In the article “Thanks, Joaquin, for Ruining Our Coffee,” Boston Herald columnist and guy who has never heard of plant-based coffee creamers, Joe Fitzgerald, writes that Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar acceptance speech was “intellectually barren and viscerally revolting.” He criticized Phoenix for not mentioning Puerto Rico where he was born, said he “he babbled for three minutes while squeamish viewers tried not to vomit,” referred to Phoenix as a “fool,” and suggested that if we don’t stop Phoenix, everyone will have to drink black coffee. (Joe was last seen hoarding dairy creamers in his cave.)
In the same article, Fitzgerald randomly criticized Bernie Sanders for calling Donald Trump a pathological liar and suggested we need to elevate our dialogue. Fitzgerald concluded his rudderless mess disguised as an article by suggesting Phoenix should have instead delivered a speech like Kirk Douglas who mentioned growing up in poverty when he received the award in the sixteenth century.
Here’s the letter I sent Joe at the Boston Herald:
Your article on Joaquin Phoenix and animal agriculture is so rife with inconsistencies that no amount of coffee could help me navigate it. The dairy you’re putting in your coffee is destroying the planet and making animals suffer. The good news is that your choices are not limited to black coffee or dairy creamers. You can drink coffee black, add cruel and harmful dairy, or choose a plant-based coffee creamer that millions of people currently use at home or when they visit Dunkin’, Starbucks, and other places that sell coffee.
In his Oscar acceptance speech, Phoenix shed light on a broad array of social justice issues in addition to animal rights, including gender inequality, racism, and indigenous and LGBTQ rights. He encouraged people to keep an open mind, learn from each other, and strive to reach their full potential. Based on your article, you would be well-served to consider his advice. Rather than focusing on himself, Phoenix used his platform to draw attention to causes greater than his self-interest. It was a powerful message that inspired millions of people.
Phoenix was born in Puerto Rico, but his parents traveled frequently, and they moved back to the U.S. mainland when he was three. Telling Phoenix he should have spoken about Puerto Rico is analogous to me telling you that you’re from Boston, so instead of complaining about the Oscars, you should write about the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.
The issues Phoenix addressed in his speech affect everyone, including Puerto Ricans, since animal agriculture is a leading contributor to greenhouse gas emissions–including potent gases like nitrous oxide and methane from the dairy industry–that warm the planet and cause stronger hurricanes. Thus, Phoenix spoke for Puerto Ricans.
Regarding your Bernie Sanders complaint, I’m not sure what else we should call Trump after he has lied thousands of times to the American people. Ironically, you criticize Bernie for not elevating the dialogue while you occupy the low road by lobbing sophomoric names and substance-free personal attacks against Phoenix because you’re cranky about your coffee.
I hope you’ll consider trying a plant-based creamer, Joe. It’s an easy transition. If you can help sustain the planet and be kind to animals without any sacrifice, why not make that decision? Kirk Douglas would be proud.
Want to share your thoughts with Joe and take a stand against irresponsible journalism? You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.