Gummy Bear chapter in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty


The Gummy Bears, a vegan activism group best known for their stickers and decorated road signs enjoining the public to “STOP eating animals”, have started a chapter in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

The newly formed Bay of Plenty Gummy Bears have placed 20 billboards in prominent positions in the Waikato and in Tauranga. The billboards urge the government and the public to “ban the Waikato Rodeo”. This refers to the annual event to be held this year at Kihikihi Domain on 15 February.

“Bay of Plenty Gummy Bears are pleased to support Direct Animal Action, the SPCA, Anti-rodeo Coalition, SAFE and other animal groups opposing this barbaric past-time,” says Ursula Lilley, from Tauranga.

“Four horses died at rodeos last year that we know of, and the Rodeo Association’s own figures show a horrendous rate of injuries. It is time the government kept its promise to put an end to rodeo and other cruel practices.”

“Rodeo is not wholesome family entertainment,” says Gummy Bears spokesperson Dr Michael Morris.

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“Quite the contrary. Research has shown that children who witness trusted adults abuse animals are more likely to become abusers themselves. Conversely, children who are taught empathy with animals are more likely to grow up with the same traits”.


  1. Here’s what the SPCA say about rodeo: “odeos are events in which animals are subjected to violence and cruelty in the name of ‘sport’.
    At the moment, rodeos are legal in New Zealand, but the SPCA is calling for a ban on rodeos because they subject animals to a terrifying and cruel experience, resulting in suffering, injury, and sometimes even death. No animal should have to suffer, especially not for human entertainment.

    Animals in New Zealand should be protected from cruelty, yet rodeo animals are subjected to pain, fear, and distress in the name of entertainment. However, there is growing opposition across the country to rodeo events using animals. Allowing animals to be used in rodeo events is akin to permitting and legalising animal cruelty. Animals are tormented, grabbed, chased, wrestled, and roped in the various rodeo events. The animals are stressed and frightened. Speed is a key to many rodeo events and this increases the risk of injury as the panicked animals try to escape and are pushed to their physical limits. They may sustain injuries such as torn ligaments, fractures, broken bones, bruising, and internal damage. In some cases, these injuries are so severe the animals die or are killed at the rodeo.”

  2. “….this barbaric past-time….”

    Unless she’s attempting to be witty, the word she’s searching for there is “pastime”.

    While I agree with activists that rodeo – and all such events which use animals – are cruel and should be abandoned (I’ve held this view for many years), there’s no necessary connection between them and the eating of animals.

    We humans are omnivores; we’re adapted by evolution to be meat-eaters, along with whatever else edible we can get our hands on. Our dentitions attest to that. In addition, meat provides essential nutrients which either aren’t bio-available from plants, or aren’t available in the quantities needed by the human body. That is a result of evolutionary pressures on our ancient ancestors.

    Pretty much all animals are carnivores, including those creatures once thought to be exclusively herbivores, which will eat meat when it’s available, or when they need to do so for survival.

    Humans have also traditionally been hunted by large predators; this still happens in parts of the world where humans and predators share living space, as we periodically see in the news.

    “…..Research has shown that children who witness trusted adults abuse animals are more likely to become abusers themselves. Conversely, children who are taught empathy with animals are more likely to grow up with the same traits”.”

    A citation here would be good.

    Many years ago, when I was at uni, research was emerging that children who were subject to abuse by parents or caregivers were themselves more likely to abuse animals. Here’s a link from a lot of years ago. Note the quote from Albert Schweitzer:

    “Anyone who has accustomed himself to regard the life of any living creature as worthless is in danger of arriving also at the idea of worthless human lives .
    -Albert Schweitzer, Humanitarian”

    However. People should not infer from such research that eating animals is cruel. It isn’t necessarily so.

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