Joaquin Phoenix Rescues Mother Cow and Newborn Calf Day after Academy Awards Win

Joaquin Phoenix carries calf out of slaughterhouse

Joaquin Phoenix Rescues Mother Cow and Newborn Calf Day after Academy Awards Win

Joaquin Phoenix Rescues Mother Cow and Newborn Calf Day after Academy Awards Win

VIDEO 8:16

Joaquin Phoenix Rescues Mother Cow and Newborn Calf Day after Academy Awards Win

Download Audio

Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. And then we take her milk that's intended for a calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.


I don't need really any science to see with my own eyes and hear how an animal responds to pain, right? That's undeniable.


What if I tell you, here, an animal will perish in less than 60 seconds. It has to-- less than 60 seconds. That is the most humane, humane harvest process in the country.


You were the only one that you know of that has a process that you have. So that means a majority of them don't have that. And it's not only just the death-- the process leading up to that death.


Of raising it.


Raising it, the transportation, the separation from the family.


Yes, 100%.


Any time a calf is born on my property, I refuse to take the mother away from its baby because I won't do it.


Weren't those Holsteins that we saw in the other pen next to the mother?


Those were bought out of an auction, and they were healthy. And I'm glad you got to visualize it. And you're seeing that there were no downers, no three-leggers, no-- I don't believe in that. I will not use that protocol to buy them cheaper to profit monetarily. I don't need it. That's not my thing.


Because they no longer were being used as dairy.


Any animal that's here is being used for consumption.


Uh-huh. I see.


That's the slaughterhouse business. Those were used for milking. They did not produce enough milk anymore, for whatever reason.


So then they were here to be--


Harvested.


--murdered.


Harvested.


Murdered.


Harvested.


Murdered.


Harvested.


Murdered.


You have to understand my side how I understand your side.


I understand, but your language is powerful.


So harvested, please.


Murdered, OK.


All right.


You say tomato, I say tomato.


You want to go get her?


Yeah.


Let's go get her.


Yeah.


Mama and baby-- and the baby's a girl. I talked to the vet here. He said the baby is a girl. And I think that she was born probably about a week ago.


Oh my goodness.


And the slaughterhouse owner here, as we heard, does not kill mothers and babies.


[SPEAKING SPANISH]


[MOOING]


[MUSIC PLAYING]


That's part of our protocol here at Farm Sanctuary. We do a thing where first they come in. We make sure that they don't have anything contagious, and they go in with everybody else. Then they can run in the hills and do what cows like to do.


Oh, my love.


Right? Oh, isn't she beautiful?


Oh my goodness. My love. My love. My love.


There we go. All right.


And then if you're-- you good with that?


Can you get her under the stomach, or no?


I think that's OK.


[MUSIC PLAYING]


Please understand how that animal's been raised up until now. And it's going to take a transformation at the sanctuary to accomplish what you want.


Mm-hmm.


It's all good,man.


Yeah.


All right?


Thank you so much. I'm going to send you some photos of this cow and the calf as they go out to the fields, all right?


See you later.


All right.


All right.


Thank you.


[MUSIC PLAYING]

VIDEO 8:16

Joaquin Phoenix Rescues Mother Cow and Newborn Calf Day after Academy Awards Win

A day after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor—and subsequently making a headlining acceptance speech in which he spoke to the plight of mother cows and their babies used in animal agriculture—Joaquin Phoenix helped to liberate a cow and her newborn calf from a Los Angeles slaughterhouse and bring them to Farm Sanctuary, America’s premier farm animal sanctuary and advocacy organization, where they will live out the rest of their lives in peace. Phoenix named the mother Liberty and her daughter Indigo.

Phoenix said, “I never thought I’d find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony [President/CEO of the slaughterhouse] and opening my heart to his, I realize we might have more in common than we do differences. Without his act of kindness, Liberty and her baby calf, Indigo, would have met a terrible demise.”

My hope is, as we watch baby Indigo grow up with her mom Liberty at Farm Sanctuary, that we’ll always remember that friendships can emerge in the most unexpected places.

Joaquin Phoenix

Actor / Activist

Phoenix was joined at the slaughterhouse by his fiancée and fellow activist Rooney Mara, both his and Mara’s mothers, Earthlings Director Shaun Monson, LA Animal Save Founder Amy Jean Davis, and Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur. The group worked with employees onsite to rescue Liberty—who had recently given birth at the slaughterhouse—and her newborn calf Indigo.

Phoenix added, “My hope is, as we watch baby Indigo grow up with her mom Liberty at Farm Sanctuary, that we’ll always remember that friendships can emerge in the most unexpected places; and no matter our differences, kindness and compassion should rule everything around us.”

Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur said, “The difference between being at a slaughterhouse versus a sanctuary is profound and palpable, and I’m deeply grateful when animals escape the kill floor and are given a chance at life.”

It’s hard to imagine an experience more terrifying for a mother—or for her baby—than to give birth at a slaughterhouse. Witnessing the birth tugged at the heartstrings of the slaughterhouse owner—and not for the first time. This is the fifth mother-child bovine rescue secured by LA Animal Save from Manning Beef.

LA Animal Save founder Amy Jean Davis said, “As a new mother myself, I immediately understood the profound bond between this mother cow and her calf, a bond all of us have with our babies. Unlike most mothers in the modern food system, Liberty will have the chance to raise her baby Indigo, instead of being separated and killed. I’m so thankful to Joaquin for his help saving them from slaughter.”

I never thought I’d find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony [President/CEO of the slaughterhouse] and opening my heart to his, I realize we might have more in common than we do differences.

Joaquin Phoenix

Actor / Activist

Phoenix concluded by saying, “Although we will continue to fight for the liberation of all animals who suffer in these oppressive systems, we must take pause to acknowledge and celebrate the victories, and the people who helped achieve them. Shaun Monson, Amy Jean Davis, and the entire LA Animal Save community, have taken their pain of bearing witness and turned it into effective, diplomatic advocacy for the voiceless. As a result, Liberty and Indigo will never experience cruelty or the touch of a rough hand.”

Special thanks to documentary filmmaker Shaun Monson for producing and directing this beautiful video.