Vegan activists sticker Tauranga Signs

A stickered sign on Harrington Street.

A vegan activism group has taken responsibility for stickers on stop signs around Tauranga.

Stickers are placed on stop signs so it reads ‘STOP eating animals’.

The Gummy Bears Bay of Plenty chapter is just starting up and spokesperson Ursula Lilley says the stickers are one of the things the group is known for.

She says often independent activists place the stickers as well so they may not all be from Gummy Bears members.

SunLive recently reported that placing the stickers on government signs could be treated as a criminal offence - the Gummy Bears are undeterred by this, Ursula says.

“Most of the people that are doing these actions are absolutely willing to put their money where their mouth is and simply the fact that it's illegal - we're doing it because it's moral.”

The group is placing the stickers to bring awareness about where people’s food comes from.

“It's just a visible, immediate connect for people's brains, I think sometimes it's a little bit of a surprise.

“Often people actually make a disconnect in their brain between their meat that they’re eating and the fact that animals have been killed so they can eat them.

“It's about making that connection for people and reminding them that the ham in your sandwich, or the chicken in your burger or whatever [meat] was a living animal with a life of its own and it was killed so that you could eat it.

“It's to bring that to the surface and to remind people, you're eating dead animals.”

Ursula say the group are anti-speciesism which is the notion that all species are equal.

“Speciesism is the construct in the human mind that humans are superior to other animals and we will use and abuse them as we see fit and as anti speciesists as we reject that idea and extol the opposite values, which are that animals were not put here on this planet for humans to use.”

She says they will continue placing the stickers on signs.

Tauranga City Council considers this to be intentional damage similar to the criminal offence of defacing property by graffiti vandalism, says Martin Parkes manager of network safety and sustainability.

“It may potentially be treated more seriously than graffiti given that it is a ‘STOP’ traffic sign used to control traffic. Interference with traffic signs has the potential to cause crashes and serious harm.”

The BOP Gummy Bears have other projects planned and are currently working to ban the Waikato Rodeo they have four ‘Ban Waikato Rodeo’ signs around Tauranga and another 16 in Waikato.

One of the BOP Gummy Bears signs. Supplied image.

“The overall ambition being to have rodeo banned in New Zealand, but our first goal is to just remove the calves from the rodeo.

“All of the rodeo activities are brutal, but calf roping is brutality directed towards baby animals.

“Ban Waikato Rodeo is our focus at the moment, and we've got the billboards so that's hopefully going to get a little bit of public attention and bring to the forefront of people's minds that animal abuse is not a wholesome family fun activity.”

Ursula says to ‘watch this space’ for other projects the group have in the works.

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The future is vegan

Posted on 20-01-2020 20:40 | By

Great to see awareness spreading to Tauranga about the cruelties involved in the animal industry. Since animal groups are up against incredibly wealthy and powerful groups they need to be creative in their advocacy. Stop signs and other billboards are effective way of getting the message across.

Really funny

Posted on 18-01-2020 14:35 | By Eric Bantona

This is hilarious. And it’s got them publicity too. I think it’s great. Obviously they’ll be taken down and punished for defacing street signs. Par for the course really. All these butt hurt people commenting about how it’s not going to change your diet. Cool. Good on you. If you think that they believe adding a sticker to a sign will change your mind then your more dense than your double quarter pounder. Someone commented on NZ economy collapsing because of meat and dairy sales decreasing. A good economy plans for rise in decline in goods and services and must adapt accordingly. Just because people in the world are choosing to eat less meat and/or less dairy products, doesn’t mean they need to change, it’s our economy that needs to change to global demand. Pretty basic - not that I’d expect a Swampdog to understand.


Posted on 17-01-2020 14:42 | By Lvdw

They are deluded if they think that putting stickers up will change opinions. It just annoys everyone and makes them even more determined TO eat meat. They are not winning hearts and minds here.

Counter productive

Posted on 16-01-2020 14:39 | By This Guy

I’m fine with people being vegan/vegetarian or whatever but this behaviour doesn’t make me want to stop eating meat, all it does is make me want to put a "Don’t" sticker above the STOP (I wouldn’t though because vandalising a stop sign is an incredibly stupid thing to do)

Gummy Bears?

Posted on 16-01-2020 11:29 | By Mein Fuhrer

oh how ironic. Most gummy bears contain gelatin made from the cartilage, bones, hooves, or skin of slaughtered pigs, and sometimes other animals. In other words, most gummy bears are not vegan, vegetarian, halal, or kosher.


Posted on 16-01-2020 09:44 | By swampdog

The NZ economy, for better or worse, is based around meat and dairy. If everyone tomorrow were to give it up, and God forbid including our export mart, then the NZ economy would crash, banks would take back half the homes, homelessness be rife, crime rates soar, and so on like dominoes. Then the new sticker beneath the "STOP" would read..."the Kiwi apocalypse".


Posted on 16-01-2020 08:47 | By hapukafin

I bet they eat many foods with animal products in,milk ,cheese,yoghurt,fish,cakes,bscuits,butter,and other ingredients in different products,knowingly or otherwise.

Hey Mommatum

Posted on 16-01-2020 08:17 | By Yadick

TCC’s reaction is not ludicrous and way over the top. This groups ’democratic right’ to defend is not in any way a right to illegal activity. It is illegal to deface road traffic signs - end of story. I cannot just go and willy nilly start adding what I want to road signs that are there for the safety of others and neither can they. They’re not bl@@dy billboards. Ludicrous is you condoning criminal behavior and intent. This is not about Vegan or non-Vegan, It’s not about being reasonable rather it is about about illegal activity. If you want to support them then you should be prosecuted as well. Food for thought.

Defending Freedom Of Expression

Posted on 15-01-2020 21:31 | By Mommatum

Come on Tauranga City Council, be reasonable, I don’t agree with Gummy Bears BOP’s opinions, but defend their democratic right to it and to publicly express that. Therefore I consider your characterising this very passive form of protest as criminal to be not only ludicrous but way over the top.

Blatently Illegal

Posted on 15-01-2020 18:59 | By Yadick

They refuse to stop, they have declared their criminal intent to continue so prosecute them to the full extent of the law. I fully believe the eating of dead animals is far better than eating them alive. The vege’s were living as well before being ripped from the ground and suffering a slow death . . .

Pathetic Protest

Posted on 15-01-2020 18:34 | By Kiwi Poet

I don’t mind vegans not eating animal products, but if they think they can change my mind about what they eat, think again. if you are influenced by stickers then one must be really gullible.


Posted on 15-01-2020 18:23 | By dumbkof2

just plain vandalism. should prosicute the people concerned or the whole organization

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