In 2005, Ms Sandra Murray Coordinator & Trustee of Veganz (the Vegan Society of New Zealand Charitable Trust), of which she was Coordinator & Trustee”, conducted a survey of 101 vegans in New Zealand and found that the majority became vegans primarily for animal rights reasons, with the next highest recorded being for health reasons. Environmental reasons were cited by a very smal number of respondents, roughly the same number as cited spiritual/religious reasons and allergy/intolerance reasons (Energy & Food, Iss. 83, August 2005, pp. 8-9).
The notion of animals having “rights” is a highly charged and controversial subject in the field of bioethics and ethics/philosophy. It is indisputable that humans have rights not to be killed and eaten by other humans. But do all animals have the same “rights”? Many “animal rights activists” and doctrinaire vegans sincerely believe they do. The vast majority of reasonable-minded people believe they do not. The link between “animal rights” activism and veganism is well-established.
Is it significant that a founding trustee of The Vegan Society of Aotearoa, Ms Amand Sorrenson, is currently Promotions Manager for SAFE (Save Animals From Exploitation), an “animal rights” campaigner/lobby heavily involved in “political advocacy”. (See: http://www.safe.org.nz/Contact-Safe/)? SAFE was registered as a charity with the Charities Commission on 30 June 2008 (Reg. No. CC44028).
Ms Sandra Joanne Murray is listed as “Coordinator & Trustee” of VEGANZ, on its Trust Deed and on the Statutory Declaration accompanying the application for the incorporation of VEGANZ: The Vegan Society of New Zealand Charitable Trust, witnessed by Auckland barrister, Ms Metiria Stanton Turei (currently co-leader of the Green Party MP). Both documents are dated 17 July 2002 and were uploaded onto the Companies website on 31 July 2002.
Along with three other trustees, Ms Murray’s signature is also recorded on the Application For Incorporation of VEGANZ as a Board, dated 29 July 2002 and received by the National Processing Centre of the Companies Office on 31 July 2002 (uploaded on Companies website on 31/07/2002).
On 3 October 2004 the VEGANZ Trust Deed was amended and Ratified at the Trust’s AGM. A copy was signed by Ms Sandra Murray “to be a true and correct copy of the Trust Deed of VEGASNZ: The Vegan Society of New Zealand” on 14 December 2004. It was uploaded onto the Companies website on 20 December 2004. Its registration number is 1230157.
Two of the “aims and objectives” (section 3) of VEGANZ Charitable Trust Deed make it clear that this incorporated Trust is an “animal rights” lobby group.
s. 3.5 To lobby for manufacturers to use non-animal based materials in their products.
s. 3.6 “To support ethical alternatives to animal based and/or environmentally harmful research and production and where appropriate to lobby government and non-government bodies to change such practices.