Academy Award winner Joaquin Phoenix didn’t just talk about the atrocities of factory farming during his Oscars speech. Just a few hours later, the “Joker” star rescued a cow and her calf from those very conditions.
“Earthlings” director Shaun Monson filmed the rescue. The rescue was not planned, according to Farm Sanctuary, where the cows now live.
Phoenix was visiting Manning Beef, a Southern California slaughterhouse during a tour arranged by LA Animal Save. The rescue group holds the pig vigils Phoenix frequently attends. The slaughterhouse CEO Anthony Di Maria showed Phoenix a cow who had just given birth while in the holding area. It’s the fifth mother and child rescued from the facility.
The animals, which Phoenix named Liberty and Indigo, will now live at Farm Sanctuary in Acton, California.
“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,” Phoenix said in a statement. “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. As a result, Liberty and Indigo will never experience cruelty or the touch of a rough hand. My hope is, as 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.”
During Phoenix’s Oscars speech, he addressed humanity’s disconnect from the natural world. He cited the milk industry as an example:
“I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world,” he said. “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. And then we take her milk that’s intended for the calf and we put it in our coffee and cereal.”