Joaquin Phoenix is paying tribute to a Canadian animal rights activist who lost her life while giving comfort to some animals in their final moments.
On Thursday, the “Joker” Oscar winner attended a vigil honouring Regan Russell, who was killed earlier this month after being struck by a transport truck while giving water to pigs outside a Toronto slaughterhouse.
Phoenix was among more than 100 animal activists at the vigil, reported People, held outside the Farmer John slaughterhouse in Vernon, California, on Thursday night.
Phoenix, a proponent of animal rights and veganism, wore a face mask and black hoodie reading “LA Animal Save” and a sign that read, “#SavePigs4Regan.”
“Regan Russell spent the final moments of her life providing comfort to pigs who had never experienced the touch of a kind hand,” Phoenix told People in a statement.
“While her tragic death has brought upon deep sorrow in the Animal Save community, we will honour her memory by vigorously confronting the cruelties she fought so hard to prevent by marching with Black Lives, protecting Indigenous rights, fighting for LGBTQ equality, and living a compassionate vegan life,” he continued.
Russell died on the morning of June 19 outside an Ontario slaughterhouse when she was hit by a transport truck while offering water to pigs on their way to be slaughtered.
“She died fighting for what she believed in,” Russell’s partner, Mark Powell told The Hamilton Spectator. “Whatever it cost, she would pay. Sometimes it’s money. Sometimes, it’s this.”
A GoFundMe has been set up by Russell’s family to raise money to cover the cost of her funeral and legal expenses.