Actor and vegan activist Joaquin Phoenix returned to Farm Sanctuary in Acton, CA to visit Liberty and Indigo—a mother and her calf that he helped to rescue from slaughter about a year ago.
In February 2020, he made an animal-rights-centered Oscar acceptance speech for best actor for his lead role in Joker, Phoenix went to the slaughterhouse Manning Beef in California where he negotiated the release of the animals from the slaughterhouse. Phoenix took care of the transfer of the cows, whom he named Liberty and Indigo, after his sister and her child, who passed away to Farm Sanctuary to live out the rest of their lives in peace.
“I got a sense of how they must be feeling and how terrifying their lives have been thus far,”
“The transportation from the feedlots or where they were raised and being trucked over to the slaughterhouse, and, of course, hearing the sounds of the slaughters that are happening inside and seeing the cows that they knew being pulled away and brought inside, [and] clearly the smells. They have to understand what's happening.
“There was this great relief in knowing that they had been rescued from this factory of death.”Phoenix
Phoenix revisted the Farm Sanctuary, this tiem with his sisters Liberty and Rain, to see the cows living alongside other rescues at the animal sanctuary.
“My only interaction with cows in the past has been seeing them on the road when driving, So when I went into the enclosure, I was surprised to see how at ease they were with us; how welcoming. It was almost like being with somebody's dog or horse … there was a real warmth and intelligence in their eyes … there was clearly a unique soul in there.”Phoenix
Now Indigo. safely living with her mother at Farm Sanctuary seemingly remembered the actor after a year and is seen nuzzling Phoenix.
“There was no way she would come up to me when we first met yet, Yet here now, feeling the safety of this place, knowing that these humans had been there to care for her and the other cows … she came up with curiosity. She didn't feel scared of me.”
“It's their natural behavior; so often we interrupt that. These are unique lives and they deserve autonomy and freedom to live whatever lives they wish, I'm just thinking about the billions of animals that we kill for our consumption, for our hats or wristbands or shoes or belts.”Phoenix
In addition to sharing this story about the rescue and reunion, Phoenix addressed the viewers this time regarding the issue of climate change concerning animal agriculture.