Joaquin Phoenix Won't 'Impose' Veganism On His Son: 'I Don't Think That's Right'

If there's one thing that's just as clear from the way he approaches his roles as it is from his public statements, it's that Joaquin Phoenix is a passionate man.

And while he told The Sunday Times that he's often not out to make a big statement during acceptance speeches, it's hard to do otherwise when you wear your beliefs on your sleeve.

But while Phoenix feels particularly strongly about animal rights and takes his veganism seriously, he's also recently made it clear that he wants to be careful not to force his beliefs on his son, River.

For most of his life, Phoenix has kept meat and other animal products completely out of his diet.

But while that's been true of him since early childhood, he has no plans to impose the same dietary restrictions on River.

As he told The Sunday Times, "Certainly I would hope that [he is vegan], but I’m not going to impose my belief on my child. I don’t think that’s right."

But that also doesn't mean that he's going to sugarcoat the darker aspects of the meat industry when the matter comes up, either.

In his words, "I’m not going to indoctrinate him with the idea that McDonald’s has a Happy Meal because there’s nothing [expletive] happy about that meal."

Thus, he'll look to approach the subject more as a matter of educating River about the realities of how this all works rather than making him pick a side.

And there's one part of his explanation that seems particularly meaningful in light of the fact that he signed on as a producer of the animal rights documentary *Gunda*.

According to ET Online, this is an experimental film with no dialogue that centers around a pig of the same name and the animals she shares a farm with.

Addressing the disconnect between the way people tend to both treat farm animals as cute and eat them, Phoenix said, "I’m not going to tell him that it’s OK to read books about all the wonderful little farm animals, and they say 'oink oink oink' and 'moo moo moo,' and not tell him that that’s what a hamburger is."

So ultimately, Phoenix summed up his plan as "I’m not going to perpetuate the lie, but I’m also not going to force him to be vegan."

Instead, River will have the resources at his disposal to make an informed choice about the matter and Phoenix will support him when he makes that choice for himself.

Sounds fair enough.

h/t: The Sunday Times

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