Joaquin Phoenix explains why he won’t ‘force’ son River to be vegan

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Joaquin Phoenix has been a vegan for almost his entire life, but he said in a new interview that he would not “force” his son to follow the same lifestyle.

“Well, certainly I would hope that [he is vegan], but I’m not going to impose my belief on my child,” the actor, 46, told The Sunday Times of his 9-month-old, River, whom he shares with his partner, Rooney Mara. “I don’t think that’s right.”

That said, Phoenix went on to explain that River, who is named after the Oscar winner’s late brother, won’t be hearing any cutesy bedtime stories about animals from either one of his parents.

“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,” he explained. “So I’m not going to perpetuate the lie, but I’m also not going to force him to be vegan. I’ll support him. That’s my plan.”

Though Phoenix and Mara, 36, plan to support their child’s lifestyle choices, fast food will be off the menu for now.

“I’m not going to indoctrinate him with the idea that McDonald’s have a Happy Meal because there’s nothing f–king happy about that meal,” he added.

Phoenix has been an outspoken advocate for animal rights for years, even working with the Golden Globes to create a vegan menu for the 2020 ceremony. The fare was met with mixed reviews from attendees.

In 2019, Phoenix and Mara both marched in a National Animal Rights Day demonstration while carrying dead animals in their hands. The event was intended to give a voice to the animals of the world in hopes of raising awareness for their rights.

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