Actor Joaquin Phoenix has an open invitation from a Wisconsin dairy farmer to see what real life looks like.
Tom Oberhaus did not have any idea who the star of “Joker” was, much less watch him accept a Best Actor award at the Oscars. But he did hear all about the acceptance speech Phoenix gave which he turned into an indictment of the dairy industry.
“We go into the natural world, and we plunder it for its resources,” Phoenix said. “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow, and, when she gives birth, we steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable, the 45-year-old actor said.
“Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf, and we put it in our coffee and our cereal,” he added.
Oberhaus fired back, informing critics like Phoenix, who has been a vegan since he was a child, that dairy farmers “feed the world.”
“We just wave it off and go, ‘Hey, ding-dong, you don’t have any idea what’s going on here at the farm,’” Oberhaus told WISN-TV.
“I mean I’d love it if he’d come out here for a couple hours — that would be awesome,” he added. “That’s an invite, Mr. Phoenix. C’mon out. See what life is like on the farm.”
Oberhaus previously served on the Waukesha County Farm Bureau and has a degree in dairy science from Ohio State University. He pointed out the ignorance that drives activists like Phoenix to bash what they know nothing about.
“You know, we feel we have real important jobs in the world. We help feed the world,” he said.
“It’s kind of important that people have food to eat, and what do you do, Mr. Phoenix? Oh, yeah, you entertain people. OK,” he added.
The National Milk Producers Federation also lamented that the hard work of dairy farmers “was attacked from a platform at the Oscars.”
“If [Phoenix] studied the commitment of dairy farmers to animal welfare and had a fuller understanding of the contribution of dairy products to a nutritious diet, especially for children, he might have a different perception of the value that dairy contributes to global health and the importance of the dairy sector to global livelihood,” Alan Bjerga, a spokesperson for the National Milk Producers Federation, told Fox Business on Monday.
Dairy farmer Carrie Mess from Lake Mills, Wisconsin, suggested Phoenix “should get out of Hollywood for a while” in her blog this week.
“Joaquin, you don’t need to drink milk. You don’t need to use or consume animal products. I respect your beliefs,” she wrote.
“But understand that there is no one more connected to the natural world than the farmers who are out here in the places you’ve never heard of, caring for the land and the animals,” she added. “We’ve been sustainable and green since long before it was cool.”
Rep. Fred Keller came to the defense of his state’s agriculture workers after the Oscars speech.
“Phoenix’s rambling remarks about America’s dairy industry prove how out-of-touch he is with the hardworking Americans who grow our food and create healthy communities,” the Pennsylvania Republican said. “Phoenix’s Hollywood-elite world view has clearly blinded him to the sacrifice and struggles of America’s dairy farmers.”
“Joaquin Phoenix’s rambling remarks about America’s dairy industry prove how out-of-touch he is with the hardworking Americans who grow our food and create healthy communities.”
More on this callous and offensive display from last night
— Congressman Fred Keller (@RepFredKeller) February 10, 2020
While many on social media were split over the issue this week after the Oscars speech by Phoenix, some Twitter users found the comments from Oberhaus highly entertaining.
I don’t necessarily agree or disagree with the farmer. But I love that he called a celebrity a Ding Dong. Ha Ha Ha…
— Susan E. Dunn (@UFoundTheOne) February 13, 2020
Thank you dairy farmers. The Hollywood elites and far left radicals have lost their minds. They have all gone off the deep deep end. They drank the evil Koolaid, instead of milk.
— Laurie Firestone (@musiclsunshine) February 12, 2020