Joaquin Phoenix took to the streets of London in a bid to urge Londoners to embrace a vegan lifestyle as he protested on behalf of animal rights on Sunday.
The 45-year-old screen star, who just hours later would scooped the coveted Leading Actor trophy at the EE British Academy Film Awards, also tied himself to the city landmark Tower Bridge as he joined forces with activist group Animal Equality.
Showing his commitment to the cause, the Hollywood actor joined fellow protesters as they unfurled a huge 390 square-foot banner over the bridge, which read:
‘Factory farming is destroying our planet. Go vegan.’
Further sharing his views on the matter, he said: ‘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.
‘I feel sometimes like it s not being talked about enough. 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.’
To further drive the message home, Joaquin joined the activists in holding placards, which showed the impacts of animal agriculture on the environment and climate.
The star, who has been a vegan since the age of three, also mingled with the locals, handing out leaflets and speaking with passersby about the plant-based diet.
Within hours, he switched out of his black hoodie to throw on a tuxedo for the BAFTAs, where he condemned ‘systemic racism’ as he accepted his trophy for his widely lauded efforts in Joker.
Appearing downcast as he took to the stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the star said: ‘I feel very honoured and privileged to be here tonight. BAFTAs have always been very supportive of my career and I’m deeply appreciative.
‘But I hate to say I also feel conflicted, because so many of my fellow actors don’t have that same privilege. I think we send a very clear message to people of color that you’re not welcome here.
‘I think that’s the message we have contributed so much to our medium and our industry. I don’t think anybody wants a handout or preferential treatment, this is not a self-righteous condemnation.
‘I have not done everything in my power to ensure the stuff that I worked on are inclusive. We have to do the hard to work to truly understand systemic racism.
‘I think that it is the obligation of the people that have created and perpetuated and benefited from the system of oppression that dismantle it, and that’s on us. Thank you.’
The actor also made a statement of a personal nature at the prestigious awards ceremony, when he arrived wearing his recycled Stella McCartney tuxedo.
He cut a dapper figure as he hit the red carpet in his black ensemble of choice, which was teamed with a crisp white shirt bow tie, after vowing to re-wear his suit to all awards shows as part of his eco-friendly message.
Hollywood actor Joaquin has been the driving force between the 2020 awards season’s green initiative.
According to Variety the actor pushed the Hollywood Foreign Press, who are behind the Golden Globes, to opt for a meat- and dairy-less meal at this month’s ceremony.
He used his acceptance speech for the Best Actor gong to praise the move, telling the crowd: ‘I would like to thank the Hollywood Foreign Press for recognising and acknowledging the link between animal agriculture and climate change.
‘It’s a very bold move, making tonight plant-based.’
Joaquin proved that he was dedicated to the cause, as he left last month’s SAG Awards festivities early to attend a vigil for pigs at an Los Angeles slaughterhouse.
Joyce is a passionate vegan activist and has a BSc in Nutrition from the University of Washington. Except for discovering and reporting breaking vegan news and top industry stories, she is now pursuing a full medical degree, which she believes will give her more credibility while spreading the vegan message, and inspiring people to live a healthier cruelty-free lifestyle.