Joaquin Phoenix helped rescue a mother cow and her calf from a Los Angeles slaughterhouse two days after delivering a powerful speech at the Oscars which warned against “plundering” the planet’s natural resources.
Phoenix called for “the best of humanity” during his acceptance speech for Best Actor, which he won for his performance in the titular role in Joker, and also spoke about the plight of cows and their offspring.
Partnering with the animal rights group Farm Sanctuary, Phoenix visited a slaughterhouse in Pico Rivera, LA with members of the organisation two days after the Oscars.
The below short film begins with the actor having a respectful discussion with Anthony Di Maria, the CEO of Manning Beef, about the practices of the facility he runs.
Later on in the film, Phoenix is seen helping liberate the cow and her calf (who the actor later named Liberty and Indigo) from the facility, where they were then transported to a Farm Sanctuary-used facility.
In a statement released through the activist group L.A. Animal Save, Phoenix reflected on his experiences at the slaughterhouse — you can read it in full below.
“I never thought I’d find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony and opening my heart to his, I realise 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.”
Phoenix’s next acting role has already been determined, with the actor set to link up with 20th Century Women director Mike Mills.