Did everyone catch Best Actor winner Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscars acceptance speech? Never one to hide his deep convictions, he very much had animals on his mind as he accepted his award. He also took on the highly-profitable dairy industry.
“I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality,” he said. “I think 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 injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate, control, use, and exploit another with impunity.
“I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world,” he said. “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk that’s intended for the calf and we put it in our coffee and cereal. 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.”
Phoenix has been a vegan since age 3, and managed to convince the Golden Globes to serve vegan food only days before the ceremony. The Critics Choice Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and the BAFTAS all followed suit. The Oscars Nominees Luncheon was also vegan, and the Governors Ball was mostly plant-based (70% of the food).
Post-Oscars, Joaquin and his fiancee Rooney Mara, opting for comfy footwear (sneakers), celebrated his win by toasting vegan burgers at Monty’s, a fast-food chain created by Nic Adler. The burger joint is completely plant-based, serving items such as vegan milkshakes, Impossible burgers, fries, and salad. And it’s really good.
What do you think of Joaquin’s dedication to saving animals? No doubt, his speech encouraged some people to think about what they eat, as well as how it affects the environment. You can watch his full Oscars acceptance speech here.