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Joaquin Phoenix tells the emotional story of rescuing cows from a “factory of death”


Acton and vegan activist Joaquin Phoenix recently returned to the Farm Sanctuary in Acton, California to visit Liberty and Indigo – a mother and her calf he rescued from slaughter a year ago. In February 2020, shortly after his historic animal rights Oscar acceptance speech for best actor for starring in jokerPhoenix went to the Manning Beef slaughterhouse in California. There, Phoenix negotiated with a group that included fiancée and fellow activist Rooney Mara, both his and Mara’s mothers, about the release of the animals from the slaughterhouse. Earthlings Director Shaun Monson, Amy Jean Davis, founder of Animal Save in Los Angeles, and Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary. Phoenix facilitated the transfer of the cows – which he named Liberty and Indigo after his late sister and their late child – to Farm Sanctuary so they could spend the rest of their lives in peace.

Monson documented the rescue and released a new short film a year later Indigo, Made in collaboration with LA Animal Save on the return visit from Phoenix. In the film, an emotional phoenix described rescue in grueling detail and shared insights into his slaughterhouse experience – the first time the award-winning actor had interacted with animals that were to become food in this way. Upon arrival, Phoenix noticed “hundreds of thousands” of animal skins hanging on the slaughterhouse fence, giving him a great break and then encountering Liberty and Indigo in a state of fear.

“I have a sense of how you must feel and how terrible your life has been so far,” said Phoenix. “The transportation from the feeding grounds or from where they were raised and brought to the slaughterhouse, and of course hearing the sounds of slaughter that are going on inside and seeing the cows they knew they had moved away and.” were brought in. [and] clear the smells. You have to understand what is happening. “When discussing the removal of Liberty and Indigo from the slaughterhouse, Phoenix said,” It was a great relief to know that they had been rescued from this factory of death. “

Phoenix reunites with the rescued cows

Phoenix, along with his sisters Liberty and Rain, paid back a visit to the Farm Sanctuary to see how the cows live alongside other rescue workers at the shelter. “My only interaction with cows in the past has been seeing them drive on the road,” he said. “When I went into the enclosure, I was surprised to see how comfortable they felt with us. how inviting. It was almost like being with a dog or a horse … there was a real warmth and intelligence in her eyes … there was clearly a unique soul in there. ”

Indigo, who Phoenix now lives safely with her mother in the Farm Sanctuary and who Phoenix carried alone out of the slaughterhouse, seems to have remembered the actor after a year and sees him cuddling Phoenix. “There was no way she would approach me when we first met,” said Phoenix. “But now here, when she felt the safety of this place and knew that these people were there to take care of her and the other cows… she was curious. She wasn’t afraid of me. “Phoenix stated that he saw Indigo breastfeeding from her mother.” It is her natural behavior; so often we interrupt this. These are unique lives and they deserve the autonomy and freedom to live any life they wish, ”said Phoenix. “I only think of the billions of animals that we kill for our consumption, for our hats or bracelets or shoes or belts.”

Animal husbandry and climate change

In addition to telling its story of emotional rescue and reunification, Phoenix spoke to viewers about the pressing problem of climate change regarding animal husbandry. “We spend one day every year honoring our planet, Earth Day, but the other 364 days we spend with impunity,” said Phoenix. “There is no denying the adverse effects animal husbandry has on the environment. This simple act of saving Liberty and Indigo is in some ways as easy as saving the lives of these creatures. But it is also an acknowledgment of not just the destruction that experience it through our hands, but the entire environment. Through our actions, we either have the choice to continue to destroy other beings and the environment, or we begin to undo the damage we have caused. “



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