Joaquin Phoenix revealed that he won’t “force” veganism on his baby son River, despite being a vegan since he was three years old, The Independent reports.
Phoenix has his strong beliefs on the subject of veganism and has executive-produced a new documentary, GUNDA, on pig sentience. The synopsis reads: “GUNDA chronicles the unfiltered lives of a mother pig, a flock of chickens, and a herd of cows with masterful intimacy. Using stark, transcendent black and white cinematography and the farm’s ambient soundtrack, Master director Victor Kossakowsky invites the audience to slow down and experience life as his subjects do, taking in their world with a magical patience and an otherworldly perspective. GUNDA asks us to meditate on the mystery of animal consciousness, and reckon with the role humanity plays in it.”
In a new interview, Phoenix said that while he is faithful to his beliefs about veganism, he will not “indoctrinate” his son, who was born last year. “Certainly I would hope that [he is vegan], but I’m not going to impose my belief on my child,” the Joker star told The Sunday Times. “I don’t think that’s right.”
“I’m going to educate him about the reality,” he continued. “I’m not going to indoctrinate him with the idea that McDonald’s have a Happy Meal because there’s nothing f—ing happy about that meal. And I’m not going to tell him that it’s OK to read books about all the wonderful little farm animals, and they say ‘oink oink oink’ and ‘moo moo moo,’ and not tell him that that’s what a hamburger is. I’m not going to perpetuate the lie, but I’m also not going to force him to be vegan. I’ll support him. That’s my plan.”
Phoenix added that he was “not excited” about having to give a speech while collecting his Best Actor Oscar for Joker last year, but that he felt he needed to use the time to advocate for veganism. In his speech, Phoenix said that humans feel “entitled to artificially inseminate a cow,” and that we “take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”
Phoenix and actress Rooney Mara announced in September 2020 that they had a son, whom they named after Phoenix’s late brother, River. River Phoenix died in 1993 at the age of 23. River Phoenix’s notable work as an actor includes My Own Private Idaho alongside Keanu Reeves in 1991.