When Joaquin Phoenix accepted the Best Actor Oscar earlier this month for his performance in Joker, the actor made an emotional speech about environmental issues, including animal rights. Just one day later, the 45-year-old actor helped liberate a cow and her newborn calf from a slaughterhouse in Los Angeles.
According to People magazine, Phoenix took the cow and calf to Farm Sanctuary in Acton, California, and the animal protection organization recorded it all and posted it on YouTube.
why is no one talking about joaquin phoenix saving a cow pic.twitter.com/ATrgGwqnNX
— OSCAR WINNER TAIKA (@florencegerton) February 21, 2020
In the video, they explain that Phoenix’s rescue mission at the slaughterhouse wasn’t planned, and then they show the actor meeting with Anthony Di Maria, the slaughterhouse CEO and president.
“I don’t need really any science to see with my owns eyes and hear how an animal responds to pain,” Phoenix says while sitting in Di Maria’s office.
Di Maria explained to Phoenix that an animal will perish in less than 60 seconds because it has to, and that is the most humane, human harvest process in the country. Phoenix pointed out that Di Maria’s slaughterhouse was one of the few in the United States to have this process, and most places separate mothers from their calves.
Di Maria made it clear that he refuses to separate a cow from her calf, and that doesn’t happen on his property. He then says that he just had a baby born on the grounds, and the calf was isolated with its mother. Di Maria does everything he can to assure Phoenix that he uses the most humane practices, but Phoenix replied that all cows on his property are eventually “murdered.”
The two then disagree about the name of the process, as Phoenix called it murder while Di Maria says the cows are “harvested.” Di Maria then asks Phoenix to understand his side of the issue like he understands where Phoenix is coming from.
Phoenix then goes on a tour of the property with Di Maria, and this is when he meets the cow named Liberty and her baby Indigo who was born just one week earlier.
Di Maria doesn’t believe in killing mothers and their babies, and allows Phoenix to take the cow and calf from the slaughterhouse. The staff from Farm Sanctuary eventually arrived in a white truck, and took the cow and calf to their property where they are allowed to roam free on their acreage.
“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,” Phoenix said in the video’s description.
Joaquin Phoenix added that as the fight continues for the liberation of animals who suffer in oppressive systems, the victories must be acknowledged and celebrated. As baby Indigo grows up with her mom, he hopes that people will remember that friendships can emerge in the most unexpected places, and kindness and compassion should rule everything around us despite our differences.