Joaquin Phoenix won't force his son to be vegan.
The 46-year-old actor - who has nine-month-old River with Rooney Mara - has abstained from animal products in his diet since he was three years old but refuses to "indoctrinate" his son to follow the diet.
In an interview with The Sunday Times newspaper, he said: “Certainly I would hope that [he is vegan], but I’m not going to impose my belief on my child. I don’t think that’s right."
However, Phoenix wants to educate the tot on meat products as he does not want to pretend that people don't eat farm animals from children's books.
The Oscar winner continued: “I’m going to educate him about the reality. I’m not going to indoctrinate him with the idea that McDonald’s have a Happy Meal because there’s nothing f****** happy about that meal. And I’m not going to tell him that it’s OK to read books about all the wonderful little farm animals, and they say ‘oink oink oink’ and ‘moo moo moo,’ and not tell him that that’s what a hamburger is. I’m not going to perpetuate the lie, but I’m also not going to force him to be vegan. I’ll support him. That’s my plan.”
Phoenix has long been an outspoken advocate for animal rights and used his speech whilst collecting the Best Actor Award for 'Joker' at the 2020 Oscars to advocate for veganism.
He said: "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, and then we take her milk that's intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal."
The 'Walk The Line' star practised what he preached at the ceremony by visiting a slaughterhouse just days later where he rescued a cow and a calf from the dinner plate, and he named the mother Liberty and the youngster Indigo.
In a video shared by Farm Sanctuary - which has rescued thousands of animals and has cared for them at its sanctuaries in New York and California - Joaquin said: "I never thought I'd find friendship in a slaughterhouse, but meeting Anthony and opening my heart to his, I realise we might have more in common than we do differences.
"Without his act of kindness, Liberty and her baby calf, Indigo, would have met a terrible demise. Although we will continue to fight for the liberation of all animals who suffer in these oppressive systems, we must take pause to acknowledge and celebrate the victories, and the people who helped achieve them."