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Joaquin Phoenix says you can’t be a protector of the environment – and not be vegan.

The vegan actor, who has been picking up major awards for his highly acclaimed performance in Joker, made the comments during an exclusive interview with Plant Based News.

The interview took place during an Earthlings Experience action in central London. During the action, activists wearing masks hold a screen playing footage from the documentary Earthlings. Other activists perform outreach, engaging in a respectful dialogue with passerbys, and handing out flyers with resources and information.

‘Amplify the voices of activists’

PBN’s Klaus Mitchell noted that Pheonix has been more publicly active when it comes to animal advocacy recently, and asked what has prompted the change. The actor said that he – and his activism – has become more visible in recent times, but also that ‘things are really dire right now’.

“I think that when it’s your time to step up, it comes to you. I’ve always had a hard time imposing my personal beliefs on others, I’ve never wanted to do that…but things are really dire right now and the evidence is overwhelming that there is an incontrovertible link between the meat and dairy industry and climate change,” Phoenix told Plant Based News.

“I think it’s something that people are waking up to, they realize that they cannot be protectors of the environment and not be vegan. It feels right and there is an opportunity, I have the opportunity to amplify the voice of the activists that are out here every day, or weekly, doing their work.

“And so I’m in a very unique position to be able to talk about their great work and to amplify their message. And so I think we just find the way that we can play our parts.”

You can find out more about the Earthlings Experience here

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of 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.