Joaquin Phoenix is continuing his animal advocacy work with PETA, starring in a new PSA that shows the 38-year-old simulating drowning and comparing the agony to what fish must feel as they suffocate out of water. 

"It's slow, painful, and frightening," he says in the video, urging people to go vegan. "And we do it to more than 1 trillion fish every year." 

In an interview with the animal rights organization, Phoenix tells about his first experiences with fish and fishing. 

“My family and I were on a boat, catching fish," he says. "As one fish was caught, he was writhing, then he was thrown against the side of the boat. You couldn’t disguise what it was. This was what we did to animals to eat them. The animal went from a living, vibrant creature fighting for life to a violent death. I recognized it, as did my brothers and sisters.”

Says PETA, "The fish industry slaughters more than 6 billion fish each year. 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."

Check out the PSA below. 

Related on MNN: Take a look at veganism, by the numbers [Infographic]

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Watch: Joaquin Phoenix drowns in new PETA PSA
Actor, encouraging people to go vegan, recreates what fish must feel as they suffocate to death.