Actor Joaquin Phoenix condemned by farmers for anti-dairy Oscars acceptance speech
The vegan actor highlighted animal exploitation and the suffering of dairy cows as he accepted his Best Actor award
Dairy farmers and advocates have condemned Joaquin Phoenix on Twitter – calling him a ‘flog’ after his passionate Oscars acceptance speech, where the vegan highlighted a number of critical issues.
As he accepted his Oscars award for Best Actor for his role in 2019’s Joker, Phoenix talked about oppression, consumption culture and exploitation of the planet’s natural resources, and he singled out the dairy industry.
“I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality,” he said.
“I think whether we’re talking about gender inequality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice.”
“We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, or one species has the right to dominate, control, use, and exploit another with impunity.”
“I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world,” he said.
“We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk that’s intended for the calf and we put it in our coffee and 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.”
Admiration and anger
The vegan’s now-famous Oscars speech has impacted on millions, being televised and shared around the world.
Numerous organisations and individuals have commended the star, who has used his celebrity status to become a great vegan influencer, and frequently spreads awareness of animal suffering.
But as well as praise, Phoenix has received backlash from people who work or support agriculture – some have even taken to social media, hosting ridiculous videos to air their views.
One rancher who calls herself The Meat Lady said: “I think Joaquin Phoenix is a pompous, entitled, first-world, out of touch, value signalling troll, and rewearing a suit and throwing shade at cows shouldn’t make him an environmental expert.”
A farmer, named Bryn Davies, shared a video of himself drinking a glass of milk, captioning it: “Let’s raise our glass to the biggest flog on twitter [flog is Australian slang for a contemptible, often arrogant person].”
Rightly so, the milk-drinking tweet drew some indignation from the vegan community.
Twitter user Vero Vero retorted: “This is an adult toddler having an adult toddler meltdown. Wow he’s really like a vindictive child.”
This isn’t the first time the actor has aired his views and tried to share the importance of animal rights issues – he’s even been arrested for them.
The vegan star frequently attends protests and rallies, and recently featured in a short video, titled Guardians of Life, which kick-starts a new campaign by climate activist group Extinction Rebellion and Amazon watch.
Following his Oscars win, Phoenix and fiancée Rooney Mara munched on plant-based burgers from LA-based chain Monty’s, and took to social media to share their enjoyment.