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Lewis & Clark Law School Animal Legal Defense Fund

James Aspey Speaks at Lewis & Clark Law

August 15, 2017

On Tuesday, August 15th, 2017 acclaimed animal activist James Aspey spoke at Lewis
and Clark Law to a crowd of over 200 individuals from both the school and the greater Portland, Oregon area. Aspey’s stop at Lewis and Clark Law was a part of his nationwide speaking tour, sponsored by Tofurky. Additional sponsors for this event at Lewis and Clark Law included the Center For Animal Law Studies at Lewis and Clark Law, Youth For The Voiceless (YFV), HEART – Promoting Humane Education, and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter at Lewis & Clark Law School (LC SALDF). 

Attendees were lucky enough to be treated to a plant-based dinner complete with Tofurky sandwiches and Voodoo Donuts before settling in for the program. LC SALDF Co-Directors, Maral Cavner and Ashlyn Whitbeck, kicked off the event by welcoming everyone to the Lewis and Clark Law campus, highlighting the incredible animal law program at the school, as well as some of LC SALDF’s upcoming speakers like: Marc Ching of the Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation, Josh Tetrick of Hampton Creek, Rebecca Huss the legal guardian of the dogs from the Michael Vick dogfighting case, Jo-Anne McArthur acclaimed animal activist and photographer, and Anita Krajnc charged and later acquitted of criminal mischief for giving thirsty pigs water while being taken to be slaughtered. Finally, the LC SALDF co-directors introduced young animal activist and YFV member, Katryna Ohryn, who introduced Aspey to the eager audience which filled not only the entire seating area, but the walkways and rafters too.

Aspey’s message of compassion and positivity was powerful, as was his determination to
make sure all audience members had their respective questions answered, evidenced by him speaking for nearly three hours in total. Aspey began his talk by discussing his background, discussing his cancer diagnosis at the young age of 17 and highlighting how even a now world-renowned animal activist like himself could once have misunderstood the shocking and violent truth of what happens to nonhuman animals for food, clothing, entertainment, and medical testing. Aspey decided that the only way to live in alignment with his value of “the golden rule in action” was to transition to a plant-based, vegan diet. He discussed his first major form of activism, taking a one-year long vow of silence which he used to raise awareness for nonhuman animals and to promote a peaceful way of living. It was a vow that he completed and then broke on Australia’s most popular morning show which you can watch here. If you are interested in transitioning your diet to a plant-based one, check out Aspey’s website, as well as one of his favorite support sites for going vegan: Challenge 22.