Reading Time: 2 minutes 'I’m not going to impose my belief on my child' Credit: Jo-Anne McArthur/ We Animals
Reading Time: 2 minutes

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.”

Liam Giliver

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'.