Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Thank you everyone for being here today, to listen to me talk and all the other speakers

  • and also just for being here in solidarity for the vegan movement.

  • It's so important that we stick together,

  • that we help each other, so that we can better help the animals.

  • And today that's I wanna talk about, I wanna talk about how to help animals.

  • Through my own experience I have learned a few things in interacting with people,

  • in spreading this vegan message in ways that we can best convey what is happening

  • and how people can take action.

  • Before I get into that,

  • I'd like to just tell you a little bit about my background

  • and how I became to be a passionate vegan animal rights activist.

  • So for me, it all started about ten years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer.

  • They gave me about six weeks to live if I didn't start treatment straight away.

  • And this was the first time that I've ever experienced what it was like to suffer.

  • I've never known suffering before, I was living the cushy life,

  • just like most of us do,

  • always enough food in our stomach, always a nice place to sleep,

  • always shelter, always water, cushy.

  • And it was this experience of suffering and not only that,

  • but coming out of my suffering, that started inspiring me to help others.

  • I put on 25 kilos while I had cancer and got all kinds of different sicknesses and that during that,

  • so I was very blessed when a man, who's a personal trainer,

  • helped me lose that 25 kilos and help me get my health back.

  • He helped me out of my suffering.

  • This is one of the greatest gift we can give someone and this is what he'd done for me.

  • I was so inspired by this that I wanted to help others as well,

  • so I became a personal trainer toovery passionate about helping others out of their suffering,

  • very passionate about helping people achieve more energy,

  • better health and all the things that come with it.

  • And I was on this journey eight years as a personal trainer,

  • that I started working on a cruise ship

  • and I met a man who was very wise, a very wise Indian fella, old man.

  • Basically he told me that eating animals is bad karma.

  • And that's the first time I ever cared about it,

  • when it was about me. I thought:

  • What? This could be bad for me? Yeah, I know it's bad for animals,

  • but this could be bad for me? Ah, OK, I'm gonna start thinking about this".

  • I always believed there was no such thing as a healthy vegetarian.

  • One of my personal training mentors told me that, he says:

  • "No such thing as a healthy vegetarian", I said:

  • Good, I don't want to be one, I don't want to have to look into it, fantastic”.

  • When this man told me that eating animals is bad karma, I said:

  • Yeah, there's no such thing as a healthy vegetarian, though

  • and he said: “Well, I've been vegetarian for twenty years

  • and I said: “Shit. Alright, well in that case, um, maybe it is possible,

  • maybe you're a freak, but I'll look into it, I'll look into, I'll see what it's about”.

  • I looked into it and I started learning,

  • how much healthier it is to cut animal products from your diet, reducing the chances of heart disease,

  • cancers, obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes... so many diseases.

  • We have right now an epidemic of illness and disease.

  • We could have an epidemic of wellness and health. So much potential here.

  • And I decided: “OK, I'm gonna try this for a week,

  • I'll go vegetarian for one week, purely a selfish experiment to see how I feel,

  • to see how much better I'm gonna feel".

  • Three days in,

  • instead of feeling like I couldn't get out of bed in the morning, because I hadn't had any protein,

  • I felt the opposite.

  • I felt so much energy, I felt so strong, I felt like I needed to sleep less,

  • I felt happier, I felt good! Three days in.

  • Before that, I was one of the biggest meat-eaters you know.

  • I even ate steak for breakfast.

  • I was working on a cruise ship, it's buffets.

  • I was taking advantage of that, I was piling my plate up with flesh of dead animals.

  • And no wonder I felt better after three days!

  • But it was a shock at the time, because I never believed you could be healthy.

  • So feeling good inspired me to look into it more -

  • what's this, why do I feel so great, there must be something to this.

  • I looked into it. I learned the health benefits,

  • but I also see that so many people have another reason for becoming vegetarian.

  • And that reason is: “because I don't want to contribute to harm to animals”.

  • Obviously, as we know in the vegan crowd, that that's not quite the answer,

  • but a lot of people don't understand that yet.

  • They think vegetarian is the good answer here, that's what we do,

  • that's how we live in alignment and we stop hurting animals.

  • I've never cared about animals before, I really didn't.

