The Phoenix family has been vegan since 1977 and years later, the 45-year-old actor, a passionate vegan and an outspoken animal activist recounts that the “most jarring and intense memory” of his childhood made him go vegan when he was barely 3 years old.
While Joaquin Phoenix’s acceptance speech at the Academy Awards has gone viral, his iconic statements of humans ‘artificially inseminating cows’, separating newborn calves from their mothers, and extracting milk for personal use has caused a storm that refuses to abate.
The dairy industry has pushbacked and said that if he “had a fuller understanding of the contribution of dairy products to a nutritious diet,” he would know of dairy’s contribution to global health and livelihood.
Some baffled viewers have even asked whether Phoenix is a vegan while others want to know more of this man who calls himself a vegan and an animal rights activist.
Joaquin Phoenix’s journey to veganism
On October 28, 1977, young Joaquin Phoenix embarked on a Miami bound cargo ship to leave Venezuela with his family.
Not only did this journey help his parents flee a religious cult but it also led the entire family to never want to eat meat again.
Phoenix was barely three years old then and in a 2018 interview with Collider, the 45-year-old actor recounted the incident that changed his perspective: “Really it was seeing these fish being killed when I was on a boat as a kid.
“I guess to stun them they were throwing them against the side of the boat. I just had a profound strong reaction. It felt like a real injustice.
“I don’t know how to explain it. I think it made me distrustful, and angry, and frightened of humans, humanity. I just thought it was such a gross abuse of power in a way.
“I think that during that moment we knew that we were not going to eat meat anymore. We said to our parents, “Why didn’t you tell us?” … It became very obvious we weren’t going to eat meat anymore.”
Phoenix is an unyielding animal rights campaigner and loses no opportunity to speak up against the atrocities of animals- the latest example being the Oscar speech.
He was named PETA’s 2019 Person of the Year for his unrelenting work for animal rights.
He has participated in several PETA campaigns against wool trade, dog leather, turkey meat, and exotic skins fishing.
“Joaquin Phoenix never misses an opportunity to turn the spotlight away from himself and onto animals’ plight and to set a great example of walking the vegan walk,” said PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk in a statement.
He is regularly seen attending pig vigils to comfort pigs on their way to slaughterhouses.
In one interview with a media portal he condemned the dairy and meat industries and said eating meat was ‘absurd and barbaric’ and had a devastating effect on the environment.
“To me it just seems obvious. I don’t want to cause pain to another living, empathetic creature,” he said.
“I don’t want to force it to be indoors and fattened up just to be slaughtered. It is absurd and barbaric.
“I don’t understand how you could witness that and not be affected by it. But certainly, also the effect that it has on our environment is devastating. So for me, it’s just, it’s my life and always has been my life and it’s really one of the most important things to me.”
Share this article to tell the world how passionate Joaquin Phoenix is about animal rights and veganism.
Vegan culture, food, beauty & more
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 23rd May 2022
The Lady of Sion School in Worthing opened what is believed to be UK’s first 100% Plant-Based Canteen serving black bean and quinoa meatballs in barbecue sauce, veggie fajitas with Mexican rice and meatless feast pizza. A school in West Sussex has received an overwhelming positive response after it adopted an all-vegan menu. In January, …
- Mohsina Dodhiya
- 17th May 2022
A number of companies already offer a variety of plant-based leathers using everything from apples and cactus to pineapple leaves. A new poll has revealed that a majority of UK motorists are keen on buying fully vegan cars. In a research commissioned by the Vegan Society, people were asked about their opinions on vegan cars …
All the quizzes you love to binge!
- Marlon Farrugia
- 10th January 2020
How much vegan knowledge do you have stored away? Do you have to Google your way through a shopping trip, or do you have all the bad E-numbers memorised? Find out now with this quiz. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 13th October 2019
Spook Season approaches. There will be ghosts, goblins, ghouls, and glucose. You need a costume, and you want to it to show off your personality, which means VEGAN. But what to choose? Take our quiz to find out your perfect outfit. Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a …
- Marlon Farrugia
- 26th September 2019
“If you were a vegetable, what kind would you be?” A question that has tormented humanity throughout the ages – until now. Read: QUIZ: If you score 19/20 on THIS quiz, you’re a Vegan God Marlon Farrugia Marlon Farrugia is a freelance writer from Brighton. He has been a dedicated vegan for many years, and …