Joaquin Phoenix pleads for animal rights in Oscar acceptance speech
"What many of us are guilty of is believing that we’re the centre of the universe. " Joaquin Phoenix's powerful speech on the environment and animal rights after winning the Oscar for Best Actor.
"I've been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively and I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I think whether we're talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or animal rights, or indigenous rights we're talking about the fight against injustice. We're talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one race, one gender one people, or one species has the right to dominate, control and use and exploit another with impunity. Applause I think that we've become very disconnected from the natural world and many of us, what we're guilty of is an egocentric worldview, the belief that we're the center of the universe. We go into the natural world for its resources. 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. And I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up. But human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment. Now, I have been… I've been a scoundrel in my life. I've been selfish, I've been cruel at times, I've beenselfish, hard to work with and ungrateful but so many of you in this room have given me a second chance and I think that's when we're at our best, when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow, when we educate each other, when we guide each other toward redemption. That is the best of humanity. Applause* I want to… When he was… when he was 17, my brother wrote this lyric. He said, "Run to the rescue with love and peace will follow." Thank you."
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