Talks and workshops

This was our exciting line-up of guest speakers from around the country for 2018’s expo.

10AM: Expo opens

10:20AM: TALK – Asher Soryl: In Defence of Animals

Have you heard of speciesism? 

Asher Soryl works for Animal Ethics as a philosopher and researcher for wild animal welfare and in non-speciesism education. Asher will discuss why nonhuman animals deserve to be respected as an outcome of moral reasoning. He poses questions about why, in addition to the animals that are already harmed by humans, animals living in the wild are also in need of our help and what steps we can take now to help make a difference. Animal Ethics carries out research and outreach in defence of all sentient animals.

11:45AM: TALK – Mathew Hobbs: The benefits of a plant-based diet

The evidence behind plant-based diets

Mathew Hobbs is a GP with an interest in lifestyle medicine to cure chronic diseases. He has been researching the benefits of veganism for eight years and will present a brief summary of the evidence behind eating a plant-based diet.


12:20PM: TALK – Mathew Hobbs: How to eat a plant-based diet

Eating well for health 

GP Mathew Hobbs will lead a discussion about the best approaches for eating a plant-based diet. Mathew has an interest in lifestyle medicine and how it can cure chronic diseases. He has been researching the benefits of following a plant-based diet for eight years. DOWNLOAD TALK NOTES

1:00PM: TALK – Mike Joy: Our deadly nitrogen addiction

How to feed our burgeoning population without fossil fuels

Mike Joy is a senior researcher at the University of Victoria. Mike is an outspoken advocate for environmental protection in New Zealand and has received several awards for his work. Mike will discuss how the human population has reached a level far in excess of the ability of the planet to sustain it long-term through using synthetic nitrogen. The ‘green revolution’ was driven by a massive increase in fossil energy in food production; this one-off subsidy from the past is close to its end as the easy energy pickings diminish. To be able to feed the burgeoning population without fossil fuels and keep greenhouse gas emissions at a safe level will require removing livestock from human food and reducing transporting and processing food. This change will have many human and ecological health benefits.

1:45PM: TALK – Nichola Kriek, SAFE – Eat Kind

Eating with kindness

Nichola Kriek (Head of Education at SAFE) has worked as a humane educator in New Zealand since 1994, aiming to create awareness of the human-animal relationship in order to promote a more compassionate and caring existence for animals. Nichola believes there’s no better time to start thinking about eating kind than right now. This talk will teach you about why it’s time to make a positive change and equip you with the tools to do it. Every meal is a statement of your values and the world you want to live in. Why not start with your very next meal?

2:30PM: TALK – Rowan Taylor: Beyond Animal Farming

How New Zealand can lead the world 

Rowan Taylor is a Christchurch-based environmental policy analyst who has worked and campaigned on environmental, animal liberation and human rights issues for four decades. Climate change and water degradation are making livestock farming environmentally untenable while the rise of veganism is eroding its social licence. Rowan will talk about shifting to an animal-free economy. How could we do it? How fast could we do it? How far could we take it? And will we?

11:00AM: TALK – Carl Scott: A Vegan Future

What will a vegan future look like?

Former slaughterhouse worker Carl Scott will be speaking about why he and many other animal advocates around the world and in NZ believe the time has finally come to talk openly and confidently about the things that our movement has ultimately always stood for: veganism, animal liberation, the abolition of animal exploitation, and the establishment of real and meaningful rights for animals under NZ law.


3:15PM: TALK – Kim Taylor: Vegan beyond the plate

Making your life more cruelty-free 

Kim Taylor has been a vegan animal liberation and human rights advocate in the US for almost a decade and has taken part in local and global campaigns to contest the ways in which humans harm animals. New vegans and the vegan curious first learn how to navigate food aisles and menus, but what about the animal ingredients in non-food items? The ones in our cosmetics, cleaners, candles, cars and more. Come find out about the ‘invisible’ exploitation of animals and how to challenge it. But fear not – this talk isn’t about impossible standards of perfectionism. Rather, you’ll get a basic overview of hidden animal ingredients and exploitation in common consumer goods and, more importantly, you’ll learn practical ways to make your consumption habits consistent with your pro-animal values.

4:30pm: Expo closes

About the Vegan Expo

Originally launched in 2007 as the Vegetarian Expo in Christchurch, this inspiring annual food and lifestyle event has continued to demonstrate growth and popularity for the past ten years and is now held nationally.

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