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Mon Jun 3, 2019, 10:51 AM

Joaquin Phoenix, marches on National Animal Rights Day, June 2

(I didn't know June 2 was Animal Rights Day).

They're both vegans and longtime animals rights activists. And Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara stood up for creatures big and small as they joined in a shocking protest held for National Animal Rights Day on Sunday. The 44-year-old actor and his 34-year-old girlfriend weren't afraid to get their hands dirty as they marched through the streets of West Hollywood grimly carrying animal carcasses to drive their point home.


Joaquin Phoenix offering water to pigs at Farmer John slaughterhouse in Los Angeles.

Baby boomers and millennials, black-clad anarchists and Patagonia-sporting Westsiders pushed water bottles through the trailer’s grates to the startled hogs. People with pump-action sprayers splashed the upper deck. Two men lighted everyone with floodlights as others recorded the action, took photos or offered gentle massages to doomed 250-pound Yorkshires.

Inside, the trucker would unload his cargo, a small fraction of the 7,000-plus pigs Farmer John butchers every day. Outside, beyond the company’s colorfully pastoral mural of farm life and cavorting pigs, the activists waited for the next truck. Sometimes the trucks come three at a time, sometimes every 20 minutes. Sometimes, they don’t come for over an hour. But they always arrive. These protests — or “vigils,” as organizers call them — have occurred every Sunday and Wednesday night since early 2017. Advertised by word of mouth and on social media, they regularly draw 50 to 100 people: Californians from places like Bell and Oxnard; others from as far as Japan.


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