American actor, music video director, producer, musician, and social activist
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- Animal rights is a part of my everyday life. When you live by example, you create a certain level of awareness. Friends of mine, people I have never discussed vegetarianism with, are adopting vegetarian habits because they see it.
- "Fake leather please!", interview by Daily News and Analysis (November 14, 2006).
- I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice. We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, one species, has the right to dominate, use and control another with impunity. I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the centre of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakeable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal. 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.
- "Joaquin Phoenix's Oscars speech in full: 'We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby'", The Guardian (February 10, 2020).