For years, the Joker star has supported the organization for animal rights. Since he was a child, the acclaimed actor has practiced veganism and he recently appeared on PETA billboards advocating for a ban of the use of circus animals.

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The Oscar nominee is also an executive producer of the upcoming documentary The Animal People. The film, which will be released later this month, focuses on animal rights activism.

PETA president Ingrid Newkirk commended Phoenix' lifestyle and his efforts in an official statement: "Joaquin Phoenix never misses an opportunity to turn the spotlight away from himself and onto animals' plight and to set a great example of walking the vegan walk."

Past recipients of the PETA award include the likes of Anjelica Huston, Oprah Winfrey and Pope Francis.