The Long Game (and that’s just me warming up)

by Izzy Jacobus


11336284_1554517528179254_1695423486_n-copy

South-Sydney, Australian-born, surf enthusiast James Aspey is an extraordinary man. He puts his body on the line to create awareness about the oppression of the weak and to urge the public to help those in need. In the last couple of years, he’s gone from a relatively unknown personality to a highly respected and revered activist. This cancer survivor, addiction survivor and eating-disorder survivor is like no other.

“I was in such a minority, you know…Ninety-nine percent of people love animals…so, I couldn’t understand why it wasn’t, 99% of people are vegetarian or vegan, fighting for that 1 or 2% to change.”

11380874_839431309468040_1027688737_nAfter a lengthy time in spiritual meditation in Bali, something arose from his subconscious: a realization that he would take a vow of silence for one year to bring attention to the plight of animals. This insightful and articulate man chose to avoid using his voice for 365 days in the hope to speak to the world. He broke his silence on Australia’s most watched news program, citing “the voiceless victims of this planet” as his reason and inspiration.

“I wasn’t wasted one night and had this idea…it came from a pure place.”

13380889_177845419285084_1557769485_nAfter putting his vocal chords and will-power to the test, the twenty-nine-year-old next will move to offering up his skin. He will attempt a 24-hour tattoo challenge “Ink To Make You Think,” with two other human canvasses. The Guinness rules for lengthy tattoos allow for a five minute break every hour which can be taken cumulatively. This group of stereotype-breaking vegans will get equal rights related imagery and quotes inked on them, while doing a live broadcast to raise money for three charities: A Well Fed World, which feed the hungry with vegan food; Lifeline which takes help calls from people about domestic violence; and Greener Pastures (an animal sanctuary).

“And that’s just me warming up.”

jamesaspeyatmantralounge2As for James’ future plans? Well, he plans to donate a kidney to someone in need to “illustrate what it means to suffer and show how incredible it is to help someone.” In addition to highlighting the extent of suffering on this planet, he hopes “to inspire others to do more for those in need. “You don’t have to donate a kidney to save a life. Three times a day we make choices that either help or hurt other Earthlings.”

 

James Aspey can be found at www.jamesaspey.com.au and the “24-Hour Tattoo Challenge” is on Oct. 29th, beginning at 3pm, donations and viewing, www.think24.com.au

 

 

Miles Langford in Beagle Freedom Project

Miles_Langford1

Miles Langford, Photo: You Just Got Spotted

Miles Langford is a British model  living in New York. Miles discovered the Beagle Freedom Project after living with a beagle at home, and has since become an outspoken advocate for animals harmed by vivisection. There’s a short interview and a great editorial story in POSI+TIVE magazine’s twelfth issue (pg 246).
The Beagle Freedom Project was started by Los Angeles activist Shannon Keith in 2010. According to their website:

Beagles are the most popular breed for lab use because of their friendly, docile, trusting, forgiving, people-pleasing personalities. The research industry says they adapt well to living in a cage, and are inexpensive to feed. Research beagles are usually obtained directly from commercial breeders who specifically breed dogs to sell to scientific institutions. 

Testing done on beagles in university and other research facilities includes medical/pharmaceutical, household products and cosmetics. When they are no longer wanted for research purposes, some labs attempt to find homes for adoptable, healthy beagles. Working directly with these labs, Beagle Freedom Project is able to remove and transport beagles to place them in loving homes. All rescues are done legally with the cooperation of the facility.

To get involved, foster, or rescue a lab beagle, click here.

Steven Wise: Unlocking The Cage

The New York Times today features a powerful short-documentary about a visionary lawyer , Steven Wise, who will be both The New York Times Magazine’s cover story this Sunday, and the subject of a full-length feature film produced by The New York Times called “Unlocking The Cage. “They used to bark at me when I walked into the courtroom” says Wise.

Please take a look at the short film below, and leave a comment for the New York Times here.

How does a thing become a person? In December 2013, the lawyer Steven Wise showed the world how, with a little legal jujitsu, an animal can transition from a thing without rights to a person with legal protections. This Op-Doc video follows Mr. Wise on his path to filing the first-ever lawsuits in the United States demanding limited “personhood” rights for certain animals, on behalf of four captive chimpanzees in New York State. – The New York Times

unlockingthecage

Debate: Don’t Eat Anything with a Face

By D.R. Hildebrand

anythingwithaface

Photo: Joshua Katcher

Earlier this month, The Discerning Brute covered promotions for the debate event “Don’t Eat Anything with a Face.” It got a lot of press traction. Hosted by the U.S. affiliate of Intelligence Squared, the debate featured two two-member teams arguing each side of the motion. For the motion were Dr. Neal Barnard of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and George Washington University and his debate partner Gene Baur, founder and co-president of Farm Sanctuary. Against the motion were Chris Masterjohn, author of the blog The Daily Lipid (sponsored by the Weston A. Price Foundation), and his debate partner Joel Salatin, public speaker and director of Polyface Farms.

The debate was composed of three rounds, including a question-and-answer with the audience, and to my delight it maintained an intelligent, robust, and precise examination of the motion, Don’t Eat Anything with a Face. The facts and concerns the debaters addressed, on both sides, were detailed and numerous, and, at the same time, far from complete. Nevertheless, at the end of the ninety minutes the audience was asked to select a winner. The results are illuminating. TheDiscerningBrute.com editor, Joshua Katcher was in the audience and had this to say:

“The debate was sold-out, jam packed, and the popularity of this debate was such that it crashed the Intelligence Squared website! The energy both in the crowd and on the stage was intense, thought-provoking, and above all, it was nice to her that the place where 99% of meat and dairy products (CAFO’s, more popularly known as factory farms) was not even on the table for debate, being considered indefensible by both sides. At the after party, even moderator John Donvan, author and correspondent for ABC News, admitted he’d be changing his eating habits.”

For anyone passionate about food, the definition of food, the future of food, the state of farming, or our relationship to non-human animals, this is a serious investigation of all of these topics. The only related topic not considered here is that of factory farming. Both sides of the motion agree from the outset that factory farming, and all its outcomes and implications, is egregious. The panelists debate only the motion: Don’t Eat Anything with a Face. It is worth watching:

One of the main points raised by the two who argued against the position was that many animals are killed in growing vegetation. But according to research, more animals are still killed in farming them directly:

Engaging Your Audience

D. R. Hildebrand

by D. R. Hildebrand

Every year, shortly before Thanksgiving, I come across a spate of videos promoting compassion and humanity by way of veganism. Some of the videos are classics that have circulated for years and gain upticks in viewership around the holidays. Others are new releases receiving attention for the first time. Of those I have seen, many appear unaware of the importance of presentation. The final products often lack an understanding that content alone will not transform a viewer. Style, tone, length, variety, narration, and accessibility are equally imperative. To dismiss them is a fateful flaw.

One example that avoids these errors was published last year in the week before Thanksgiving by Animal Place. It is called “Something To Be Thankful For” and it serves as a model for how a video can capture an audience’s attention, pique its interest, and sway its sympathies.

Continue reading “Engaging Your Audience”