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Joaquin Phoenix Named PETA’s 2019 Person of the Year

Joaquin Phoenix has been named PETA’s 2019 Person of the Year, the animal rights group introduced on Monday.

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) acknowledged the “Joker” star for being a vegan since he was three and for showing on the group’s “We Are All Animals” billboards in Times Square in New York City and on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles.

Past recipients of the award have been Oprah Winfrey, Anjelica Huston and Pope Francis.

“Joaquin Phoenix never misses an opportunity to turn the spotlight away from himself and onto animals’ plight and to set a great example of walking the vegan walk,” PETA president Ingrid Newkirk stated in an announcement. “PETA is proud to kick off awards season by honoring his dedication to showing everyone that when it comes to feeling fear, pain, and love, a human being is no different from a hen or a hamster.”

Earlier this 12 months, Phoenix joined California lawmakers to announce laws banning touring wild-animal circuses, and he cradled a lifeless rooster as he led a memorial service at National Animal Rights Day. PETA additionally acknowledged him as the manager producer of “The Animal People,” a documentary that follows animal rights activists who have been suppressed by highly effective trade pursuits and that have been prosecuted for organizing the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) marketing campaign.

“I don’t want to cause pain to another living, empathetic creature,” Phoenix stated in the course of the press tour for “Joker.” “I don’t want to take [their] babies away from [them]. I don’t want to force [them] to be indoors and fattened up just to be slaughtered. It is absurd and barbaric.”

Phoenix additionally narrated “Earthlings,” the animal rights documentary, in 2005, and introduced the director, Shaun Monson, with the first-ever River Phoenix Humanitarian Award at PETA’s 35th Anniversary Gala in 2015. He produced the pro-vegan documentary “What the Health” in 2017 and was among the many narrators of the animal agriculture exposé “Dominion” in 2018. His decades-long partnership with PETA contains campaigns towards the wool (2016), dog-leather (2015), exotic-skins (2013), fishing (2013), and turkey (1998) industries, amongst others.

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