On Sunday, vegan actor Joaquin Phoenix led a protest organized by animal-rights group Animal Equality in London where he unveiled a 390-square-foot banner from the Tower Bridge that read: “Factory farming destroys our planet. Go vegan.” During the protest, Phoenix explained to Sky News the importance of his message. “When you witness the horror in slaughterhouses to farmed animals all over the world, it’s impossible to not be affected by it and to realize that we have to do something drastic to stop it,” Phoenix said. “This is an emergency. We have to do everything we can to try to cut down our impact on climate change.” After the protest, Phoenix went on to win the best actor award at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards where, during his acceptance speech, he called out systemic racism in the film industry. “I think it is the obligation of the people who created and perpetuate and benefit from a system of oppression to be the ones that dismantle it,” Phoenix said. In early January, the Golden Globes kicked off awards season by becoming the first ceremony of its kind to serve an all-vegan menu inspiring others, including the Critics’ Choice Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, and, to some extent, the Oscars, to adopt a similar menu change. Phoenix—who has thus far received awards at all of these ceremonies—has used his time in the spotlight to advocate for veganism both during his acceptance speeches and off-stage by attending protests and slaughterhouse vigils.
Photo Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur