Actor Joaquin Phoenix is probably one of the most well-known vegans in Hollywood, and has been campaigning for animal rights for many years. However, the ‘Joker’ star isn’t expecting his son to do the same.
Phoenix welcomed his first child with his partner, actress, Rooney Mara in September 2020. Fans were pleased to find out that the boy was named River, after Phoenix’s late brother.
“Certainly I would hope that [he is vegan], but I’m not going to impose my belief on my child,” Phoenix said in an interview with the Sunday Times. “I don’t think that’s right. I’m going to educate him about the reality. I’m not going to indoctrinate him with the idea that McDonald’s have a Happy Meal because there’s nothing [expletive] happy about that meal.”
Phoenix has been vegan since he was three years old and has been harshly critical of the meat industry.
“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,” the actor said. “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.”
Phoenix, 46, and Mara, 36, have been in a relationship since 2016 and confirmed they were engaged in 2019. His interview is one of the rare times that the actor has opened up about his child. Even the revelation that Mara had given birth came from an outside source — Russian director Victor Kossakovsky spilled the beans at a Q&A at the Zurich Film Festival.
“He just got baby, by the way, beautiful son called ‘River’,” Kossakovsky had said as he responded to a question about Phoenix joining his animal rights documentary ‘Gunda’ as an executive producer.