Known for his love for animals, vegan actor and animal advocate Joaquin Phoenix says he doesn't plan to force his vegan lifestyle on his child but he isn't 'going to indoctrinate him with the idea that McDonald’s have a Happy Meal.'
Joaquin Phoenix welcomed son River with actress Rooney Mara (also a vegan) back in September 2020. The couple started dating in 2016 and got engaged in 2019.
Phoenix revealed his plans on raising his child in his latest interview with Sunday Times.
He explained: “Well, certainly I would hope that [he is vegan], but I’m not going to impose my belief on my child. I don’t think that’s right. 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. 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.”
Last year, the actor received an Oscar for his performance in the film Joker. His acceptance speech where he passionately spoke about animal rights went viral.
He 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 unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.
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."
Commenting on his Academy Awards speech actor told the Sunday Times that he was terrified then but needed to us the time to speak out about veganism.
"I’ll be honest with you here,” he said. “I did not want to get up anywhere and do anything. I was not excited about the opportunity. It’s just not who I am. I was full of fear.”
“I was in that situation and there was a part of me that just wanted to say, ‘Thanks so much, great, goodnight.’ But I felt like I had to," he said. “If I’m up here, I can’t just thank my mum.”
After the awards, he made headlines again when he rescued a cow and her calf from the slaughterhouse.
Phoenix has been vegan since he was three years old. Recently, he signed on as an executive producer for the film Gunda a black and white documentary showing animals living their lives on a farm near Oslo, Norway. The film features a pig named Gunda nurturing her piglets, caring for them until they are taken away from her.
Gunda was released in UK's cinema's on June 4th.