ABOUT THIS EPISODE
“I went voiceless because they’re voiceless.“
Why do we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows?
Dr. Melanie Joy coined this phenomenon speciesism.
James Aspey calls it what it is — just plain wrong.
Motivated to raise greater awareness for the planet’s voiceless victims, in 2014 this passionate, young, Australian animal rights activist took a 365-day vow of silence. After an entire year without uttering a single word, he ended it on Australian national television with an interview that inspired millions to make more conscious and compassionate lifestyle choices and cemented him as a charismatic new force in the fight for the ethical treatment of animals.
Ranked #3 among the “Top 25 Most Influential Vegans” by Plant Based News, James has gone on to cycle 5000kms across Australia to prove that vegans can be fit & healthy. He got tattooed for 25 hours straight to raise $20,000 for charity. He’s been featured in a multitude of prominent mainstream media outlets; given free speeches at countless schools, universities, and conferences; and attended local activism events, slaughterhouse vigils, and street outreach events all across the world. He transparently shares his life and campaigns online to a massive tribe of global followers. On YouTube, his speeches have reached tens of millions of people. And his most popular speech has been viewed over 12 million views.
Enthusiastic, accessible and highly skilled behind a podium, James is inspiring a new generation to change how we eat and live in communion with the animals that share this home we call Earth.
But there’s so much more to this young man’s life than meets the eye. At 17, James was diagnosed with leukemia and told he only had 6 weeks to live. He beat the cancer only to slide into a life of drugs and alcohol punctuated by a profound eating disorder. Then a chance encounter with an Indian man would forever change the trajectory of James’ life.
Today I’m proud to help this passionate defender of the voiceless share his powerful story.
But first, a caveat. I’m not unaware that a contingent of you shut down when the subject turns to animal welfare. I know, because I used to be that person. I didn’t start out inherently compassionate about these issues. My shift to a plant-based lifestyle was initially motivated purely for personal health reasons. In fact it was years before I became sensitive to the horrific and inexcusable manner in which we treat our animal friends. But it’s an issue I now care deeply about. And it’s an issue we simply can no longer ignore or tolerate.
Ghandi once famously said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
History will not look fondly upon our track record. And I, for one, want to be on the right side of history.
So for those who think this episode just isn’t for you, I urge you to set aside any judgment, projection or pre-conceived ideas you may have about James or this subject matter. Trust me. And open your heart. Because to move forward, we cannot continue to turn a blind eye.
I really dig this conversation. I hope you do too. More importantly, I hope it inspires you to take positive action for change — both personal and global.
To view our conversation on YouTube, visit bit.ly/jamesaspey423. And don’t forget we’re also now on Spotify here: bit.ly/rrpspotify
Peace + Plants,
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