At last night’s Golden Globes, Joaquin Phoenix took home the award for Best Actor in a Drama for his titular role in Joker, and, as is customary with these types of shindigs, the actor was subjected to a brief round of fairly banal questions from the press after his win. The fun part was how he batted these inane questions back at the people who asked them — that is, until a reporter asked his thoughts on the Hollywood Foreign Press’s choice to serve an all plant-based menu at this year’s ceremony, a first for any major Hollywood awards show.
The menu consisted of chilled golden beet soup with locally grown chervil and amaranth, a main course of king oyster mushrooms, wild-mushroom risotto, and roasted baby purple and green Brussels sprouts, globe carrots and pea tendrils, which we can all agree sounds pretty damn delicious. The menu seems to have struck a chord with the longtime vegan actor who has, apparently, never been able to enjoy a meal at an awards show until now, which prompted him to call on the other award shows to follow suit.
“This is the first time I’ve ever eaten food at this ceremony. I thought it was excellent, I was so moved by the decision to make tonight plant-based, it was such an important step. The SAG Awards, and Critic’s Choice Awards, and the Governor’s Ball and whatever else there is, needs to do it as well, it is a very important statement.”
Joaquin went on to drop some science on the adoring press.
“Animal agriculture is the third leading cause of climate change, it uses 70% of the water, it pollutes the most water, the statistics are staggering — I think we’re coming to a point now where the evidence is irrefutable and undeniable, I think its somewhat where we were when we realized how poisonous tobacco was and second-hand smoking… I think now consuming animal products is no longer just a personal choice it is having a drastic and vast consequence on the rest of the world and all of us.”
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, animal agriculture is responsible for 18% of all greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the combined exhaust from all transportation, and the EPA estimates that a single farm with 2,500 dairy cows is responsible for the same amount of waste as a city with 411,000 people. It’s not too late for the other awards shows to fall in line, either. The Golden Globes decision to follow a plant-based menu was a last-minute addition after the awards show announced an original menu consisting of fish in December.
Watch the clip above to see Joaquin’s full interview, the plant-based meat comments begin at the 4:48 mark.