Joaquin Phoenix: Defender of Sheep
There are two things you can count on in life…paying taxes and Joaquin Phoenix. (OK, there are actually many more things you can count on, I know, but I’m making a point.) And you can always count on Joaquin to: A. give a stellar performance—they don’t just nominate any schmuck from the local community theater for Oscars and Golden Globes—B. look totally adorable C. speak up for animals. His latest good deed comes in the form of a letter he penned to Australia’s former Agriculture Minister Peter McGauran about the cruel treatment of sheep by the Australian wool industry. See, contrary to popular belief, sheep don’t just spend their days hanging out, grazing without a care in the world, waiting to be sheared or shaved. It is a pretty picture, but not at all accurate. Each year, millions of sheep raised for their wool in Australia are mutilated without receiving veterinary care or painkillers. Many sheep and lambs die from disease, neglect, starvation, and exposure, just so someone can buy a crummy sweater or coat. The Aussie wool industry say they’ll phase out the hideous practice of mulesing, which is cutting huge chunks of flesh from lambs’ (lambs!!!) backsides to prevent maggot infestation by 2010, but they could ban the practice right now and switch to humane methods that other farmers are currently using. That’s where our hero Joaquin comes in. He’s asking McGauran to “step in and push the wool industry to do the right thing” and to “put an end to the two worst abuses of sheep who are raised for their wool by banning both mulesing and the export of live sheep to the Middle East.” And here’s where you come in, let Australia’s Prime Minister hear from you. We’ve done all the work for you, you just need to fill in a few spaces and click send. Come on, it’s for the sheep and the lambs…think of the lambs the next time you’re shopping and boycott wool. Our good friend Pink was also completely outraged when she found out what was happening to sheep so check out her expose of the Australian wool industry.