This week, award-winning vegan actor Joaquin Phoenix, his fiancé and vegan actress Rooney Mara, and their newborn son River dropped into Toronto-based vegan restaurant Animal Liberation Kitchen (ALK) to thank them for a meal the family had the day prior. According to ALK owner Tanya Spasic, the famous vegan family had an assistant pick up a lunch order which included Phoenix’s favorite Smokey Mac and Cheese. The actor was so impressed with the meal he decided to make a personal appearance, wearing a hoodie emblazoned with Toronto Pig Save (an organization he frequently supports) and to order more food.

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“He walked in yesterday around noon, with his family, and told me he had our food and it was amazing,” Spasic told local outlet blogTO. “We had a nice chat where he complimented the menu, and I thanked him for supporting animal-liberation groups in Toronto.” Upon learning that Spasic’s daughter Siki was a big fan of his, the actor suggested that the group commemorate the visit with a photo. “My daughter Siki was coming soon and she respects them so much, so I told him she will be crying to miss them,” Spasic said. “He said, ‘Let’s take a selfie for her.’ I didn’t want to ask him for a photo, he offered.”

Phoenix and Mara welcomed baby River—named after Phoenix’s deceased brother—this summer. The new parents are also executive producers of new documentary The End of Medicine, which aims to expose the culpability of animal agriculture in creating massive public health threats such as antibiotic resistance, swine and bird flu, food-borne illness, MRSA, and, the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo Credit: Riccardo Ghilardi