a difference in their local communities.
Portman has been vegetarian her entire life due to a love of animals, and turned vegan after learning about the damage animal industries have on the environment and the realities of the dairy industry.
And she urged the students to ‘eat how you believe’ and not let societal pressures get in the way.
‘‘It is always a great thing to care’
“So now lots of people make fun of vegans, right? Lots of people make fun of anybody who cares about anything deeply, right?” she asked.
“I’m sure many of you have encountered that kind of commentary, too. But I’m here to say, it is always a great thing to care.
“And it’s the most beautiful thing to care, to have your heart open so much that someone else’s pain feels like your own, to care so much that you’ll spend your time making sure that change happens, and that’s why you are all here today.
“Whether it’s environmental issues, animal rights, women’s rights, equality, never be afraid to show how much you care.”
What do you think of Natalie Portman’s speech? Tell us in the comments section below!
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