James Videle has joined the Humane Party’s all-volunteer staff as co-leader of the Agricultural Policy Transition Team. The team’s mission is to transition the entire U.S. economy to a post-abolition—i.e., 100% plant-based—economy.
James, a 13-year veteran to organic farming and 20-year lacto-ovo vegetarian, turned vegan (after muddling, according to Tom Regan), when his awakening occurred in the form of an e-mail in late 2013. Longtime friend, Kip Anderson, asked him if he would please review and critique his first feature-length documentary, Cowspiracy. James, who had been an environmental advocate as long as being a vegetarian, primarily for the protection of important bird and wildlife habitats, accepted. He was shocked upon learning how animal agriculture devastated the environment in total.
Asked by Kip to promote the film in Montréal and accompany him to the Toronto premiere, at the Toronto Veg fest (part of the eastern Canada Cowspiracy tour), James realized that the only way he could promote a vegan movie was to actually become vegan. He took, along with best friend and wife Mélanie Bernier, the 21-day vegan challenge in August 2014 and has never looked back.
Just a few months later, an opportunity arose to purchase a house in desperate need of salvaging and 6 acres of land in the Québec north country. The veganic farm La Ferme de l’Aube (The Farm of the First Light) was born.
James, who had always been concerned about the extensive use of conventional animal manures and slaughterhouse by-products in organic vegetable farming, decided that this previously uncultivated plot would grow vegetables, fruits, and herbs with the least possible exploitation and would be free of all animal inputs.
The farm strives for sustainable principles, including collecting rainwater for irrigation, composting 100% of household vegetable waste into veganic compost, and composting humanure through a composting toilet, that James built, and a septic system where the black water nourishes the native flora and the excrement is recycled into compost for a nearby town.
Along with Mélanie and four rescue cats, they lead a simple life in the country, surrounded by mountains and graced by the howls of wolves and the passing of birds and other wildlife through the property.
In the offseason (Nov-Feb), James gives speeches at manifestations and slaughterhouse vigils. He educates festival goers on veganic agriculture methods at the ever-growing Montréal vegan festival. He continues his research into the feeding of the world’s population by the best possible plant-based methods and recently was asked by Kip and Keegan Kuhn (co-director) of the new documentary What the Health, to be the source and statistics researcher.
In his own words, James says, “I have been exploiting animals for the first forty years of my life, I have the next 40 years to make up the karma.”
He is a champion for all beings, human and non-human, wild and domestic.