  • I feel bad saying that now, but the reason why,

  • and I realize now, is because I never understood who they were.

  • I didn't understand that they were capable of caring about their own life.

  • I didn't think they could, so I thought: “Why would I care about their life,

  • if they can't even care about their own life". It made no sense.

  • I've seen footage of animals being slaughtered

  • and my reaction was: “I'm not going to feel guilty about that,

  • that's what we need to do to be healthy”.

  • Seeing everyone else's reasons for being vegetarian,

  • I thought: "OK, I'm gonna check this out again, what's happening in the slaughterhouse,

  • what's happening before these animals become this neatly wrapped

  • package on the supermarket shelf, what happens.

  • I see it again for the second time.

  • This time I had a new perspective,

  • because I knew now that we can live and thrive without consuming animal products.

  • So seeing this torture, this mutilation, this murder of these innocent beings,

  • it led me to the question...

  • If we aren't eating animals for health - we don't need to kill and eat them to survive and be healthy -

  • What are we doing this to them for?

  • And I assumed there'd be a great answer,

  • I thought there must be a good answer, because everyone hates animal cruelty,

  • everyone loves animals, so surely there's a fantastic answer why we do this.

  • And I looked and I looked and I looked and I learned the best answers we've got,

  • the best justifications we've got, are taste, habit, tradition and convenience.

  • None of these reasons are good enough justification to cause this unnecessary harm to animals.

  • And I didn't care about animals, but I know injustice when I see it.

  • I know unnecessary violence when I see it. I know oppression when I see it.

  • And they are not the types of qualities I want to be.

  • They are not the type of things living in alignment with the kind, peaceful,

  • respectful person that I strive to be and I always have.

  • And I learned that.

  • And I became a vegetarian for a whole new reason,

  • it was for animals.

  • Soon later, I learned it's not just about flesh,

  • it's about all the ways animals are being used in our society.

  • All use is exploitation, all exploitation is a form of abuse

  • and all abuse is immoral.

  • I learned it's about dairy,

  • products containing animal products, products that have been tested on animals,

  • places that exploit animals for entertainment and for testing.

  • It's about all the ways we use animals.

  • This is when I learned about veganism. I heard a little bit about it before, my friend had gone vegan,

  • who I didn't know very well, and someone came up to me one day and said:

  • Grant has gone veganand I was like: “what the hell is that?”

  • and he said: “I don't really know, but he doesn't sit on leather couches”.

  • I was like: “What? That is weird man, he used to be normal in high school”.

  • Vegan - always thought it was this extreme thing, unnecessary,

  • why do we have to be vegan, why?

  • Because all the ways we use animals causes them harm.

  • Because no living being deserves to be the slave or the property of someone else.

  • I got to a point where that was the only thing that made sense.

  • Since when was it extreme to not want to harm animals, when did that become extreme?

  • What's extreme is saying we love animals and we're against animal cruelty,

  • while we pay people to mutilate and torture and slaughter animals

  • for foods and products we don't need, that's extreme.

  • I decided to take a 365 day vow of silence for animals.

  • I thought it'd be a great way to raise awareness for them,

  • because you don't need to care about animals to

  • be intrigued by some crazy Aussie guy not talking for an entire year and traveling around the country.

  • I thought that will be intriguing to a wide range of people,

  • this could be a good campaign to raise awareness for them.

  • I had the idea after hours and hours of meditation and that was kind of the problem,

  • because after that many hours of meditation, all ideas seem awesome.

  • I'm like: “vow of silence for a year, that's a good one!”.

  • I would never have thought of doing that and following through with it unless I came from that place.

  • So that was my goal, that's what I did last year,

  • I travelled around the country to raise awareness for animals and promote peace over violence.

  • To promote the abolition of animal exploitation. Because nothing less, I believe,

  • is good enough, we need to abolish this, this needs to end for them, completely.

  • I don't want to talk too much about that journey today, because probably half

  • the people here have already heard me talk about it and this is a vegan crowd.

  • I'm assuming most people here are vegan. If not - cool!

  • But you probably are.

  • So what I want to talk to you about today is how do we help animals.

  • Now first and foremost, for anyone here who isn't vegan,

  • and I know there are some people here who aren't vegan, because I spoke to you today -

  • everyone else just leave the room, all the vegans get out, I'm focusing.

