Though actor Joaquin Phoenix is an avowed vegan and passionate animal rights activist, he will not “force” his son to follow in his footsteps.
Speaking with Britain’s Sunday Times, the “Joker” star said that while he hopes his son becomes vegan, he will not impose that lifestyle on him, opting to educate him on the “reality” of eating meat.
“I’m not going to impose my belief on my child,” he said. “I’m going to educate him about the reality. I’m not going to indoctrinate him with the idea that McDonald’s have a Happy Meal because there’s nothing f***ing happy about that meal. And I’m not going to tell him that it’s OK to read books about all the wonderful little farm animals, and they say ‘oink oink oink’ and ‘moo moo moo,’ and not tell him that that’s what a hamburger is.”
If his son were to ever join the ranks of carnivorous humans, Phoenix said that he would support him.
“So I’m not going to perpetuate the lie, but I’m also not going to force him to be vegan. I’ll support him. That’s my plan,” said the actor.
Phoenix recalled his experience of seeing fish getting stunned on the side of the boat as a kid, prompting him to become a vegetarian at the age of three.
“It was such a shocking, visceral experience,” he said. “As a child, your parents just say, ‘It’s fish,’ and you don’t know the difference between fish or broccoli.”
“And to suddenly realize that this thing that we’ve eaten once used to be full of life and we can see it struggling for its life,” he added.
During his Oscar acceptance speech for “Joker,” Joaquin Phoenix lamented about how “disconnected” society has become from the natural world.
“We’ve become very disconnected from the natural world,” Phoenix said. “And many of us, what we’re guilty of is an egocentric world view, the belief that we’re the center 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 when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable,” he added. “And then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”
Prior to the speech, he attended a vigil at a pig slaughterhouse where he described the practice as one of “torture and murder.”
“Most people don’t really know of the torture and murder in the meat and dairy industry,” Phoenix said. “I’ve seen it for what it is, so I have to be here.”
Phoenix went on to lament that people have been brainwashed to believe animals live happy lives on farms, arguing that those who know the truth have an obligation to fight back.
“We have moral obligations to talk about it and expose it for what it really is,” he continued. “We are so indoctrinated with these happy images of animals on farms, on the covers of meat containers, at restaurants and it’s a lie. I think people need to know the truth and we have an obligation to do that. Those of us that have seen it for what it really is, we have an obligation to expose it, so I have to be here.”
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