Our Activist Contributors
Sandra is a retired Polytechnic lecturer, and a part-time piano and keyboard teacher. She is a dedicated vegan/animal activist who has carried out slaughterhouse vigils for the last three years, much of that time standing in front of slaughterhouses by herself.
At the end of 2017 she joined the International Save Movement and now bears witness under their banner. Sandra runs the only animal rights radio and podcast show in New Zealand, and has written many opinion editorials on Animal Rights. She is the author of the book “Glass Walls, A Plea to Close Slaughterhouses in New Zealand by 2025”.
Author and Linguist
Maya is a vegan, an activist, a feminist, a mother, and a published author. Multilingual Maya has a BA degree in Communication and Management, and an MSc degree in Gender and Society. Passionate about ending animal slaughter, she divides her time mainly between Speak Up for Animals NZ, The Save Movement and Anonymous for the Voiceless.She is also the founder and a co-leader of the ‘A Vegan Future’ think tank project.
Animal researcher and reporter
Debbie writes: “Hi my name is Debbie Nelson. I am a Animal Ethics Researcher Educator Writer and Reporter. My ability to be a animal well-being activist is because I am a very good listener and student.I owe my gift to the superb teachers in my life who have guided me. First was FiFi the 1st dog in my life. Second was Baldy the lst horse in my life. The second horse in my life was Davey. The third horse was Foxy. The fourth horse was Cat. The fifth horse was Banjo. The second dog in my life was Madeline. Sixth horse in my life was Mel.I would like to give a special thanks to my mentors Pat and Linda Parelli. I would not have been able to crusade for the animals without my husband’s support of 44 years. I am humbly grateful to you all and will do my best to free the animals”
Retired Polytechnic Lecturer
Paul is a former landscape architect and Polytechnic lecturer. He became vegan after beginning to live with pigs and could not fail to notice how much we share in common.Paul firmly believes that the quality of our own lives is a direct and inseparable consequence of how we treat others, and it is therefore in our own best interests to treat all others well – and unkindness costs us dearly. Thus human welfare cannot be divorced from the issue of animal welfare as the two are part of one indivisible whole.If we ourselves wish to have high quality lives it is imperative that we treat other humans and animals alike with kindness and respect.
Teacher and film-maker
Paul is a former tertiary educator, lecturing in Media Studies. His recent documentary film, Don Driver Magician, explores themes of animal consciousness and environmentalism in the work of New Zealand’s leading assemblage sculptor.An animal activist who has written on the topics of animal rights and the environment, Paul has also contributed to Safe and Sound, a community radio show devoted to in-depth discussions of animal rights and environmental issues.Paul is actively engaged in the Starfish Bobby Calf Project, aimed at highlighting the hidden realities of the dairy industry.
Lynley is an education lecturer with diverse research interests including education, animal studies and sustainability. Lynley is a vegan animal rights activist and founder of Starfish Bobby Calf Project.
She is a prolific opinion editorial writer, and actively campaigns against the dairy industry.
Sonja Penafiel Bermudez
Sonja has worked in the fields of forensic science and palaeontology whilst spending her spare time co-organising Wellington Animal Save and Speak Up for Animals NZ alongside her wife Tania.
She became an animal rights activist and vegan in 2011 after learning about the overwhelming evidence on the consequences of eating meat and dairy and its effects on animals, our health and our planet.
Sonja advocates non-violent action, and believes the way forward for the Animal Rights and Vegan groups is to work together in solidarity to achieve animal liberation.
Artist, vegan cookbook writer
Laurie is a married mother of four grown daughters and has two granddaughters. She is a long time vegan, and is passionate about the welfare of animals. She is outspoken on social media and uses this as her primary platform to educate others on the healthy benefits of a vegan lifestyle, and the ethics surrounding the treatment of animals.She is currently writing a vegan cookbook with a focus on healthy but tasty recipes, animal rights, ethics and environmental issues, and is also developing a career in art.Having worked as an Early Childhood Education Teacher, Hypnotherapist, Certified Quantum Biofeedback Practitioner and Energy Healer, her main focus now is to work towards ending the extremely oppressive, heavily programmed beliefs regarding the beautiful animal kingdom.
Tania Penafiel Bermudez
Tania is a vegan and animal rights activist who has lived in Canada, Spain the UK and Aotearoa. She is a specialist in digital customer service. Tania co-founded both Speak Up for Animals NZ and Wellington Animal Save and became a vegan and activist overnight after attending a Campaign Against Factory Farming protest march many years ago.
Tania believes we need to ‘think globally and act locally’ and that we must be global citizens in order to effect positive change.