Joaquin Phoenix stars in PETA's ad which encourages people to go vegan. In the ad, the 38-year-old actor simulates drowning to illustrate what it's like for fish to be pulled from the water and left to suffocate to death. "It's slow, painful, and frightening," he says in the video. "And we do it to more than 1 trillion fish every year."
"Fish are smart, interesting animals with unique personalities, and just like dogs, cats, and humans, they feel pain," PETA says. "Every single one of those billion fish are stolen from the water, fighting for breath, feeling their chest move slower and slower, until they finally die an agonizing death."
"Without any legal protection from cruel treatment, these complex animals are impaled, crushed, suffocated, or cut open and gutted, all while they're conscious," they add. "Fish don't want to suffocate on land just as we don't want to drown in water."
Unfortunately, PETA claims that ABC has banned the ad from airing during the 2013 Oscars which will air Sunday, February 24, where Phoenix is nominated for Best Actor. "Capitalizing on the buzz surrounding Phoenix's critically acclaimed performance in 'The Master', PETA moved to place the ad during the Academy Awards, but ABC deemed the video to be too political and controversial to run during the broadcast," PETA tells E! News.
The PETA spot, however, is set to air during "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" post-Oscars show.