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A vintage ad from the 1990s, featuring vegan actor, producer, and activist Joaquin Phoenix, has resurfaced online. In the clip, made with PETA – the largest animal rights organization in the world – Phoenix urges the public to save turkeys on Thanksgiving by choosing plant-based foods instead.

An instrumental figure in the vegan space for some time, Phoenix has followed a plant-based diet for 40 years. Most recently, the award-winning actor appeared on an anti-wool billboard – strategically situated close to New York’s Fashion Week: Men’s – that urged passersby to ditch the cruel material and “Wear Vegan.” He also features as a narrator on the new vegan feature-length film “Dominion,” which exposes the harsh reality of the meat industry.

But one of Phoenix’s first forays into media activism took place between twenty to thirty years ago.

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In the ad, a young Phoenix is seen moving around a supermarket choosing various fruits and vegetables to an upbeat, happy-sounding soundtrack. The music suddenly transitions to dark and foreboding, the camera cutting to piles of dead turkeys ready to be purchased. “Holidays can be murder on turkeys. Let’s make this one for the birds,” Phoenix says to the camera. Accompanying his grave expression is a hotline phone number that viewers could call for meat-free recipes.

PETA shared the ad on Twitter, captioning, “We’ve come a LONG way since the ’90s, but turkeys are still being murdered by the millions for holiday ‘traditions.’ Take a stand for animals this #Thanksgiving. Go #vegan!”

Other celebrities have followed in Phoenix’s footsteps and urged people to choose vegan foods over animal-derived ones this holiday period. This month, vegetarian “Big Bang Theory” star Kaley Cuoco asked the public to adopt turkeys this Thanksgiving, instead of buying and eating them.

“Each year 46 million turkeys are inhumanely raised and slaughtered for Thanksgiving,” Cuoco said in a video created with farm animal rescue organization Farm Sanctuary.


Filmmaker Kevin Smith, who recently went vegan, assumed a similar position, encouraging people to consider adopting a turkey, highlighting the animal’s kind nature.

It appears the public are listening, with more people than ever choosing to eschew meat and instead eat plant-based foods. Turkey producers recently admitted to declining sale figures, with some meat brands losing millions of dollars. In comparison, vegan meat company Tofurky recently announced it was set to sell its five millionth Tofurky Vegan Holiday Roast.

Image Credit: Getty

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This Vintage Vegan Thanksgiving Ad With Joaquin Phoenix Is Back From the ’90s
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This Vintage Vegan Thanksgiving Ad With Joaquin Phoenix Is Back From the ’90s
Vegan actor Joaquin Phoenix appeared in an ad for PETA in the 90s, urging the public to save turkeys on Thanksgiving by choosing plant-based foods.
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