Vegan actress Natalie Portman spoke in front of a group of 16,000 students at WE Day, a gathering and celebration of youth activists held in Los Angeles this week. The actress focused the majority of her speech on the connection between different forms of injustice, particularly the intersection of feminism and veganism. “Only after I became active in women’s issues did I realize that my veganism was related to those very issues,” Portman said. “Dairy and eggs don’t just come from cows and chickens, they come from female cows and female chickens. We’re exploiting female bodies and abusing the magic of female animals to create eggs and milk.” Portman has used her celebrity platform to advocate for animal rights for nearly a decade, including during the filming of Vox Lox when she asked to be outfitted in an all-vegan wardrobe. “Mothers are separated from children to create milk. Animals are sick and in crowded, prison-like conditions to make dairy and eggs,” Portman continued her speech. “It doesn’t take a lot to draw the line from how we treat animals to how we treat humans.” Tickets to the event were by invitation only and based on an individual’s contribution to his or her respective community. Portman closed the speech by asking the group of young activists to “eat how you believe” and urging them to continue fighting against justice in all forms. “Whether it’s environmental issues, animal rights, women’s rights, or equality—never be afraid to show how much you care” Portman said.
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