Filmmaker Guillermo del Toro was a surprise guest speaker at the graduation commencement speech for the vegan MUSE School in Los Angeles last month.
What Makes You ‘Impossible’ Makes You Tenacious
“Today, you step into a new world across this threshold [of adolescence to adulthood] and I would say just in time because the generation of adults that preceded you didn’t do you any favors,” del Toro said.
A growing body of scientific evidence points to animal agriculture’s environmental destruction. Many experts advocate for a shift away from meat, dairy, eggs, and fish, toward a more plant-based diet as a means of curbing climate change.
“We’re living in a world that is really on the brink in so many ways … Ecologically, socially, full of injustice that seems to change, then comes back,” the Academy Award-winning director continued. “We all are born in a world that needs amending … Within every piece of adversity, there is an opportunity. ”
“One of the opportunities you have as young people is rage. Most people tell you not to use it … to be nice,” del Toro told the Los Angeles students. “I say make peace with it and use it. Be enraged at what you are inheriting… and change it. What makes you ‘stubborn’ and ‘impossible’ makes you tenacious.”
The climate crisis has sparked rage in other young vegan activists, such as Greta Thunberg, whose speeches calling out the older generations for their inaction have captured international attention.
The MUSE School’s Sustainable Ethos
“The Shape of Water” director was introduced by fellow filmmaker James Cameron, who joked that his friend is a “much better alternative” than he to give the speech. Cameron said that there’s nothing more important his generation can do than to teach younger people “how to be good human beings, how to have a personal ethos, and then let them go on this journey.”
The MUSE School was co-founded in 2005 by Cameron’s partner, environmentalist and author Suzy Amis Cameron and her sister Rebecca. The school teaches students K-12 the importance of sustainability and social responsibility. Only vegan meals are served and students are also taught self-sufficiency through a seed-to-table program. The school opened for franchising across the U.S. last April.
A similar school recently opened in Sweden. The Wadolrf Hagaskolan — the first of its kind in the region — also serves only vegan meals and has a lesson plan centered around sustainability, music, and the arts.