Joaquin Phoenix says he won't force his son to go vegan. - Media Credit: JEP Celebrity Photos via Alamy Stock

Joaquin Phoenix Says He ‘Hopes’ His Son River Is Vegan – But Won’t ‘Force’ Him

The Joker star says that while he won't 'impose' his beliefs on his child - he also won't 'perpetuate the lie' about how meat is produced


2 Minutes Read

Joaquin Phoenix hopes his son River will grow up vegan – but says he won’t “force” the lifestyle upon him.

The acclaimed actor and passionate vegan advocate made the comments in a recent interview with Sunday Times

Joaquin Phoenix’s son River

“Well, certainly I would hope that [he will be vegan]. But, I’m not going to impose my belief on my child,” Phoenix told the publication.

“I don’t think that’s right; I’m going to educate him about the reality. 

“I’m not going to tell him it’s ok to read books about all the wonderful little farm animals… And then not tell him that’s what a hamburger is.”

Joaquin Phoenix, Actor

“I’m not going to indoctrinate him with the idea that McDonald’s has a Happy Meal because there’s nothing f***ing happy about that meal.”

The Joker star added that while he will not “force” his son – named after his late brother River – he will not “perpetuate the lie.”

“I’m not going to tell him it’s ok to read books about all the wonderful little farm animals… And then not tell him that’s what a hamburger is,” he concluded.

Vegan charity work

Phoenix regularly uses his platform to speak out against animal agriculture and promote veganism.

Earlier this year, he joined Billie Eilish and her family – alongside partner Rooney Mara – to donate plant-based meals to LGBTQ+ youth organization My Friend’s Place.

The celeb celebrated the first anniversary, Support + Feed: an initiative spearheaded by Eilish’s mom Maggie Baird last year to help those “greatly impacted” by the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as to support vegan restaurants in the Los Angeles area.

‘The evidence is overwhelming that there’s a link between the meat industry and climate change’

Mara and Phoenix said: “At a time when most people were worried about their own health and security, Maggie dreamed up and implemented a plan to get nourishing food to people who needed it most. 

“We were honored to celebrate Support + Feed’s first anniversary at such an important institution like My Friend’s Place.”

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The Author

Liam Gilliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.

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Char Covelesky
1 year ago

I find it amusing how even the most non-aggressive, laid back, vegan gets so much hate as soon as people find out they don’t eat animals. Just having a personal moral stance different from the “norm” causes other people to compare and question their own beliefs and habits, which in turn causes that uncomfortable cognitive dissonance. Reflexively feeling “judged”, it’s far easier to mitigate that discomfort by harshly judging and dismissing the “weirdo” instead of dealing with the actual cause of their own discomfort. Even my own meathead brother, with NO interest in nutrition whatsoever, was suddenly very “concerned” about where I’ll get my protein when he noticed there were no dead animals on my plate at Thanksgiving. I’d been vegan for years so instead of getting into it at that moment, I just looked over his plate and said… “I have plenty of protein on my plate, a more relevant question might be… where are you getting your fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, phytonutients…” LOL

Darrell Sawczuk
Darrell Sawczuk
1 year ago
Reply to  Char Covelesky

Fantastic reply!!! Keep up the good work! 🙂