Most Hated Group Opposes Hate Speech Rules
Direct Action Everywhere New Zealand are part of the animal rights movement that has been gaining traction in New Zealand. As a result, we are hated. In fact research has shown vegans are among the most hated groups on the planet.
Nevertheless, we oppose the proposed hate
speech regulations. Our submission opposing the rules is
“Non-human animals rely on human allies to speak on their behalf. Most New Zealanders participate in eating farmed animals. Therefore it is a fair assumption that animal allies run the risk of offending others,” says Anna DxE spokesperson Anna Rippon.
“Others may feel hated by hearing opinions that are in opposition if their religious values or traditional practices involve the oppression of or cruelty to animals. As a democratic country, we must value our freedom to express opinions first and foremost. To further limit this freedom, which will likely lead to a decline of public debate, on the actions of one person is absurd.”
Fellow spokesperson Dr Michael Morris agrees. “Calling Judith Collins 'Karen' may be acceptable, but drawing attention to the 'Animal holocaust' could quite easily lead to our freedom of speech being criminalised."
The DxE submission is linked here. It includes incidences of hate speech towards vegans made by media spokespeople such as Ryan Bridge from Newshub and other commentators.
The proposed regulations are well intentioned, but have unintended consequences. Better enforcement of existing laws around criminal incitement and defamation would be a far more effective way of protecting vulnerable populations.