A day after his Best Actor Oscar win, and moving speech about treating the planet with respect, Joaquin Phoenix rescued a cow and its calf from a Los Angeles slaughterhouse.

“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,” Phoenix said during his acceptance speech for Best Actor in Joker.  “And then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put in our coffee and our cereal.”

Less than 48 hours after his speech warning of the ways we “plunder” the natural world for its resources, Phoenix was able to act on his words by teaming up with the nonprofit organization Farm Sanctuary in Acton, California. In a video on Farm Sanctuary’s YouTube channel, you can see Phoenix helped rescue a cow that had given birth to a calf at a slaughterhouse in Pico Rivera, California. The CEO of the slaughterhouse decided to spare her and her calf’s life.

“Anytime a calf is born on my property, I refuse to take the mother away from its baby,” said the CEO of the slaughterhouse Anthony Di Maria.The video notes this is an “exception to the rule” at most slaughterhouses.

In the video, Phoenix carried the calf and helped coax the cow into a trailer. He argued that what Di Maria does for a living is “murder,” while Di Maria called it “harvesting.”


Since the video, Phoenix has released a statement.

“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.”

Watch the video here:

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