Reading Time: 2 minutes Joaquin Phoenix spoke to Plant Based News (Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Angry farmers have attacked Joaquin Phoenix on Twitter – branding him a ‘flog’ after he spoke out against the dairy industry at the Oscars.

While accepting his statuette for Best Actor for his role in Joker, Phoenix made a now-famous speech about oppression, human’s exploitation of the natural world, and cancel culture.


In the speech, Phoenix singled out the dairy industry as an example of how we abuse animals, saying: “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 center 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 unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”


The speech has had a huge impact on millions of people – with individuals and organizations praising the star for using his platform to highlight animal suffering. Some – including Girls creator Lena Dunham – have been inspired to go vegan as a result.

But some within agriculture are angry about Phoenix’s words – and have taken to social media to insult the actor. Among those who spoke against Phoenix was one rancher, who calls herself The Meat Lady. She said: “I think Joaquin Phoenix is a pompous, entitled, first-world, out of touch, value signaling troll, and rewearing a suit and throwing shade at cows shouldn’t make him an environmental expert.”

Another one of the critics is farmer Bryn Davies, who shared a video of himself drinking a glass of milk, captioning it: “Let’s raise our glass to the biggest flog on twitter [flog is Australian slang for a contemptible, often arrogant person].”


The milk-drinking tweet drew some ire from the vegan community, with Twitter user Vero Vero responding: “This is an adult toddler having an adult toddler meltdown. Wow he’s really like a vindictive child.”

“Trying to play ‘big man’ by drinking a glass of a mummy cows milk meant for her baby is so ironic. It’s creepy and disgusting. you may as well drink dogs milk or rats milk, it’s no different,” added Helena Legend.

The Lucky Heron simply replied: “Baby cow juice is what it is. Don’t get me wrong, I used to drink pints of it… But when I finally realized animals don’t have to suffer and die for me to eat a decent diet, then I couldn’t justify it anymore.”

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Maria Chiorando

Maria is a news and features writer for Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. She was previously the editor of Plant Based News for over 3 years.