Why Animals Love Joaquin

Published by PETA.

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.

Joaquin Phoenix on the red carpet at PETA's 30th Anniversary Gala.

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!

And this:

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.”

Do you love Joaquin as much as we do? Then share this on Twitter and Facebook.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind