The speakers are at the heart of the Vegan Festival Adelaide. These amazing communicators explore and illustrate the Festival's core themes through their own personal stories and passions.
James Aspey - MC
James Aspey conquered leukaemia, drug abuse, and bulimia before becoming one of Australia's most well known animal rights activists.
He grabbed global attention in 2015 after completing a year long vow of silence and speaking for the first time in a powerful TV interview seen by tens of millions. Since then, James has continued devoting himself to raising awareness for "the most oppressed and victimised beings on the planet: the animals."
He has been tattooed for 25 hours to raise donations for charity and given hundreds of free, thought provoking, and entertaining lectures on his journey from being an apathetic meat eater to a passionate animal advocate. James welcomes friendly debate on his views, which are certain to challenge the way you see the world and give you plenty of “food for thought”.
Ending animal cruelty
Andy Meddick is a Member of the Victorian Parliament for the Animal Justice Party and has been a dedicated animal rights campaigner for many years. From early on, he recognised the critical role that the Australian parliamentary system plays in creating positive change for animals. Andy has devoted many years of his life to the Animal Justice Party, volunteering in many roles including on State Committee and the Policy Team, and has been instrumental in the growth and direction of the Western Victoria Regional Group, as well as guiding the growth of the now independent Ballarat Sub-Branch. After standing as a candidate in many State and Federal elections, Andy was successfully elected as a Member of the Legislative Council for Western Victoria in the recent 2018 Victorian State Election. He is the second Animal Justice MP in Australia, and we are already seeing the significant difference having an MP dedicated to helping animals makes, from holding the government accountable, to highlighting the endless examples of animal cruelty throughout our society, and to introducing bills to change legislation to create a kinder world for animals.
Lynda Stoner worked as an actor throughout most of her life including theatre, musicals, TV shows including Young Doctors, Cop Shop, Cleudo, The Flying Doctors, Shark’s Paradise and Prisoner and movies including Echoes of Paradise and Crawl. She has been an animal rights activist for 46 years, ever since reading Professor Peter Singer’s “Animal Liberation.” She has been involved in countless sit-ins and rescues and exposes into the cruelty of battery hen facilities, broiler sheds, and pig factories. She is currently the CEO of Animal Liberation and a Director of Animals Australia. Six years ago she wrote the cookbook “Now Vegan!” which was reprinted four times. Adelaide is her home town and she is thrilled to be here!
Descent into chaos: my life since activism (a candid discussion of the good, the bad and everything in between).
Kirsty Alger is a mother of three, living in rural Tasmania. Currently, she is working on the committees of Animal Liberation Tasmania and Tasmanian Animal Save. Her experiences as a hunter's daughter as well as (very briefly) a hand on a merino and black angus stud farm have framed her approach to engaging the community on the issues of animal rights. She is also a passionate feminist, actively seeking to deconstruct all systems of oppression in today's society.
My life on the Ships.
Haans Siver has been volunteering/working for Sea Shepherd for the last 7 years. Firstly, as an on-shore volunteer, where she started working the stalls, then moved into teaching at schools and taking on the role as Education Coordinator. After that, she started her first Antarctic campaign on the M/Y Steve Irwin as a quartermaster on Operation Relentless 2013. She then took on the ships donations role and moved up the ranks on the bridge as an officer and sailed all four of the large Sea Shepherd vessels - eventually becoming the Chief Mate of Ocean Warrior and Steve Irwin. Her biggest challenge was been ship manager of the Steve. The crew of these vessels make many sacrifices and take many risks, from helping to prevent whaling in Antarctica to being on the longest sea chase in maritime history on The MV Bob Barker. They were at sea for 147 days. Haans has done 10 campaigns and sailed all over the world doing her part to help save our oceans and our precious marine life.
DEFEND CONSERVE PROTECT
Natasha and Luca - "That Vegan Couple"
Vegan - It's The Least We Can Do.
Natasha and Luca, 'That Vegan Couple', are social media influencers and animal rights activists. They have over 22 million views on their YouTube channel, and millions more on Instagram and Facebook. They create educational and entertaining videos that range across traditional activism, eating shows, responses, how to live vegan, recipes, health and fitness, general lifestyle, and more. They also have a Podcast show covering a variety of vegan and life topics, as well as a wide range of special guest interviews. For the last 2 years they have organised international activism tours to educate and inspire vegans to be active, including workshops and activist events. They have been invited as international speakers to attend vegan and animal rights events and conferences in North America, Europe, and Israel.
Zacchary Bird is becoming a social media hit! While many follow him for his amazing recipes, most follow for his witty repertoire and social commentary on vegan life. Zac is a vegan recipe developer and caterer from Melbourne, Australia. He has spent the last 5 years working on the scene teaching classes, catering for private events/clients, developing vegan recipes/products and trying to tell jokes at festivals around the country: some even funny! On zaccharybird.com, a trove of recipes and vegan wine resources accompany his e-book, 'Meals for Mere Mortals'. Zac creates all kinds of vegan food: healthy, easy, indulgent and nostalgic - but his signature move is making fake meat that challenges what people think fake meat can do. Think plant based chicken on a bone, deep fried tarantula and mythical meats that shouldn’t even exist.
Vegan Psychologist - Clare Mann
The Power of Group Intention in Creating a Vegan World
Clare Mann is a psychologist, existential psychotherapist, author, and communications trainer. She runs a part-time private vegan psychology practice in Sydney as well as working with vegans all over the world via Skype and Facetime.
She is the author of numerous books, including Vystopia: The Anguish of Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World (2018). Clare co- founded the Vegan Voices Smartphone App, is co-contributor to the Sydney Vegan Club 30- Day Vegan Challenge, and contributor to the books Plant Powered Women and Everyday Vegans. As a passionate animal rights campaigner, she provides skills training to help vegans and animal advocates communicate more effectively, and animal welfare organisations collaborate for increased effectiveness.
Kais - Vspot pizza bar (Owner)
Speak up for those who can’t
After a car accident in 2003 at the age of 17 that led to the diagnosis of having Hodgkin's lymphoma (cancer), Kais's changed forever. A dark time in his life that made him see so many aspects of life very differently. Having experienced pain and suffering to himself and those around, his empathy and will to help make the world a better place had become so strong that by 2015 his vegan epiphany finally happened. His passion for veganism is so strong that he got active and helps others to see what he didn't for so long, whether it was on the street through multiple activism groups, online, or in his social life. He felt it was never enough and more could be done. Opening a vegan business was the next logical step to help contribute to the much needed change in the world. It's what he likes to call "activism on a market level'. Combined with his other forms of activism, he hopes to inspire others to begin their vegan journey and help those already vegan to get active....power in numbers!
Mippy Valentine: Traveling Activist
10 years vegan activist, public speaker, and direct action for animals. putting herself in the firing line for the animals. When not not breaking the law, Mippy Valentine is doing vegan outreach to open the hearts and minds of people around the world.
How I Changed My Life With Help From The Humble Spud
Andrew Taylor went viral when he ate only potatoes for an entire year in an attempt to deal with his food addiction. At first most people thought he was crazy (many still do) but over time it proved to be a completely life changing personal experiment that evolved into a movement that has helped many, many people regain health, lose weight and release the shackles of food addiction.
Andrew has now written two books and is a specialist food addiction coach. He focusses on whole food plant based eating and dietary minimalism as the best approach to dealing with food addiction and achieving long term, sustainable, vibrant health.
Pam Ahern is Founder and Director of Edgar’s Mission. A lifelong animal lover, Pam cut her teeth on cat and dog rescue then went on to become a champion equestrian. However, she gave that all up when a tiny piglet, the eminent Edgar Alan Pig, trotted into her life and led her down a path she’d never imagined. With Edgar firmly at its heart, Pam built the sanctuary from the ground up and set in motion outreach programs that would bring farmed animals out of the dark unknown and into public view.