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Joaquin Phoenix's Oscars Speech Included A Plea To End Speciesism — Here's What That Is

"We're guilty of an egocentric world view — the belief that we're the center of the universe." —Joaquin Phoenix

Last night, when Joaquin Phoenix delivered his speech after winning Best Actor, he pretty much went full vegan all over everybody. He started out by saying, "I've been thinking a lot about some of the distressing issues that we are facing collectively."

He continued, "We've become very disconnected from the natural world, and many of us, what we're guilty of is an egocentric world view — the belief that we're the center of the universe."

He went on to say that he believes "we fear the idea of personal change because we think that we have to sacrifice something to give something up, but human beings, at our best, are so inventive and creative and ingenious."

You likely already knew Joaquin is a lifelong vegan and was the force behind awards shows offering vegan and plant-based menus this year.

But he's also a face in the anti-speciesism movement. This PETA ad that says "end speciesism, live vegan" was featured on a billboard in Times Square.

However, if you haven't ever heard about speciesism before, you're not alone.

So, what the heck is speciesism? Simply put, it's discriminating against different species, particularly animals (which are eaten by the majority of the human species).

This passage from the book Censored 2014 takes it a step further, calling it "unwarranted beliefs that humans are superior to all other living beings and that the Earth and other forms of life are here specifically for our use."

Speciesism is a point of view taken on by strict vegans, especially those who are "vegan for the animals," but it's not necessarily something those who eat a plant-based diet consider.

It highlights the hypocrisy in treating some animals as pets and others as food...

...and suggests that animals have the right to live their lives without being killed or eaten because another species wants to.

Whether you agree with the idea or not, you have to hand it to Joaquin for using his giant platform to speak about the issues that matter to him most.