Dierenrechtenactivisten uit Auckland lopen naar Queen's Queen Staugustus 19, 2019
Hundreds of animal rights advocates, and their dogs, will take to the streets to encourage Kiwis to switch to a vegan diet.
The Auckland chapter of the Official Animal Rights March will start at 11.30am on Saturday. Forty other cities worldwide will hold marches over the following hours.
Organiser Avalua Tavui said hundreds of protesters were expected to walk from Mahuhukiterangi Reserve, beside Spark Arena, up Queen St to Myers Park.
“There are alternatives to how we can use instead of exploiting animals for food. There are plenty of other options that we can adopt, it is a lot healthier for us,” she said.
Tavui said animals felt pain and emotions, just as humans did.
It was time for people to think about changing their diet so that animals weren’t “exploited for their flesh”, she said.
“We want people to think twice about how that piece of flesh got in its packaging, what did that animal sense when it travelled to the slaughterhouse, who was the employee who had to kill the animal and what is his job like?
“We also want people to find out what effect does farming have on our environment and what alternative plant based farming choices are available to transition towards with less stress outcomes.
“There are healthier food options that are better suited to our physiological and mental health systems.”
She also wanted an end to animals being “exploited” for entertainment or consumer goods.
Tavui said the protesters had had meetings with police about safety, but Queen St would not be closed for the march.
“We have been instructed to keep to the footpath. We are going to try but it could spill out onto the road.”
The event was family friendly, Tavui said, and would be as peaceful as possible.
Auckland Central Area Commander Inspector Gary Davey said police were aware of the march and had planned accordingly.
“Primary safety measures are always the responsibility of the event organiser, however Police staff will be at the event to ensure people’s safety and to assist with traffic management.”
Numbers were expected to increase from last year, when about 700 people attended.
Tavui said the organisers were aiming to attract 1000 people.
At Myers Park, there would be guest speakers ranging from Green Party MP Gareth Hughes to Saving Animals from Exploitation chief executive Debra Ashton.
The annual Official Animal Rights March originally started in London, but has since spread worldwide.