Joaquin Phoenix collected countless trophies for his role in Joker, but it was the acceptance speeches he gave during awards season that seemed to make the biggest impact. During the Golden Globes in January, Phoenix notably spoke about the importance of animal rights, vegan lifestyle, and the environment. He made similar comments after winning Best Actor at the Academy Awards. It turns out, Phoenix isn’t just talk — his activism goes beyond the awards show podium.
The day after the Oscars, Phoenix saved a cow and its calf from a slaughterhouse in Los Angeles. The Joker star was accompanied by his fiancee, Rooney Mara, and LA Animal Save, an activist group of which Phoenix is a participating member. The rescue was captured on video by Shaun Monson and released through Farm Sanctuary, an organization that advocates for animal welfare.
Phoenix ended up naming the cow and calf Liberty and Indigo, respectively, as Deadline notes.
LA Animal Save has now rescued five bovines from Manning Beef slaughterhouse. Phoenix issued a statement through the group, in which he talked about continuing to “fight for the libration of all animals who suffer in these oppressive systems.”
Check out the full, eight-minute video of the rescue below, followed by Phoenix’s statement.
“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. 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.”
In other activism-related news, Phoenix was arrested during a climate change rally in Washington, DC in January alongside Jane Fonda and Martin Sheen.