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Joaquin Phoenix paid tribute to Regan Russell recently by attending a November 20 vigil in Toronto for the slain activist. Russell was killed in June by a pig transport truck while peacefully protesting and bearing witness to pigs headed for slaughter with other activists.

Local Toronto activists, including Russell’s husband Mark Powell, held a vigil for Russell at Fearmans Slaughterhouse in Burlington, Ontario. Phoenix has attended vigils honoring Russell in the past. Russell’s life is the subject of a new documentary film that premiered in early November.

Phoenix said in an emailed statement after Russell’s death, “Regan Russell spent the final moments of her life providing comfort to pigs who had never experienced the touch of a kind hand. While her tragic death has brought upon deep sorrow in the Animal Save community, we will honor 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. The Ontario government can attempt to silence us with the passage of its Ag-Gag bill – Bill 156 – but we will never go away and we will never back down.”


Video courtesy of Toronto Pig Save/Save Movement

You can read more about Russell and her work here. Russell was also fighting against Canada’s new Ag-Gag bill, Bill 156. And read more about animal activists, check out Joaquin Phoenix’s other activism and his girlfriend Rooney Mara going undercover to film a factory farm. 

Click to sign this petition against Bill 156 in Ontario!

Read more about ag-gag laws and factory farms in One Green Planet:

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