John Awen is a published author, public speaker for animal rights and veganism, vegan nutritionist and Beneath the Wood animal sanctuary co-owner. John openly shares with us his story of drug addiction, violence and experiences of animal slaughter, to his spiritual and vegan awakening, and journey into animal rights/vegan advocacy. His story is an inspiring example of how when you hit rock bottom, if you just get up and keep going, gifts and rewards, not to mention personal growth and evolution, await you on the other side.
Speaking at Vegan Festivals around the UK in 2019
Veganism has begun to explode in 2019, cruelty free and ethical lifestyle’s are now mentioned constantly, and can be heard across all aspects of our lives. This monumental and pivotal movement which seeks to end all cruelty, oppression, injustice, incarceration and mass slaughter is now being spoken about openly, candidly and all ages of people are now fully aware of its implications.
I am immensely proud to be a part of this movement and to be able to attend and speak at Vegan festivals, including one recently at the magnificent Anfield Stadium, as well as other events. It’s heartwarming and shows how much interest there is, not only about Veganism, but also the other topics I talk about and openly share. These range from overcoming drug addiction, living with advanced heart failure, living an ethical and compassionate lifestyle; as well as giving talks and book signings on my book subjects, as I am multiple published author as well.
Between February of this year and the end of July 2019, I have travelled several thousand miles and have spoken at different events and venues across England and Wales, Scarborough, Canterbury, Llangollen, Portsmouth, Essex, Newcastle and Liverpool to name but a few.
We now have more communicative devices available to us than ever before, yet people are actually talking and expressing themselves less, so to be able to speak to packed audiences, engage fully with them and show alternatives to life is truly humbling and makes doing what I do a real pleasure: and as anybody who knows me can vouch, I do love to talk!
I am taking a short break now, well from public speaking anyway, as I am now writing and expressing myself as I slowly start to piece together and formulate my 5th book. This will see me putting down on paper my life story and my personal battles with heroin, surviving several near death experiences, and coping with being in advanced heart failure and being given no time at all.
I fully believe that life is for living, none of us know how long we have, so it is up to us to enjoy, savour and make the most of every day that we have. There is way too much negativity and toxicity in the world, we all need to accept this, then counter it with positivity, love, empathy and laughter, in doing this we are expressing ourselves and showing that no matter how hard life gets, there are those who have it much tougher.
The onus falls upon each one of us as individuals to think, to act and to make changes for the better and to implement these changes wherever and whenever we can, basically it’s the small acts of kindness each day that shows us who and what we are and the direction we all need to be heading towards.
After my 3 week break, I start my Public speaking again on 10th August in Stourbridge and after that I have another 14 events where I will be giving talks and sharing parts of my life story and highlighting animal abuse, how we all need to start eating healthily and cruelty free and in doing so how we can reduce our impact upon this beautiful planet that we call home.
If you would like to book me to speak at an event, please fill out the form below.
In July 2018 I proudly became a Patron of Beneath The Wood Sanctuary. A Vegan run, no kill animal sanctuary in West Wales. It is a safe haven nestled in the Welsh hills where the residents can live the whole of their natural lives in safety. The sanctuary offers permanent residence to sheep, pigs, horses, dogs and cats. Some of which have not had the best start in life. All of the dogs are at the sanctuary because they have behaviour issues, rendered them unable to live in a normal home environment. Many of which were facing euthanasia without the sanctuary offering them a permanent placement. The sanctuary works with other rescues, sanctuaries, vets and people in the local community.
One of my favourite residents at the sanctuary is little Pixie the mini sheep. Pixie came to the sanctuary in July 2018 at the age of 4 months, She was given to the sanctuary by a local farming family. She had not grown properly and was half the size of all their other lambs and appeared to be visually impaired. Her differences set her aside from the other lambs and therefore ultimately saved her life. She can now live her full life in safety at the sanctuary. She is a very unique and friendly little character. Here she is sharing my best friend Pagan’s stick!
As someone that has farmed animals and taken them from birth through to slaughter before finding peace in veganism, the sanctuary is a place where I can reconnect with these sentient beings and absorb their calm and healing spirit. Reconnecting with these beautiful creatures is an important role for animal sanctuaries to help people on their journey of veganism. It is all to easy to look away and not face up to what really has to happen for non vegan food to become a ‘product’ on a supermarket shelf. But when you spend, quiet peaceful time with these animals there can be no doubt that veganism is the only right way.
Spending time at the sanctuary and helping feed the animals and walk the dogs has been very therapeutic. Seeing the dogs, even the one’s that have very serious behaviour problems and can still live a good and happy life. Knowing that no matter how challenging or difficult their problems can be they will always have a home and security at the sanctuary. They are always accepted for what and who they are.
The sanctuary has many future plans, including bigger premises to be able to save more animals and an education centre to help promote a cruelty free lifestyle. The sanctuary runs on and is reliant on donations to care for the residents. As Patron of Beneath The Wood Sanctuary I will proudly promote and help them wherever I can. In my talks at vegan events and in my daily life.
If you would like to help support the residents at the sanctuary you can donate via Paypal, bank transfer or via the website. You can also sponsor one of the residents from as little as £4 per month. The sanctuary runs entirely on donations and voluntary help and is a registered Not for Profit Organisation.