Leonardo DiCaprio has caught the eye of animal rights organisation PETA who will present a first-of-its-kind “Best Foot Forward” award to the actor and environmentalist.
The award is in recognition of the DiCaprio’s planet- and animal-friendly investments, including the recent 4.5 million US dollars in British vegan footwear brand Løci, which makes sneakers from bamboo, recycled plastic bottles and other animal-free materials.
“By investing in vegan Løci footwear, lab-grown leather, and multiple mock-meat startups, Leonardo DiCaprio is helping to kickstart innovative solutions for the climate catastrophe and alleviating mass animal suffering. In thanks for investing in a habitable planet for all beings, PETA is awarding this celebrated actor our very first ‘Best Foot Forward’ award,” said PETA's senior vice president Lisa Lange in a press release.
Vegan sneakers on the rise
Løci was founded in 2021 and achieved seven figures in sales within its first year. Its sneakers are worn by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Affleck and Olivia Wilde. The brand has also expanded into 26 global markets and partnered with retailers including Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.
DiCaprio’s other investments include dairy-free milk producer Califia Farms and plant-powered snack company Hippeas. He also partnered with vegan meat brand Beyond Meat and urged his social media followers to make the switch to plant-based burgers.
“Livestock production is a major contributor to carbon emissions. Shifting from animal meat to the plant-based meats developed by Beyond Meat is one of the most powerful measures someone can take to reduce their impact on our climate,” said DiCaprio in October 2017 when partnering with the company.
DiCaprio was also executive producer of the 2014 documentary “Cowspiracy”, which follows the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and inspired DiCaprio to change his own diet.
According to PETA, animal agriculture — which includes the leather industry — is responsible for nearly one-fifth of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. The World Bank reports that cattle ranching has caused over 80 percent of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest since 1970, and because of fires—many of which are deliberately set to clear land to raise cows and grow crops to feed them—along with hotter temperatures and droughts, parts of the Amazon are now emitting more carbon dioxide than they can absorb.
DiCaprio joins celebrities like James Cromwell, Jennifer Coolidge and Jordan Peele who have won PETA awards for their kindness to animals.