Video: Joaquin Phoenix drowning in new commercial for PETA

Joaquin Phoenix is featuring in a provocative new commercial for PETA.

The actor is shown underwater, struggling for breath, with his voice-over explaining: “In water, humans drown just as fish suffocate on land. It’s slow and painful and frightening. … Put yourself in their place. Try to relate. Go vegan”.

The commercial was supposed to air during the upcoming Academy Awards broadcast in the US but the ABC network deemed it “too political and controversial”.

“I was 3 years old – to this day it is a vivid memory”, Phoenix says of the moment he connected human and animal suffering. “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.”

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