Joaquin Phoenix says he won’t ‘force’ veganism on baby son River

Joker star has been vegan since he was three years old

Adam White
Monday 07 June 2021 08:02 BST
Joaquin Phoenix praises vegan meal at Golden Globes

Joaquin Phoenix has said that he won’t “force” veganism on his baby son River, despite his strong beliefs on the subject.

Phoenix has been vegan since he was three years old, and has produced a new documentary, Gunda, on pig sentience.

In a new interview, Phoenix said that while he is steadfast in his beliefs about veganism, he will not “indoctrinate” his son, who was born in 2020.

“Certainly I would hope that [he is vegan], but I’m not going to impose my belief on my child,” the Oscar winner 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.”

He added: “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.”

Actor Joaquin Phoenix at the Berlinale film festival in 2018

In the same interview, Phoenix said that he was “not excited” about having to give a speech while collecting his Best Actor Oscar for Joker in 2020, 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 actor Rooney Mara announced in 2020 that they had a son, who they had named after Phoenix’s late brother, River. Oscar nominee River Phoenix died in 1993 at the age of 23.

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