Joaquin Phoenix Oscars speech is a “voice for voiceless”

Yvonne O'Halloran

Joaquin Phoenix was awarded the winner for actor in a leading role for his performance as Arthur Fleck in JOKER at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards on Sunday. The vegan actor gave a moving speech that spoke about animal rights. In his speech, Phoenix said the greatest gift he and others in the entertainment industry have been given is the “opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless”.

Phoenix specifically mentioned the dairy industry to highlight that all forms of animal agriculture, not just the meat industry are cruel. “We’ve become very very disconnected from the natural world” Phoenix stated. “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 her calf and we put it in our coffee and cereal”.

He goes on to say: “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”.

Phoenix ended his speech with an emotional tribute to his brother River who died in 1993 of a drug overdose. He said: “When he was 17, my brother wrote a lyric. He said ‘run to the rescue with love and peace will follow’.”

 

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