(CBS) – Most Oscar winners probably spend the day after the award show relaxing and rejoicing with friends and family. But “Joker” star Joaquin Phoenix celebrated winning the Academy Award for Best Actor by rescuing two cows from a slaughterhouse.
During Phoenix’s acceptance speech at the Oscars, he highlighted the devastating realities faced by animals in the agriculture industry. The next day, he liberated a mother cow and her newborn calf from a slaughterhouse in Los Angeles and brought them to an animal sanctuary.
Phoenix named the cow Liberty and her daughter, Indigo, who was born just a week prior to his visit. The animals will now “live out the rest of their lives in peace,” Farm Sanctuary said in its announcement of the rescue Thursday.
The passionate vegan met earlier this month with the owner of Manning Beef, the slaughterhouse that he saved Liberty and Indigo from. In a video posted by the sanctuary Thursday, the two disagreed on a number of points, especially the use of the terms “harvested” versus “murdered,” but they eventually found common ground.
“I never thought I’d find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony and opening my heart to his, I realize we might have more in common than we do differences,” Phoenix told Farm Sanctuary. “Without his act of kindness, Liberty and her baby calf, Indigo, would have met a terrible demise.”
Phoenix went to the slaughterhouse with his fiancée and fellow activist Rooney Mara, both of their mothers, “Earthlings” director Shaun Monson, Los Angeles Animal Save founder Amy Jean Davis and Farm Sanctuary president and co-founder Gene Baur. Working together, the group was able to rescue the two animals, and Phoenix even personally carried Indigo out of the slaughterhouse and into the sanctuary.
Farm Sanctuary said this is the fifth time Los Angeles Animal Save has been able to rescue a mother-child duo from Manning Beef. The video concludes by showing Liberty and Indigo at the ranch, roaming free in a large enclosure.
Phoenix used his prominence at this year’s award circuit to continuously call attention to animals and the environment. In January, he convinced the Golden Globes to serve an all-vegan menu and got arrested at one of Jane Fonda’s weekly “Fire Drill Fridays” climate change protests.
“My hope is, as we watch baby Indigo grow up with her mom Liberty at Farm Sanctuary, that we’ll always remember that friendships can emerge in the most unexpected places; and no matter our differences, kindness and compassion should rule everything around us,” Phoenix said.