Joaquin Phoenix won Best Actor at the 92nd Academy Awards for his role as Arthur Fleck in Joker. Most industry experts figured that'd be the case, so the win wasn't all too surprising. What was surprising, however, was Phoenix's acceptance speech where he railed against a whole host of issues, including the processes behind dairy farming. As you might expect, dairy farmers have now started firing back at the Oscar-winning actor, suggesting he leave Hollywood for a bit to see what rural America is all about.
"We have a free country, with freedom of expression, but we do wish that Joaquin Phoenix would talk with us, rather than at us," National Milk Producers Federation's Alan Bjerga tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Because if he did he would learn a lot about the commitment that dair farmers have for animal welfare."
The spokeperson adds, "This isn't the first time he has made remarks like this, but it gets more prominence because it was in an Oscars speech."
As far as Phoenix's dairy comments go, it was just a moment in a tense speech. "I think that we've beocme very disconnected from the natural world and many of us, what we're guilty of is an egocentric world view — the belief that we're the center of the universe," Phoenix said.
"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 her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”
One passionate Wisconsinite — dairy farmer Carrie Mess — took to her blog to pen a letter to Phoenix about the processes her farm takes when it comes to dairy farm. "When you went on to say that we are 'more disconnected from the natural world' in the same breath as saying that animals are equal to humans, you lost me," Mess writes. "In the natural world where Mother Nature reins supreme, the lion does not see the gazelle as its equal. The lion sees the gazelle as its lunch. The natural world is where predator/prey relationships and the food chain exist. Humans have been eating animal products since the first person realized that meat is tasty and according to McDonald’s, since then billions and billions of burgers have been served."
Joker is now available wherever movies are sold.
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