Actor and global warming activist Joaquin Phoenix was filmed rescuing a cow and her calf from a Los Angeles slaughterhouse less than 48 hours after picking up his first Oscar for his role in the psychological thriller Joker.
Joaquin Phoenix was filmed by the animal welfare group Farm Sanctuary liberating a cow and her young calf, who he named Liberty and Indigo, from a Pico Rivera slaughterhouse with his fiancee Rooney Mara and other delegates from the Los Angeles Animal Save activist group.
At one point in the video, the 45-year-old actor is seen having a seemingly respectful conversation with CEO of the slaughterhouse, Anthony Di Maria, over the semantics of the terms “harvest” against “murder.”
In a statement accompanying the video, Phoenix said he had developed a friendship with Anthony, insisting they had more in common than that dividing them.
“I never thought I’d find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony and opening my heart to his, I realize we might have more in common than we do differences,” said Phoenix. “Without his act of kindness, Liberty and her baby calf, Indigo, would have met a terrible demise.”
Although we will continue to fight for the liberation of all animals who suffer in these oppressive systems, we must take pause to acknowledge and celebrate the victories, and the people who helped achieve them. Shaun Monson, Amy Jean Davis, and the entire LA Animal Save community, have taken their pain of bearing witness and turned it into effective, diplomatic advocacy for the voiceless.
As a result, Liberty and Indigo will never experience cruelty or the touch of a rough hand. My hope is, as we watch baby Indigo grow up with her mom Liberty at Farm Sanctuary, that we’ll always remember that friendships can emerge in the most unexpected places; and no matter our differences, kindness and compassion should rule everything around us.
The actor, who is an outspoken animal rights activist, has used his platform and his acceptance speeches to endorse the vegan lifestyle and to frame animal agriculture as crucial for protecting the environment.
Notably, Phoenix earlier tis month at the Oscars launched into a three-minute political rant:
Whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against the belief, one nation, one race, one gender or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity. I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world and many of us, what we’re guilty of is an egocentric world view, the belief that we’re the center of the universe.
I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. … We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and then we take her baby. … Then we take her milk and put it in our coffee and our cereal. I think we fear the idea of personal change, because we think we have to sacrifice something, to give something up. But human beings at our best are so inventive and creative and ingenious, I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.
Joaquin Phoenix: "That's when we're at our best—when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption." https://t.co/8kz7m5vtnF #Oscars pic.twitter.com/z9bymMr5bR
— ABC News (@ABC) February 10, 2020
He has also led a campaign to turn events held by award’s ceremonies vegan. As noted by the The Hollywood Reporter the actor has had relative success, with The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Critics’ Choice, and SAG all agreeing to go all-vegan during their events.
“He knows what can be done,” explained Lisa Lange, Senior VP for Communications at PETA, an organization with which Phoenix has been involved since the 1990’s. “He knows he’s in a good position to push. He enlists friends. And it works. He can have influence in Hollywood, and it influences the rest of the world.”