H.H. Princess Maja von Hohenzollern is a designer for furniture, home-decoration, pets-children-and lifestyle products. She is successfully presented with her collections in about 80 countries on the international market. She was honored with the ASIA DESIGN AWARD GOLD; in Shanghai/China as the best designer. She has a high international reputation in media. Currently, Princess Maja has presented her “Royal Bath” Collection, her vegan carpet collection, “Royal Collection,” and her home decor collection, “Chateau.” Princess Maja von Hohenzollern is a keynote speaker at Europe’s most renowned speaker agency, Speakers Excellence, on the subject of sustainability. Princess Maja is a committed animal welfare activist and lives together with many rescued stray dogs and cats. For her global social commitment, Princess Maja von Hohenzollern was awarded with important international awards. Princess Maja is an ambassador for PETA and honorable member of “Eduxanima” in Romania, a program that educates children in animal welfare classes at school. Out of respect and love for animals and humans, as well as knowledge of the connections between factory, farming, pollution, and famine in the world, Princess Maja is a vegan. She lives together with 11 rescued dogs and 5 cats, that she all has adopted from the street.
A few of Princess Maja’s decorations are as follows:
– PETA Compassionate Citizen-Award 2018
-”Asia Design Award Gold”- Award as best designer Shanghai/China
– PAWU- Award for animal welfare Ukraine 2015
– highest honor of the City of Kiev/Ukraine 2012
– Shining World Heroine Award 2011
– bearer of the Aachener Tierschutzmedaille 2010
– Freedom of Kenmare/Ireland 2011
– bearer of the Europäischen Tierschutzpreises 2009
– Receipt of the Seal of Approval – Sponsors of the good purposes of the Action; Ein Platz an der Sonne by ARD Fernsehlotterie
– bearer of the award National and International Thailand-friend
– awarded with the Russian decoration, Mäzenat des Jahrhunderts
– awarded with the Russian decoration, Ein Platz an der Sonne
– awarded the Russian decoration Pilar
Q & A with Princess Maja
Q: From an August 2018 article by Johann Rahkonen (Completing Masters in Veterinary Science) and Richard Green (Disaster Expert, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – ASPCA) published on domesticpreparedness.com, in regards to animals and climate change, they write: “Companion animals will face displacement, livestock will suffer from physiological stressors, and wildlife may face localized extinctions. Animals from all sectors may experience increased instances of negative health outcomes such as infectious diseases. Emergency and disaster planners must take steps to proactively assess the impact of climate changes on animals within their communities as they work to improve their climate resilience.” Princess, you are known for fighting for animal rights…in your opinion, what needs to be done to protect animals from climate changes that impact their lives and health. Are their programs you are aware of that address this?
A: The habitats of animals are destroyed in many places around the world. The greatest enemy of animals is man. About 72% of the Amazon rainforest was cleared for cattle pastures for mass animal husbandry for meat production. This must be stopped. Global warming has an effect on the reproduction of animals, fewer young animals are born and their chances of survival are poorer. In migratory birds, global warming disrupts the inner rhythm and some bird species return much earlier from their wintering grounds and eat away all insects. Later returning birds with long distances hardly have any food left. This threatens the species. Plastic in the sea, overfishing by humans and warming in the Arctic threaten all marine life and the polar bears. Due to water shortages and periods of drought as in Africa, also a consequence of climate change, many animal species can no longer find water or cannot assert themselves against superior animal species at water holes. Rhinos are particularly threatened. Another major problem is industrial agriculture, which is the main cause of the deaths of insects such as butterflies and bees through the use of poisons and eutrophication. Insect mortality, in turn, has a major impact on our food production. People simply need to become more aware of these global interdependencies because they destroy the lives of animals and their own. The commercial exploitation of animals must come to an end.
Q: In your professional work, how do you address sustainability in waste reduction and recycling of materials?
A: In my work as a designer I am always on the lookout for new materials that are sustainable and ecological. I prefer to develop vegan collections that are free of animal ingredients and animal suffering. I have been a vegan myself for many years and, of course, I know the relationship between animal exploitation and environmental impact. I am pleased about the many alternative products that are now available for production….be it the vegan “leather” made from plants, wood-like building materials made from rice husks, and packaging made from grass, plant starch, and other things. The development in this field is rapid and I also advise companies on sustainable and vegan products, as many old-school companies do not notice this development and only notice that their sales are falling. I also design complete sustainable interior concepts for real estate, houses, hotels, and apartments. This is an important issue for real estate owners and investors because in the future some countries will tax their properties according to their Co2 output and also tenants will have higher demands regarding sustainability in residential and commercial real estate. Only real estate objects with modern ecological requirements are stable in value and will achieve high returns.
Q: You have traveled to other countries after disasters to help those impacted. What viewpoint do you advocate to others regarding providing assistance when you travel to places where climate change is producing such devastating results?
A: The countries that feel the consequences of environmental degradation and climate change must stop clearing their forests, recycle their waste, stop allowing cruise ships to pass through protected marine areas and, above all, inform people about these interrelationships. I am not in favor of prohibiting flying and driving because it is very important to a lot of people, jobs, and also personal freedom. But there is the possibility to use synthetic fuels for planes and cars. The hydrogen drive for cars, I think also for a promising solution.
Q: What new direction or effort do you see yourself involved in that would address climate change or circular economy within your professional and diplomatic work?
A: There are many measures that can help to improve the situation. A big step in the right direction would be for people to switch to a vegan diet. For the production of one kg of meat you need about 20.000 liters of water and about 16 kg of grain. This is an incredible waste of resources. Almost 2/3 of the world’s grain harvests are used for animal feed for meat production. If one would give this grain and this water directly to humans, then one could supply billions more humans in the world with food. Currently, about 860 million people starve and about 8.3 million die every year, many of them children. None of this would be necessary if we were to use the resources directly for people rather than in meat production. The largest Co2 polluters in the world are not factories, but cows in factory farming for meat production. By comparison, all traffic, including cars, ships, and planes, account for only about 4% of Co2 pollution. In addition, one must imagine that each year approximately 64 billion animals are killed cruelly only in order to land as a burger on a plate. This is an unbelievable number and we have to distribute our resources in a responsible way for animals, nature, and people. Therefore, I used myself with my animal protection donation for the rescue and the protection of animals, improved animal protection laws, and animal protection instruction at schools. I am a PETA ambassador and have been committed to a vegan lifestyle. As a lecturer and expert for sustainability at Europe’s most renowned agency, Speakers Excellence, I inform companies about sustainable solutions in the economy.