Joaquin Phoenix has urged people to “go vegan” as he led an animal rights protest in central London. Phoenix turned up at the protest in support of Animal Equality, which is an international organisation working with society, governments, and companies to try and end cruelty to farmed animals.

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Speaking to Sky News’ Lucy Cotter, he said: “People are not in a panic in the way they should be. These are very dire times and so I felt like I had to do something. We have a personal responsibility to take action right now. One way we can mitigate climate change is by adjusting our consumption and by going plant based. I feel sometimes that’s not being talked about enough. This is an emergency. We have to do everything we can to try to cut down our impact on climate change.”

Phoenix also responded to mounting criticism that people in glamour-filled industries, like top actors, are not in a position to preach about climate change because they live in a world of frequent flights and high carbon footprints.

He said: “We are all hypocrites in some ways. We all struggle with what the right thing to do is and we make mistakes. The industry does consume a lot of power and a lot of resources so the way to mitigate that for me is to maintain a vegan lifestyle.”

Phoenix convinced the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organisation that runs the Golden Globes, to serve its first all-vegan menu at the ceremony’s star-studded dinner last month.

He said: “I think that is part of our appeal to the award ceremonies because there are so many people flying in to the awards and the cars they use – the one thing they can do is to make the meal plant-based. I think we just have to try and find that balance. Nobody is perfect but we are all trying to figure it out. Instead of being judgmental and attacking each other, we should try to help each other and educate each other about how we can change. There are many improvements I can make in my own life and I am trying to do that.”