'We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby.'
Oscar-winning actor and lifelong vegan Joaquin Phoenix spoke out about the cruel reality of the dairy industry in his passionate acceptance speech for Best Actor for his role as Arthur Fleck in The Joker at the 92nd Oscars awards ceremony.
The actor used his speech to give a voice to the voiceless, slamming the injustice cows in the dairy industry are subjected to as they are artificially inseminated by farmers before “stealing their babies.”
Taking to the stage, the actor said: “I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the centre of the universe.
“We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakeable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”
He also urged people to open their minds to the possibility of adopting a plant-based diet to lessen the suffering of farmed animals, saying: “We fear the idea of personal change, because we think we need to sacrifice something; to give something up.
“But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.”
The actor has been vegan since he was 3 years old after he and his siblings “witnessed fish being killed in a really violent and aggressive way.”
Phoenix recently urged Brits to choose compassion and go vegan as part of an animal rights protest group in London following the BAFTA awards where he scooped up an award for Leading Actor.
Instead of attending the after-party, the actor teamed up with animal rights organisation Animal Equality, who let down a huge 390 square-foot banner over London’s iconic Tower Bridge on Sunday, which said: ‘Factory farming is destroying our planet. Go vegan.’
The star was seen wearing a black hoodie emblazoned with the words ‘animal equality’ and handing out leaflets and interacting with members of the public, asking them about their diets and sharing information about veganism.