Joaquin Phoenix uses Oscar speech to address animal rights
“We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby”, said the lifelong vegan
Joaquin Phoenix won the best actor Oscar last night for his electrifying turn in the movie Joker.
And whatever you think of the controversy-courting actor, at least you can’t accuse him of giving a boring acceptance speech full of thanks to people we’ve never heard of (we’re looking at you, Renée Zellweger).
Phoenix decided to use his moment in the spotlight to speak about the many injustices in the world - including animal rights.
The star, who has been vegan since childhood and has campaigned for PETA, 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 added: “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 speech got a mixed reaction, with Vice calling it "unhinged".
Vox said: "It was a powerful speech, but what made it stand out from other similar awareness-raising speeches we’ve heard from the Oscar stage was its explicit calling out of speciesism. By including “animal rights” in the same sentence as a litany of other pressing issues — gender inequality, racism, queer rights, and indigenous rights — Phoenix elevated concern for the welfare of animals as something no less important than caring for fellow human beings."