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Wednesday, April 01, 2020

We are disconnected from the natural world: Joaquin Phoenix’s enduring Oscar speech

Joaquin Phoenix's Oscar acceptance speech remains relevant for the way it touched a myriad of issues, entreating us to be more compassionate and ultimately more human.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi | Published: February 18, 2020 7:50:27 am

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Joaquin Phoenix, who swept all the awards this year for his phenomenal Joker, has also been a strong advocate against climate change. From inserting awareness in his acceptance speeches to pledging to wear the same tuxedo for award shows, the actor is really showing the way.

His Oscar acceptance speech, too, remains relevant for the way it touched a myriad issues, entreating us to be more compassionate and ultimately more human. A vegan, Phoenix remarked, “I think that we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world and, many of us, what we’re guilty of is an egocentric worldview, the belief that we’re the centre of the universe. We go into the natural world, and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and when she gives birth, we steal her baby even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”

Speaking on the need to change our lifestyle to make the world a more liveable place, he opined, “I think we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something, to give something up. But human beings at our best are so inventive and creative and ingenious, and I think that when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles, we can create, develop, and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and to the environment.”

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