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.
“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”.