by Izzy Jacobus
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.”
After 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.”
After 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.”
As 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.”