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An interview with James Aspey

October 09, 2017

He is the Animal Rights activist making waves in Australia in overseas (and possibly the coolest guys I've ever come across).

After taking a 365 day vow of silence to raise awareness for animals and 'promote peace', James Aspey has quickly become a leading voice in the Vegan community. His famous talks have been doing the rounds around the globe, reaching millions of views on Youtube and inspiring thousands of people to live ethically. 

With a super busy schedule filled with school talks, slaughterhouse protests, Vegan marches and events around the world, James took a few minutes to let us into his world. 

We quickly spoke about activism, ethical living and the barbaric leather industry.

Firstly, what's a day in the life of James Aspey like?

Usually, it’s damn busy! Wake up, spend half an hour to an hour reading comments, messages and emails that came through during the night, meditate for one hour while sitting in bed, have a green smoothie or oats with berries for breakfast, travel to a slaughterhouse, get footage of animals about to be killed and post on social media, get involved with a cube of truth where we hit the streets and show people factory farm and slaughterhouse footage, interview them, record it, travel to a speech, put my heart and soul into it, get a million selfies with people after, go home and edit the footage from the day. That’s pretty standard, sometimes add planes or skateboards in the mix.

What does the word 'ethical' mean to you?

To me, being ethical is aligning your actions with a standard of decency that treats others with the respect they deserve.

What is the most amazing thing you’ve witnessed during all these years as an animal advocate?

The increase in the number of non-vegans going vegan, and the number of vegans becoming activists!

A life of purpose.

 

In one of your famous talks you say we’ve been lied to, and conditioned to see animals as commodities for food / entertainment / fashion. How do you think people came to accept (and sometimes even demand) animal skin (leather) as an item in their wardrobe?

Most people don’t even consider the animal that was tortured and killed by their choices. If they had to get the leather themselves, I guarantee most people would be opting for different fabrics. It’s just gotten to the point where it’s seen as normal, but shining light on the darkness and changing what’s normal is what we are actively changing.

Many people believe that leather is a bi-product of the meat industry and don’t associate their purchases (of belts, handbags, jackets etc) with animal cruelty. What is your message to them?

Leather is hardly ever a bi-product of the meat industry. Animals are routinely exploited and killed just so someone can have a leather handbag or couch. Soft leather are often from baby cows cut out of their dead mothers womb! There are countless alternatives to using leather that wouldn’t cause the cruelty and killing and also be better for the environment.

What would your advice be to someone wanting to start living ethically?  

Go vegan. It’s the least we should do, it reduces the most suffering and killing, it’s better for the planet, better for our health, and most importantly, the animals deserve it!

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See more about James's amazing work and life work on his Facebook page,  Instagram and website

Yours truly, ethicalgal





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