Joaquin Phoenix Sends Bold Letter to Florida Bear Park, Asks Them to Be Moved to Sanctuary After Disney’s ‘Brother Bear’ Film

by Samantha Whidden
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Walk the Line star Joaquin Phoenix has reportedly penned a letter to Florida-based Bearadise Ranch offering help to having the bears transferred. He notably learned from PETA that the animals on the property worked on his 2003 Disney film, Brother Bear. 

According to the Hollywood Reporter, two of the bears living in Beardise Ranch, Bruno and Bami were used to inspire the animated animals in the Disney film. Joaquin Phoenix, who voiced Kenai, the lead character in the movie, is now seeking to help move the duo bears into “an accredited sanctuary.”

In the letter, Joaquin Phoenix states that the bears deserve better than a life on the road. They are being “robbed” of everything that’s natural and important to them. “You know firsthand that bears are curious, complex animals who love to climb, dig, forage, and play. Their acute sense of smell and plate-size paws evolved so that they could seek out mates and food across vast distances.”

Joaquin Phoenix explains that the “carefully honed” traits are wasted on the county fair circuit. They are currently relegated to transport cages when they’re not pulling hoops over their heads. They are also carrying basketballs around in front of crowds.

“Bambi and Bruno will never experience life in the wild. They’ll never get to sniff out salmon runs or traverse mountains,” Joaquin Phoenix writes. He then adds, “But that doesn’t mean their lives can’t improve. Will you please consider putting an end to the tricks and the travel and give all the bears at your facility the chance just to live like bears?”

Joaquin Phoenix Talks Vegetarian Lifestyle 

In an October 2020 interview with VegNews, Joaquin Phoenix states that humans are consuming animal products at an alarming rate. “The rate of production we use in animal agriculture is such high volume. [It’s] so sped up that, of course, it’s having a negative on the people who work in the industry.” 

Joaquin Phoenix also states that the people working in the agriculture industry virtually don’t have any advocates and no support. “Animal agriculture is destroying the community that is built around slaughterhouses. And it’s so beyond just your own personal swap of, ‘Oh, I like this kind of food.’”

Joaquin Phoenix further states that he hopes that human’s disregard of animals will change in his lifetime.

“I mean, listen: there has been exponential growth of veganism in the last few years. It’s astonishing. I think we always have that sense of optimism and belief that we can make that change.”

Joaquin Phoenix adds there are more people out there than ever talking about changes everyone can make towards animals. “We have support from the community and the medical field, so I do have that hope.”

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