  • For those people who aren't vegan,

  • the first thing I just want to talk about, is to single you all out.

  • No, just to tell you why veganism is important.

  • Veganism is important because of our core values,

  • because of them also, but let's just talk about us for a second.

  • We have core values already of veganism before we were vegan.

  • Almost everyone here was not born vegan,

  • almost everyone here believed at one point that veganism was extreme

  • and that they would never become a vegan.

  • Veganism is what is already in our heart.

  • If you agree that causing unnecessary harm to animals is wrong, then by that belief,

  • by your own belief, you are obligated to become vegan.

  • Because anything less than being vegan

  • is going in conflict with your core values of nonviolence to animals.

  • Anything less.

  • Veganism is the first thing we should do to help animals.

  • But it's not necessarily helping animals.

  • Veganism stops hurting animals, it stops our contribution,

  • we become vegan and we stop paying people to mutilate and kill animals for us.

  • Obviously that's so important, that is step one,

  • that is perhaps the most important step, perhaps equally important as step two.

  • Step one, if you care about animals, you stop hurting them.

  • You don't buy free-range, you don't go vegetarian,

  • you don't buy humanely slaughtered animals.

  • Step one, if you don't want to hurt animals, is become vegan.

  • I'm not expecting you to do it overnight, you might - and a lot of people do -

  • you might feel like you can't,

  • I understand where you're coming from there, but that is your goal

  • and don't stop anywhere on that path of you getting there until you're there.

  • It's incredibly easy, it's incredibly healthy. We are all, most people here are vegan,

  • we're just normal people, we're not highly intellectual, necessarily, when...

  • - who, someone laughing? “I am highly intellectual, thank you very much”.

  • We are not necessarily particular religion,

  • we are not necessarily tofu lovers, although I do love tofu now, before I hated it,

  • but it's actually quite good if you haven't tried it.

  • We are not necessarily caring about our health or the environment,

  • we don't even necessarily have to love animals -

  • I didn't.

  • All you have to agree with is that it is wrong to cause unnecessary harm to animals.

  • And if you agree with that, you believe in veganism.

  • That's it.

  • That's step one my friends, become vegan.

  • Step 2: Because it does not end there,

  • it's not just aboutCool I'm vegan now, let's go have some launch,

  • there's this new vegan place opened up”.

  • I mean yeah, that's great, support the vegan businesses and everything,

  • but there's more to this.

  • We need to become active, we need to take action

  • and we need to help these animals in need, because what is happening to them...

  • I want to remind you what is happening to them.

  • They're getting their beaks cut off,

  • so they don't peck each other to death in their confined crowded prisons.

  • They're having their tails cut off, so other animals don't eat them of them.

  • They're having their teeth clipped, so that they out of stress don't eat into each other.

  • They're being castrated when they're just babies with no anesthesia.

  • Baby male chicks are being sent into a blender, blending them up alive.

  • Baby boys in the dairy industry are being sent to the slaughterhouse to have their throats slit,

  • because they do not produce milk. Their moms are hooked up to painful milking machines

  • and forcibly impregnated and their babies are taken from them.

  • And all of these animals end up at the same slaughterhouse.

  • Humanely slaughtered,

  • which as we know, means nothing for animals. Humane means to show compassion,

  • there is never a compassionate way to exploit someone,

  • there is never a compassionate way to kill someone who wants to live.

  • There is no humane slaughter.

  • What is happening to animals right now is worse than your worst nightmare.

  • What's happening to animals right now, you would not wish on your worst enemy.

  • The worst offenders on this planet, pedophiles, sex offenders, murderers,

  • do not get treated anywhere near as badly as the way we treat

  • the most innocent and vulnerable beings on this planet.

  • And the worst part is that this is so prevalent in our society,

  • almost everyone is involved in this,

  • knowingly or unknowingly, understanding what they're contributing to or not.

  • This is 1.5 trillion innocent beings that this is happening to every single year

  • and that's a conservative estimate. That's 1.5 trillion lives who feel pain

  • and suffer just like us, who deserve respect just like us.

  • We need to put ourselves in the animals' position.

  • One of the best quotes I've ever heard that