In a daring action to draw attention to animal agriculture being a leading cause of climate change, Joaquin Phoenix joined international animal protection organization Animal Equality this morning on Tower Bridge in advance of the 73rd BAFTA ceremony.
Phoenix, along with other activists and volunteers from Animal Equality, unfurled a 390 square-foot banner from the iconic bridge that read “Factory Farming is Destroying Our Planet. Go Vegan” as a plea to the public to break its dependence on animal products.
“I think we have a personal responsibility to take action right now and one way that we can mitigate climate change is by adjusting our consumption and by going plant-based. And so I feel sometimes like it’s not being talked about enough,” explained Phoenix. “So, I’m just encouraging people to learn more about eating plant-based and to make a difference to make whatever personal impact they can on the climate emergency.”
Throughout the action, Phoenix and other Animal Equality activists held placards showing the suffering of animals in factory farms, as well as the devastating impacts of animal agriculture on the environment and climate. Phoenix also handed out leaflets and talked with people passing by about a plant-based diet.
Added Phoenix, “when you witness the horror that really happens behind closed doors and slaughterhouses to farm animals all over the world, it’s impossible not to be affected by it and to realize that we have to do something drastic to stop it. So I’m just doing my part and trying to amplify the voice of these activists that out every day, doing something, taking action, and the least I can do is take some time off today and come here to talk about this issue.”
President of Animal Equality Sharon Núñez, who was at the protest, said: “Joaquin’s dedication to animals and the environmental cause is extraordinary, he sees the absolute need for us to have serious conversations around the devastation that factory farming is having on animals, our planet, and our health.”
She added: “Factory farming is a major contributor to water and air pollution as well as deforestation. At the same time, animal agriculture accounts for 14.5% of greenhouse emissions according to The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. A vegan diet is one of the best ways to reduce our impact on the planet – by changing what we eat, we can change the course of our future.”
– video thumbnail photo courtesy of Jo-Anne McArthur.
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