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Joaquin Phoenix Pays Tribute To Fallen Vegan Advocate Regan Russell

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3 Minutes Read

Joaquin Phoenix has paid tribute to an animal advocate who was killed earlier this month by a truck transporting pigs to slaughter in Canada.

Regan Russell, 65, a long-time member of Toronto Pig Save, died after a collision at a vigil at Fearman’s Pork – a processing plant in Ontario, Canada.

Phoenix attended a vigil last week to commemorate Russell. More than 100 people attended the event at the Smithfield-owned Farmer John slaughterhouse in Vernon.

‘Tragic death’

In a statement sent to Plant Based News, Phoenix said: “Regan Russell spent the final moments of her life providing comfort to pigs who had never experienced the touch of a kind hand.

“While her tragic death has brought upon deep sorrow in the Animal Save community, we will honor her memory by vigorously confronting the cruelties she fought so hard to prevent by marching with Black Lives, protecting Indigenous rights, fighting for LGBTQ equality, and living a compassionate vegan life.

“The Ontario government can attempt to silence us with the passage of its Ag-Gag bill – Bill 156 – but we will never go away and we will never back down. My heart goes out to the Toronto Animal Save community and to Regan’s lifelong partner, Mark Powell.”

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This is an extremely dark moment for our community. Yesterday, Regan Russell was killed. ?? ?? She was at Fearman’s Pork slaughterhouse with @torontopigsave for a regular vigil. During these vigils the activists have an agreement with the slaughterhouse where the trucks stop outside for 2 minutes, so the activists can approach and give the pigs water and show them some comfort (animals in transportation are not given access to any water for up to 36 hours).?? ?? However, one of the truck drivers ran Regan over and killed her. ?? ?? Her last moments were spent showing compassion towards the non-human animals that society turns away from. ?? ?? Her last moments were spent caring for the most vulnerable.?? ?? Her last moments were spent standing up for what’s right. ?? ?? When you stand outside of these slaughterhouses you hear animals screaming for their life. You see horrific suffering and unimaginable pain inside those trucks. But Regan didn’t ever turn away, she was there every week for the pigs. ?? ?? She stood up against injustice and used her voice to raise awareness about the suffering of others since 1979. We must now use our voices to amplify this same message, to pay our respects to Regan, to honour her memory and to stand up for those who are suffering.?? ?? Regan was killed just a few days after the agricultural gag (“ag gag”) law, Bill 156, was passed in Ontario. Bill 156 exists to prevent activists from filming animal suffering on farms and during transport, making it illegal to do so.?? ?? Rest in peace Regan, I’m so, so sorry. #savepigsforregan

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Investigation

An investigation is currently being conduction by Halton police who released a statement saying: “Our Collision Reconstruction Unit remains on scene to conduct an investigation.

“We extend our sincere condolences to the friends and family of the deceased.”

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The Author

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the former editor for Plant Based News. She has been a newspaper reporter and features writer. Her work has been published by The Guardian and The Huffington Post, among others

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