Actor Joaquin Phoenix has teamed up with animal rights charity PETA to promote an anti-wool message.
PETA has placed a huge billboard featuring the Hollywood star in downtown Columbus, Ohio.
It is situated at the intersection of Broad and Third streets, near the Ohio Statehouse and several upscale menswear stores, including 1812 Society, Alpha Suit, Balani Custom Clothiers, The Bespoken Mogul, Flying Gent, Negilli & Co., and Sofyano.
According to a PETA spokesperson: “The ad shows the Academy Award nominee wearing a vegan wool suit by Brave GentleMan and proclaims ‘Cruelty Doesn’t Suit Me. Wool Hurts. Wear Vegan’.
“Phoenix is famously shy about giving interviews and isn’t often seen in a suit—but in an exclusive video with PETA, he reveals that his motivation for doing both grew out of a video wake-up call.”
According to Phoenix: “When PETA sent me a video of this undercover investigation of what happened in these shearing farms, that was really eye-opening.
“[T]he whole environment—it’s incredibly [violent]. … [T]he only option is to not use wool. That’s become abundantly clear.”
He adds: “I’ve been vegan practically my whole life, I thought that I was avoiding wool. I never knew that suits were made of wool.
“I had that rationalization, ‘well [wool ‘s] just something that’s taken off them and it’s not a lot of abuse’, which seems incredibly naive, and that’s a nice way of saying it.”
After learning about the cruelty of the wool industry, Phoenix says he wanted to avoid the product.
He says: “I think wool is something we don’t think about a lot.
“You can’t imagine until you see the level of abuse that happens. After seeing this footage it’s a trade I certainly don’t feel comfortable being involved with.
“There are alternatives that are cruelty-free but still stylish.”
Phoenix says he ‘feels sorry for everyone involved’ in the industry.
He adds: “It’s easy for us to sympathize with the animals, but the workers are incentivized to move as quickly as possible, and so it seems that the whole environment is incredibly brutal.
“It’s apparent that for the quantity they are trying to gather, it’s impossible to do that in a humane way.
“And so it seems the only option is to not use wool. That’s become abundantly clear.”