Honderden veganisten protesteren tegen dierenrechten in Auckland en roepen 'niet je moeder, niet je melk'augustus 23, 2019
CHRIS MCKEEN / STUFF
Animal rights activists swarmed the streets of Auckland’s CBD on Saturday, urging people to “go vegan”.
Hundreds of vegan activists marched through downtown Auckland to protest for animal rights.
Chanting “not your mum, not your milk”, they amassed at Mahuhukiterangi Reserve – many with dogs and more wielding placards – before striking out for Myers Park, via Queen St, on Saturday morning.
Attendees ranged from babies to septuagenarians. Placards bore slogans such as “Animals are here with us, not for us”, and “Compassion over killing”.
Samantha Eastall drove up from Wellington to help raise awareness of the vegan cause, with her husband and three-year-old son – both vegan – plus their two elderly rottweillers, who eat meat.
* The rat-trapping vegan: He’s doing it for New Zealand
* Vegan mothers can ‘ethically’ eat their own afterbirth
* How I developed a taste for exotic pest meat
* Meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans: How much does diet impact the environment?
Eastall, a 28-year-old procurement officer, turned vegan after becoming a mother. She said her eureka moment came upon realising “that cow made milk for its baby, not mine”.
Is being vegan with flesh-eating pets ethically problematic? Eastall said it would have been too expensive to switch two large dogs to veganism, given the amount of supplements they’d need to stay healthy, but her next dog would be smaller and “100 per cent vegan”.
She said since any meat her dogs eat was a byproduct, she “feels ok” about their omnivorous lifestyle.
Vegan of five years Mandy Kirk, a 49-year-old ecologist, marched with injustice on her mind.
“How’s this for out of whack?” she asked.
“I walk past this new car yard for BMWs – it’s so huge and fancy – then I walk past a homeless shelter and I walk past a farm … it looks like cars are getting looked after better than living beings.”
Australian backpacker Jack Oswald, 22, stayed in Auckland an extra day to join the march.
He said he used to eat a lot of meat but stopped six months ago, because he “finally actually thought about it – and just couldn’t any more”.
“Going vegan is better for me, for the environment, and for animals.”
Oswald said the only challenge had been the amount of time he now spends reading labels at the supermarket.
Several Auckland pedestrians stop to film the rowdy and colourful group, flanked by a handful of police, snaking through the city centre.
“They certainly are passionate, all that shouting’s quite affronting – they are raising awareness for sure,” noted Nathan Cleary, a 24-year-old office worker.
He wasn’t convinced to stop eating meat, however.
“My will power may be lacking,” he said.
David Stannard, 72, stepped out of the Thai restaurant he runs with his wife to watch the crowd marching down Customs St.
He believes “treating animals well is quite a different matter to not eating them”.
A former dairy scientist, Stannard said that in his experience “there’s no reason animals can’t have a happy and contented life being farmed”.
He said he’d also visited slaughterhouses and seen the emphasis on giving cattle a humane death.
Nevertheless, Stannard encouraged the vegans to have their say.
“Debate in itself a very good thing!” he concluded.