|Born||10 November 1986|
|Known for||Speeches promoting animals rights; an in-documented and alleged year-long silence for animals|
James Aspey was born in Sydney, Australia. Aspey was diagnosed with leukaemia when he was 17, with his physicians telling him that he would live for just six weeks. However, he recovered and underwent chemotherapy for three years, during which time he started abusing drugs. Upon recovery, he became a personal trainer and started working on a cruise ship. Seven years later, he tried becoming a vegetarian for a week on an experimental basis after having been told by an Indian traveler that "eating animals is bad karma". More analysis on vegetarianism eventually led him to veganism.
Animal rights advocacy
Aspey traveled around Australia, writing a blog and cycling 5000 km from Darwin to Sydney "to raise awareness of the cruel ways in which humans currently exploit other animals for food, clothing, entertainment, and testing."
On 1 January 2014, Aspey pledged that he would not speak for 365 days as activism to protest and highlight animal cruelty.
On 13 January 2015, he broke his silence by giving a speech on television in the Australian morning show Sunrise. He credited the idea of his silent protest as arising from his attendance at a meditation centre, having abstained from speaking for ten days. During that initial silent period, he purportedly remained silent in order to "inspire others to live in alignment with what they already believe (that animals deserve to be free from unnecessary suffering and death) by adopting a vegan ethic." By 2017, he had given 150 free speeches.
In 2016, Aspey was tattooed continuously for 24 hours to raise money for three charities. His animal rights speech, which had gone viral, has been viewed over 6 million times.
In 2019, Aspey was a candidate for the Animal Justice Party in the New South Wales state election in the electorate of Heathcote, and was overseas from before his announcement, until after the election.
- Messenger, Stephen (14 January 2015). "Man Refuses To Speak For One Year, Then Hoarsely Utters Powerful Words". The Dodo. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- Wilson, Gemma (13 January 2015). "James Aspey speaks for first time after a year of silence". News.com.au. News Corp Australia Network. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- Pasley, James (19 April 2017). "Animal activist James Aspey brings his vegan story to Auckland". Auckland Now. Auckland: Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- "James Aspey Biography". Dublin VegFest. n.d. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- Animal Rights Activist James Aspey Running for Office in Australia: Vegan News article