Actor Joaquin Phoenix rescued a cow and her newborn calf from a Los Angeles slaughterhouse just 48 hours after receiving his first Oscar award for his role in the Joker. Phoenix used the time on stage as he received his award to promote a vegan lifestyle and to bring awareness to the plight of farm animals and the environmental consequences.
“We go into the natural world, and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal,” Phoenix stated.
One day after receiving his award, Phoenix arrived at Manning Beef, a slaughterhouse in Pico Rivera, California, and met with its CEO and President Anthony Di Maria. At one point there was a decided difference in semantics – Di Maria calling the slaughter of a cow as “harvesting” while Phoenix referred to the “one minute” process as murder. All in all, it was a respectful interaction and not the first time DiMaria has permitted cows and their babies to be rescued.
It’s hard to imagine an experience more terrifying for a mother—or for her baby—than to give birth at a slaughterhouse. Witnessing the birth tugged at the heartstrings of the slaughterhouse owner—and not for the first time. This is the fifth mother-child bovine rescue secured by Los Angeles Animal Save from Manning Beef.
Phoenix later named the cow and the calf Liberty and Indigo. Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary co-founder and president, and Phoenix transported the cattle to the Farm Sanctuary facility.
“All the cows at Farm Sanctuary are rescued,” a message flashed at the end of the video. “The difference in energy between the animals at the slaughterhouse and those at the sanctuary is undeniable.”
In a statement released with the video, Phoenix added he was glad that Di Maria helped him rescue the cow and her baby.
“I never thought I’d find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony and opening my heart to his, I realize we might have more in common than we do differences. Although we will continue to fight for the liberation of all animals who suffer in these oppressive systems, we must take pause to acknowledge and celebrate the victories, and the people who helped achieve them.
My hope is, as we watch baby Indigo grow up with her mom Liberty at Farm Sanctuary, that we’ll always remember that friendships can emerge in the most unexpected places; and no matter our differences, kindness and compassion should rule everything around us.
Baur hopes seeing the two cows will inspire people to see these animals as “living, feeling creatures and not just commodities.”
The video can be seen here:
Learn more about the Farm Sanctuary and how you can help by clicking here.