James Aspey at Vegtoria 2017

James Aspey, from Sydney Australia, spoke at Vegtoria (in Victoria BC) in 2017.  I recorded it.  From his website:

My story goes like this… At 17 I was diagnosed with leukaemia and told I had 6 weeks to live. I beat the cancer after 3 years of chemotherapy and during that time I began partying and abusing drugs. Lots of drugs. I became a passionate personal trainer so I could help others with their health. After 7 years while working on a cruise ship, partying way too much and developing an eating disorder, I met a wise Indian man who told me eating animals is bad karma.

I went vegetarian for a 7 day experiment and felt surprisingly great. I researched into the health benefits and realised I’d been missing out! Cutting animal products from your diet is incredibly healthy and reduces our chances of developing so many illnesses and diseases. The food also happens to be delicious!

Upon more research I discovered the shocking and violent truth of what is being done to animals for food, clothing, entertainment and medical testing. It led me to the question, “If we don’t need to kill and eat animals to be healthy, what are we doing this for?” The best justifications I could find were incredibly weak and still to this day I haven’t heard a good excuse.

I decided the only way to live in alignment with my values of respecting others was to become vegan. My first major form of activism was a 1 year long vow of silence which I used to raise awareness for animals and promote peace over violence. I travelled around Australia and cycled 5000km from Darwin to Sydney to show vegans can be fit and strong. I broke my vow of silence on Australia’s most popular morning TV show. The interview went viral and was seen millions of times by people all around the world. I appeared in the news in numerous different countries and since then have given over 100 free talks on my journey and the many things I have learned.

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Stephanie Enevoldsen, Coordinator of UVic’s Campus Community Garden and Russ Pym, President of Rithet’s Bog Conservation Society

The University of Victoria’s Campus Community Garden is a collaborative project between students, faculty and staff that promotes local, organic food production, education and community building.  Stephanie Enevoldsen is the current Coordinator of UVic’s Campus Community Garden, she tells us about its history, how it’s growing and evolving, and also how people can get involved there.

Rithet’s Bog Conservation Society (RBCS) is a registered non profit Society dedicated to the care and stewardship of Rithet’s Bog Conservation Area, which contains the last remaining peat bog on the Saanich Peninsula.  It’s home to 120 bird species, as well as a diverse range of other inhabitants. Russ Pym is a retired biologist and President of Rithet’s Bog Conservation Society.  He explains why this wetland ecosystem is so important to our local wild habitat, and how people can get involved to help protect it.

Also, Gorilla Radio’s Chris Cook with a “What in the World” update.

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Unite Here representative Mike Biskar, Mercy for Animals VP of Investigations Lindsay Wolf, Corie Peace and Vegtoria.

UNITE HERE represents workers throughout the U.S. and Canada who work in the hotel, gaming, food service, airport, manufacturing, distribution, laundry, and transportation industries.  Representative Mike Biskar tells us about organizing in Victoria, and a local win for hospitality workers here.

Lindsay Wolf is the Vice President of Investigations with Mercy for Animals.  Wired with hidden cameras, their undercover investigators risk it all to pull back the curtains to expose shocking abuse on industrial farms and in slaughterhouses.

And, Corie Peace, with the Vancouver Island Vegan Association, announces the Vegtoria event happening in Victoria BC July 22nd.

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Cecilia Point from the Musqueam Nation, Bryson Robertson and the potential for Wave Energy

As we approach Canada’s 150th birthday, we’re invited to ponder the longer history of this land.  Rather than blind patriotism, we can consider what Canada has failed at, in addition to how it has succeeded, in an effort to build a truly strong nation (our home on native land) with liberty and justice for all.  Cecelia Point is a Musqueam (Vancouver) mother, activist, student, and advocate for the rights of all women to live safely without fear of harassment and abuse.  She shares her perspective, drawing on the many centuries of history known to her people.

Dr. Bryson Robertson is an adjunct professor with the University of Victoria’s Department of Mechanical Engineering.  He serves as the Program Manager for the West Coast Wave Initiative and the 2060 Project with the Institute for Integrated Energy Systems.  With over a decade of experience in renewable energies, oceanographic measurements, and coastal engineering, Bryson oversees two teams of students developing tools and techniques to better understand future marine and energy systems.

And, Chris Cook with a What in the World update.

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Intrepid’s OUTstages Festival with Sean Guist, Dr. Neal Barnard and the Cheese Trap

Among his other talents, Sean Guist is curator of Intrepid Theatre’s OUTstages festival which launched in July 2015.  Sean earned an MFA in Directing and BFA in Performance at the University of Lethbridge, and has worked as Intrepid’s Marketing and Development Coordinator since 2013.

Dr. Neal Barnard is president and founder of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and founder of Barnard Medical Centre, a nonprofit primary care medical centre in Washington DC.  Thanks to Animal Voices, which broadcasts on Vancouver’s Co-op Radio, we hear an interview with Dr. Barnard about his most recent book, The Cheese Trap.

And, Chris Cook with a What in the World update.

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Single Parent Marisa Farwell, Dr. Conor Kerley and Healthy Hearts

Marisa Farwell accepts charity and social assistance graciously, but she’d prefer to have affordable daycare and an opportunity to earn a living wage so she can teach her children to be independent and strong.  Marisa shares information about the plight of some low income single parents in BC, and offers ideas about how the new government can better and more cost effectively support them.

Dr. Conor Kerley, PhD Rd, is a senior dietician and clinical research specialist for the non profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.  Conor has a particular interesting cardiovascular disease prevention and treatment, especially hypertension and heart failure.  Today Conor talks about the benefits of a plant based diet for both a healthy heart and to counteract the detrimental effects of multiple sclerosis, and he shares information about the upcoming Conference on Nutrition in Medicine in Washington DC on the July 28th weekend.

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Heather Lindsay and the 20th UNO Festival, Tideline Art’s Nicola White and Mudlarking the Thames

The Uno Festival is Canada’s longest running solo performance festival.  Produced by Intrepid Theatre this is it’s 20th year in Victoria, Curator Heather Lindsay tells us the who what where when and why of this year’s festival.

Nicola White left the corporate world over 20 years ago to reclaim her natural artistic ability, and she’s now a renowned Mudlarker.  She talks about some of the treasures she’s found in the muddy banks of London’s Thames River.

And, Chris Cook with a What in the World update.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO

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