Joaquin Phoenix Saves Mama Cow And Her Baby After Oscars

by : Cameron Frew on : 21 Feb 2020 09:21
Joaquin Phoenix Saves Mama Cow And Her Baby After OscarsFarm Sanctuary/YouTube

Joaquin Phoenix won his first Oscar this year for Joker. Less than 48 hours later, he saved a calf and her mother from slaughter. 

The 45-year-old’s award season sweep allowed the actor to advocate for social change on issues close to his heart – most of all, animal rights.


After picking up his earlier SAG Award, Phoenix went straight to an LA slaughterhouse to comfort pigs. In a similar fashion, less than two days after his first Academy Award win, the actor took further action, even saving two animals himself.

Joaquin Phoenix LA SlaughterhouseFarm Sanctuary/YouTube

A new video from Farm Sanctuary shows Phoenix visiting the Pico Rivera slaughterhouse in LA with his fiancée and fellow actress, Rooney Mara, and the Los Angles Animal Save activist group (a peaceful nonprofit the actor has worked with previously).

The footage opens with Phoenix meeting with Manning Beef CEO Anthony Di Maria, discussing the ethical quandaries of ‘harvest’ vs ‘slaughter’.

Joaquin Phoenix LA Slaughterhouse 2Farm Sanctuary/YouTube

When Di Maria assures him the animals ‘perish in less than 60 seconds’, Phoenix responds: 

I don’t need really any science to see with my own eyes and hear how an animal responds to pain. You’re the only one that you know of that has the process that you have, so that means a majority of them don’t have that.

Further to their debate, Phoenix asked if he can take a mama cow, named Liberty, and her calf, Indigo, away from the facility. Di Maria agreed, and the actor even carried the newborn calf in his arms away from the holding area into a trailer with her mum (they’re then taken to Farm Sanctuary in north Los Angeles County, where they’re seen galloping around).


You can watch the full video of Phoenix visiting the slaughterhouse and rescuing the animals below: 

In a statement through the activist group, the actor said: 

I never thought I’d find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony and opening my heart to his, I realize 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.

Although we will continue to fight for the liberation of all animals who suffer in these oppressive systems, we must take pause to acknowledge and celebrate the victories, and the people who helped achieve them. Shaun Monson, Amy Jean Davis, and the entire LA Animal Save community, have taken their pain of bearing witness and turned it into effective, diplomatic advocacy for the voiceless.


Phoenix added that he hopes ‘we watch baby Indigo grow up with her mom Liberty at Farm Sanctuary, that we’ll always remember that friendships can emerge in the most unexpected places; and no matter our differences, kindness and compassion should rule everything around us’.

While collecting his recent Oscar, Phoenix tried to encourage veganism while taking aim at the dairy farming industry, calling out our ‘plundering of the natural world’.

‘We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal,’ he said.


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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Animals, Animal Rights, Cows, Joaquin Phoenix