Joaquin Phoenix Talks Turkey in PETA’s Pro-Vegetarian Ad

Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix isn’t acting when he speaks out against animal abuse. The vegan star performed one of his lesser-known roles in behalf of turkeys who are slaughtered for the Thanksgiving holiday.

In a clever PETA ad by Wedding Crashers director David Dobkin, Joaquin declares, “Holidays can be murder on turkeys. Let’s make this one for the birds.”

Why does Joaquin want people to have a heart instead of a drumstick? Every year, millions of turkeys are killed for the holiday season. In factory farms, these bright, sensitive birds are crammed into filthy sheds, packed together so tightly that they can barely move. In slaughterhouses, turkeys have their throats slit while they are still conscious. During an undercover investigation at a Butterball slaughterhouse in Arkansas, workers were documented punching and stomping on live turkeys, slamming them against walls, and worse.

Give up the giblets and give everyone—especially turkeys—something to be thankful for by dishing up delicious, healthy vegetarian fare. Whether you’re hosting a holiday party or taking a dish to share at a family get-together, you can try some scrumptious vegetarian recipes. For a fabulous faux turkey that even confirmed carnivores will happily gobble down, serve a savory soy-based Tofurky roast.

But first, take PETA’s Pledge to Be Vegan for 30 Days, and we’ll e-mail you our tips on the best places to eat, our favorite recipes, the tastiest animal-friendly snacks, and the most delicious vegetarian convenience food.

Interested in what other celebrities, such as Paul McCartney and Alicia Silverstone, have to say about vegetarianism? Check out PETA’s veggie testimonial site.

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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