FRESNO, California (KSEE) – Local farmers are calling out “The Joker” actor Joaquin Phoenix after he attacked the dairy industry during his Academy Awards acceptance speech Sunday.
“We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and when she gives birth we steal her baby,” said Phoenix. “Even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable. Then we take her milk that is intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”
California is the number one in dairy production, with one in five dairy cows housed in the Golden State.
Organic Pastures Owner Mark McAfee said Phoenix is misinformed and disconnected from the truth.
“There really is no place for mistreatment of animals,” said McAfee. “I know it happens but I just don’t see it myself and I would discourage that concept of being prevalent in the system.
“It is not prevalent. It is rare.”
McAfee said dairy production, especially for the Central Valley, is essential for the economy and for human nutrition.
But not everyone sees it the same way.
Naomi Hendrix, the owner of vegan restaurant Raw Fresno, applauded the actor.
“I think it is absolutely great because he has that platform,” said Hendrix.”People are waking up and they are realizing it for multiple reasons. It could be for the lifestyle or it can be for the peace and the animals.”