Joaquin Phoenix Acquires Film Rights to PETA President’s Book Free the Animals

Phoenix also wrote a new forward for the 30th anniversary edition of the book about a police officer uncovering the horrific abuse of lab animals.

Vegan actor and activist Joaquin Phoenix has just picked up the film rights to Free the Animals: The Amazing True Story of the Animal Liberation Front in North America. Initially released in 1992 and authored by PETA President Ingrid Newkirk, the book has a 30th anniversary edition releasing in May. Along with acquiring the rights for a planned feature film adaptation, Phoenix also wrote a new forward to the new book detailing why liberating abused animals is so important to him.

“Sometimes I’m asked why I go to slaughterhouse vigils or why I don’t buy wool or leather, and the answer is simple. I’ve seen the torture and killing that occurs when someone takes — steals — what rightly belongs to another living being. Strips what’s theirs right off their back or kills them so that parts of their body can be eaten or worn. money in caging them to test things, like how they will react when frightened by a rubber snake or when their babies are torn away from them. Knowing all that, I have a moral obligation to act. And I know that’s how the heroes of this book, Free the Animals, felt, too. “

Free the Animals: The Amazing True Story of the Animal Liberation Front in North America follows a rookie cop in Maryland whose “world is turned upside down” when she uncovers the various abuses of animals in laboratories. Joining “Valerie” in her crusade to save abused animals are others willing to risk their own freedom by doing whatever it takes to bring change, even it ends up with the once law-abiding police officer bending the law and living a life on the run .

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Joaquin Phoenix Hopes This Story Inspires More Action

Joaquin Phoenix says that while the characters in Free the Animals break the laws to bring change, there are other ways to help save animals without the need to run afoul of the law. Ultimately, he hopes the story still leaves people wanting to get involved, even if they choose to do so through protesting, petitions, and other methods. And, above all else, treat all animals with kindness.

“Yes, Free the Animals is about the balaclava-wearing heroes who break windows and laws to save animals, but it’s also about everyone. It’s a call to us all to take action, to adopt rescued animals, to protest against animal experiments, to shun foods derived from animals, to lobby for laws that protect animals, and to urge retailers to stop selling animals’ skin, fur, feathers, and wool. Whether it’s wielding crowbars and bolt-cutters or picking up a pen or a protest sign, every one of us can and must fight injustice and push for animal liberation every chance we get. Please join me. Ask yourself what I ask myself: ‘What can I do today to stop human supremacism, to stop speciesism, to help animals be respected for who they are? ‘”

Free the Animals: The Amazing True Story of the Animal Liberation Front in North America (30th Anniversary Edition) will be available on May 5, 2022. No word yet on a release date for the feature film adaptation.


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