We’ve selected our top five speeches that talk about veganism and address the issues of the meat industry, with each one covering different areas. Each of these videos is undoubtedly going to have an impact on any non-vegan friends, and each of these have changed the lives of people and helped in their decision to become vegan.
Dr Melanie Joy – Toward Rational, Authentic Food choices
An expert in the field of the psychology of eating meat after almost twenty years studying it, this TEDx talk by Joy presents her findings to the audience, and talks about regaining rationality that many people lose. This is an interesting talk that looks at social psychology and reflects on her personal experiences of ending her diet eating meat, and making the connections between the way society classes animals. This talk will definitely make any non-vegans in your life reconsider their position when it comes to their moral stance on animals, and it could the video that prompts a lifestyle change.
You can watch the talk here.
Jacy Reese – The End of Animal Farming
This is speech is very focused, with animal agriculture at the heart of the topic. Reese describes animal agriculture as an ‘urgent social issue’, outlining key problems with the industry. Reese is vegan and a Research Director at Sentience Institute which is a think tank working on the most effective approaches to expand “humanity’s moral circle”. He explains the economic cost of animal agriculture, the environmental cost, and the misplaced ethics by many consumers, who perhaps still aren’t aware of the conditions of animal agriculture.
You can watch the full TEDx talk here.
James Aspey – This Speech is Your Wake Up Call
Talking about how to help animals through his own experiences, and how to effectively communicate the vegan message, Aspey relays his story to the audience. Speaking about his experience with a cancer diagnosis, Aspey realised he had never been placed in a position of suffering throughout his lifetime. He encourages the audience to relate to the situations he talks about, and talks through his journey to becoming vegan.
You can watch the full 40 minute video here.
Earthling Ed & Joey Carbstrong – Eating Animals is Our Right?
Although this isn’t a speech, these street interviews with members of the public question people’s ideas on whether their views would differ on seeing farm animals abused as opposed to domestic animals, such as dogs. Questioning people’s views on the way that they see animals is a way that Earthling Ed and Joey Carbstrong spread the vegan message, and gently encourage people to notice the injustice of the meat industry.
The short video is available to watch here.
Philip Wollen – Animals Should Be Off the Menu
This short speech nails down the moment that Wollen decided to turn vegan, telling the audience his story of hearing his father in pain as he suffered with cancer, and recognising the same pain in animals and that “when we suffer, we suffer as equals.” Covering the environmental and ethical realities of the meat industry, Wollen passionately talks about veganism and how animal rights is now “the greatest social justice issue since the abolition of slavery.”
You can watch the speech here.
Other influential vegan speakers include Ellen Degeneres who uses communicates her passion for veganism to her large audience via her blog; Angela Davis who has been an activist for many causes since the 1960s and in 2009 she announced she was vegan and spoke about the sentience of animals in a speech at the University of Cape Town; and Bite Size Vegan who is an animal-liberation activist, international speaker who aims to educate people about veganism in an approachable manner.