Vegan activist and movie star Joaquin Phoenix is not just a talented actor, producer, and director, but a brilliant writer as well. Phoenix penned a passionate introduction to a new collection of photographs, HIDDEN: Animals in the Anthropocene, edited by photojournalists Jo-Anne McArthur and Keith Wilson.

The photo book documents “the invisible animals in our lives: those we eat and wear, those we use in research and entertainment, and those we sacrifice in the name of tradition and religion" and features over 200 images from 40 photographers around the world.

Here’s an exclusive sneak peek at Phoenix's powerful words: “Our society conditions us to believe that humans are superior to other species; within this, it also wants us to think that some animals are meant to be eaten while others should share our homes. Wealthy industries churn out dazzling advertising campaigns and propaganda to lure children, parents, and other consumers into believing falsehoods that make us ill, exploit entire communities and wreak havoc on our planet. We are entrenched in the ideology that animals are here for us to use. We capture them, cage them, wear their skin, eat their flesh, and poison their bodies in the name of science. There will never be a scenario in which the infliction of fear and pain on a vulnerable individual creates a benefit to humankind.”


His new introduction is the latest instance of Phoneix using his talents and platform to advocate for animal rights and the importance of a vegan diet. He and his wife, Rooney Mara, have teamed up with Cowspiracy and What the Health filmmaker Keegan Kuhn and 73 Cows director Alex Lockwood to produce the upcoming documentary The End of Medicine, about factory farming.

You may also remember Phoenix’s impassioned speech at last year’s Oscars urging the audience to leave animal products behind. After winning the Best Actor award, Phoenix took advantage of his special moment to ask viewers to take action and consider giving up dairy. If his new book is as powerful as his performances both on and off the screen, it’s definitely a must-read.

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