He’s been vegan since the age of 3 and vividly recalls making that decision:
My family and I were on a boat catching fish. As one fish was caught, he was writhing, and then he was thrown against the side of the boat. You couldn’t disguise what it was. This was what we did to animals to eat them. The animal went from a living, vibrant creature fighting for life to a violent death.
He also requests that his costumes not be made from animal skins. His “leather” costumes in Walk the Line and Gladiator and even his “feathered” costumes in Quills were all made of synthetic materials.
A plant-based lifestyle appealed to him from the start! As a child, he wanted an “earthier” name, similar to those of his siblings. When he was 4 years old, he chose to go by the name Leaf and later used it both personally and professionally. He didn’t go back to being known as Joaquin until he was 16!
He speaks up for even the tiniest and most frequently ignored animals.
He also narrated the film Earthlings—a must-see for any animal lover! He has said, “I’ve been a vegan since I was about 3 years old and involved in animal rights for years. I’ve seen a number of animal rights films throughout the years, none has affected me as profoundly as Earthlings.”