I hold a warm place in my heart for the woman charmer that he played in Star Trek, and the quick witted lawyer in Boston Legal, and I adore the fact that he played host and narrator to a short documentary supporting vegetarianism: The Vegetarian World.
I’ll admit, it’s a rather PG introduction to vegetarianism, but anything narrated by that wonderful voice goes down easy. Shatner believes “Vegetarianism is not just a diet, it is a whole approach to life” which, I guess, is the reason I became a vegan. He goes on to talk veganism as the purest of the vegetarian diets.
It’s sad that at the time of making, back in the early 80s, there was a realization that if the world could reduce it’s consumption of meat by 10%, it could feed 60 million more people. As it stands, about one third of cereal grown is used to feed the rich countries live-stock. According to a report by the UN, entitled Livestock’s Long Shadow in 2006 the number of overweight people (1 billion) outnumbered the malnourished (800 million). Mmm, they have also gone as far as to state that livestock products are one of the major contributing causes. Their current statistics for world obesity weighs in at 300 million.
Of course, it would be naive to think that you have to be an omnivore to be over-weight. Shatner himself nearly died during a hip replacement because of heart complications that were due to excess weight.
William Shatner is not the only geeky vegetarian that I have a soft spot for. Leonard Nimoy would have to be up at the top of that list. As Mr Spock, the first officer aboard the Starship Enterprise, he played the first vegetarian to appear regularly on television. Vulcans did not consume meat, although they did use futuristic technologies to replicate food to taste like meat. A 24th century quorn no doubt.