Joaquin Phoenix is one of America’s best actors. He’s won over the hearts fans after his superb acting in movies like Joker, The Village, and Walk the Line. But has he won over the hearts of animal activists, too? Is Joaquin Phoenix vegan?
Joaquin Phoenix is vegan and has been for decades! His entire family became vegan in 1977, with Joaquin deciding to become one himself when he was just three years old.
An advocate for all beings, Joaquin has used his fame and fortune as a platform to speak out against the abuse that takes place in the meat and dairy industry. Phoenix’s journey to veganism was a short one—but it’s worth discussing the 40+ years he’s lived his life after adopting a plant-based diet.
Joaquin Phoenix’s Childhood Veganism
In October of 1977, Joaquin boarded a cargo ship. He and his family were leaving Venezuela and heading to Miami, Florida.
His family was fleeing the religious cult (known as the Children of God) they had been a part of, but this journey was special for Joaquin Phoenix for another reason—it was when he decided to become a vegan.
At just three years old, the young Phoenix was shocked to see the men on the boat bashing fish against the floor and side of the boat. He had eaten fish before but had never considered that this is what his meal had endured before making it to his plate.
With thoughts filling his head that were unlike those of most toddlers, Joaquin Phoenix decided right away that this was an injustice.
In an interview he said, “I think it made me distrustful, and angry, and frightened of humanity. I just thought it was such a gross abuse of power in a way.”
Joaquin and his siblings (River, Rain, and Liberty) immediately told their parents that they didn’t agree with this and they couldn’t believe that they had been eating meat all along. The family decided at this stage to become vegans.
It took them two months to fully become vegans, but shortly after their arrival in Florida, the entire family stopped eating meat and dairy. And Joaquin Phoenix has never gone back.
Joaquin Phoenix, Animal Activist
Joaquin Phoenix is just one of many famous celebrities who have decided to ditch meat and dairy. He’s also probably one of the most outspoken activists for animals, too.
From Oscar speeches to work with PETA, Phoenix has grabbed every opportunity he can to turn away from him and his fame and instead use that platform to spread the word about issues like turkey meat, the wool trade, pig slaughterhouses, dog leather, and exotic skins fishing.
Joaquin claims that meat eating is both “absurd and barbaric” and not only considers animal welfare but also the environment in his reasons for eating a plant based diet.
Recently, Joaquin Phoenix even joined protesters in London as they dropped a huge banner from Tower Bridge that read, “Factory farming destroys our planet. Go vegan.”
Responding to criticism that Joaquin Phoenix is in no position to tell other people what to do since he flies all over the world (which has a huge contribution on climate change), Phoenix claimed that his vegan lifestyle helps him mitigate some of those impacts.
He joins many around the world who have found it easier to eat meat-free diets than give up flying and driving.
A Vegan Hollywood
Perhaps because of stars like Joaquin Phoenix (or certainly with support of him), awards shows like the Bafta awards have started incorporating sustainability measures into their planning.
The 2020 Bafta awards urged stars to re-wear something they already owned, or get an outfit from a sustainable designer or vintage shop. They also banned single-use plastic and served a vegan starter and dessert.
There is certainly a shift, both globally and within Hollywood stars, to adopt a more plant based diet. And for that, the world (and all the animals he’s saved), has outspoken actors like Joaquin Phoenix to thank.