Members Weekly 

My daughter meets the man she was named after

This weekend our daughter Awen got to meet John Awen, the author, speaker and vegan activist that inspired her name. John’s got a hell of a story. For more than a decade, John was addicted to heroin and crack-cocaine, spending years in and out of prison before settling on a smallholding where he raised his own animals for slaughter. It was in a slaughterhouse that John turned vegan, having just called his hand-reared lambs onto the electrocution floor. He has dedicated his life to the vegan cause ever since.

When my wife Lisa and I first saw John speak at a local vegan fair, he’d spoken at more than 50 events across the country that year. His message was a powerful one: just being vegan is not enough. If you want to end animal slaughter and exploitation then you need to do more than just be vegan; you have to use whatever your talent is to spread the vegan message to others. His talk that day directly led Lisa and I to launch Vegan Business Tribe. The rest, as they say, is history.

We’ve become close friends with John since that time and he continues to inspire us. In fact, that’s what Awen means, it’s an old Welsh word meaning ‘inspiration’. So when we saw that John would be speaking at our local vegan fair on the date of our daughter Awen’s first birthday, that was an aligning of the stars we couldn’t ignore. Our daughter would finally get to meet the man that inspired her name (see photo above!).

Unfortunately I didn’t actually get to hear John’s session this time because as soon as he started talking, our (usually very quiet) Awen decided she was joining in with the presentation! I excused myself from the room with a babbling one-year old under my arm, but I hope it was a sign she’ll continue John’s mission of inspiring others to take up a more compassionate, kinder lifestyle. In fact, those of you who are connected with me on social media might have seen I’ve already introduced Awen to our recording studio and she’s becoming a regular at our local vegan events herself.

As John puts it, activism is like throwing a stone in a pool of water and seeing the ripples spread out. Sometimes John speaks to a roomful of people at an event, other times he might have travelled for several hours just to have two people in the audience. But even if you just touch two people with a message of compassion, you never know how far those ripples might go.

David 💚🌱

David’s thoughts from the week, published every weekend for members only.

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