Winner: She's One Lucky Cow.

So we cover health, and the planet and we stay away from "scary" stuff most of the time. But then comes along a really compelling video that showed Joaquin Phoenix, hot off his Oscar win, going to a farm where animals are slaughtered and rescue a mother and calf to bring them to a farm sanctuary.
Phoenix speaks calmly and respectfully with the farmer who insists the animals don't suffer (he has a humane method) and that he is the rare farmer who does not separate mothers and their offspring. The two men get into a funny/ poignant argument over the word "harvest" (Joaquin says "murder") and both of them seem likable for their willingness to engage. The winner of the week is the calf. Joaquin also shows himself to be calm, even respectful, as he stands his solid ground. Watch this.
Joaquin Phoenix rescues calf

Loser: The California Dairy Association

The Beet covered the tone-deaf California Dairy idea to launch a "milk dispensary " on Abbot-Kinney in Venice beach. Like, hey, if you pretend it's CBD then maybe Millennials will check their values and toss the oat milk and think: I should have had cow-milk in my latte instead!

Winner: Dan Hancock, Who Lost 63 Lbs and Kicked Keto to the Curb

After watching The Game Changers, this former self-described carnivore got off meat, changed from eating keto style to plant-based and lost 63 pounds, went from a size 42 pants to a 34, and watched his blood pressure drop from 150/100 to 115/75.

"What I really liked about The Game Changers, and what really stuck out to me, was that NFL players specifically Tennessee Titan players are transitioning to a plant-based diet, which really opened my mind, as I'm an ex-football player and that's a real macho sport, and it's all about protein and eating meat."

Winner: Panera Bread Takes the Lead on Losing the Vegan Milk Surcharge.

I'll have an iced caramel latte with almond milk, hold the extra fee for my nut-based dairy, please. This would go over in Panera but at Starbucks, they still upcharge you for that almond or oat milk selection. We say: We always preferred the Panera menu. Now we also prefer their outlook toward eating plant-based.

Panera Bread's Iced Caramel Latte

And now Panera's little menu tablet has a plant-based icon to show you which salads and dishes are perfect for someone avoiding meat and dairy. Be aware that sometimes they do count in milk and dairy with their plant-based items so be sure to check the ingredients! Like the Mediterranean Salad has feta (hold the cheese) and when ordering a sandwich, the sourdough, ciabatta or french baguettes are all vegan choices.

Winner:  The Dalai Lama

The spiritual leader is always a winner, for advocating peace and respect for all beings, but this week he came out and told his followers: We Have an ‘Urgent Responsibility’ to Protect Wildlife and the Planet.

The Dalai Lama is urging people to work personally to protect the planet from the climate crisis. He has spoken out about the environment in the past but every time he does, it feels like we get the message from a neutral non-judgmental source, which is both galvanizing and inspiring.
Harrison Ford
Getty Images

Winner: Harrison Ford, Former Meat Eater

The Beet covered the story the minute Ellen's show aired in England, featuring one Han Solo discussing his former habit of eating meat and dairy. Okay so he is promoting a movie, but his genuine fatigue toward eating meat was palpable and his commitment to environmental causes real. He spoke at the UN last year about the Amazon saying, if a room in your house was on fire, you would say "my house is on fire," not just the room.

Spending time filming all those movies in far off lands has had an effect on the Indiana Jones star and we are happy to see how fit, energetic and youthful the 77-year-old looks. And by his own admission, he rarely hits the gym. Has to be the diet, or the genes, or the fun he's still having. If this doesn't get Indie fans on board we don't know what will.

Love this winner, longtime.

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