James Aspey just became the most dangerous man in veganism in 6 minutes

This past 4 weeks or so have been full of melodrama about a ripped, inked, sexy man called James Aspey. Not heard of him? If you aren’t a vegan then there is no reason you should have, and even if you are, there is no particular reason you should have.

So who is James Aspey?

He is a self-appointed vegan activist leader. He ticks all the boxes for this:

  • Cis man
  • White
  • Conventionally attractive
  • Opinionated
  • Aggressive in his outreach
  • Has himself into influencer culture (IG, apparently glamorous life in Bali, flies the world in business class, moody black and white shots showing off his fit bod…and has the latest influencer accessary, an OnlyFans)
  • Ran for parliament in Australia
  • Didn’t speak for a year ‘for the animals’
  • Gate keeps what acceptable vegan activism is
  • Doesn’t have any new ideas, just recycles the talking points he learned 7 years ago and sticks to his one-trick pony show

So far, so dull and very usual.

Then a few weeks ago, the melodrama started. I won’t go into this, but it involves puppies, the death of at least one of the puppies and Aspey insisting that using Holocaust comparisons in his vegan activism was really effective and that he wouldn’t stop. Even when asked by Jewish people because y’know they found it offensive. Oh and then he started calling meat eaters mentally ill. So yeah, that went down well. Oh, and then when you think that this foolish boring conventionally pretty white man couldn’t make things worse…he went to war with women and Black people. You can google all this if you have the energy — or just read this:

So now we get to the part where he goes from entertaining side show to meaningfully dangerous.

On the 5th February, James Aspey posted this on his YT channel:

He starts off by saying that this isn’t financial advice….and then proceeds to advise people watching this to:

  1. Pay him 25 bucks to join up to a FB group to learn all the techniques you need to know in order to invest successfully in cryptocurrencies
  2. Dump as much money you can into something called ‘Energy Web Tokens’

Wait. What. Stop.

This is dangerous advice. He says he has liquidated all his assets and invested everything he owns into this thing.

Investing 101 rule — DIVERSIFICATION. You NEVER put all your eggs in one basket. If you do, you are the sucker that walked up to the barker at the carnival and played the shell game.

Wanna know what financial regulators say to retail investors about cryptocurrency get rich quick schemes?

These bullets come from this advice:

Consumer protection: Some investments advertising high returns based on cryptoassets may not be subject to regulation beyond anti-money laundering requirements.

Price volatility: Significant price volatility in cryptoassets, combined with the inherent difficulties of valuing cryptoassets reliably, places consumers at a high risk of losses.

Product complexity: The complexity of some products and services relating to cryptoassets can make it hard for consumers to understand the risks. There is no guarantee that cryptoassets can be converted back into cash. Converting a cryptoasset back to cash depends on demand and supply existing in the market.

Charges and fees: Consumers should consider the impact of fees and charges on their investment which may be more than those for regulated investment products.

Marketing materials: Firms may overstate the returns of products or understate the risks involved.

See that point about volatility? This is what is meant by this.

EWT prices for 6th February 2021
7 day EWT pricing (from 31st January 2021
EWT prices for the past year from April 2020

You wanna look at the green line which is the price line. See how it is leaping? This is extreme volatility. If you brought at 8pm last night — you’ve lost money at 9am. If you brought on the 3rd February you made a lot at 8pm on the 5th and less at 9am on the 6th February. If you brought 6 months ago — you’re sitting on a heap of pain.

So, what do the experts say? How much of this super risky thing should you have in your investment portfolio? 1%. NOT ALL. And make sure you know what you are investing in — or you aren’t investing, you are spending. Don’t understand crypto? Don’t invest in it.

If you follow James’ advice and you put all your money in this thing, you are at risk of losing everything.

Please, don’t listen to this dangerous man and his dangerous advice. DO NOT put your money into this. It might be a scam, it might fail or it might make you lots of money. This feels like a pump and dump scheme. Don’t be a victim of it.

I have two big asks after all this:

  1. Please do not listen to the advice of James Aspey in this video. Please do not put lots of money into this unregulated and unsafe investment. If you do, understand you should expect to lose all of it and you have no recourse and no protection.
  2. If you are a vegan and you have a platform, big or small, please, help me by sharing this. Don’t let people get hurt because of this dangerous man. I’m a no one. I have no particular voice. He has quarter of a million people listening to him on IG.

8th February update

Wow. Just when I thought Aspey couldn’t do anything to make this situation worse, he decided to double down and posted this on his YT:

I literally have no words to say about this. Fortunately I don’t have to have any. The BBC reported this from the FCA this weekend. Yes, I know, this is about TikTok and share tips, but there is no meaningful different in the *content* and the *approach* being taken here by Aspey.

I'm a mix of politics, pop culture, social justice and kinky sex.