Award-winning actor and animal lover Joaquin Phoenix struggles underwater, panic in his eyes and on his face, in a new ad that asks people to try to relate to frightened and panicked fish who die agonising deaths after being pulled from the water.
Joaquin has won many awards for his performances and has been nominated for an Academy Award this year for his role in The Master, but his devotion to the well-being of animals is no act. In this video, Joaquin re-enacts the terror that fish experience in the last moments of their lives.
Joaquin Phoenix remembers: “I was 3 years old—to this day it is a vivid memory. My family and I were on a boat, catching fish. As one fish was caught, he was writhing, then he was thrown against the side of the boat. You couldn’t disguise what it was. This was what we did to animals to eat them. The animal went from a living, vibrant creature fighting for life to a violent death. I recognised it, as did my brothers and sisters”.
Fish are smart, interesting animals with unique personalities, and just like dogs, cats and humans, they feel pain. Scientists who study pain are in complete agreement that the pain response in fish is basically identical to the pain response system in mammals and birds. But the fish industry worldwide slaughters billions of fish for food each year.
Every single one of those billions of fish are stolen from the water, fighting for breath, feeling their chest move slower and slower, until they finally die an agonising death. Without any legal protection from cruel treatment, these complex animals are impaled, crushed, suffocated or cut open and gutted, all while they’re conscious.
Posted by Claire Fryer