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A Day with James Aspey


With over 5,000 Facebook followers, 25,000 Instagram followers, featured stories on high traffic websites like Brussels Vegan and almost 34,000 views on his top YouTube video (Breaking My 365 Day Vow of Silence On Live TV), he certainly has a strong following.

James gained mass attention as an animal rights activist after his first large campaign Voiceless 365, where he didn’t speak for an entire year to spread awareness on animal rights.

When Dale, Unique’s Managing Director, announced that James Aspey was coming to visit Unique to personally share his story, the team were thrilled to meet him and hear him speak.

The thing about James is, his videos present him as a down to earth man, who’s passionate about spreading his message on animal rights and when we met James, he was just that; passionate and down to earth.

When James arrived, he toured the warehouses and met with every staff member, using his humour as though we were all old-time friends. It’s easy to say that he quickly got ‘adopted’ into the Unique ‘family’ and aligned seamlessly with our Unique culture.

His main message was clear from the beginning; he was here to share his story and inspire those he shared it with, to do better.

James quoted, “When we know better, we do better”.

He spoke clearly and fluidly, expressing every word with emotion and meaning,
plus a good dose of humour. He had the whole room’s undivided attention from start to finish.

The story began with seventeen-year-old James, who was fighting a hard battle with lymphoma and leukemia.
“I’d never suffered like this before” James told us.

After three years of chemotherapy, he was lucky enough to overcome the cancer and go on to better his health. With the help of a personal trainer, James lost the 25 kilos he’d gained during his cancer treatment and rediscovered his love for life. James didn’t stop here, but vowed to help others better their health, working as a personal trainer on cruise ships.

The story went on to explain James’s transition to a vegan lifestyle.

He spoke of his turning point. The moment he met an inspiring man on one of the cruises he worked on. James described the man as ‘Budda-like’ and spoke with the man everyday for two weeks. On the last day of the cruise, the man told James “Eating animals is bad karma”. This statement really resonated with James and encouraged him at first to take up a vegetarian lifestyle. He also began actively partaking in meditation and learning from documentaries like “Earthlings” and “Food, Inc.”.

What came next was James’s studies in animal rights and finally his active campaigns for animals which James referred to as ‘the voiceless’.

James spoke of his first few days of being vegetarian, “three days in, I had increased energy”, he explained.

And he shared with us the four main reasons that humans consume any animal products; taste, habit, tradition and convenience.

How he delivered his story, was extremely engaging.

James explained that he took the knowledge he had gained and grew a strong passion for animal rights. This is where his first major animal rights campaign came to light.

He vowed to be silent for a year, travel Australia to visit animal rescue farms and factory farms and spread his message.

His journey was incredible. He shared with us all the ups, downs and eye-opening situations he found himself in. From hand-raising a baby calf to cycling 5,000km from Darwin to Sydney, it was surely an adventure of a lifetime.

You can read more about James’ full story here.

When James broke his vow of silence, he spoke for the first time live on Sunrise.
Although it didn’t go 100 percent to plan, James is now thrilled with the way it panned out. Since his first campaign, he has seen tremendous support from people all over Australia and the world.

James finished up by letting us in on a couple more campaigns that he has on the way. We’ll just say he’s truly passionate about animal rights and has lots up his sleeve to spread his message far and wide.

Having James Aspey at Unique was a privilege and a pleasure, one that gave every Uniquer an unmatchable insight into veganism and animal rights. Thanks James!

If you’d like to see the whole talk, click here.

Learn more about James or ask him to share his story with your staff or customers by contacting him via email: peace@jamesaspey.com.au.